Foeniculum vulgare and Trachyspermum ammi seed ethanolic extracts: Cytotoxicity assay, in vitro toxicity on Artemia salina larvae, biocompatibility and antibacterial activity

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Plant Production and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran

2 Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Science and High Technology and Environmental Sciences, Graduate University of Advanced Technology, Kerman, Iran

3 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

4 Zanjan Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Research Center, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Pharmacy, Zanjan university of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran


Background and aims: Foeniculum vulgare and Trachyspermum ammi belonging to the family Apiaceae are two traditional popular herbs in Traditional Iranian Medicine. Given the wide application of F. vulgare and T. ammi for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, the objective of this study was to investigate their biological activities.
Methods: The cytotoxicity of ethanol seed extract of F. vulgare and T. ammi was evaluated on colorectal cancer (HCT116 and SW480) and human embryonic kidney cell lines (HEK293) by MTT assay. Toxicity and biocompatibility of RBC’s also were assessed by Artemia salina and hemolysis tests. The antibacterial activities and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of extracts were measured by disc diffusion and the microtiter broth dilution, respectively.
Results: The proliferation of cancer cells was inhibited by ethanol seed extracts. A moderate degree of cytotoxicity was observed for HCT116 cells growth (IC50=106.46 μg/mL) by T. ammi extracts at 72 hours. In addition, the ethanol seed extracts of F. vulgare and T. ammi exhibited no cytotoxic effects against brine shrimp larvae with LC50 of 2071.65 and 1576.92 μg/mL, respectively. The degree of hemolysis for ethanol seed extracts was less than 5% at 400 μg/mL. The maximum antibacterial activity was obtained for ethanol extracts of F. vulgare and T. ammi against S. aureus by disc diffusion (25.8 and 28.3 mm) and MIC (0.55 and 0.39-fold).
Conclusion: The ethanol extracts of F. vulgare and T. ammi have antiproliferative and antibacterial properties and could be used as adjuvant therapies against gastric and colorectal cancers and pathogenic bacteria.


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