Antimelanoma and radioprotective activity of alcoholic aqueous extract of different species of Ocimum in C(57)BL mice

Pharm Biol. 2011 Apr;49(4):428-36. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2010.521513.


Context: Various Ocimum species (Labiateae) are commonly used for the treatment of inflammation, stress, diarrhea, and as an antioxidant drug in the Indian ethnic system of medicine.

Objective: The present study was carried out to investigate the antimelanoma and radioprotective activity of different species of Ocimum in C(57)BL and Swiss albino mice.

Materials and methods: The antimelanoma activity of 50% alcoholic aqueous leaf extract of five species of Ocimum [Ocimum sanctum (SE), Ocimum gratissimum (GE), Ocimum basilicum (BE), Ocimum canum (CE), and Ocimum kilimandscharicum (KE)] alone or in combination with radiotherapy was determined on the basis of tumor volume, body weight, and survival rate of animals. The radioprotective potential of different species of Ocimum was determined by chromosomal aberration assay. The effect of the alcoholic aqueous extract of different species of Ocimum was also evaluated for the estimation of glutathione level and glutathione S-transferase activity in Swiss albino mice.

Results: The 50% alcoholic aqueous extract of different species of Ocimum administered orally (200 mg/kg, p.o.) resulted in significant reduction in tumor volume, increase in average body weight, and survival rate of mice. The various extracts showed modulatory influence against lethal irradiation doses of gamma radiation in terms of radiation-induced chromosomal damage, while at the same time induced an increase in reduced glutathione level and GST activity.

Discussion and conclusion: These findings demonstrate that Ocimum species have antimelanoma and radioprotective activity against B(16)F(10) metastatic melanoma cell line-induced metastasis and could be exploited as one of the potential sources for plant-based pharmaceutical products.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Chromosome Aberrations / chemically induced
  • Chromosome Aberrations / drug effects
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Glutathione / analysis
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Melanoma, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma, Experimental / mortality
  • Melanoma, Experimental / secondary
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ocimum*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Plant Leaves
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / toxicity
  • Survival
  • Tumor Burden / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Glutathione