African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2286

Full Length Research Paper

Biological screening of extracts of Brazilian Asteraceae plants

Cintia Cristina de Carvalho1, Kamilla Nunes Machado1, Paulo Michel Pinheiro Ferreira2,3,Cláudia Pessoa4, Thaisa Helena Silva Fonseca5, Maria Aparecida Gomes5 and Andréa Mendes do Nascimento1*
1Departamento de Química, Instituto de Ciências Exatas e Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Campus Universitário Morro do Cruzeiro, Bauxita, CEP 35400-000, Ouro Preto, MG, Brazil. 2Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Campus Senador Helvídio Nunes de Barros, Universidade Federal do Piauí, Rua Cícero Duarte 905, Bairro Junco, CEP 64607-670, Picos, PI, Brazil. 3Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas, Núcleo de Tecnologia Farmacêutica, Universidade Federal do Piauí, Ininga, CEP 64.049-550, Teresina, PI, Brazil. 4Departamento de Fisiologia e Farmacologia, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Ceará, CEP 60430-270, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil. 5Departamento de Parasitologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, CEP 31270-901, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 28 June 2013
  •  Published: 29 July 2013


Natural products are a very productive source of leads for the development of medicines. Seven Brazilian Asteraceae adult plants were randomly chosen. The current study was designed to evaluate the antiprotozoal and cytotoxic activities in vitro of 21 extracts obtained. Phytochemical properties of the most active extracts also were checked. Cytotoxic activity was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) method against human tumor cell lines (HCT-116, OVCAR 8 and SF-295). The antiprotozoal activity was evaluated against Trichomonas vaginalisEntamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia.None of the extracts showed antiprotozoal activity. However, 76% of the extracts displayed moderate to high in vitro cytotoxic activities against human cancer cell which suggests that they are a promising source of anticancer compound, since none of the extracts showed hemolytic activity. Terpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, besides other compound classes, were identified and may be responsible for their antitumor activity. Cytotoxic assays indicate the anticancer potential of Asteraceae species from Brazil.


Key words: Drug prospecting, Antiprotozoal agents, Cytotoxicity, Drug screening assays, Brazilian plant.