Anti-cancer activities of crude extracts from medicinal plants moringa oleifera lam and rauwolfia caffra against selected cancer cell lines
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The current study was undertaken to validate the traditional use and determine the safety profiles of Moringa oleifera and Rauwolfia caffra used in Kenya to manage tumors and related ailments. This was achieved by determining the anti-proliferative activities of the active antioxidant extracts (50% methanol in dichloromethane) of Moringa oleifera leaves (MeOH) and Rauwolfia caffra stem bark using crystal violet assay. Human liver (hepatocellular carcinoma, Hep-G2) and muscular (rhabdomyosarcoma, RD) were used as model cell lines and cytotoxicity was assessed using Vero cell lines. The results of this work showed that the methanolic extract of the leaves of Moringa oleifera displayed significant anti-proliferative activity (p < 0.05) against Hep-G2 and RD cell lines with limited activity on normal Vero cells. Comparatively, RD cell lines were more sensitive than Hep-G2. The extract of the stem bark of Rauwolfia caffra did not show significant activity against proliferation of RD and Hep-G2 cells, however, it exhibited high activity against the proliferation of Vero cells. From this studies Moringa oleifera was found to be less toxic and to possess anticancer activities, while R. caffra displayed modest anticancer activities and high toxicity levels against normal Vero cells. The efficacy and safety profiles as observed in this study provides a validated evidence of anticancer activity of the two plants that should be investigated further for rational therapeutic designs.
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