Cytotoxic evaluation of volatile oil from Descurainia sophia seeds on MCF-7 and HeLa cell lines

E Khodarahmi, GH Asghari, F Hassanzadeh, M Mirian, GA Khodarahmi


Descurainia sophia is a plant widely distributed and used as folk medicine throughout the world. Different extracts of aerial parts and seeds of this plant have been shown to inhibit the growth of different cancer cell lines in vitro. In this study, cytotoxic activity of D. sophia seed volatile oil was evaluated. D. sophia seed powder  was mixed with distilled water and left at 25 °C for 17 h (E1), 23 h (E2) and 28 h (E3) to autolyse. Then, the volatile fractions of E1, E2, and E3 were collected after steam distillation for 3 h. Cytotoxic effects of the volatile oils alone or in combination with doxorubicin (mixture of E1 or E2 at 50 µg/ml  or E1 at 100 µg/ml with doxorubicin at 0.1, 1, 10 µM) against MCF-7 cell line were determined using MTT assay. Cytotoxic effect of E1 volatile oil was also determined on HeLa cell line. The results indicated that 1-buten-4-isothiocyanate was the major isothiocyanate found in the volatile oils. The results of cytotoxic evaluations showed that volatile constituents were more toxic on MCF-7 cells with IC50 < 100 µg/ml than HeLa cells with IC50 > 100 µg/ml. No significant differences were observed between cytotoxic activities of E1, E2 and E3 on MCF-7 cell line. Concomitant use of E1 and E2 (50 µg/ml) with doxurubicin (1 µM) significantly reduced the viability of MCF-7 cells compared to the negative control, doxorubicin alone, or each volatile fraction. The same result was obtained on HeLa cells, when E1 (100 µg/ml) was concurrently used with doxorubicin (1 µM).

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