Pharmacognostic profile of Trigonella corniculata L. seeds and effect of its aqueous extract on growth inhibition of cancer cells
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Trigonella corniculata L. (kasuri methi) is used as a pot herb especially in Northern parts of India. The seeds of the plant hold immense therapeutic potential but, the reports on its pharmacognostic validation are not available. Thus, the present investigation provides a detailed description of pharmacognostical characteristics viz., macroscopic and microscopic features, ash values, extractive values, fluorescence behavior and preliminary estimation of phytochemicals in the seeds. Macroscopic analysis showed elliptical shaped seeds with dimensions 1.5×1.0×0.15 (length, breadth and thickness). The microscopic transverse section of seeds showed two cotyledons enclosed in a mucilaginous endosperm with semilunar radicle. The powder microscopy showed the presence of epidermal and palisade cells of testa, aleurone grains and oil globules. The seeds exhibited characteristic fluorescence in response to reaction with different chemical reagents. The presence of alkaloids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids and phytosterols were recorded in preliminary phytochemical screening. To the best of our knowledge, the present study establishes the first pharmacognostic documentation of Trigonella corniculata L. seed to validate its authentication and purity. Furthermore, the aqueous seed extract was prepared and evaluated for its effect on cell lines viability of five malignant (MG-63, IMR-32, HeLa, A549, HepG2) and one non malignant (293T) cells of human origin. Among all human cancer cell lines, it was observed that seed extract inhibited the growth of the malignant cells with the best activity against HepG2 cells with IC50 of 232.80 μg/ml. The extract was found to be ineffective against nonmalignant 293T cells with very high IC50 of 4.10×1013 μg/ml. Thus, the seed extract showed the therapeutic potential against cancer cells which can be exploited in further investigation against carcinogenesis.
Trigonella corniculata L. seed, Pharmacognosy, Microscopy, Resazurin cell viability assay.