Extracts of various species of Epilobium inhibit proliferation of human prostate cells

Annabella Vitalone, Marina Guizzetti, Lucio G. Costa, Beatrice Tita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This study examined whether various species of Epilobium, a phytotherapeutic agent used in folk medicine as a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, may have an antiproliferative effect in PZ-HPV-7 human prostatic epithelial cells in-vitro. The MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide) test, [methyl-3H]thymidine incorporation into DNA and flow cytometry analysis were used to evaluate cell proliferation. Ethanolic extracts of E. spicatum, E. rosmarinifolium and E. tetragonum inhibited DNA synthesis in PZ-HPV-7 cells. While at high concentrations all extracts were cytotoxic, DNA synthesis was also decreased at levels that caused no or little cytotoxicity. Treatment of cells with Epilobium extracts did not result in a formation of DNA fragments (evaluated by the TUNEL assay) or chromatin condensation (assessed by Hoechst staining). Flow cytometry analysis indicated that Epilobium extracts inhibit the progression of the cell cycle from the G0/G1 phase. These results suggest that extracts of Epilobium inhibit proliferation of human PZ-HPV-7 cells in-vitro by affecting progression of the cell cycle. This study provides some initial biological plausibility for the use of Epilobium extracts in benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-690
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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