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Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume 2018, Article ID 3297193, 9 pages
Research Article

Cytotoxicity of the Aqueous Extract and Organic Fractions from Origanum majorana on Human Breast Cell Line MDA-MB-231 and Human Colon Cell Line HT-29

1Laboratory of Physiology, Genetic and Ethnopharmacology, Faculty of Sciences, Mohammed the First University, PB 717, 60000 Oujda, Morocco
2Biology Unit and Medical Research CNESTEN, 10001 Rabat, Morocco
3Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Macromolecular and Natural Products, Faculty of Sciences, Mohammed the First University, PB 717, 60000 Oujda, Morocco

Correspondence should be addressed to Mohammed Aziz; rf.oohay@5omziza

Received 21 January 2018; Revised 25 April 2018; Accepted 9 July 2018; Published 23 August 2018

Academic Editor: Masahiro Oike

Copyright © 2018 Hanane Makrane et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The toxicity of the aqueous extract of Origanum majorana was tested (5 and 10 g/kg) in albino mice. No symptoms of toxicity or mortality were observed. The mice survived being active and healthy during all 14 days of observation. In addition, the weight measurement of the left and right kidneys, heart, and liver shows no significant difference between the control, 5 g/kg, and 10 g/kg. All extracts (aqueous, petroleum ether, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, methanolic, and depleted aqueous extracts) of Origanum majorana tested against both types of cancer cells showed a more pronounced cytotoxic effect against breast cell line MDA-MB-231 than colon cells line HT-29 cells. The most marked effect is that of the ethyl acetate extract with IC50 30.90 ± 1.39 and 50.11 ± 1.44 (µg/ml), respectively. HPLC analysis of extracts from Origanum majorana showed that this plant contained polyphenols and flavonoids, which may be responsible for the biological activities found.