Objective: Synedrella nodiflora is traditionally used in the treatment of several ailments. Pharmacologically, this plant has anticonvulsant, sedative, antinociceptive and anti-proliferative effects. This study further investigated S. nodiflora for its antioxidant and in vitro inhibition of cancerous cell lines.

Methods: Phytochemical assays, and the DPPH radical scavenging method were employed in preliminary screening for antioxidant activities of the crude hydro-ethanolic extract (SNE) and resulting fractions. The potent ethyl acetate fraction (EAF), was further investigated for total phenol and flavonoid contents, reducing power, lipid peroxidation potential, and cytotoxic effects on human breast cancer (MCF-7), leukemic (Jurkat), and normal liver (Chang’s liver) cell lines.

Results: The extract contained phenols, flavonoids, tannins, glycosides, sterols, terpenoids, and alkaloids. It scavenged for DPPH with an IC50 of 114 µg/ml, whereas that of EAF was 8.9 µg/ml. EAF prevented peroxidation of egg lecithin at an IC50 of 24.01±0.08 µg/ml. These IC50s are four and three times lower than the reference standards. EAF produced anti-proliferative effects against MCF-7, and Jurkat cell lines with IC50s of 205.2 and 170.9 µg/ml, respectively. EAF had a high IC50 of 252.2 µg/ml against Chang’s liver cells. At 0.1 mg/ml EAF had similar total flavonoid content to SNE, but a significantly higher total phenol content.

Conclusion: The ethyl acetate fraction of S. nodiflora, exhibited the most potent antioxidant activity. It inhibited the proliferation of breast and leukemic cancer cell lines, whiles having weak cytotoxic effect on normal liver cells. These can be explored for further drug development.

Keywords: Synedrella nodiflora, Antioxidant, Anti-proliferative, Ethyl acetate fraction, Cancer


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