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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:625961. doi: 10.1155/2014/625961. Epub 2014 Nov 16.

In Vitro Assessment of Cytotoxicity, Antioxidant, and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae) Leaf Extracts.

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Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa.


Ricinus communis has been utilized traditionally as medicine to treat inflammatory related diseases including wounds, sores, and boils. The leaves of R. communis were sequentially extracted with n-hexane, dichloromethane, acetone, and methanol using serial exhaustive extraction method. Antioxidant activity of all crude extracts was quantitatively measured against 2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) free radical molecules using ABTS(+) assay. Cytotoxic effect and anti-inflammatory activity of R. communis leaves extracts were evaluated on Human Caucasian skin fibroblast and Raw 264.7 macrophage cell lines, respectively. Methanol extract had the highest percentage free radical (ABTS(+)) scavenging activity of 95% at 2.50 mg/mL, acetone 91%, dichloromethane 62%, and hexane the least (50%). Percentage scavenging activity of ABTS(+) free radical molecules increases with increase in concentrations of the plant extracts. Hexane and dichloromethane extracts had more than 90% cell viability at 100 µg/mL after 24 and 48 hours of exposure. Methanol extract had LC50 of 784 µg/mL after 24-hour exposure, hexane had 629.3 µg/mL and dichloromethane 573.6 µg/mL, and 544.6 µg/mL was the lowest with acetone extract. The study present the first report on the scavenging activity of R. communis leaf extracts against ABTS(+) radicals and cytotoxic effects on human Caucasian skin fibroblast cell lines.

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