Cytotoxicity Assessments of Portulaca oleracea and Petroselinum sativum Seed Extracts on Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells (HepG2)

  • Farshori, Nida Nayyar (Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University) ;
  • Al-Sheddi, Ebtesam Saad (Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University) ;
  • Al-Oqail, Mai Mohammad (Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University) ;
  • Musarrat, Javed (Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University) ;
  • Al-Khedhairy, Abdulaziz Ali (Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University) ;
  • Siddiqui, Maqsood Ahmed (Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University)
  • Published : 2014.08.30


The Pharmacological potential, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial activities of Portulaca oleracea (PO) and Petroselinum sativum (PS) extracts are well known. However, the preventive properties against hepatocellular carcinoma cells have not been explored so far. Therefore, the present investigation was designed to study the anticancer activity of seed extracts of PO and PS on the human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2). The HepG2 cells were exposed with $5-500{\mu}g/ml$ of PO and PS for 24 h. After the exposure, cell viability by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-biphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, neutral red uptake (NRU) assay, and cellular morphology by phase contrast inverted microscope were studied. The results showed that PO and PS extracts significantly reduced the cell viability of HepG2 in a concentration dependent manner. The cell viability was recorded to be 67%, 31%, 21%, and 17% at 50, 100, 250, and $500{\mu}g/ml$ of PO, respectively by MTT assay and 91%, 62%, 27%, and 18% at 50, 100, 250, and $500{\mu}g/ml$ of PO, respectively by NRU assay. PS exposed HepG2 cells with $100{\mu}g/ml$ and higher concentrations were also found to be cytotoxic. The decrease in the cell viability at 100, 250, and $500{\mu}g/ml$ of PS was recorded as 70%, 33%, and 15% by MTT assay and 63%, 29%, and 17%, respectively by NRU assay. Results also showed that PO and PS exposed cells reduced the normal morphology and adhesion capacity of HepG2 cells. HepG2 cells exposed with $50{\mu}g/ml$ and higher concentrations of PO and PS lost their typical morphology, become smaller in size, and appeared in rounded bodies. Our results demonstrated preliminary screening of anticancer activity of Portulaca oleracea and Petroselinum sativum extracts against HepG2 cells, which can be further used for the development of a potential therapeutic anticancer agent.


