Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3823

Full Length Research Paper

The antiproliferative effect of chayote varieties (Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw.) on tumour cell lines

Jorge Cadena-Iñiguez1,4, Marcos Soto-Hernández2,4, Ana Torres-Salas3,4, Itzen Aguiñiga-Sánchez2,3,4, Lucero Ruiz-Posadas2,4, Ana Rocío Rivera-Martínez3,4, Carlos Avendaño-Arrazate4,5 and Edelmiro Santiago-Osorio3,4*    
1Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus San Luis Potosí, Calle Iturbide No. 73, C.P. 78600 Salinas de Hidalgo, S.L.P., México. 2Colegio de Postgraduados, Km 36.5 Carretera México-Texcoco, C.P. 56230 Texcoco, Estado de México. 3Laboratorio de Hematopoyesis y Leucemia-Facultad de Estudios Superiores Zaragoza (UNAM), México. 4Interdisciplinary Research Group of Sechium edule in México (GISeM), Agustín Melgar 10, C.P. 56153 Texcoco, Estado de México; 5Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agrícolas y Pecuarias México, Progreso No. 5 Barrio Santa Catarina Coyoacán, D.F. CP. 04010, México.      
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 November 2012
  •  Published: 25 February 2013


There are many plants in Mexico with medicinal properties; some of them such as Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw. from the Cucurbitaceae family, are used as alternative cancer therapies. However, there are no scientific reports that validate their antitumour properties. In this work, the in vitro antiproliferative activity of crude ethanol extracts from fruits was examined in eight varietal groups of S. edule: vicis®, wild type chayote, bernyano®, nejalpa®,maluca®, bhezco®, cambray® and lucpo®. The extracts were screened for their possible anti-tumour activity using the crystal violet assay on three cancer cell lines: human cervical carcinoma (HeLa), mouse lung fibrosarcoma (L929) and mouse macrophage leukaemia (P388). All varietal groups exhibited anti-proliferative activity against all tumour cell lines tested. The degree of cytotoxicity of the cambray® and lucpo® extracts was dependent on the cell line, and neither of these varietal groups had a significant effect on L929 cells. Finally, the IC50 values for the vicis® and bernyano® extracts, which are both edible, and wild type chayote, revealed that these varieties exhibited antiproliferative activity in all cell lines tested. These results provide further support for some varieties of S. edule to be considered natural resources with anti-tumour effects.


Key words: Chayote varieties, extracts, antiproliferative effect, cancer, leukaemia.