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In vitro anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant potentials of Ephedra aphylla

1 Department of Biology and Biotechnology, American University of Madaba, Madaba, Jordan
2 Department of Basic Sciences and Humanities, American University of Madaba, Madaba, Jordan
3 Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
4 Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Applied Science University, Amman, Jordan

Correspondence Address:
Wajdy Al-Awaida,
Department of Biology and Biotechnology, American University of Madaba, Madaba
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Purpose: The goal of our study is to test whether a naturally occurring plant, Ephedra aphylla, will show antiproliferative ability against tested cell lines and to test its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative potentials. Materials and Methods: In our study, we used four solvents with different polarities - aqueous, chloroform, methanol, and n-hexane - to extract different compounds from the aerial parts of E. aphylla. Antioxidant activity of E. aphylla was determined by measuring nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) scavenging activities. The anti-inflammatory activity was studied using the inhibition of albumin denaturation assay. Finally, the antiproliferative activity of breast cancer cell lines (T47D, MCF-7) and Vero cell line (African green monkey kidney) was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Results: Phytochemical screening for various extracts of E. aphylla showed the presence of medicinally important compounds including cardiac glycosides, alkaloids, triterpenes, tannins, and flavonoids. The scavenging activity for H2O2 of various solvent extracts was in the order of methanol > aqueous > chloroform > ethyl acetate > n-hexane. In addition, E. aphylla solvent extracts also exhibited a scavenging activity for NO in the order of methanol > ethyl acetate > aqueous > chloroform > n-hexane. All of the solvent extracts showed IC50 inhibition of albumin denaturation at a concentration between 209.5 ΁ 8.1 and 225 ΁ 11 μg/ml. Moreover, all extracts displayed strong antiproliferative potential against MFC7, T47D tested cell lines and very weak cytotoxic activity against Vero normal cell line. Conclusions: E. aphylla has a promising potential to be used as a drug source for breast cancer treatment based on its strong antiproliferative activity.

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    -  Al-Hourani BJ
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