Ageratum conyzoides has been used in folklore for the treatment of a wide range of diseases. In the present investigation, the in vitro activity of ethanol, petroleum ether, ethylacetate, butanol, and water extracts of A. conyzoides were screened in some cancer cell lines using the sulphorhodamine B (SRB) assay. These cell lines include: Human non-small cell lung carcinoma (A-549), human colon adenocarcinoma (HT-29), human gastric carcinoma (SGC-7901), human golima (U-251), human breast carcinoma (MDA-MB-231), human prostate carcinoma (DU-145), human hepatic carcinoma (BEL-7402), and mouse leukemia (P-388) cancer cell lines. Furthermore, kaempferol was isolated from the ethylacetate extract and the structure was elucidated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectroscopy. The effect of DPPH antiradical activity on the extracts and kaempferol was also determined. The results showed that ethylacetate extract exhibited the highest cytotoxic activity on A-549 and P-388 cancer cells with IC(50) values of 0.68 and 0.0003 mug/ml, respectively. Kaempferol isolated from the ethylacetate extract of A. conyzoides rapidly scavenged DPPH at a concentration of 130.07 +/- 17.36 g/kg. The result therefore showed that A. conyzoides possessed anticancer and antiradical properties.
Keywords: Ageratum conyzoides; anticancer; antiradical scavenging activity; cytotoxicity.