Melissa officinalis L. essential oil: antitumoral and antioxidant activities.

Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Bloco C, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro 21941-900, Rio de Janeiro, R.J., Brazil.
Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.03). 06/2004; 56(5):677-81. DOI: 10.1211/0022357023321
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Melissa officinalis L (lemon balm) is a traditional herbal medicine used widely as a mild sedative, spasmolytic and antibacterial agent. This paper focuses on the analysis of the chemical composition and the biological activities of M. officinalis essential oil obtained under controlled harvesting and drying conditions. An in-vitro cytotoxicity assay using MTT indicated that this oil was very effective against a series of human cancer cell lines (A549, MCF-7, Caco-2, HL-60, K562) and a mouse cell line (B16F10). This oil possessed antioxidant activity, as evidenced by reduction of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH). These results pointed to the potential use of M. officinalis essential oil as an antitumoral agent.

1 Bookmark
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Current therapies for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are not effective. This study investigated the activity of the M. officinalis essential oil (EO) and its major component (citral) in GBM cell lines. Both EO and citral decreased the viability and induced apoptosis of GBM cells as demonstrated by DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activation. Antioxidant prevented citral-induced death, indicating its dependence on the production of reactive oxygen species. Citral downmodulated the activity and inhibited the expression of multidrug resistance associated protein 1 (MRP1). These results show that EO, through its major component, citral, may be of potential interest for the treatment of GBM.
    Cancer Investigation 04/2014; · 2.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many studies have shown that a large number of terpenoids and aromatic compounds contained in essential oils have significant anticancer activities, both on cell lines and on tumors in animals. The activity of these constituents is related to the activation of cell death (apoptosis) induced by the caspases proteins in cancer cells, with minor modifications of healthy cells. Many phenomena seem to occur, among which are as follows: overexpression and regulation of liver detoxification enzymes, changes in the membrane potential of cancer cells and mitochondria, production of free radicals in cancer cells, inhibition of angiogenesis, and modification of tumor-inducing genes. These active essential oil constituents appear to act synergistically with conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and some clinical studies in humans are beginning to be realized. In this review, we discuss about the antitumoral activity of 13 essential oil components selected among the most studied in the literature, with a focus on their possible mode of action. We also report current data on the anticancer properties of several total essential oils. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Phytotherapy Research 05/2014; · 2.07 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cancer has become a global public health problem and the search for new control measures is urgent. Investigation of plant products such as essential oils from Monodora myristica, Xylopia aethiopica and Xylopia parviflora might lead to new anticancer therapy. In this study, we have investigated the antineoplastic activity of essential oils from fruits of these plants growing in Chad and Cameroon. The essential oils obtained by hydrodistillation of fruits of Monodora myristica, Xylopia aethiopica and Xylopia parviflora collected in Chad and Cameroon were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS and investigated for their antiproliferative activity against the breast cancer cell line (MCF7). Overall, monoterpenes were mostly found in the six essential oils. Oils from X. aethiopica and X. parviflora from Chad and Cameroon mainly contain beta-pinene at 24.6%, 28.2%, 35.7% and 32.9% respectively. Monodora myristica oils from both origins contain mainly alpha-phellandrene at 52.7% and 67.1% respectively. The plant origin did not significantly influence the chemical composition of oils. The six essential oils exerted cytotoxic activity against cancer (MCF-7) and normal cell lines (ARPE-19), with more pronounced effect on neoplastic cells in the majority of cases. The highest selectivity was obtained with the essential oils of X. parviflora from Chad and Cameroon (5.87 and 5.54) which were more cytotoxic against MCF-7 than against normal cell line (ARPE-19) with IC50 values of 0.155 muL/mL and 0.166 muL/mL respectively. Essential oils from fruits of Monodora myristica, Xylopia aethiopica and Xylopia parviflora have shown acceptable antineoplastic potency, and might be investigated further in this regard.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 04/2014; 14(1):125. · 2.08 Impact Factor