Antitumor activities of extracts from selected desert plants against HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Roslin J. Thoppil, Eli Harlev, Animesh Mandal, Eviatar Nevo, Anupam Bishayee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Phytochemicals are produced by desert plants to protect themselves against stressful environments. They have been shown to be useful in preventing and fighting adverse pathophysiological conditions and complex diseases, including cancer. Although many desert plants have been investigated for their antitumor properties, a large number of them still remain to be explored for possible therapeutic applications in oncologic diseases. Objective: To screen the antitumor effects of selected desert plants, namely Achillea fragrantissima (Forssk.) Sch. Bip. (Compositae), Ochradenus baccatus Delile (Resedaceae), Origanum dayi Post (Lamiaceae), Phlomis platystegia Post (Lamiaceae) and Varthemia iphionoides Boiss (Compositae), against an in vitro tumor model utilizing HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Materials and methods: The aqueous extracts of aerial parts of the aforementioned plants were prepared and used for the in vitro experiments. The HepG2 cells were exposed to varying concentrations (0-4mg/mL) of each plant extract for 24 or 48h and the cytotoxicity was measured by the MTT assay. Results: Following 24h exposure, O. dayi extract exhibited a substantial antiproliferative effect in HepG2 cells (IC50=1.0mg/mL) followed by O. baccatus (IC50=1.5mg/mL). All plant extracts displayed cytotoxicity following 48h exposure. Nevertheless, a substantial effect was observed with O. dayi (IC50=0.35mg/mL) or O. baccatus (IC50=0.83mg/mL). Conclusion: The aqueous extracts from aerial parts of O. dayi and O. baccatus possess antitumor effects against human liver cancer cells. These desert plants represent valuable resources for the development of potential anticancer agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-674
Number of pages7
JournalPharmaceutical Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A part of this work was performed at the Northeast Ohio Medical University (Rootstown, OH) supported by a new faculty start-up research grant to A. B. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


  • Achillea fragrantissima
  • Antiproliferative effect
  • HCC
  • Ochradenus baccatus
  • Origanum dayi
  • Phlomis platystegia
  • Varthemia iphionoides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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