Crude ethanol extract from babassu (Orbignya speciosa): Cytotoxicity on tumoral and non-tumoral cell lines

Departamento de Medicamentos, Faculdade de Farmácia, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências (Impact Factor: 0.73). 10/2008; 80(3):467-76. DOI: 10.1590/S0001-37652008000300008
Source: PubMed


Plant-derived substances have been considered as important sources of drugs, including antineoplasic agents. Babassu mesocarp is popularly used in Brazil as a food additive, and in popular medicine against several conditions, such as inflammations, menstrual pains and leukaemia. From babassu Orbignya speciosa (Mart.) Barb. Rodr. [Arecaceae (Palmae)] epicarp/mesocarp, an ethanol extract was prepared and named OSEME, which was tested on the viability,morphology and metabolism of several cell lines, such as the leukaemic cell lines, HL-60, K562 and the latter multidrug resistant counterpart K562-Lucena 1, the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7, the mouse fibroblast cell line 3T3-L1 and fresh human lymphocytes. OSEME promoted a dose-dependent decrease on the viability of all cells. This effect was much more pronounced on the tumoral cell lines than on non-tumoral cells, a phenomenon revealed by the dose of OSEME which promotes half of maximal effect (ID50). The decrease on viability was followed by shrinkage of cells, alteration on their morphology, and a markedly nuclear condensation. Curiously, stimulation of 6-phosphofructokinase activity (6.6-times) was observed on HL-60 cells, treated with OSEME, when compared to control treated with ethanol (vehicle). These results support evidences to suggest OSEME as a promising source of novel antineoplasic agents.

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Available from: Mauro Sola-Penna, May 07, 2014
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    • "The use of products such as mesocarp and the residue derived from babassu for the tratment of gastritis and for woundhealing is part of popular knowledge acumulated over centuries (Andrade 1986). Souza et al. (2011) showed that, in ethnopharmacological studies , 68% of the nut breakers used products derived from babassu for the tratment of disease, collaborating with previous results that show various pharmacological activities such as antiinflammatory , treatment of gastritis, immunomodulatory action and anti-tumor activity (Silva 2001; Rennó et al. 2008). "
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