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Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Pharmacotherapy Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
ISSN: 1596-5996
EISSN: 1596-9827
Vol. 14, No. 11, 2015, pp. 1991-1998
Bioline Code: pr15260
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, Vol. 14, No. 11, 2015, pp. 1991-1998

 en Interactions between Plant Extracts and Cell Viability Indicators during Cytotoxicity Testing: Implications for Ethnopharmacological Studies
Chan, Sze Mun; Khoo, Kong Soo & Sit, Nam Weng


Purpose: To compare the cytotoxicity of six medicinal plants ( Acmella ciliata check for this species in other resources , Amaranthus tricolor check for this species in other resources , Coriandrum sativum check for this species in other resources , Glebionis coronaria check for this species in other resources , Kyllinga brevifolia check for this species in other resources and Tradescantia zebrina check for this species in other resources ) using 3-(4, 5- dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and neutral red uptake (NRU) assays.
Methods: Hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol, methanol and water extracts were obtained for each plant by sequential solvent extraction. Cytotoxicity was evaluated in triplicate, from 640 to 5 μg/mL, two-fold, serially on monkey kidney epithelial (Vero) cells.
Results: The hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of the six plants were more toxic to the Vero cells compared to the ethanol, methanol and water extracts. Thirty one percent (11/36) and 75 % (27/36) of the extracts showed significant cytotoxicity (p < 0.05) in MTT and NRU assays, respectively. The 78, 52 and 7 % cytotoxicity levels detected in 27 extracts using the MTT assay were significantly (p < 0.05) underestimated at 640, 320 and 160 μg/mL, respectively, using NRU assay. Nine extracts from five plants exhibited significantly lower (p < 0.05) 50 % cytotoxic concentration (CC50) when NRU assay was employed compared to MTT assay. At 640 μg/mL, 10 of the 21 extracts were also found to react chemically with MTT, causing a 2.0 – 29.1-fold increase in the absorbance value (550 nm) compared to control.
Conclusion: The plant extracts of A. ciliata, A. tricolor, C. sativum, G. coronaria, K. brevifolia and T. zebrina show concentration- and extraction method-dependent cytotoxicity using MTT and NRU assays. NRU assay appears to be more sensitive and reliable than MTT assay for cell viability evaluation of the plant extracts.

Acmella ciliata; Amaranthus tricolor; Coriandrum sativum; Glebionis coronaria; Kyllinga brevifolia and Tradescantia zebrina; Extraction; Medicinal plant; Neutral red uptake assay; Vero cell

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