Approximately 250,000 deaths were caused by leukemia globally in 2012 and about 40%-50% of all leukemia diagnoses end-up in death. Medicinal plants are a rich source for the discovery of new drugs against leukemia and other types of cancers. To this end, we subjected the Jamaican ball moss (Tillandsia recurvata) and its cycloartanes, as well as some analogs, to in vitro screening against a number of leukemia cell lines. The WST-1 anti-proliferation assay was used to determine the anticancer activity of ball moss and two cycloartanes isolated from ball moss and four of their analogs against four leukemia cell lines (HL-60, K562, MOLM-14, monoMac6). Ball moss crude methanolic extract showed activity with a 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) value of 3.028 μg/ml against the Molm-14 cell line but was ineffective against HL-60 cells. The six cycloartanes tested demonstrated varying activity against the four leukemia cancer cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 1.83 μM to 18.3 μM. Five out of the six cycloartanes demonstrated activity, while one was inactive against all four cell lines. The preliminary activity demonstrated by the Jamaican ball moss and its cycloartanes against selected leukemia cell lines continues to throw light on the broad anticancer activity of ball moss. Further studies to evaluate the efficacy of these molecules in other leukemia cell lines are required in order to validate the activity of these molecules, as well as to determine their mechanisms of action and ascertain the activity in vivo in order to establish efficacy and safety profiles.
Keywords: Cycloartane; Jamaican ball moss; cancer; leukemia.
Copyright© 2014 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.