Antitumor Properties of the leaf essential oil of Zornia brasiliensis.Planta Med. 2015 May; 81(7):563-7.PM
Zornia brasiliensis, popularly known as "urinária", "urinana", and "carrapicho", is a medicinal plant used in Brazilian northeast folk medicine as a diuretic and against venereal diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the chemical composition and antitumor potential of the leaf essential oil of Z. brasiliensis. The essential oil was obtained by hydrodistillation using a Clevenger-type apparatus and analyzed by GC-MS and GC-FID. Its composition was characterized by the presence of trans-nerolidol, germacrene D, trans-caryophyllene, α-humulene, and farnesene as major constituents. In vitro cytotoxicity of the essential oil and some of its major constituents (trans-nerolidol, trans-caryophyllene, and α-humulene) was evaluated for tumor cell lines from different histotypes using the Alamar blue assay. The essential oil, but not the constituents tested, presented promising cytotoxicity. Furthermore, mice inoculated with B16-F10 mouse melanoma were used to confirm its in vivo effectiveness. An in vivo antitumor study showed tumor growth inhibition rates of 1.68-38.61 % (50 and 100 mg/kg, respectively). In conclusion, the leaf essential oil of Z. brasiliensis presents trans-nerolidol, germacrene D, trans-caryophyllene, α-humulene, and farnesene as major constituents and is able to inhibit cell proliferation in cultures as well as in tumor growth in mice.