Biological Characterization of Cynara cardunculus L. Methanolic Extracts: Antioxidant, Anti-proliferative, Anti-migratory and Anti-angiogenic Activities
Cynara cardunculus (Cc) is a multipurpose species; beyond its use in southwestern European cuisine, it is also used for the production of solid biofuel, seed oil, biodiesel, paper pulp and cheese, as well as animal feed. In addition, Cc has a long tradition of use in folk medicine as a diuretic and liver protector. The value of this species as a source of bioactive compounds is known; however, pharmacological use would further increase its cultivation. The main goal of the current work was to evaluate the potential of Cc as source of anti-carcinogenic phytochemicals. Different methanolic extracts obtained from wild and cultivated plants were tested for antioxidant activity and effect on breast tumor cell viability. The most effective extract, both as antioxidant and inhibition of tumor cell viability, was tested for effects on angiogenesis and tumor cell migration capacity. All the extracts tested had high antioxidant activity; however, only green leaves and dry head extracts exhibit anti-proliferative activity. Green cultivated leaves (GCL) were the most effective extract both as antioxidant and inhibiting the proliferation of tumor cells; it is equally active inhibiting tumor cell migration and in vivo angiogenesis. GCL extract is an effective inhibitor of several key points in tumor development and thus a promising source of anti-carcinogenic phytochemicals.
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