Tuberaria lignosa (Sweet) Samp. is found in European regions, and has antioxidant properties due to its composition in ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds. Given its traditional use and antioxidant properties, the tumor cell growth inhibitory potential of aqueous extracts from T. lignosa (prepared by infusion and decoction) was investigated in three human tumor cell lines: MCF-7 (breast adenocarcinoma), NCI-H460 (non-small cell lung cancer), and HCT-15 (human colorectal adenocarcinoma). Both extracts inhibited the growth of these cell lines; the most potent one being the T. lignosa extract obtained by infusion in the NCI-H460 cells (GI50 of approximately 50 μg/mL). Further assays were carried out with this extract in NCI-H460 cells. At 100 μg/mL or 150 μg/mL it caused an increase in the percentage of cells in the G0/G1 phase and a decrease of cells in S phase of the cell cycle. Additionally, these concentrations caused an increase in the percentage of apoptotic cells. In agreement, a decrease in total poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and pro-caspase 3 levels was found. In conclusion, the T. lignosa extract obtained by infusion was more potent in NCI-H460 cells, altering the cell cycle progression and inducing apoptosis. This work highlights the importance of T. lignosa as a source of bioactive compounds with tumor cell growth inhibitory potential.
Keywords: H460 tumor cell line; T. lignosa extracts; apoptosis; cell cycle; inhibition of tumor cell growth.