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J Photochem Photobiol B. 2009 Sep 4;96(3):216-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2009.06.009. Epub 2009 Jul 1.

Systematic analysis of in vitro photo-cytotoxic activity in extracts from terrestrial plants in Peninsula Malaysia for photodynamic therapy.

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1
Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF), Subang Jaya Medical Centre, 1, Jalan SS12/1A, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.

Abstract

One hundred and fifty-five extracts from 93 terrestrial species of plants in Peninsula Malaysia were screened for in vitro photo-cytotoxic activity by means of a cell viability test using a human leukaemia cell-line HL60. These plants which can be classified into 43 plant families are diverse in their type of vegetation and their natural habitat in the wild, and may therefore harbour equally diverse metabolites with potential pharmaceutical properties. Of these, 29 plants, namely three from each of the Clusiaceae, Leguminosae, Rutaceae and Verbenaceae families, two from the Piperaceae family and the remaining 15 are from Acanthaceae, Apocynaceae, Bignoniaceae, Celastraceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Irvingiaceae, Lauraceae, Lythraceae, Malvaceae, Meliaceae, Moraceae, Myristicaceae, Myrsinaceae, Olacaceae and Sapindaceae. Hibiscus cannabinus (Malvaceae), Ficus deltoidea (Moraceae), Maranthes corymbosa (Chrysobalanaceae), Micromelum sp., Micromelum minutum and Citrus hystrix (Rutaceae), Cryptocarya griffithiana (Lauraceae), Litchi chinensis (Sapindaceae), Scorodocarpus bornensis (Olacaceae), Kokoona reflexa (Celastraceae), Irvingia malayana (Irvingiaceae), Knema curtisii (Myristicaceae), Dysoxylum sericeum (Meliaceae), Garcinia atroviridis, Garcinia mangostana and Calophyllum inophyllum (Clusiaceae), Ervatamia hirta (Apocynaceae), Cassia alata, Entada phaseoloides and Leucaena leucocephala (Leguminosae), Oroxylum indicum (Bignoniaceae), Peronema canescens,Vitex pubescens and Premna odorata (Verbenaceae), Piper mucronatum and Piper sp. (Piperaceae), Ardisia crenata (Myrsinaceae), Lawsonia inermis (Lythraceae), Strobilanthes sp. (Acanthaceae) were able to reduce the in vitro cell viability by more than 50% when exposed to 9.6J/cm(2) of a broad spectrum light when tested at a concentration of 20 microg/mL. Six of these active extracts were further fractionated and bio-assayed to yield four photosensitisers, all of which are based on the pheophorbide-a and -b core structures. Our results suggest that the main photosensitisers from terrestrial plants are likely based on the cyclic tetrapyrrole structure and photosensitisers with other structures, if present, are present in minor amounts or are not as active as those with the cyclic tetrapyrrole structure.

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