HepG2 cells;cytotoxicity;cellular morphology;anticancer activity


Supported by : NSTIP


  1. Abdolmohammadi MH, Fouladdel Sh, Shafiee A, et al (2008). Anticancer effects and cell cycle analysis on human breast cancer T47D cells treated with extracts of Astrodaucus persicus (Boiss.) Drude in comparison to doxorubicin. DARU, 16, 2.
  2. Ahmed NZ, El-Deib KM, Ahmed MM (2010). Studies on curcuma longa, chicorium intybus and Petroselinum sativum water extracts against cisplatin-induced toxicity in rats. J Am Sci, 6, 545-58.
  3. Al-Oqail MM, Farshori NN, Al-Sheddi ES, et al (2013). In vitro cytotoxic activity of seed oil of fenugreek against various cancer cell lines. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 1829-32.
  4. Al-Sheddi ES, Farshori NN, Al-Oqail MM, et al (2014). Cytotoxicity of nigella sativa seed oil and extract against human lung cancer cell line. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 983-7.
  5. Ali HA, Hussein MA, Mohammed WE (2014). Comparative effects of purslane seed oil (PSO) and 5-Flourourasil on ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) in female albino mice. Int J Pharma Sci, 4, 424-30.
  6. Berrington D, Lall N (2012). Anticancer activity of certain herbs and spices on the cervical epithelial carcinoma (HeLa) cell line. Evid-Based Compl Alter Med, 2012, 1-11.
  7. Chan K, Islam MW, Kamil M, et al (2000).The analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of Portulaca oleracea L. subsp. sativa (Haw.) Celak J Ethnopharmacol, 73, 445-51.
  8. Das A, Banik NL, Ray SK (2010). Flavonoids activated caspases for apoptosis in human glioblastoma T98G and U87MG cells but not in human normal astrocytes. Cancer, 116, 164-76.
  9. Dkhil MA, Abdel Moniem A, Al-Quraishy S, et al (2011). Antioxidant effect of purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and its mechanism of action. J Med Plant Research, 5, 1589-93.
  10. Ebrahimzadeh MA, Nabavi SF, Nabavi SM (2009). Essential oil composition and antioxidant activity of Pterocarya fraxinifolia. Pak J Biol Sci, 12, 957-63.
  11. Erkan N (2012). Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds of fractions from Portulaca oleracea L. Food Chem, 133, 775-81.
  12. Farshori NN, Al-Sheddi ES, Al-Oqail MM, et al (2013). Anticancer activity of Petroselinum sativum seed extracts on MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 5719-23.
  13. Fazeli Z, Pourhoseingholi MA, Vahedi M, Zali MR (2012). Burden of hepatocellular carcinoma in Asia. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 13, 5955-8.
  14. Fujika T, Furumi K, Fujii H, et al (1999). Antiproliferative constituents from umbelliferae plants. A new furanocoumarin and falcarindiol furanocoumarin ethers from the root of angelica japonica. Chem Pharm Bull, 47, 96-100.
  15. Ghazanfer SA (1994). Handbook of Arabian Medicinal Plants. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL p. 180.
  16. Han SH, Yang BS, Kim HJ (2003). Effectiveness of aromatherapy massage on abdominal obesity among middle aged women. J Korean Acad Nurss, 33, 839-46.
  17. Huang W, Zou K (2011). Cytotoxicity of a plant steroidal saponin on human lung cancer cells. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 513-7.
  18. Khan MA, Chen HC, Tania M, et al (2011). Anticancer activities of Nigella sativa (Black Cumin). Afr J Tradit Compl Alter Med, 8, 226-32.
  19. Kim YJ, Liu RH, Rychlik JL, et al (2002). The enrichment of a ruminal bacterium (Megasphaera elsdenii YJ-4) that produces the trans-10, cis-12 isomer of conjugated linoleic acid. J Appl Microbiol, 92, 976-82.
  20. Kma L (2013). Roles of plant extracts and constituents in cervical cancer therapy. Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev, 14, 3429-36.
  21. Kreydiyyeh SI, Usta J, Kaouk I, et al (2001). The mechanism underlying the laxative properties of parsley extract. Phytomedicine, 8, 382-8.
  22. Kumar V, Fausto N, Abbas A (editors) (2003). Robbins & Cotran pathologic basis of disease (7th ed). Saunders. pp. 914-7.
  23. Kumi-Diaka J, Butler A (2000). Caspase-3 protease activation during the process of genistein induced apoptosis in TM4 cells. Biol Cell, 92, 115-24.
  24. Li PG, Cao NX, Jiang RT, et al (2014). Knockdown of GCF2/ LRRFIP1 by RNAi causes cell growth inhibition and increased apoptosis in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 2753-8
  25. Li YZ, Li CJ, Pinto AV, et al (1995). Release of mitochondria cytochrome C in both apoptosis and necrosis-induced by beta-lapachone in human carcinoma cells. Mol Med, 5, 232-9.
  26. Li, F, Li Q, Gao D, et al. (2009). Preparation and antidiabetic activity of polysaccharide from Portulaca oleracea L. Afr J Biotech, 8, 569-73.
  27. Mohamad AP, Fazeli Z, Ashtari S, Fatemeh SFB (2013). Mortality trends of gastrointestinal cancers in Iranian population. Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed to Bench, 6.
  28. Pal SK, Shukla Y (2003). Herbal medicine: current status and the future. Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev, 4, 281-8.
