In Vitro Biological Properties of Solanum sessiliflorum (Dunal), an Amazonian Fruit

J Med Food. 2020 Sep;23(9):978-987. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2019.0193. Epub 2020 Jun 26.


Solanum sessiliflorum is an Amazonian fruit (cubiu) that has been domesticated since pre-Colombian era. It is also used in folk medicine to treat some clinical conditions. This investigation chemically characterized and analyzed the in vitro antioxidant and antitumoral effect of a cubiu pulp/seed hydroalcoholic extract. Cubiu extract was chemically characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector (HPLC-DAD), its antioxidant capacity measured by 2.2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, and the following complementary in vitro protocols were performed: (1) cytoprotective effect of cubiu on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) exposed to H2O2, a genotoxic and procarcinogen molecule; (2) effect of cubiu on low density lipoproteins oxidation; and (3) cytotoxic and antiproliferative effect on breast (MCF-7) and colorectal (HT-29) cancer cell lines. Biochemical and flow cytometry analyses were conducted in these protocols. Cubiu extract presented high concentrations of caffeic and gallic acids, beta-carotene, catechin, quercetin, and rutin, and its antioxidant capacity was confirmed. Cubiu attenuated H2O2 cytotoxicity on PBMCs, presented lowering effect on LDL oxidation, and induced mortality and proliferative inhibition of colorectal cancer cells. In cancer cells, cubiu extract at 10 μg/mL showed similar effects to 5-fluorouracil chemo drug reducing its viability and frequency of S-phase, indicating that cells are undergoing mitosis. In summary, despite the limitations of in vitro protocols, our results suggest that cubiu has several biological properties that affect human health.

Keywords: LDL oxidation; anticancer activity; antioxidant activity.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Solanum / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts
  • Hydrogen Peroxide