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Phytother Res. 2010 Jul;24(7):1033-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3069.

Reseda luteola L. extract displays antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic activities that are related to its major flavonoids.

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Competence Center skintegral, Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Freiburg, Hauptstr. 7, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.


Reseda luteola L. has been used as a dye due to its high luteolin content since ancient times. However, no pharmacological studies have been performed with Reseda extracts so far. Here, we have assessed antiproliferative and apoptosis-inducing effects of the Reseda extract RF-40. It contains 40% flavonoids, primarily luteolin, but also luteolin-7-O-glucoside and apigenin. RF-40 and the isolated flavonoids dose-dependently inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptotic oligonucleosomes in PHA-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclar cells. These effects were not due to cytotoxicity as shown with a luminometric ATP assay. Dose-response curves of RF-40 and the isolated flavonoids were similar, with luteolin being the most effective isolated flavonoid. Comparison of RF-40 to its major flavonoids revealed that the pharmacological effects of the extract can mostly be attributed to luteolin. We conclude that Reseda extract is an interesting raw material not only for dyeing purposes but also for further pharmacological investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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