Evaluation of Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertner bark extracts for in vitro cytotoxicity on cancer cells and in vivo antitumor activity in solid and liquid tumor models

Ravishankar Kumar, Nitesh Kumar, Grandhi V. Ramalingayya, Manganahalli Manjunath Setty, Karkala Sreedhara Rangnath Pai

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The stem bark of Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertner is claimed to be useful in the treatment of tumors in the southern part of India. This plant possesses a number of sesquiterpenoids and isoflavones which are known for their anticancer properties. The present study was designed to scientifically evaluate the cytotoxic potential of bark extracts in in vitro on Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC), MCF-7 and B16F10 cells and in vivo in EAC (Liquid tumor) model and Dalton’s lymphoma ascites (DLA or solid tumor) model. The bark was powdered and extracted successively with solvents viz., petroleum ether (PE), benzene, chloroform, acetone (AC), and ethyl alcohol in the sequential order of polarity. Cytotoxicity of dried extracts was screened on EAC cells by trypan blue assay. Three potent extracts namely petroleum ether, acetone, and ethanol were screened for their cytotoxicity on MCF-7 and B16F10 cells by MTT assay and nucleomorphological alteration by propidium iodide staining. Safe doses of these extracts were evaluated by acute toxicity study in mice. Extracts were found to be safe up to 300 mg/kg in acute toxicity study. Dosage of 1/10th and 1/20th of safe dose i.e., 15 and 30 mg/kg were selected for in vivo study. In the EAC model, both doses of the extracts showed a significant (P < 0.05) improvement in mean survival time and a maximum decline in tumor induced increase in body weight (an indirect measure of tumor weight) by the PE and AC treatment at 15 mg/kg compared to control. In the DLA-model, all extracts at both tested dose levels showed >50 % reduction in tumor weight and a significant reduction (P < 0.05) in tumor volume on the 30th day compared to control. It can be concluded that these extracts possess cytotoxic and antitumor activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1909-1923
Number of pages15
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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