Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3813

Full Length Research Paper

Cytotoxic effect of some Moroccan medicinal plant extracts on human cervical cell lines

Nawal Merghoub1,2, Laïla Benbacer1, Saaid Amzazi2, Hamid Morjani3 and Mohamed El mzibri1*
1Unité de Biologie and Recherche Médicale CNESTEN, Rabat, Marocco or CNESTEN BP 1382 RP, 10001 Rabat, Marocco. 2Laboratoire de Biochimie-Immunologie. Faculté des sciences de Rabat, Agdal, Marocco. 3MEDyC CNRS UMR 6237, UFR Sciences et UFR Pharmacie, Reims, France.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 October 2009
  •  Published: 31 December 2009


Organic extracts of 7 selected plant species, used by Moroccan traditional healers to treat cancer or non-cancer diseases, were tested for their anti-cancerous activities. The plant selection was based on ethnobotanic information and interviews with local healers. Extracts from Inula viscosa (L.) Ait., Retama monosperma (L.) Bois., Ormenis mixta (L.) Dumont., Ormenis eriolepis Coss.,Rhamnus lycioides (L.), Berberis hispanica Bois and Reut. and Urginea maritima (L.) Baker. were tested for their potential cytotoxic effects on the human cervical cancer cell lines SiHa and HeLa, harbouring HPV16 and HPV 18 respectively. MTT (Tetrazolium blue) colorimetric assay was used to evaluate the viability of cell cultures in the presence of the extracts. The extract from Inula viscosa (L.) Ait., Retama monosperma (L.) Bois., Ormenis eriolepis Coss. exhibited marked cytotoxic effect on the two cell lines. These species could be considered as potential sources of anticancer compounds. Further studies are necessary for chemical characterization of the active principles and more extensive biological evaluations.


Key words: Moroccan medicinal plants, cervical cancer cells, cytotoxic activity.