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Food Funct. 2011 Jun;2(6):328-37. doi: 10.1039/c1fo10027k. Epub 2011 May 18.

Antioxidant, pro-oxidant and cytotoxic properties of parsley.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmaceutical Biology, University of Helsinki, PO Box 56, FIN-00014, Finland.


Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) leaves were macerated with a mixture of methanol: water: acetic acid to produce a crude extract which was then defatted with (40°-60°) petrol. Antioxidant activity of the extract was evaluated using a battery of in vitro assays, viz., iron(iii) reduction, iron(ii) chelation and free radical scavenging assays. Evaluation of the pro-oxidant activity of the extract was based upon its effects upon DNA fragmentation and protein carbonylation. Cytotoxicity and apoptotic effects of the extract were determined in non-cancerous CV1-P fibroblast and cancerous A375 melanoma cells using MTT and LDH tests and caspase 3-like activity assay. The highest concentration, 2.0 mg ml(-1), decreased the viability of both cell lines, however, the cancerous melanoma cells were slightly susceptible to the effects. The observed cytotoxicity was not due to the caspase 3 activity. In conclusion, the toxicity might be explained by the pro-oxidative activity of components within the extract against proteins and/or DNA but it is not related to caspase 3-dependent apoptosis within cells.

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