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Molecules 2010, 15(12), 8534-8542; doi:10.3390/molecules15128534
Article

Antiproliferative Activity, Antioxidant Capacity and Tannin Content in Plants of Semi-Arid Northeastern Brazil  

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1 Biology Department, Pernambuco Federal University, Rua Dom Manoel de Medeiros, s/n, Recife, PE, Brazil 2 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences Center, Pernambuco Federal University, Av., Prof. Arthur de Sá, s/n, 50740-521, Recife, PE, Brazil 3 Department of Antibiotics, Pernambuco Federal University, Av. Prof. Arthur de Sá, s/n, 50740-521, Recife, PE, Brazil
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 October 2010 / Accepted: 22 November 2010 / Published: 24 November 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidants)
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate antiproliferative activity, antioxidant capacity and tannin content in plants from semi-arid northeastern Brazil (Caatinga). For this study, we selected 14 species and we assayed the methanol extracts for antiproliferative activity against the HEp-2 (laryngeal cancer) and NCI-H292 (lung cancer) cell lines using the (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazole) (MTT) method. In addition, the antioxidant activity was evaluated with the DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) assay, and the tannin content was determined by the radial diffusion method. Plants with better antioxidant activity (expressed in a dose able to decrease the initial DPPH concentration by 50%, or IC50) and with higher levels of tannins were: Poincianella pyramidalis (42.95 ± 1.77 µg/mL IC50 and 8.17 ± 0.64 tannin content), Jatropha mollissima (54.09 ± 4.36µg/mL IC50 and 2.35 ± 0.08 tannin content) and Anadenanthera colubrina (73.24 ± 1.47 µg/mL IC50 and 4.41 ± 0.47 tannin content). Plants with enhanced antiproliferative activity (% living cells) were Annona muricata (24.94 ± 0.74 in NCI-H292), Lantana camara (25.8 ± 0.19 in NCI-H292), Handroanthus impetiginosus (41.8 ± 0.47 in NCI-H292) and Mentzelia aspera (45.61 ± 1.94 in HEp-2). For species with better antioxidant and antiproliferative activities, we suggest future in vitro and in vivo comparative studies with other pharmacological models, and to start a process of purification and identification of the possible molecule(s) responsible for the observed pharmacological activity. We believe that the flora of Brazilian semi-arid areas can be a valuable source of plants rich in tannins, cytotoxic compounds and antioxidant agents.
Keywords: Caatinga; antiproliferative; antioxidant; tannin Caatinga; antiproliferative; antioxidant; tannin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Gomes de Melo, J.; De Sousa Araújo, T.A.; Thijan Nobre de Almeida e Castro, V.; Lyra de Vasconcelos Cabral, D.; Do Desterro Rodrigues, M.; Carneiro do Nascimento, S.; Cavalcanti de Amorim, E.L.; De Albuquerque, U.P. Antiproliferative Activity, Antioxidant Capacity and Tannin Content in Plants of Semi-Arid Northeastern Brazil  . Molecules 2010, 15, 8534-8542.

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