Sandhya Subhadra, Venkata Ramana Kanacharalapalli, Vinod Kombath Ravindran, Sai Kumar Parre, Sunitha Chintala, Rajeswar Thatipally

Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals 2011 2(3):143-148

Background: Tephrosia calophylla, Tephrosia maxima and Tephrosia purpurea are generally used in the treatment of various ailments including cancer by the folklore of Indian subcontinent. Materials and Methods: The powdered root of three plants were separately extracted with chloroform and then subjected to preliminary chemical screening. The total phenolic and flavonoid content were estimated by using gallic acid and quercetin as standard. Brine shrimp hatchability and lethality tests were done by hatching the cysts of Artemia salina in brine solution. As these parameters can be associated to tumor cells, the investigation was extrapolated to animal cell lines, Daltons Lymphoma Ascites (DLA) and Erlisch Ascites Carcinoma (EAC). Trypan blue exclusion method was adopted for this screening. In all experiments dose selected were between the ranges of 10 and 200 &#956;g/mL. Results: Preliminary chemical screening revealed the presence of carbohydrates, proteins, alkaloids, tannins and flavonoids for T. calophylla and T. maxima; proteins, alkaloids, tannins and flavonoids for T. purpurea. The total phenolic and flavonoid content was found to be highest in the case of T. calophylla followed by T. maxima and then by T. purpurea. It was observed that in all the cytotoxicity tests performed T. calophylla was proved to be most potent followed by T. maxima and then by T. purpurea. The results thus obtained were found to correlate with the values obtained for total phenolic and flavonoid content. Conclusion: The present investigation revealed that all three species of Tephrosia to be potent cytotoxic agents. Increasing order of cytotoxicity can be denoted as T.purpurea < T.maxima < T.calophylla. Further studies have to be performed to identify the chemical entity responsible for efficient cytotoxicity which may help in the development of suitable lead compounds.