This study evaluated the cytotoxicity activity of the essential oils of Tagetes erecta L., Asteraceae (TEOE), Tetradenia riparia (Hochst.) Codd, Lamiaceae (TR-OE), Bidens sulphurea (Cav.) Sch. Bip., Asteraceae (BS-OE), and Foeniculum vulgare Mill., Apiaceae (FV-OE), traditionally used in folk medicine, against the tumor cell lines murine melanoma (B16F10), human colon carcinoma (HT29), human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7), human cervical adenocarcinoma (HeLa), human hepatocellular liver carcinoma (HepG2), and human glioblastoma (MO59J, U343, and U251). Normal hamster lung fibroblasts (V79 cells) were included as control. The cells were treated with essential oil concentrations ranging from 3.12 to 400 μg/ml for 24 h. The cytotoxic activity was evaluated using the XTT assay; results were expressed as IC50, and the selectivity index was calculated. The results were compared with those achieved for classic chemotherapeutic agents. TE-OE was the most promising among the evaluated oils: it afforded the lowest IC50 values for B16F10 cells (7.47 ± 1.08 μg/ml) and HT29 cells (6.93 ± 0.77 μg/ml), as well as selectivity indices of 2.61 and 2.81, respectively. The major BS-EO, FV-EO and TE-EO chemical constituents were identified by gas chromatography mass spectrometry as being (E)-caryophyllene (10.5%), germacrene D (35.0%) and 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol (43.0%) (BS-EO); limonene (21.3%) and (E)-anethole (70.2%) (FV-EO); limonene (10.4%), dihydrotagetone (11.8%), α-terpinolene (18.1%) and (E)-ocimenone (13.0%) (TE-EO); and fenchone (6.1%), dronabinol (11.0%), aromadendrene oxide (14.7%) and (E,E)–farnesol (15.0%) (TR-EO). 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol (43.0%), (E)-anethole (70.2%) and α-terpinolene (18.1%), respectively. These results suggest that TE-OE may be used to treat cancer without affecting normal cells.
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The authors thank the FAPESP Brazil, for a PhD scholarship (P.F.O; grant # 2009/21310-2) and the financial support (grant # 2007/54241-8). The authors are also grateful to CNPq for fellowships.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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de Oliveira, P.F., Alves, J.M., Damasceno, J.L. et al. Cytotoxicity screening of essential oils in cancer cell lines. Rev. Bras. Farmacogn. 25, 183–188 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2015.02.009
- Tagetes erecta
- Tetradenia riparia
- Bidens sulphurea
- Foeniculum vulgare