In vitro and in vivo antitumor effects of the essential oil from the leaves of Guatteria friesiana

Planta Med. 2012 Mar;78(5):409-14. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1298173. Epub 2012 Jan 24.


Guatteria friesiana (W. A. Rodrigues) Erkens & Maas (synonym Guatteriopsis friesiana W. A. Rodrigues), popularly known as "envireira", is a medicinal plant found in the Brazilian and Colombian Amazon basin that is used in traditional medicine for various purposes. Recent studies on this species have demonstrated antimicrobial activity. In this study, the antitumor activity of the essential oil from the leaves of G. friesiana (EOGF) and its main components ( α-, β-, and γ-eudesmol) were determined using experimental models. In the in vitro study, EOGF and its components α-, β-, and γ-eudesmol displayed cytotoxicity against tumor cell lines, showing IC₅₀ values in the range of 1.7 to 9.4 µg/mL in the HCT-8 and HL-60 cell lines for EOGF, 5.7 to 19.4 µg/mL in the HL-60 and MDA-MB-435 cell lines for α-eudesmol, 24.1 to > 25 µg/mL in the SF-295 and MDA-MB-435 cell lines for β-eudesmol, and 7.1 to 20.6 µg/mL in the SF-295 and MDA-MB-435 cell lines for γ-eudesmol, respectively. In the in vivo study, the antitumor effect of EOGF was evaluated in mice inoculated with sarcoma 180 tumor cells. Tumor growth inhibition rates were 43.4-54.2 % and 6.6-42.8 % for the EOGF treatment by intraperitoneal (50 and 100 mg/kg/day) and oral (100 and 200 mg/kg/day) administration, respectively. The treatment with EOGF did not significantly affect body mass, macroscopy of the organs, or blood leukocyte counts. Based on these results, we can conclude that EOGF possesses significant antitumor activity and has only low systemic toxicity. These effects could be assigned to its components α-, β-, and γ-eudesmol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Brazil
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colombia
  • Guatteria / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oils, Volatile / administration & dosage*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Sarcoma 180
  • Sesquiterpenes, Eudesmane / administration & dosage
  • Sesquiterpenes, Eudesmane / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Sesquiterpenes, Eudesmane
  • gamma-eudesmol
  • beta-eudesmol
  • alpha-eudesmol