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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 817624, 10 pages
Research Article

Antiproliferative Activity of T. welwitschii Extract on Jurkat T Cells In Vitro

Biomolecular Interactions Analyses Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP 167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe

Received 6 July 2015; Revised 2 September 2015; Accepted 3 September 2015

Academic Editor: Kodappully Sivaraman Siveen

Copyright © 2015 Batanai Moyo and Stanley Mukanganyama. 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.


Triumfetta welwitschii is a plant used traditionally for the treatment of fever and diarrhoea. Previous work has shown that T. welwitschii has antibacterial activity. The purpose of this study was to investigate T. welwitschii extract for anticancer activity against Jurkat T cells. The Jurkat T cell line is used to study acute T cell leukaemia. An antiproliferation assay, determination of induction of apoptosis, the determination of the effect of the combination of the extract and GSH, and effects of the extract on DNA leakage were conducted. T. welwitschii was found to decrease cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner. T. welwitschii caused apoptosis in the Jurkat T cells as shown by DNA fragmentation. When T. welwitschii was combined with reduced GSH, it was found that the growth of the Jurkat T cells was significantly reduced compared to untreated cells after 72 h of treatment. This was unexpected, as cancer cells have elevated levels of GSH compared to normal cells. The results of this study show that T. welwitschii is a potential source of compounds that may serve as leads for anticancer compounds.