  29. Pan MH, Ho CT (2008). Chemopreventive effects of natural dietary compounds on cancer development. Chem Soc Rev, 37, 2558-74.
  30. Parkin DM, Bray F, Ferlay J, Pisani P (2005). Global cancer statistics, 2002. CA Cancer J Clin, 55, 74-108.
  31. Parry O, Marks JA, Okwuasaba FK (1993). The skeletal muscle relaxant action of Portulaca oleracea: role of potassium ions. J Ethnopharmacol, 40, 187-94.
  32. Peksel A, Arisan I, Yanardag (2006). Antioxidant activities of aqueous extracts of purslane (Portulaca oleracea Subsp. Sativa L). Ital J Food Sci, 3, 295-308.
  33. Randhawa MA, Alghamdi MS (2011). Anticancer activity of Nigella sativa (Black Seed) - a review. Am J Chinese Med, 39, 1075-91.
  34. Rashed AN, Afifi FU, Disi AM (2003). Simple evaluation of the wound healing activity of a crude extract of Portulaca oleracea L. (growing in Jordan) in Musmusculus JVI-1. J Ethnopharmacol, 88, 131-6.
  35. Saetung A, Itharat A, Dechsukum C, et al (2005). Cytotoxic activity of Thai medicinal plants for cancer treatment. Songklanakarin J Sci Technol, 27, 469-78.
  36. Samarakoon SR, Thabrew I, Galhena PB, et al (2010). A comparison of the cytotoxic potential of standardized aqueous and ethanolic extracts of a polyherbal mixture comprised of Nigella sativa (seeds), Hemidesmus indicus (roots) and Smilax glabra (rhizome). Pharmacogn Res, 2, 335-42.
  37. Sharma JVC, Pitchaiah G, Satyavati D, et al (2011). In vitro Anticancer activity of methanolic extract of roots of Glochidion zeylanicum (Gaertn). IJRPBS, 2, 760-4.
  38. Siddiqui MA, Kashyap MP, Kumar V, et al (2010). Protective potential of trans-resveratrol against 4-hydroxynonenal induced damage in PC12 cells. Toxicol In vitro, 24, 1592-8.
  39. Siddiqui MA, Singh G, Kashyap MP, et al (2008). Influence of cytotoxic doses of 4-hydroxynonenal on selected neurotransmitter receptors in PC-12 cells. Toxicol In vitro, 22, 1681-8.
  40. Svejda B, Aguiriano-Moser V, Sturm S, et al (2010). Anticancer activity of novel plant extracts from Trailliaedoxa gracilis (W. W. Smith & Forrest) in human carcinoid KRJ-I cells. Anticancer Res, 30, 55-64.
  41. Tan GCS, Wong KM, Pearle-Wong GQ, et al (2013). In vitro Cytotoxic and antiproliferative effects of Portulaca oleracea methanol extract on breast, cervical, colon and nasopharyngeal cancerous cell lines. Sains Malaysiana, 42, 927-35.
  42. Thoppil RJ, Harlev E, Mandal A, Nevo E, Bishayee A (2010). Antitumor activities of extracts from selected desert plants against HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Pharm Biol, 51, 668-74.
  43. Wahba NM, Ahmed AS, Ebraheim ZZ (2010). Antimicrobial effects of pepper, parsley, and dill and their roles in the microbiological quality enhancement of traditional Egyptian Kareish cheese. Foodborne Pathog Dis, 7, 411-8.
  44. Xiang L, Xing D, Wang W, et al (2005). Alkaloids from Portulaca oleracea L. Phytochemistry, 66, 2595-601.
  45. Xin hL, Xu YF, Yue XQ, et al (2008). Analysis of chemical constituents in extract from Portulaca oleracea L. with GC-MS method. Pharma J Chin People's Liberat Army, 24, 133-6.
  46. Yanardag R, Bolkent S, Tabakoglu-Oguz A, et al (2003). Effects of Petroselinum crispum extract on pancreatic B cells and blood glucose of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Biol Pharm Bull, 26, 1206-10.
  47. Yang ZJ, Liu CJ, Xiang L, Zheng YN (2009). Phenolic alkaloids as a new class ofantioxidants in Portulaca oleracea. Phytother Res, 23, 1032-5.
  48. Yoon JW, Ham SS, Jun HS (1999). Portulaca oleracea and tumor cell growth. US Patent. 5869060. Washington DC: Patent and Trademark Office.
  49. Zhang XJ, Ji YB, Qu ZY, Xia JC, Wang L (2002). Experimental studies on antibiotic functions of Portulaca oleracea L. in vitro. Chin J Microbiol Immunol, 14, 277-80.
  50. Zhao R, Gao X, Cai Y, et al (2013). Antitumor activity of Portulaca oleracea L. polysaccharides against cervical carcinoma in vitro and in vivo. Carbohydrate Polymers, 96, 376-83.

Cited by

  1. Cytotoxicity Assessment of Six Different Extracts of Abelia triflora leaves on A-549 Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells vol.16, pp.11, 2015,
  2. Inhibitory Effects of Cyrtopodion scabrum Extract on Growth of Human Breast and Colorectal Cancer Cells vol.16, pp.2, 2015,
  3. Anti-mutagenic Activity of Salvia merjamie Extract Against Gemcitabine vol.16, pp.4, 2015,
  4. Portulaca oleracea Seed Oil Exerts Cytotoxic Effects on Human Liver Cancer (HepG2) and Human Lung Cancer (A-549) Cell Lines vol.16, pp.8, 2015,
  5. extract can inhibit nodule formation of colon cancer stem cells by regulating gene expression of the Notch signal transduction pathway vol.39, pp.7, 2017,
  6. L. seeds in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats pp.1478-6427, 2017,
  7. Attenuated RANKL-induced cytotoxicity by Portulaca oleracea ethanol extract enhances RANKL-mediated osteoclastogenesis vol.15, pp.1, 2015,