Traditionally used Thai medicinal plants: in vitro anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant activities

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Siriwatanametanon, N, Fiebich, BL, Efferth, T, Prieto, JM & Heinrich, M 2010, 'Traditionally used Thai medicinal plants: in vitro anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant activities', Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 130, no. 2, pp. 196-207.

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In order to assess traditional Thai claims about the therapeutic potential of medicinal plants and to select plants for future phytochemical research, nine plant species with anti-inflammatory uses were selected from Thai textbooks and assessed for their in vitro anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative and antioxidant activities.


Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) inhibitory effects in stably transfected HeLa cells were determined by luciferase assay, and effects on LPS-induced pro-inflammatory mediators prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1beta, and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)alpha in primary monocytes were assessed by ELISA. Cytotoxic activities were examined against HeLa cells, human leukaemia CCRF-CEM cells and the multidrug-resistant CEM/ADR5000 subline using the MTT and XTT tests. However, a redox status has been linked with both inflammation and cancer, antioxidant effects were also assessed using the DPPH, lipid-peroxidation, and Folin-Ciocalteau methods.


Among all the nine species, Gynura pseudochina var. hispida and Oroxylum indicum showed the most promising NF-kappaB inhibitory effects with the lowest IC(50) values (41.96 and 47.45 microg/ml, respectively). Muehlenbeckia platyclada did not inhibit the NF-kappaB activation but effectively inhibited the release of IL-6, IL-1beta and TNF-alpha with IC(50) values ranging between 0.28 and 8.67 microg/ml. Pouzolzia indica was the most cytotoxic against CCRF-CEM cells and the multidrug-resistant CEM/ADR5000 cells (9.75% and 10.48% viability, at 10 microg/ml, respectively). Rhinacanthus nasutus was the most potent cytotoxicity against HeLa cells (IC(50) 3.63 microg/ml) and showed specific cytotoxicity against the multidrug-resistant CEM/ADR5000 cells (18.72% viability at 10 microg/ml, p


This study provides in vitro evidence for the use of the Thai plants, most importantly Gynura pseudochina var. hispida, Oroxylum indicum and Muehlenbeckia platyclada as Thai anti-inflammatory remedies and these plants are now a priority for further phytochemical research.

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