Cytotoxic effects of Pinus eldarica essential oil and extracts on HeLa and MCF-7 cell lines

Najmeh Sarvmeili, Abbas Jafarian-Dehkordi, Behzad Zolfaghari


Several attempts have so far been made in the search of new anticancer agents of plant origin. Some studies have reported that different species of Pine genus possess cytotoxic activities against various cancer cell lines. In the present study, we evaluated the cytotoxic effects of Pinus eldarica bark and leaf extracts or leaf essential oil on HeLa and MCF-7 tumor cell lines. Hydroalcoholic and phenolic extracts and the essential oil of plant were prepared. Total phenolic contents of the extracts were measured using Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. Essential oil components were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). Cytotoxic activity of the extracts and essential oil against HeLa and MCF-7 tumor cell lines were assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The polyphenolic content of hydroalcoholic and phenolic extracts of the bark and hydroalcoholic extract of the leaf were 48.31%, 47.2%, and 8.47%, respectively. According to the GC-MS analysis, the major components of the leaf oil of P. eldarica were: β -caryophyllene (14.8%), germacrene D (12.9%), α–terpinenyl acetate (8.15%), α –pinene (5.7%), and –α humulene (5.9%). Bark extracts and leaf essential oil of P. eldarica significantly reduced the viability of both HeLa and MCF-7 cells in a concentration dependent manner. However, leaf extract showed less inhibitory effects against both cell lines. The essential oil of P. eldarica was more cytotoxic than its hydroalcoholic and phenolic extracts. The terpenes and phenolic compounds were probably responsible for cytotoxicity of P. eldarica. Therefore, P. eldarica might have a good potential for active anticancer agents.


Cytotoxicity; Pinus eldarica; HeLa; MCF-7; MTT assay

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