Differential antitumor effect of essential oils and their major components of Thymus broussonettii: relationship to cell cycle and apoptosis induction

ABDESLAM JAAFARI, HASSAN AIT MOUSE, LAHCEN AIT M’BARK, MOUNIR TILAOUI, MOHAMED ELHANSALI, MICHEL LEPOIVRE, RACHIDA ABOUFATIMA, AHMED MELHAOUI, ABDERRAHMANE CHAIT, ABDELMAJ IDZYAD

Abstract

Thymus broussonettii, a Moroccan endemic plant, exists in two chemotypes. The aim of our study is to compare the cytotoxic activity of their essential oils and major products as well as their effect on cell cycle and apoptosis induction. The chemical composition analysis of essential oils by GC-SM revealed that the lasts are rich and diverse and the major products of the chemotypes TbA and TbE are carvacrol and thymol, respectively. The in vitro cytotoxic effect study against five tumor cell lines shows that TbA essential oil, rich in carvacrol, has an important cytotoxic effect, higher than that of TbE, rich in thymol. This result is confirmed by comparing cytotoxic effect of carvacrol and thymol. Furthermore, TbA EO /carvacrol and TbE EO /thymol induce cell cycle arrest at S and G0/G1 phases, respectively. On the other hand, carvacrol, most cytotoxic in vitro, was studied for its effect on solid tumor in vivo and apoptosis-induction. Our results show that carvacrol, administred by gavage, has an important effect on solid tumor and induce apoptosis in P815 tumor cell line. Key words: Thymus broussonettii, chemical composition, carvacrol/thymol, cell cycle, apoptosis; antitumor activity
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