Antiproliferative activity of essential oils from three plants of the Brazilian Cerrado: Campomanesia adamantium (Myrtaceae), Protium ovatum (Burseraceae) and Cardiopetalum calophyllum (Annonaceae)

Abstract Essential oils, which may be extracted from several parts of plants, have different biological activities. The Brazilian Cerrado has a large variety of plants that yield essential oils, even though many have not been studied yet. Taking into account the biodiversity of this biome, this study aimed at evaluating the antiproliferative activity of essential oils extracted from three species of plants of the Cerrado in Goiás state: Campomanesia adamantium (Cambess.) O. Berg, Protium ovatum (Engl. in Mart.) and Cardiopetalum calophyllum (Schltdl.). Essential oils were extracted from both C. adamantium and C. calophyllum leaves and from P. ovatum leaves and green fruits by hydrodistillation carried out by a Clevenger-type apparatus. The chemical composition of the essential oils was determined by Gas Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). The following major chemical constituents were identified in the essential oils under investigation: β-myrcene (62.00%), spathulenol (28.78%), germacrene-B (18.27%), β-caryophyllene oxide (16.40%), β-caryophyllene (14.00%), α-pinene (11.30%), viridiflorol (9.99%), limonene (7.30%) and (Z,E)-pharnesol (6.51%). The antiproliferative activity was evaluated in different human tumor cell lines: breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7), cervical adenocarcinoma (HeLa) and glioblastoma (M059J). A normal human cell line was included (GM07492A, lung fibroblasts). Results showed that essential oils from C. adamantium leaves got the lowest values of IC50 in all strains of tumor cells under evaluation. They were significantly lower than the ones of the normal cell line, an evidence of selectivity. It is worth mentioning that this is the first report of the antiproliferative activity of essential oils from C. adamantium , P. ovatum and C. calophyllum against human tumor cells.