Cytotoxicity effect of Zataria multiflora Boiss. on two human colon carcinoma cell lines

Document Type : Original paper


1 Herbal and Traditional Medicines Research Center, Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

2 Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

3 Neuroscience Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

4 Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran. Pharmaceutics Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

5 Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.Pharmaceutics Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.


Background and objectives: Natural products are one of the major sources for investigations of novel medicines. Zataria multiflora Boiss (ZM) has shown pharmacological activities especially in gastrointestinal tract; however, there are limited studies about its cytotoxicity effects. In this study, the effect of Zataria multiflora was examined on two colon cancer cell lines (SW-48 and HT-29). Methods: Hydro-alcoholic extract of ZM and its fractions including chloroform, petroleum ether and methanol extract were prepared by warm maceration method. Different concentrations were prepared and examined on SW-48 and HT-29 cell lines using 2-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl) 2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Results: The results of the present study have shown the cytotoxic effect of some fractions of ZM. The most considerable cytotoxic effect was shown against HT-29 cell line. Also, total ZM extract and the petroleum ether fraction demonstrated cytotoxic effects with IC50 values of 44.22 and 33.42 µg/ml on SW-48 and HT-29 cell lines, respectively. Conclusion: Zataria multiflora was cytotoxic to against colon cancer cell lines HT-29 and SW-48.


