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: 0.88). 10/2008; 80(3):467-76. DOI: 10.1590/S0001-37652008000300008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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