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Planta Med. 1982 May;45(5):31-4.

Brine shrimp: a convenient general bioassay for active plant constituents.

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  • 1Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences, and Cell Culture Laboratory, Purdue Cancer Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.


A method, utilizing brine shrimp (Artemia salina Leach), is proposed as a simple bioassay for natural product research. The procedure determines LC (50) values in microg/ml of active compounds and extracts in the brine medium. Activities of a broad range of known active compounds are manifested as toxicity to the shrimp. Screening results with seed extracts of 41 species of Euphorbiaceae were compared with 9KB and 9PS cytotoxicities. The method is rapid, reliable, inexpensive, and convenient as an in-house general bioassay tool.

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