Anti-cancer and anti-oxidant activity of some Egyptian medicinal plants

Author(s): Amr NA, Ahmed AE, Khalid AE, David AL, Alan C, et al,


Natural products from plants are rich sources of chemical diversity and most of the pharmacologically active principles currently used as drugs, including anticancer agents are plants products. Egypt, a semi- arid region has abundant plants resources, which are traditionally used for various disorders. The aim of the present study was to evaluate some Egyptian flora as anticancer agents. The materials used were leaves of Luffa aegyptiaca (sponge gourd), Solenostemma arghe (argel), Cassia italica (senegal senna), Ocimum basillcum (basil), Colocasia antiguorum (taro), Beta vulgaris (beet) and fruit of Capsicum frutescens (chili pepper). Antioxidant activity was assayed using the 2, 2'diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical method. Anticancer activity was assayed in vitro against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphocyte leukemia (ALL); and in vivo against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells (EACC). The results showed significant antioxidant activity of most of extracts in DPPH assay. Solenostemma arghel hot water extract significantly reduced EACC induced tumor growth and delayed animal death (with EACC) by 29 days. Among all the extracts S. arghel showed high cytotoxicity (66 - 90%) on ALL and AML cells from patients. DNA fragmentation patterns showed cytotoxicity may due to the induction of apoptosis. In conclusion, some natural products from Egyptian flora have potential for use as therapeutics for diseases such as cancer

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