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Sci. Pharm. 2016, 84(1), 41-59; doi:10.3797/scipharm.1507-13

Evaluation and Comparison of the In Vitro Cytotoxic Activity of Withania somnifera Methanolic and Ethanolic Extracts against MDA-MB-231 and Vero Cell Lines

1
Dept. of Pathology, Era’s Lucknow Medical College & Hospital, Sarfarazganj, Hardoi Road, Lucknow-226003, India.
2
Chairman Research, Era’s Lucknow Medical College & Hospital, Sarfarazganj, Hardoi Road, Lucknow-226003, India.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 July 2015 / Accepted: 26 September 2015 / Published: 26 September 2015
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Abstract

Withania somnifera Dunal (WS), commonly known as Ashwagandha in India, belongs to the family Solanaceae. It is extensively used in most of the Indian herbal pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. In the current study, the in vitro cytotoxic activity of methanolic, ethanolic, and aqueous extracts of WS stems was evaluated using cytometry and the MTT assay against the MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell line. Methanolic and ethanolic extracts of WS showed potent anticancer activity on the MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell line, whereas the aqueous extract did not exhibit any significant activity at 100 μg/ml. The percentage viability of the cell lines was determined by using the Trypan blue dye exclusion method. Cell viability was reduced to 21% and 0% at 50 and 100 μg/ml of the methanolic extract, respectively, as compared to 19% and 0% at 50 and 100 μg/ml for the ethanolic extract and 37% at 100 μg/ml in sterile Milli-Q water after 48 hours of treatment. Methanolic and ethanolic extracts of WS were shown to possess IC50 values of 30 and 37 μg/ml, respectively, by the MTT assay and cytometer-based analysis, with the methanolic extract being more active than the other two. On the other hand, methanolic and ethanolic extracts of WS did not exhibit any significant in vitro activity against the normal epithelial cell line Vero at 50 μg/ml. HPLC was carried out for the analysis of its phytochemical profile and demonstrated the presence of the active component Withaferin A in both extracts. The methanolic and ethanolic extracts of Withania should be studied further for the isolation and characterization of the active components to lead optimization studies.
Keywords: Anticancer; Cytotoxicity; MTT assay; In vitro; MDA-MB-231; Vero; Breast cancer; Withaferin A; Withania somnifera Anticancer; Cytotoxicity; MTT assay; In vitro; MDA-MB-231; Vero; Breast cancer; Withaferin A; Withania somnifera
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

SRIVASTAVA, A.N.; AHMAD, R.; KHAN, M.A. Evaluation and Comparison of the In Vitro Cytotoxic Activity of Withania somnifera Methanolic and Ethanolic Extracts against MDA-MB-231 and Vero Cell Lines. Sci. Pharm. 2016, 84, 41-59.

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