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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 20, 2019

Antioxidative, antimitotic, and DNA-damaging activities of Garcinia kola stem bark, Uvaria chamae root, and Olax subscorpioidea root used in the ethnotherapy of cancers

  • Temidayo D. Popoola ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Olufunsho Awodele , Folashayo Babawale , Oluwatoyin Oguns , Olawale Onabanjo , Imaobong Ibanga , Henry Godwin , Tosin Oyeniyi , Amos A. Fatokun and Oluyemi Akinloye EMAIL logo


Garcinia kola (GK) stem bark, Uvaria chamae (UC) root, and Olax subscorpioidea (OS) root are components of various indigenous/traditional anticancer regimens. It is, therefore, possible that they might combat oxidative stress and impair cellular proliferation linked to carcinogenesis. In this study, we investigated the antioxidative, mito-depressive, and DNA-damaging activities of the three plant extracts in order to provide further mechanistic insights into their potential anticancer roles in documented cancer remedies that include them. Antioxidative properties were investigated in the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and nitric oxide (NO) radical scavenging assays and an animal model of drug (cisplatin)-induced oxidative stress. The Allium cepa assay and the single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay were used to assess mito-depressive and DNA-damaging activities. GK and OS showed significantly higher antioxidant activities in the DPPH assay than ascorbic acid; OS had the lowest IC50 of the three plants in the NO assay, comparable to that of ascorbic acid. Pretreatment with the extracts produced an ameliorative and protective effect against the cisplatin-induced oxidative stress as shown by inhibition of lipid peroxidation and improved or restored reduced glutathione and superoxide dismutase levels. In the Allium test, the three extracts produced significant decreases in root growth and also significant cytotoxicity as evidenced by decreased mitotic index. Each of the extracts also showed significantly increased tail DNA (%) in the SCGE assay, indicating the significant DNA-damaging effect. Taken together, this study demonstrates the possible chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic potentials of the three study extracts, which may explain the roles of their source plants in traditional remedies in the therapy of cancers.

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission. Popoola Temidayo was involved in the design of the study, conducted experiments, and wrote the manuscript. Olufunsho Awodele was involved in the design of the study and review of the manuscript. Babawale Folashayo, Oguns Oluwatoyin, Onabanjo Olawale, Ibamga Imaobong, Henry Godwin, and Oyeniyi Tosin conducted experiments. Amos Fatokun contributed to the review of data sets and analysis and the preparation of the manuscript. Oluyemi Akinloye contributed to the review and the preparation of the manuscript.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.

  5. Ethical approval: Research involving animals complied with international ethical standards and approved by the Health and Research Ethics Committee of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria (CMUL/HREC/10/18/441), in accordance with the US National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals in Biomedical Research.


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Received: 2019-05-24
Accepted: 2019-09-20
Published Online: 2019-11-20

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