In vitro studies demonstrate anticancer activity of an alkaloid of the plant Gelsemium sempervirens

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2008 Dec;233(12):1591-601. doi: 10.3181/0805-RM-181. Epub 2008 Nov 7.


The chemical structure of the main fluorescenting compound in the ethanolic extract (mother tincture) of the American yellow jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens, was determined by employing (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), (13)C NMR, mass spectroscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), correlation spectroscopy (COSY), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analyses. Spectrofluorometric analysis has been made of the mother tincture and its agitated serial dilutions (up to 12th potency) prepared according to a homeopathic procedure in which serial, agitated dilutions were made separately in glass and polypropylene containers. The succussions were made by employing three different modes: hand jerk, sonication, and vortexing. The chemical formula of scopoletin, the main fluorescent compound, was determined to be C(10)H(8)O(4) having a molecular weight of 192.17. Significant differences were noted between the remedies prepared in the two types of containers. Further, a comparison between any two methods of agitation revealed significant differences in fluorometric data of remedies at certain potency levels. The biological (anticancer) action of the crude extract, the alkaloid scopoletin, and 2C potency of Gelsemium sp were tested in vitro on the HeLa cell line through fluorescence microscopy, the 3(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, and fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS). The role of nanoparticles presumably derived from the containers, their orientation, and their interaction with the starting substance during the dynamization process initiated by different modes of agitation could possibly be attributed to the differences noted in the fluorometric data of potencies prepared in the two types of containers and among the three different means of succussion tested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids / analysis
  • Alkaloids / chemistry*
  • Alkaloids / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Formazans / metabolism
  • G1 Phase / drug effects
  • Gelsemium / chemistry*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Molecular Weight
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Tetrazolium Salts / metabolism


  • Alkaloids
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Formazans
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • MTT formazan