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Lippia citriodora Essential Oil a Potential Antitumor

Katerina Spyridopoulou, Tamara Aravidou



Lippia citriodora is a flowering plant cultivated for its lemon-scented leaves and used in folk medicine for the preparation of tea for the alleviation of symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, cold, and asthma.

Oil extracted from the plant leaves was shown to possess antioxidant potential and to exert antiproliferative activity against breast cancer.

The aim of this study was to further investigate potential antitumor effects of L. citriodora oil (LCO) on breast cancer.

The in vitro antiproliferative activity of LCO was examined against murine DA3 breast cancer cells by the sulforhodamine B assay. We further explored the LCO’s pro-apoptotic potential with the Annexin-PI method.

The LCO’s anti-migratory effect was assessed by the wound-healing assay. LCO was found to inhibit the growth of DA3 cells in vitro, attenuate their migration, and induce apoptosis.

Finally, oral administration of LCO for 14 days in mice inhibited by 55% the size of developing tumors in the DA3 murine tumor model.

Noteworthy, in the tumor tissue of LCO-treated mice the apoptotic marker cleaved caspase-3 was elevated, while a reduced protein expression of survivin was observed.

These results indicate that LCO, as a source of bioactive compounds, has a very interesting nutraceutical potential.


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