Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

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Isolation and identification of flavonoids from anticancer and neuroprotective extracts of Trigonella foenum graecum

Shabina Ishtiaq Ahmed, Muhammad Qasim Hayat, Saadia Zahid, Muhammad Tahir, Qaisar Mansoor, Muhammad Ismail, Kristen Keck, Robert Bates


Purpose: To evaluate the protective effects of Trigonella foenum graecum methanol and ethyl acetate extracts, against cancer cell lines and NaNO2-induced neurodegeneration in mice brain.

Methods: Adult male albino mice (n = 20) were administered NaNO2 orally at a dose of 300 mg/kg for 15 days. The control group received distilled water and normal mice feed. Experimental groups were given T. foenum graecum methanol and ethyl acetate extracts in two different doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg orally for 15 days. Histopathological examination of the brain was carried out with the aid of cresyl violet and H&E staining. In addition, the cytotoxicity of the extracts was evaluated by 3-(4,5- dimethylthiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay against HCEC, MCF-7 and Hep2 cell lines. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) were used to determine the structures of the bioactive compounds.

Results: Methanol and ethyl acetate extracts of T. foenum graecum seeds inhibited neurodegeneration in the hippocampus and cortex regions of the brain when compared to control group. Moreover, the extracts exhibited anticancer activity against Hep2 and MCF-7cells and low cytotoxicity against HCEC, sparing healthy cells in-vitro. In addition, two flavonoids amurensin and cosmosiin were isolated from T. foenum graecum extracts.

Conclusion: Amurensin and cosmosiin from T. foenum extracts are reported here for the first time agents that possess significant anticancer and neuroprotective properties.

Keywords: Trigonella foenum-graecum, Anticancer, Neurodegeneration, Flavonoids, Amurensin, Cosmosiin
AJOL African Journals Online