Cytotoxicity assessments of Portulaca oleracea and Petroselinum sativum seed extracts on human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2)

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(16):6633-8. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.16.6633.


The Pharmacological potential, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial activities of Portulaca oleracea (PO) and Petroselinum sativum (PS) extracts are well known. However, the preventive properties against hepatocellular carcinoma cells have not been explored so far. Therefore, the present investigation was designed to study the anticancer activity of seed extracts of PO and PS on the human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2). The HepG2 cells were exposed with 5-500 μg/ml of PO and PS for 24 h. After the exposure, cell viability by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-biphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, neutral red uptake (NRU) assay, and cellular morphology by phase contrast inverted microscope were studied. The results showed that PO and PS extracts significantly reduced the cell viability of HepG2 in a concentration dependent manner. The cell viability was recorded to be 67%, 31%, 21%, and 17% at 50, 100, 250, and 500 μg/ml of PO, respectively by MTT assay and 91%, 62%, 27%, and 18% at 50, 100, 250, and 500 μg/ml of PO, respectively by NRU assay. PS exposed HepG2 cells with 100 μg/ml and higher concentrations were also found to be cytotoxic. The decrease in the cell viability at 100, 250, and 500 μg/ml of PS was recorded as 70%, 33%, and 15% by MTT assay and 63%, 29%, and 17%, respectively by NRU assay. Results also showed that PO and PS exposed cells reduced the normal morphology and adhesion capacity of HepG2 cells. HepG2 cells exposed with 50 μg/ml and higher concentrations of PO and PS lost their typical morphology, become smaller in size, and appeared in rounded bodies. Our results demonstrated preliminary screening of anticancer activity of Portulaca oleracea and Petroselinum sativum extracts against HepG2 cells, which can be further used for the development of a potential therapeutic anticancer agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / prevention & control
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Petroselinum / metabolism*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Portulaca / metabolism*
  • Seeds / metabolism


  • Plant Extracts