Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3638

Full Length Research Paper

Cytotoxic potential of 14 Passiflora species against cancer cells

Ricardo Guimarães Amaral
  • Ricardo Guimarães Amaral
  • Department of Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristóvão, Sergipe, Brazil.
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Silvana Vieira Floresta Gomes
  • Silvana Vieira Floresta Gomes
  • Institute of Technology and Research, University of Tiradentes, Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil.
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Maria Claudia dos Santos Luciano
  • Maria Claudia dos Santos Luciano
  • Center for Research and Drug Development, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil.
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Cláudia do Ó Pessoa
  • Cláudia do Ó Pessoa
  • Center for Research and Drug Development, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil.
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Luciana Nalone Andrade
  • Luciana Nalone Andrade
  • Department of Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristóvão, Sergipe, Brazil.
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Patrícia Severino
  • Patrícia Severino
  • Institute of Technology and Research, University of Tiradentes, Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil.
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Geraldo Célio Brandão
  • Geraldo Célio Brandão
  • Department of Pharmacy, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
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Larissa Mendes Bomfim
  • Larissa Mendes Bomfim
  • Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
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Milena Botelho Pereira Soares
  • Milena Botelho Pereira Soares
  • Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
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Daniel Pereira Bezerra
  • Daniel Pereira Bezerra
  • Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
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Jorge Maurício David
  • Jorge Maurício David
  • Institute of Chemistry, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
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Adriana Andrade Carvalho
  • Adriana Andrade Carvalho
  • Department of Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristóvão, Sergipe, Brazil.
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  •  Received: 14 February 2019
  •  Accepted: 04 April 2019
  •  Published: 10 April 2019

Abstract

This work aimed to evaluate the cytotoxic potential against cancer cells of Passiflora genus plant species cultivated in Brazil and identify the mechanism of cytotoxicity induced by the most promising extract. Ethanolic extracts from the leaves of 14 Passiflora species were obtained by accelerated solvent extraction and in vitro cytotoxicity evaluated against cancer cell lines using MTT assay at a single concentration of 50 μg/ml. Additionally, the IC50 of the Passiflora alata (ELPA) leaf extracts was determined against both cancer (HCT-116, SF-295, OVACAR-8, and HL-60), and non-cancer cells (PBMC). The ELPA flavonoids were identified by HPLC-DAD and UHPLC-MS/MS. The morphological analyses, using light and fluorescence microscopy, and cell cycle and DNA fragmentation analysis, using flow cytometry, were evaluated to study the mechanism of cell death induced by ELPA in HL-60 cells. Among the Passiflora leaf extracts evaluated; ELPA stood out with high cytotoxic activity, followed by Passiflora capsularis and Passiflora quadrangularis with varying high and low cytotoxic activity. ELPA presented high cytotoxic potency in HL-60 (IC50 19.37 μg/ml), and without cytotoxicity against PBMC, suggesting selectivity for cancer cells. The cytotoxic activity of ELPA may well be linked to the presence of ten identified flavonoids. Cells treated with ELPA presented the hallmarks typical of apoptosis and necrosis, with cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase. From among the studied species, ELPA presented greater cytotoxic activity, possibly a consequence of synergistic flavonoid action, which induces cell death by apoptosis and necrosis.

Key words: Cancer, cytotoxicity, ethanolic extract, Passiflora, Passiflora alata.