Shruti Nair, KN Varalakshmi

Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals 2011 2(3):138-142

Background: The objective of the study was to analyze the anticancer property of Moringa oleifera on HeLa cells and also to analyze its safety on human peripheral lymphocytes. Materials and Methods: Using ethnomedical data approach, the Indian medicinal plant (M. oleifera) that is used in traditional medicine for cancer and non-cancerous diseases was collected. The crude extracts were prepared by alcoholic and aqueous extraction methods using standard protocols. The antiproliferative effects of the aqueous and alcoholic extracts were evaluated in vitro by employing MTT assay, viability test by trypan blue dye exclusion and apoptosis of the cancer cells were confirmed by DNA fragmentation analysis, ethidium bromide- acridine orange (EB/AO) staining. Results: The aqueous extract of M. oleifera showed good cytotoxicity which was concentration dependent. It was contradictory incase of methanolic and hexane extracts, the cell viability was found to increase as the concentration of extract increased. It states that not only the concentration of extract is having an effect on cell viability, even the methods and solvents of extraction are important in exerting their effects on cell lines. At the same time, the extracts showed proliferative effects on the normal human lymphocytes. Conclusion: The aqueous extract of M. oleifera exhibited cytotoxic effects on Hela cells and least cytotoxicity on lymphocytes. For plants that are used as anticancer herbal drugs, our results indicated a correlation between the reported use of these plants and their cytotoxic activity on cancer cells.