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Encelia canescens Lam (nv: mancapaqi, mataloba, matalobo, mucle, or “coronilla de fraile”) is a 30-80-cm high shrubby perennial plant that grows in the Atacama and Coquimbo regions of Chile up to 1,700 m above the sea. The present research was performed to examine the toxicological, antioxidant and antitumoural properties of aqueous and ethanol Encelia canescens Lam extracts. Our results revealed the presence of saponins, terpenes, flavonoids, coumarins and tannins. The total phenolic compound contents were 19±1.14 mg/g tannic acid in the aqueous extract and 23±1.60 mg/g tannic acid in the ethanol extract. The total flavonoid contents were 0.15±0.02 mg/g quercetinin the aqueous extract and 0.13±0.06 mg/g quercetinin the ethanol extract. Based on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assays, the antioxidant capacities were 354±23 µmol trolox/100 g of the dry ethanol extract and 303±15 µmol trolox/100 g of the dry aqueous extract. Using 2,2'-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid, the antioxidant capacities were 2,354±568 µmol trolox/100 g of the dry ethanol extract and 1,856±453 µmol trolox/100 g of the aqueous extract. Neither of the extracts exhibited toxicity in the acute topical and oral toxicity tests on the rodents. Antiproliferative studies with cultures of SaOS-2 cells revealed substantial inhibitory effects of both extracts. Moreover, an in vivo antitumour assay revealed that the aqueous extractat a dose of 16 mg/kg x day and the lyophilized extract at a dose of 4 and 8 mg/kg x day efficiently increased the survival of mice with tumours, and the lyophilized extract was able to significantly reduce tumour size at adose of 8 mg/kg x day. Therefore, the results of the present study established that extracts of Encelia canescens Lam have antitumour activities. Considering the properties of Encelia canescens Lam revealed in this preclinical evaluation, clinical studies approved by the health authorities should be performed to examine the efficacy and safety of extracts of this plant in cancer patients.


Encelia Canescens Lam, antineoplastic, cancer, preclinical.
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