The antioxidant and anti-proliferative activity of the Lebanese Olea europaea extract

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2011 Mar;66(1):58-63. doi: 10.1007/s11130-011-0213-9.


It is becoming increasingly evident that certain phytochemicals possess cancer chemopreventive properties. In this study, the anti-proliferative activity of plant extracts from olive (Olea europaea L.) leaves was tested on human leukemic cell line (Jurkat). Cytotoxicity of various concentrations of plant extracts was examined and the IC(50) was determined. Olive leaf extracts showed concentration-dependent anti-proliferative effect as determined by the WST-1 proliferation kit and [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation method. To study whether cell death was due to apoptosis, cells were stained with Annexin V-FITC and PI and the expression of important regulatory proteins (Bcl-2, Bax, and p53) involved in apoptosis were examined by Western blot. The antioxidant activity of olive leaves (SC(50) = 0.1 mg dry weight) was studied using the DPPH scavenging method. Present findings suggest that olive leaves extracts exhibit anti-proliferative effect on leukemic cells by inducing apoptosis.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Olea / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts