Ehrlich ascites tumor-bearing mice treated with aqueous ethanol plant extract from Euphorbia tirucalli showed signs of systemic toxicity
Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Purpose: To evaluate the antitumor effect of a latex extract from Euphorbia tirucalli Linn. (Euphorbiaceae) and its toxicity. Methods: Aqueous ethanol and petroleum ether extracts were obtained through maceration. .Maximum tolerated dose was determined in healthy mice. Antitumor activity was measured in Ehrlich ascites tumor-bearing mice treated with the extract through intraperitoneal injection (62.5, 125 or 250 mg/kg) every 48 h (four doses). Efficacy was assessed by weight gain, abdominal
... gain, abdominal circumference, volume of ascitic fluid and packed tumor cells, tumor cell viability and survival. Toxicity indicators were serum glucose, triglycerides, total proteins, activity of alanine and aspartate aminotransferases and mass of heart, spleen, kidney and liver. A hemolysis assay was also performed. Results: Doses of 62.5 and 125 mg/kg caused no antitumor activity, while 250 mg/kg dose reduced weight gain (3-fold), abdominal circumference and volume of ascitic fluid (> 50 %) and packed cells (50 %), but lowered tumor cell viability (40 %). However, mice treated with the extract survived for a shorter time than control mice. Furthermore, the 250 mg/kg dose caused cardiac atrophy, splenomegaly and fasting hyperglycemia. The extract caused hemolysis, and the half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) was 1.6 (0.9 -2.7) mg/mL. Conclusion: Euphorbia tirucalli extract inhibits Ehrlich ascites tumor in mice, but the therapeutic dose is also harmful to non-tumor tissues.