Inhibitory effects of rosemary extracts, carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid on the growth of various human cancer cell lines.
The leaves of Rosmarinus officinalis harvested from three different locations of Turkey were extracted by both methanolic and supercritical CO(2) extraction. Subsequently, six extracts and the active compounds, carnosic acid, and rosmarinic acid were applied to various human cancer cell lines including NCI-H82 (human, small cell lung, carcinoma), DU-145 (human, prostate, carcinoma), Hep-3B (human, black, liver, carcinoma, hepatocellular), K-562 (human chronic myeloid leukemia), MCF-7 (human, breast, adenocarcinoma), PC-3 (human, prostate, adenocarcinoma) and MDA-MB-231 (human, breast, adenocarcinoma) by MTT assay. Supercritical CO(2) extracts had superior antiproliferative effect compared to the soxhlet extracts. Although the extracts exhibited various cytotoxic effects against different cell lines, comparatively low IC(50) values ranging between 12.50 and 47.55 microg/ml were attained against K-562, being the most sensitive cell line. Moreover, carnosic acid caused the lowest cell viability with values ranging from 13 to 30 % at a concentration of 19 muM after 48 h of treatments, resulting in superior antiproliferative effect. Rosemary extract is a potential candidate to be included in the anti-cancer diet with pre-determined doses avoiding toxicity.