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Molecules 2009, 14(1), 122-132; doi:10.3390/molecules14010122

Differential Cytotoxicity of MEX: a Component of Neem Oil Whose Action Is Exerted at the Cell Membrane Level

Dipartimento di Genetica e Biologia Molecolare, Sapienza Università di Roma. P.le Aldo Moro, 5 – 00185 Roma, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 November 2008 / Revised: 11 December 2008 / Accepted: 18 December 2008 / Published: 31 December 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nucleic Acids)
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Neem oil is obtained from the seeds of the tree Azadirachta indica. Its chemical composition is very complex, being rich in terpenoids and limonoids, as well as volatile sulphur modified compounds. This work focused on the evaluation of a component of the whole Neem oil obtained by methanolic extraction and defined as MEX. Cytotoxicity was assessed on two different cell populations: a stabilized murine fibroblast line (3T6) and a tumor cell line (HeLa). The data presented here suggest a differential sensitivity of these two populations, the tumor line exhibiting a significantly higher sensitivity to MEX. The data strongly suggest that its toxic target is the cell membrane. In addition the results presented here imply that MEX may contain one or more agents that could find a potential use in anti-proliferative therapy.
Keywords: oil; MEX; Cytoxicity; Lipo-peroxidation; Cell Membrane oil; MEX; Cytoxicity; Lipo-peroxidation; Cell Membrane
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ricci, F.; Berardi, V.; Risuleo, G. Differential Cytotoxicity of MEX: a Component of Neem Oil Whose Action Is Exerted at the Cell Membrane Level. Molecules 2009, 14, 122-132.

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