Assi M., Usta J., Mounimne Y., Aboul Ela M., El Lakany A.


Objective: Cancer represents the second leading cause of death after stroke and heart diseases. Plant extracts have long been used in traditional medicine for the prevention and treatment of many illnesses, including some types of cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiproliferative effects of ethyl acetate fractions of two Lebanese herbs: Inula viscosa (I. vis) and Inula vulgaris (I. vul).

Methods: Plants were extracted with ethanol followed by ethyl acetate, then dried and tested on three cell lines including CaCO2, HepG2, and MCF7, to check for their viability and antiproliferative activity, using trypan blue exclusion and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays. Proton (1H) and carbon (13C) nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (NMR) were used to identify the compounds that have been isolated from both Inula species.

Results: The current findings were consistent for both trypan blue and MTT assays. The results showed that the most potent effect for I. vul was HepG2 (IC50 20 µg/ml, 27 µg/ml), and for I. vis on MCF7 (9 µg/ml, 15 µg/ml) and CaCO2 (12 µg/ml, 22 µg/ml) in the two mentioned assays respectively. However, insignificant differences were observed among the studied plants for each of the evaluated cells indicating comparable potencies. Quercetin, quercetin glycoside, and epicatechin derivatives were isolated by fractionation on column chromatography and identified using NMR spectroscopy.

Conclusion: The antiproliferative activities of the two plants could be related to their content that is significant for high levels of secondary metabolites. The identification of those compounds is necessary to establish a relationship between their chemical structures and their activities.


Inula vulgaris, Inula viscosa, Antiproliferative; MTT assay, Trypan blue

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Inula vulgaris, Inula viscosa, Antiproliferative; MTT assay, Trypan blue





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International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Vol 9, Issue 8, 2017 Page: 75-83

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Authors & Affiliations

Assi M.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Beirut Arab University, Beirut, Lebanon

Usta J.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

Mounimne Y.
K, A, S, Central Research Science Laboratory, American University of Beirut, Bless Street, Beirut, Lebanon

Aboul Ela M.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Beirut Arab University, Beirut, Lebanon

El Lakany A.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Beirut Arab University, Beirut, Lebanon

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