, Volume 73, Issue 8, pp 787–792 | Cite as

Inhibition of tumour and non-tumour cell proliferation by pygidial gland secretions of four ground beetle species (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

  • Marija Nenadić
  • Marina Soković
  • Ricardo C. Calhelha
  • Isabel C. F. R. Ferreira
  • Ana Ćirić
  • Nikola Vesović
  • Srećko ĆurčićEmail author
Short Communication


Inhibition of the proliferation of human tumour cells and porcine non-tumour cells by the pygidial gland secretion released by adults of four ground beetle species was observed in this study. The sulphorhodamine B (SRB) assay was applied to establish the percentages of inhibition of the net growth of four human tumour cell lines and porcine liver primary non-tumour cells. The secretions of all tested ground beetle species were shown to have an antiproliferative effect on the tested cell lines. Special emphasis is put on the secretion of Abax parallelepipedus, which showed the highest antitumour potential and weakest inhibition of non-tumour cell proliferation. The antitumour and antiproliferative potential of the pygidial gland secretions of ground beetles is here demonstrated for the first time. It is suggested that certain organic acids are responsible for the action. Further investigation needs to be conducted in order to better understand the mechanisms governing the observed cytotoxic and antitumour activity.


Pygidial gland secretions Ground beetles Antiproliferative effect Cell lines Ellipticine 



The study was financially supported by the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development (Grants Nos. 173038 and 173032) and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal) (Grant No. SFRH/BPD/68344/2010).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marija Nenadić
    • 1
  • Marina Soković
    • 2
  • Ricardo C. Calhelha
    • 3
  • Isabel C. F. R. Ferreira
    • 3
  • Ana Ćirić
    • 2
  • Nikola Vesović
    • 1
  • Srećko Ćurčić
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of ZoologyUniversity of Belgrade - Faculty of BiologyBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković”University of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Mountain Research Centre (CIMO), School of AgriculturePolytechnic Institute of BragançaBragançaPortugal

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