Carvacrol/β-cyclodextrin inclusion complex inhibits cell proliferation and migration of prostate cancer cells

Gabriela G.G. Trindade, Greeshma Thrivikraman, Paula P. Menezes, Cristiane M. França, Bruno S. Lima, Yasmim M.B.G. Carvalho, Eloísa P.B.S.S. Souza, Marcelo C. Duarte, Saravanan Shanmugam, Lucindo J. Quintans-Júnior, Daniel P. Bezerra, Luiz E. Bertassoni, Adriano A.S. Araújo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Carvacrol, a phenolic monoterpene derived from thyme oil has gained wide interest recently because of its anticancer activities. To improve the solubility of carvacrol, the formation of inclusion complexes with β-cyclodextrin was performed by ultrasound and freeze-drying methods and characterized using thermal analysis, FTIR, XRD, SEM, NMR and HPLC analysis. From these results, carvacrol was successfully complexed within β-cyclodextrin cavity. Moreover, HPLC analysis demonstrated a higher entrapment efficiency for freeze-drying method (81.20 ± 0.52%) in contrast to ultrasound method (34.02 ± 0.67%). Hence, freeze-drying inclusion complex was evaluated for its antiproliferative effect and cytotoxicity against prostate cancer cell line (PC3) in vitro. Further, freeze-drying complex led to a dose-dependent inhibition in tumor cell growth in 2D and 3D cell culture systems. Altogether, the inclusion of carvacrol in β-cyclodextrin led to the formation of stable complexes with potent antiproliferative effects against PC3 cells, in vitro. Such an improved cytotoxic effect can be attributed to the enhanced the aqueous solubility and bioavailability of carvacrol by effective complexation in β-cyclodextrin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-209
Number of pages12
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Carvacrol
  • Cell viability
  • Inclusion complex
  • Prostate cancer
  • β-cyclodextrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology


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