In vitro antitumoral activity of compounds isolated from Artemisia gorgonum Webb

Phytother Res. 2014 Sep;28(9):1329-34. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5133. Epub 2014 Mar 13.


Artemisia gorgonum (Asteraceae) is an endemic plant to the Cape Verde islands and plays an important role in traditional medicine. The chloroform extract of the plant aerial parts afforded six sesquiterpene lactones, two methoxylated flavonoids, two lignans, and one tetracyclic triterpene, which were isolated by chromatographic methods and their structure established by physical and spectroscopic techniques. The cytotoxic activity of the three major constituents, namely, arborescin, artemetin, and sesamin, was evaluated on neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y), hepatocarcinoma (HepG2), and nontumoral bone marrow stromal (S17) cell lines. The application of different concentrations of the compounds significantly decreased tumor cells viability at different extents, especially at the highest concentrations tested. Arborescin is the most promising compound as it was able to reduce tumoral cell viability with an IC50 significantly lower (229-233 μM; p < 0.01) than that of S17 cells (445 μM). Arborescin and artemetin were less toxic to nontumoral cells than the antitumoral drug tested, etoposide. Our results indicate that arborescin has a significant cytotoxic activity in vitro, more pronounced on the cancer cell lines, confirming A. gorgonum as a source of potential antitumoral molecules.

Keywords: Artemisia gorgonum; antitumor activity; arborescin; artemetin; sesamin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Artemisia / chemistry*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Dioxoles / isolation & purification
  • Dioxoles / pharmacology*
  • Flavonoids / isolation & purification
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lignans / isolation & purification
  • Lignans / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Plant Components, Aerial
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Sesquiterpenes, Guaiane / isolation & purification
  • Sesquiterpenes, Guaiane / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Dioxoles
  • Flavonoids
  • Lignans
  • Plant Extracts
  • Sesquiterpenes, Guaiane
  • artemetin
  • arborescin
  • sesamin