To investigate the cytotoxic and apoptotic activities of Ficus pseudopalma
(FP) Blanco leaf extracts against normal human FSE cells and human prostate PRST2 cancer cell line.
FP leaves were extracted with 95 % ethanol, and partitioned with chloroform, ethylacetate, and water. The presence of terpenoid lupeol and flavonoid quercetin was determined through high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of different concentrations of FP extracts on PRST2 cells and on non-cancerous human foreskin surface epithelial (hFSE) cells were determined by 3-[4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, tryphan blue exclusion assay, Live/Dead viability assay and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) assay.
Ethylacetate, chloroform, and crude ethanol extracts were significantly cytotoxic to PRST2 cell lines (p < 0.001) in a concentration-dependent manner with a 50 % cell growth inhibitory concentration of 4.16, 4.83 and 44.53 µg/mL, respectively. A significant decrease in the viability of PRST2-treated cells (p < 0.001) in a concentration-dependent manner was observed in the tryphan blue exclusion assay and in the Live/Dead® viability assay. Using APO-BrdU TUNEL assay, apoptotic activities of the extracts increased in a concentration-dependent manner. All the extracts did not show significant cytotoxic effect on hFSE cells (p = 0.064).
The cytotoxic and apoptotic activities of FP extracts may be due to the presence of lupeol and quercetin. This study suggests that apoptotic mechanisms may be involved in the growth inhibitory activity of FP leaf extracts against human PRST 2 cell lines.