Melissa officinalis L. essential oil: antitumoral and antioxidant activities. J Pharm Pharmacol

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: 2.26). 06/2004; 56(5):677-81. DOI: 10.1211/0022357023321
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "Several recent reports further showed cytotoxic and antiproliferative effects in various tumor cell lines, but the underlying mechanisms of action are still poorly understood. Antiproliferative effects of Melissa officinalis essential oil in several cancer cell lines were originally described (de Sousa et al. 2004), and these observations were associated with antioxidative effects measured in a cell-free DPPH (1,1-diphenyl- 2-picryl-hydrazyl) assay. Other studies (Canadanovic-Brunet et al. 2008) demonstrated antiproliferative activities of different Melissa officinalis extracts in HeLa and MCF-7 cells, and further observed radical scavenging properties. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Efficient strategies for the prevention of colon cancer are extensively being explored, including dietary intervention and the development of novel phytopharmaceuticals. Safe extracts of edible plants contain structurally diverse molecules that can effectively interfere with multi-factorial diseases such as colon cancer. In this study, we describe the antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of ethanolic lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaves extract in human colon carcinoma cells. We further investigated the role of extra- and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Methods: Antitumor effects of lemon balm extract (LBE) were investigated in HT-29 and T84 human colon carcinoma cells. Inhibition of proliferation was analyzed by DNA quantification. The causal cell cycle arrest was determined by flow cytometry of propidium iodide-stained cells and by immunoblotting of cell cycle regulator proteins. To investigate apoptosis, cleavage of caspases 3 and 7 was detected by immunoblotting and fluorescence microscopy. Phosphatidylserine externalization was measured by Annexin V assays. Mechanistic insights were gained by measurement of ROS using the indicator dyes CM-H2DCFDA and Cell ROX Green. Results: After 3 and 4 days of treatment, LBE inhibited the proliferation of HT-29 and T84 colon carcinoma cells with an inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 346 and 120 µg/ml, respectively. Antiproliferative effects were associated with a G2/M cell cycle arrest and reduced protein expression of cyclin dependent kinases (CDK) 2, 4, 6, cyclin D3, and induced expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2C (p18) and 1A (p21). LBE (600 µg/ml) induced cleavage of caspases 3 and 7 and phosphatidylserine externalization. LBE-induced apoptosis was further associated with formation of ROS, whereas quenching of ROS by antioxidants completely rescued the colon carcinoma cells from LBE-induced apoptosis. Conclusions: Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) extract inhibits the proliferation of colon carcinoma cells and induces apoptosis through formation of ROS. Taken together, LBE or subfractions thereof could be used for the prevention of colon cancer.
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    • "La Melissa officinalis posee un efecto antiviral (Dimitrova et al., 1993; Allahverdiyev et al., 2004), además de poseer propiedades antibacterianas y antimicóticas (Mimica-Dukic et al., 2004), evaluando su efecto antitumoral, debido a sus componentes antioxidantes (de Sousa et al., 2004), así como su capacidad sedante (Sadraei et al., 2003). "

    Preview · Article · Dec 2014
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    • "In past years, the attention was focused on the ingestion of natural phenolic antioxidants and essential oils that may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammation (Arts and Hollman 2005) and, in general, exhibit good antioxidant activities (Kamdem et al. 2013). Lemon balm oil furthermore is very effective against various human and mouse cancer cell lines (de Sousa et al. 2004). "

    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014
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