Chemical composition of Schinus molle essential oil and its cytotoxic activity on tumour cell lines




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Díaz Oreiro, Cecilia
Quesada Mora, Silvia
Brenes García, Oscar Gerardo
Aguilar, Gilda
Cicció Alberti, José Francisco

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The leaf essential oil hydrodistilled from Schinus molle grown in Costa Rica was characterised in terms of its chemical composition, antioxidant activity, ability to induce cytotoxicity and the mechanism of cell death involved in the process. As a result, 42 constituents, accounting for 97.2% of the total oil, were identified. The major constituents of the oil were -pinene and -pinene. The antioxidant activity showed an IC50 of 36.3 mg mL 1 . The essential oil was cytotoxic in several cell lines, showing that it is more effective on breast carcinoma and leukemic cell lines. The LD50 for cytotoxicity at 48 h in K562 corresponded to 78.7 mg mL 1 , which was very similar to the LD50 obtained when apoptosis was measured. The essential oil did not induce significant necrosis up to 200 mg mL 1 , which together with the former results indicate that apoptosis is the main mechanism of toxicity induced by S. molle essential oil in this cell line. In conclusion, the essential oil tested was weak antioxidant and induced cytotoxicity in different cell types by a mechanism related to apoptosis. It would be interesting to elucidate the role that different components of the oil play in the effect observed here, since some of them could have potential anti-tumoural effects, either alone or in combination.


Palabras clave

Schinus molle, Anacardiaceae, Essential oil, Cytotoxicity, Tumour cells, Apoptosis, BIOQUÍMICA

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