Full Length Research Paper
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.
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