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Open AccessArticle

Antiproliferative Activity of Neem Leaf Extracts Obtained by a Sequential Pressurized Liquid Extraction

NUESC/ITP, Program in Industrial Biotechnology-Tiradentes University, Aracaju 49032-490, Brazil
REQUIMTE/LAQV, Department of Chemistry Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
Chemistry Investigation Centre (CIQ), Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
Embrapa Coastal Tablelands, Aracaju 49025-040, Brazil
Mountain Research Center (CIMO), School of Agriculture, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 76;
Received: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
Azadirachta indica A. Juss (neem) extracts have been used in pharmaceutical applications as antitumor agents, due to their terpenes and phenolic compounds. To obtain extracts from neem leaves with potential antiproliferative effect, a sequential process of pressurized liquid extraction was carried out in a fixed bed extractor at 25 °C and 100 bar, using hexane (SH), ethyl acetate (SEA), and ethanol (SE) as solvents. Extractions using only ethanol (EE) was also conducted to compare the characteristics of the fractionated extracts. The results obtained by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry suggested a higher concentration of terpenes in the SEA extract in comparison to SH, SE, and EE extracts. Therefore, antiproliferative activity showed that SEA extracts were the most efficient inhibitor to human tumor cells MCF-7, NCI-H460, HeLa, and HepG2. Hepatocellular cells were more resistant to SH, SEA, SE, and EE compared to breast, lung, hepatocellular, and cervical malignant cells. Neem fractioned extracts obtained in the present study seem to be more selective for malignant cells compared to the non-tumor cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: sequential pressurized liquid extraction; neem leaves; antiproliferative activity sequential pressurized liquid extraction; neem leaves; antiproliferative activity
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Santos, K.S.; Barbosa, A.M.; Freitas, V.; Muniz, A.V.C.S.; Mendonça, M.C.; Calhelha, R.C.; Ferreira, I.C.F.R.; Franceschi, E.; Padilha, F.F.; Oliveira, M.B.P.P.; Dariva, C. Antiproliferative Activity of Neem Leaf Extracts Obtained by a Sequential Pressurized Liquid Extraction. Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11, 76.

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