In vitro comparative cytotoxic and growth inhibitory effects of the methanol extracts of the leaf, stem and root barks of Cnidoscolus acontifolius (Mill.) Johnst (Euphorbiaceae)

Emmanuel Oise Ikpefan, Ayinde B.A., Gita T.D.


Cnidoscolus aconitifolius is one of the recipes indicated in traditional herbal medicine for the treatment of tumor-related ailments in parts of Nigeria. This claim was examined using assay methods involving cytotoxicity and growth inhibitory evaluations of the methanol extracts of the leaf, stem and root barks of the plant against tadpole of Raniceps ranninus and guinea corn Sorghum bicolor seeds. The cytotoxic effects were evaluated between 10-400 µg/ml over a period of 24hr while the growth inhibitory tests were carried out between 1-30 mg/ over a period of 96hrs. The plant parts were observed to contain saponins, tannins, flavonoids and cardiac glycoside. At 100µg/ml, the methanol extract of the leaf produced 76.67 ± 3.33 % mortality which increases to 100% at 400µg/ml, while the stem and root barks produced 38.67 ± 8.82 and 86.6 ± 3.33% mortalities respectively at a concentration of 400 µg/ml. For the growth inhibitory assay, at 24hrs the control seeds gave an average length of 3.57± 0.53mm while seeds treated with 20 and 30 mg/ml of extract showed 0.1 ± 0.02 at 0.3 ± 0.1 mm respectively. At the same concentration average lengths of 1.33 ± 0.19 and 1.88 ± 0.38mm were observed in the seeds treated with the leaf extract indicating 97.31 and 96.23 % inhibition where as seeds treated with 30 mg/ml of the stem and root barks showed 82.99 and 96.03 % reduction. The results suggest the probable use of the plant particularly the leaf in preparing recipes for tumor-related ailments. 


Cnidoscolus aconitifolius; Cytotoxicity; Growth Inhibitory, Phytochemical; Raniceps ranninus; Sorghum bicolor

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