A new study was aimed at investigating the possible anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic effects of extracts from the flowering stage of C. argentea. This growth stage was chosen because of its high polyphenolic content and high antioxidant capacity.
Anti-inflammatory potential of the aqueous, acetone and methanol extracts of C. argentea was evaluated through the inhibition of nitric oxide production (LPS-induced) on stimulated macrophages (RAW 264.7), while MTT assay was used to assess cell viability with Silymarin as standard. Cytotoxicity of the plant extracts was evaluated on murine preadipocyte cell line (3 T3-L1) using the image-based method of two DNA-binding dyes; Hoechst 33342 and propidium iodide (PI) with melphalan as standard.
Acetone extract exhibited moderate, dose-dependent anti-inflammatory activity with no significant toxicity to activated macrophages, however the aqueous and methanol extracts were unable to inhibit nitric oxide production at both trials. MTT assay and the toxicity assay revealed that the flowering stage extracts of C. argentea were not toxic to the RAW 264.7 macrophages and 3 T3-L1 cells at all the tested concentrations (0, 2, 50, 100 and 200 μg/mL).
These findings corroborate the traditional use of C. argentea for painful inflammatory conditions and encourage its possible use as lead for the development of novel, non-toxic, anti-inflammatory agents.