Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Background and objectives: Cancer is the third leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Iran and kills out about 30000 people a year. The drugs used to treat cancer have many side effects. So developing novel and effective drugs with lower side effects has a great importance. Located in the north-west of Iran, Ardebil province has a rich plant diversity which the biological effects of most of them are unknown. In this study, the cytotoxic effects of 18 plants collected from Ardebil have been investigated. Methods: The cytotoxic effect of total methanol extract and petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol fractions were investigated by using MTT assay against 4 selected human cancer cell lines MCF7, HepG-2, A-549, HT-29 and also a normal cell line, MDBK. Results: Total methanol extract and chloroform fraction of the aerial parts of Onopordon acanthium showed significant cytotoxic effect against all cell lines with 12.51≤ IC50 ≤ 55.72 and 6.49≤IC50≤31.5, respectively. Conclusion: The plant could be a candidate for further investigations on its cytotoxicity mechanism and also identification of active ingredients.