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Aims: Evaluation of cytotoxic potential on the leaves and stem bark extracts of 15 mangrove plants grown in Sri Lanka on breast cancer (MCF -7) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells.
Place and Duration of Study: At the Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Colombo between 1st of February 2014 to April 2015.
Methodology: Leaves and stem barks of 15 mangrove plants were extracted with hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate and methanol. Resulting extracts were screened for cytotoxic activity against MCF-7 and HepG2 cells using the Sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay.
Results: Phoenix paludosa, Avicennia officinalis and Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea showed highest cytotoxic properties on cancer cells. Chloroform extract of stem bark of S. hydrophyllacea, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (chloroform, ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of leaves), hexane and ethyl acetate extracts of leaves of Aegiceras corniculatum, methanol extracts of leaves and stem bark of Nypa fruticans and Rhizophora mucronata, methanol extract of stem bark of Sonneratia alba and Rhizophora apiculata and methanol extract of bark of A. officinalis exerted selective cytotoxicity to HepG2 cells. The hexane extract of leaves of B. gymnorrhiza, chloroform extract of leaves of N. fruticans, ethyl acetate extract of stem bark of Lumnitzera littorea, chloroform extract of leaves of Rhizophora apiculata and chloroform extract of leaves of Pemphis acidula showed selective cytotoxic effects against MCF-7 cells. Out of the 116 mangrove extracts tested, 82 extracts showed no significant cytotoxic effects (IC50>100 µg/mL) against MCF 7 or HepG2 cells.
Conclusion: The cytotoxic activities demonstrated by some of the solvent extracts of some mangrove plants provide scientific evidence for their therapeutic potentials and further studies are needed to identify active compounds responsible for cytotoxic effects.