Anticancer potential of Himalayan plants

Phytochemistry Reviews (Impact Factor: 2.89). 01/2011; 10(3):309-323. DOI: 10.1007/s11101-010-9202-0

ABSTRACT Plants used in traditional medicine have stood up to the test of time and contributed many novel compounds for preventive
and curative medicine to modern science. India is sitting on a gold mine of well recorded and traditionally well practiced
knowledge of herbal medicine. Specially, plants growing at high altitude in Himalayan pastures are time-honored sources of
health and general well being of local inhabitants. As of today, Himalayan plants are a major contributor to the herbal pharmaceutical
industry both of India and other countries. Plants growing at higher altitudes are subjected to an assault of diverse testing
situations including higher doses of mutagenic UV-radiation, physiological drought, desiccation and strong winds. Plants interact
with stressful environments by physiological adaptation and altering the biochemical profile of plant tissues and producing
a spectrum of secondary metabolites. Secondary metabolites are of special interest to scientists because of their unique pharmacophores
and medicinal properties. Secondary metabolites like polyphenols, terpenes and alkaloids have been reported to possess antimutagenic
and anticancer properties in many studies. The fundamental aspiration of the current review is to divulge the antimutagenic/anticancer
potential of five alpine plants used as food or medicine by the populations living at high altitudes.

Arnebia euchroma

Hippophae rhamnoides

Hypericum perforatum

Podophyllum hexandrum

Rheum emodi

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    ABSTRACT: Rheum emodi (Polygonaceae), a multipurpose medicinal herb is a rich repository of pharmacologically active secondary metabolites known as anthraquinones. The present study entails HPLC quantitation and in vitro activity of four major constituents and the extracts of R. emodi. The anthraquinone glycosides were more abundant than their aglycone constituents viz. emodin and chrysophanol. MTT assay was used to assess the in vitro antiproliferative activity of anthraquinones and extracts on four cancer cell lines namely MIAPaCa-2, HCT-116, MCF-7 and T47D. The cytotoxicity was more obvious on MIAPaCa-2. Further, the study of mechanism of action involving cell cycle analysis and determination of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) loss was also investigated. The extracts significantly reduced cell viability by inducing apoptosis/necrosis and cell cycle arrest with concurrent loss of MMP (∆ψm) in a concentration dependent manner. The methanolic extract of rhizome (SPL5) with the least IC50 value (25 μg/ml) showed a significant increase in the percentage of apoptotic/necrotic cells (42.3% at 100 μg/ml) compared to that of vehicle treated cells (11.6%). These cellular manifestations corresponded remarkably with a decrease in integrity of the mitochondrial membrane. In conclusion, SPL5 with emodin and chrysophanol as the preponderant constituents exhibited considerable antiproliferative activity possibly by reducing cell viability and stirring up ∆ψm loss.
    South African Journal of Botany 08/2014; 95:1-8. · 1.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) show a hazardous potential for humans and animals. They can possess mutagenic, teratogenic, cancerogenic and fetotoxic properties. One pathway of a human intoxication can be the use of medicinal plants which contain toxic PAs. The Traditional Indian medicine--in particular Ayurveda--is a popular and well-known healing system. Within this system several PA-containing plants are used which, on account of their PA level, represent a severe health risk. In general, it is not recommended to use plants containing those toxic compounds.
    Pharmazie 02/2013; 68(2):83-92. · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum L.) is an herbaceous plant that is native to Europe, West Asia and North Africa and that is recognized and used worldwide for the treatment of mild and moderate depression. It also has been shown to be therapeutic for the treatment of burns, bruises and swelling and can be used for its wound healing, antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, hepato-protective and anxiolytic properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential cytotoxic, mutagenic and antimutagenic action of H. Perforatum. METHODS: Meristematic cells were used as the test system for Allium cepa L., and bone marrow cells from Rattus norvegicus, ex vivo, were used to calculate the mitotic index and the percentage of chromosomal aberration. Statistical analysis was performed using the chi-square test. RESULTS: This medicinal plant had no cytotoxic potential in the vegetal test system evaluated. In the animal test system, none of the acute treatments, including intraperitoneal gavage and subchronic gavage, were cytotoxic or mutagenic. Moreover, this plant presented antimutagenic activity against the clastogenic action of cyclophosphamide, as confirmed in pre-treatment (76% reduction in damage), simultaneous treatment (95%) and post-treatment (97%). CONCLUSIONS: Thus, the results of this study suggest that the administration of H. perforatum, especially by gavage similar to oral consumption used by humans, is safe and with beneficial antimutagenic potential.
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