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Pharmacognosy Res. 2014 Jan;6(1):87-91. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.122923.

In-vitro cytotoxicity study of methanolic fraction from Ajuga Bracteosa wall ex. benth on MCF-7 breast adenocarcinoma and hep-2 larynx carcinoma cell lines.

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Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry Laboratory, VNS Group of Institutions, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.



Ajuga bracteosa Wall ex Benth (Labiatae) is popularly known in India as Neelkanthi. A decoction of the leaves, flowers, and barks is used in India for the treatment of cancer including diabetes, malaria, and inflammation etc. The main objective of this study is to investigate the cytotoxic potential of Ajuga bracteosa.


Successive solvent extraction of Ajuga bracteosa in petroleum ether, methanol, and water extracts was done. These extracts were tested against human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7) and larynx carcinoma (Hep-2) tumor cell lines, using the thiazolyl blue test (MTT) assay.


The methanolic fraction of Ajuga bracteosa had shown the significant results against MCF-7 and Hep-2 tumor cell lines. The methanolic, petroleum ether and aqueous extract from Ajuga bracteosa, presented an IC50 value at 24 h of 10, 65, 70 μg/ml and 5, 30, 15 μg/ml on MCF-7 and Hep-2 cells, respectively. Steroids compounds namely β-sitosterol and unknown constituents were identified in the most active methanol extract of Ajuga bracteosa wall ex Benth. These known and unknown compounds exhibited cytotoxic potential against MCF-7 and Hep-2 cancer cells.


Among all the tested extracts, methanolic extract can be considered as potential sources of anti-cancer compounds. Further studies are necessary for more extensive biological evaluations.


Ajuga bracteosa; Hep-2; MCF-7; MTT assay; cytotoxicity studies

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