Anti-carcinogenic effects of Satureja khuzistanica and Zataria multiflora essential oils on K562 cell line proliferation

Document Type : Original research


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

2 Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran


The aim of this study was to investigate cytotoxic effect of Satureja khuzistanica and Zataria multiflora essential oils on PBMC and K562 cell lines growth inhibition. The plant essential oils were extracted by hydro-distillation and analyzed by GC-MS. In addition, the total phenol content and antioxidant activity of oils were assessed.  The PBMC and K562 cell lines were cultured in RPMI medium containing 10% FBS supplemented with 0, 12.5, 25, 50 and 100 (µg/ml) of essential oils for 24, 48 and 72 h. The MTT assay revealed anti-proliferative effect of essential oils on both cell lines in a dose dependent manner. These effects became more prominent after 72 h. Both essential oils contained high amounts of phenolic compounds such as thymol and carvacrol. Due to the higher percentage of carvacrol, which has more toxicity than thymol, S. khuzistanica had a greater antioxidant activity as well as inhibitory effect on cell growth. In conclusion, the S. khuzistanica and Z. multiflora essential oils have the potential to be used in the production of anticancer medicines.


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