[1] Da Rocha AB, Lopes RM, Schwartsmann G. Natural products in anticancer therapy. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2001; 1(4): 364-369.
[2] Fatemi F, Asri Y, Rasooli I, Alipoor ShD, Shaterloo M. Chemical composition and antioxidant properties of gamma-irradiated Iranian Zataria multiflora extracts. Pharm Biol. 2012; 50(2): 232-328.
[3] Sefidkon F, Naderi M, Ghushegi SA. Comparison of anticancer effects of nanocapsules of Nasturtium officinalis (L.) R. Br. extract with methanolic extract and its fractions. Iran J Med Aromatic Plants. 2013; 29(1): 35-50.
[4] Parkinson DR, Arbuck SG, Moore T, Pluda JM, Christian MC. Clinical development of anticancer agents from natural products. Stem Cells. 1994; 12(1): 30-43.
[5] Huang CH, Kingston DG, Magri NF, Samaranayake G, Boettner FE. New taxanes from Taxus brevifolia. J Nat Prod. 1986; 49(4): 665-669.
[6] Van Uden W, Homan B, Woerdenbag HJ, Pras N, Malingre TM, Wichers HJ, Harkes M. Isolation, purification, and cytotoxicity of 5-methoxypodophyllotoxin, a lignan from a root culture of Linum flavum. J Nat Prod. 1992; 55(1): 102-110.
[7] Haque MA, Jantan I, Arshad L, Bukhari SNA. Exploring the immunomodulatory and anticancer properties of zerumbone. Food Funct. In press.
[8] Shi J, Guo B, Hui Q, Chang P, Tao K. Fangchinoline suppresses growth and metastasis of melanoma cells by inhibiting the phosphorylation of FAK. Oncol Rep. 2017; 38(1): 63-70.
[9] Danko B, Toth S, Martins A, Vagvolgyi M, Kusz N, Molnar J, Chang FR, Wu YC, Szakacs G, Hunyadi A. Synthesis and SAR study of anticancer protoflavone derivatives: investigation of cytotoxicity and interaction with ABCB1 and ABCG2 multidrug efflux transporters. Chem Med Chem. 2017; 12(11): 850-859.
[10] Sajed H, Sahebkar A, Iranshahi M. Zataria multiflora Boiss. (Shirazi thyme)-an ancient condiment with modern pharmaceutical uses. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013; 145(3): 686-698.
[11] Aynehchi Y. Pharmacognosy and medicinal plants of Iran. Tehran: Tehran University Press; 1991.
[12]      Amin G. Popular medicinal plants of Iran. Tehran: Iranian ministry of health publication, 1991.
[13] Ahmadipour A, Sharififar F, Najafi A, Atashbar J, Karami-Mohajeri S. Preventive effect of methanolic extract of Zataria Multiflora Boiss on liver toxicity of paracetamol in rats. J Med Life. 2015; 8(4): 270-274.
[14] Ahmadipour A, Sharififar F, Nakhaipour F, Samanian M, Karami-Mohajeri S. Hepatoprotective effect of Zataria Multiflora Boiss on cisplatin-induced oxidative stress in male rat. J Med Life. 2015; 8(4): 275-281.
[15] Arabzadeh AM, Ansari-Dogaheh M, Sharififar F, Shakibaie M, Heidarbeigi M. Anti herpes simplex-1 activity of a standard extract of Zataria multiflora Boiss. Pak J Biol Sci. 2013; 16(4): 180-184.
[16] Mandegary A, Sharififar F, Abdar M. Anticonvulsant effect of the essential oil and methanolic extracts of Zataria multiflora Boiss. Cent Nerv Syst Agents Med Chem. 2013; 13(2): 93-97.
[17] Saedi Dezaki E, Mahmoudvand H, Sharififar F, Fallahi S, Monzote L, Ezatkhah F. Chemical composition along with anti-leishmanial and cytotoxic activity of Zataria multiflora. Pharm Biol. 2016; 54(5): 752-758.
[18] Sharififar F, Mirtajadini M, Azampour MJ, Zamani E. Essential oil and methanolic extract of Zataria multiflora Boiss with anticholinesterase effect. Pak J Biol Sci. 2012; 15(1): 49-53.
[19] Jaffary F, Ghannadi A, Siahpoush A. Antinociceptive effects of hydroalcoholic extract and essential oil of Zataria multiflora. Fitoterapia. 2004; 75(2): 217-220.
[20] Malekinejad H, Bazargani-Gilani B, Tukmechi A, Ebrahimi H. A cytotoxicity and comparative antibacterial study on the effect of Zataria multiflora Boiss, Trachyspermum copticum essential oils, and Enrofloxacin on Aeromonas hydrophila. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2012; 2(4): 188-195.
[21] Sharififar F, Derakhshanfar A, Dehghan-Nudeh G, Abbasi N, Abbasi R, Gharaei RR, Koohpayeh A, Daneshpajouh M. In vivo antioxidant activity of Zataria multiflora Boiss essential oil. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2011; 24(2): 221-225.
[22] Jemal A, Siegel R, Ward E, Hao Y, Xu J, Thun MJ. Cancer statistics, 2009. CA Cancer J Clin. 2009; 59(4): 225-249.
[23] Haggar FA, Boushey RP. Colorectal cancer epidemiology: incidence, mortality, survival, and risk factors. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2009; 22(4): 191-197.
[24]      Shinya H, Wolff WI. Morphology, anatomic distribution and cancer potential of colonic polyps. Ann Surg. 1979; 190(6): 679-683.
[25] McWilliams RR, Erlichman C. Novel therapeutics in colorectal cancer. Dis Colon Rectum. 2005; 48(8): 1632-1650.
[26] Sporn MB. Approaches to prevention of epithelial cancer during the preneoplastic period. Cancer Res. 1976; 36(7): 2699-2702.
[27] Dent M, Dragović-Uzelac V, Penić M, Brnčić M, Bosiljkov T, Levaj B. The effect of extraction solvents, temperature and time on the composition and mass fraction of polyphenols in dalmatian wild sage (Salvia officinalis L.) extracts. Food Technol Biotechnol. 2013; 51(1): 84-91.
[28] Kleivi K, Teixeira MR, Eknaes M, Diep CB, Jakobsen KS, Hamelin R, Lothe RA. Genome signatures of colon carcinoma cell lines. Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2004; 155(2): 119-131.
[29] De la Chapelle A, Hampel H. Clinical relevance of microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2010; 28(20): 3380-3387.
[30] Rahimifard N, Pakzad SR, Shoeibi S, Hedayati MH, Hajimehdipour H, Motaharinia V, Mehrafshan L, Javadi A, Pirali-Hamedani M. Effects of essential oil and extract of Thymus vulgaris, Zataria multiflora and Eugenia caryophilata on Vero, Hela, HepII cell lines by MTT assay. J Med Plants. 2009; 8(30): 152-156.
[31]      Shokrzadeh M, Azadbakht M, Ahangar N, Naderi H, Saeedi Saravi SS. Comparison of the cytotoxic effects of Juniperus sabina and Zataria multiflora extracts with Taxus baccata extract and Cisplatin on normal and cancer cell lines. Pharmacogn Mag. 2010; 6(22): 102-105.
[32] Aguiar JS, Araujo RO, Rodrigues Mdo D, Sena KX, Batista AM, Guerra MM, Oliveira SL, Tavares JF, Silva MS, Nascimento SC, da Silva TG. Antimicrobial, antiproliferative and proapoptotic activities of extract, fractions and isolated compounds from the stem of Erythroxylum caatingae plowman. Int J Mol Sci. 2012; 13(4): 4124-4140.
[33] Sepand MR, Soodi M, Hajimehdipoor H, Soleimani M, Sahraei E. Comparison of neuroprotective effects of Melissa officinalis total extract and its acidic and non-acidic fractions against a beta-induced toxicity. Iran J Pharm Res. 2013; 12(2): 415-423.
[34] Chaudhary S, Chandrashekar KS, Pai KS, Setty MM, Devkar RA, Reddy ND, Shoja MH. Evaluation of antioxidant and anticancer activity of extract and fractions of Nardostachys jatamansi DC in breast carcinoma. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015; 15(50): 1-13.