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Cytotoxic effects of essential oils from three Lippia gracilis Schauer genotypes on HeLa, B16, and MCF-7 cells and normal human fibroblasts

Author(s): J.O. Melo, A.L. Fachin, W.F. Rizo, H.C.R. Jesus, M.F. Arrigoni-Blank, P.B. Alves, M.A. Marins, S.C. França and A.F. Blank

This study aimed to evaluate the chemical composition of the essential oils from three genotypes of Lippia gracilis Schauer (Verbenaceae) and investigate the cytotoxic activities of these oils. Essential oils were extracted from the leaves using a Clevenger-type apparatus, and chemical analysis was performed using a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer and flame ionization detector. 3T3, MRC5, B16, HeLa, and MCF-7 cell lines were used to study the in vitro cytotoxicity of the essential oils, and the level of cell death was determined using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide test with three replicates. The cytotoxic activity was expressed as the concentration that inhibited 50% of cell growth. The main compound in the essential oil of LGRA-106 was thymol (40.52%), while LGRA-109 and LGRA-201 contained 45.84 and 32.60% carvacrol, respectively, as their major compound. The essential oils of L. gracilis showed cytotoxic activity against both normal and tumor cells at concentrations below 100 μg/mL; this demonstrated the antitumor potential of these essential oils, which should be further investigated.