Cytotoxic effect of essential oil of thyme (Thymus broussonettii) on the IGR-OV1 tumor cells resistant to chemotherapy.
Braz J Med Biol Res. 2007 Nov;40(11):1537-44. PMID: 17934650
The anti-tumor effect of the Moroccan endemic thyme (Thymus broussonettii) essential oil (EOT) was investigated in vitro using the human ovarian adenocarcinoma IGR-OV1 parental cell line OV1/P and its chemoresistant counterparts OV1/adriamycin (OV1/ADR), OV1/vincristine (OV1/VCR), and OV1/cisplatin (OV1/CDDP). All of these cell lines elicited various degrees of sensitivity to the cytotoxic effect of EOT. The IC50 values (mean +/- SEM, v/v) were 0.40 +/- 0.02, 0.39 +/- 0.02, 0.94 +/- 0.05, and 0.65 +/- 0.03% for OV1/P, OV1/ADR, OV1/VCR, and OV1/CDDP, respectively. Using the DBA-2/P815 (H2d) mouse model, tumors were developed by subcutaneous grafting of tumor fragments of similar size obtained from P815 (murin mastocytoma cell line) injected in donor mouse. Interestingly, intra-tumoral injection of EOT significantly reduced solid tumor development. Indeed, by the 30th day of repeated EOT treatment, the tumor volumes of the animals were 2.00 +/- 0.27, 1.35 +/- 0.20, and 0.85 +/- 0.18 cm(3) after injection with 10, 30, or 50 microL per 72 h (six times), respectively, as opposed to 3.88 +/- 0.50 cm(3) for the control animals. This tumoricidal effect was associated with a marked decrease of mouse mortality. In fact, in these groups of mice, the recorded mortality by the 30th day of treatment was 30 +/- 4, 18 +/- 4, and 8 +/- 3%, respectively, while the control animals showed 75 +/- 10% of mortality. These data indicate that the EOT which contains carvacrol as the major component has an important in vitro cytotoxic activity against tumor cells resistant to chemotherapy as well as a significant antitumor effect in mice. However, our data do not distinguish between carvacrol and the other components of EOT as the active factor.