In vitro evaluation of the anti-proliferative activities of the wood essential oils of three Cedrus species against K562 human chronic myelogenous leukaemia cells

Nat Prod Res. 2012;26(23):2227-31. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2011.643885. Epub 2011 Dec 14.


There are four kinds of Cedar: Cedrus libani naturally occurring in Lebanon, Syria and Turkey, Cedrus atlantica in Morocco and Algeria, Cedrus brevefolia in Cyprus Island and Cedrus deodara which is distributed in Himalayan Mountains. Wood essential oils obtained from C. libani, C. atlantica and C. deodara were tested for the inhibition of K562 cell proliferation and for the induction of erythroid differentiation. The wood essential oils of C. libani, C. atlantica and C. deodara inhibited the proliferation of the K562 cell line exhibiting IC(50) values 23.38 ± 1.7, 59.37 ± 2.6 and 37.09 ± 1.4 µg mL(-1), respectively. Meanwhile, C. libani wood oils induced a percentage of erythroid differentiation of 15 ± 2% at concentration 5 µg mL(-1). Cedrus deodara wood oil indicated a percentage of erythroid differentiation of 20 ± 2% at concentration 25 µg mL(-1) and C. atlantica wood oils showed a percentage of erythroid differentiation of 12 ± 1.8% at concentration 10 µg mL(-1).

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Cedrus / chemistry*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • K562 Cells / drug effects
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Wood / chemistry


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Oils, Volatile