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Molecules 2015, 20(5), 8060-8071; doi:10.3390/molecules20058060

Interference of Phenylethanoid Glycosides from Cistanche tubulosa with the MTT Assay

College of Ethnomedicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, China
College of High Altitude Military Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 2 February 2015 / Revised: 25 April 2015 / Accepted: 28 April 2015 / Published: 5 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1664 KB, uploaded 5 May 2015]   |  


The MTT assay, as a screening method, has been widely used to measure the viability and proliferation of cells. However, it should be noted that MTT assay may not accurately reflect the effect of Cistanche tubulosa ethanolic extract on EA.hy926 cells viability. To investigate and identity the components responsible for the contradictory observations of the MTT assay, echinacoside and acteoside, two main phenylethanoid glycosides, from C. tubulosa ethanolic extract were isolated. The data derived from CCK-8, Hoechst 33342 and annexin V-FITC/PI assays suggest that the caffeyl group present in both isolated compounds was responsible for the conflicting results of the MTT assay. These data emphasize the need of using a variety of different methods to determine the effect of medicinal agents on cell viability to avoid generating misleading results. View Full-Text
Keywords: MTT assay; phenylethanoid glycoside; caffeic acid; cell viability; interference MTT assay; phenylethanoid glycoside; caffeic acid; cell viability; interference

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Y.-J.; Zhou, S.-M.; Xu, G.; Gao, Y.-Q. Interference of Phenylethanoid Glycosides from Cistanche tubulosa with the MTT Assay. Molecules 2015, 20, 8060-8071.

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