Cytotoxic effects of chloroform and hydroalcoholic extracts of aerial parts of Cuscuta chinensis and Cuscuta epithymum on Hela, HT29 and MDA-MB-468 tumor cells

A Jafarian, A Ghannadi, B Mohebi


Previous studies have indicated that some species of Cuscuta possess anticancer activity on various cell lines. Due to the lack of detailed researches on the cytotoxic effects of Cuscuta chinensis and Cuscuta epithymum, the aim of the present study was to evaluate cytotoxic effects of chloroform and hydroalcoholic extracts of these plants on the human breast carcinoma cell line (MDA-MB-468), human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line (HT29) and human uterine cervical carcinoma (Hela). Using maceration method, different extracts of aerial parts of C .chinensis and C. epithymum were prepared. Extraction was performed using chloroform and ethanol/water (70/30). Total phenolic contents of the extracts were determined according to the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Using MTT assay, the cytotoxic activity of the extracts against HT29, Hela and MDA-MB-468 tumor cells was evaluated. Extracts were considered cytotoxic when more than 50% reduction on cell survival was observed. The poly-phenolic content of the hydroalcoholic and chloroform extracts of C. chinensis and C. epithymum were 56.08 ± 4.11, 21.49 ± 2.00, 10.64 ± 0.86 and 4.81 ± 0.38, respectively. Our findings showed that the chloroform extracts of C. chinensis and C. epithyum significantly reduced the viability of Hela, HT-29 and MDA-MB-468 cells. Also, hydroalcoholic extracts of C. chinensis significantly decreased the viability of HT29, Hela and MDA-MB-468 cells. However, in the case of hydroalcoholic extracts of C. epithymum only significant decrease in the viability of MDA-MB-468 cells was observed (IC50 = 340 µg/ml). From these findings it can be concluded that C. chinensis and C. epithymum are good candidates for further study to find new possible cytotoxic agents.

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