Cymbopogon citratus and cancer: when citronella is a repellent not only for mosquitoes…

Cymbopogon citratus and cancer: when citronella is a repellent not only for mosquitoes…

Through a real bilateral collaboration, Drs. Silvère BARON’s et and Jean-Marc LOBACCARO’s team Nuclear Receptor and Prostate diseases and Pr. Jacques SIMPORE’s team (Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et de Génétique, Université de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), have identified medicinal plants of the Burkina Faso pharmacopeia that could be used in the future in cancer treatment (Bayala et al., 2018).

 

Dr. Bagora BAYALA, currently Assistant Professor at Koudougou Universty (Burkina Faso) has shown that essential oils extracted from Cymbopogon citratus, also known as citronella, has interesting anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties on prostate cancer and glioblastoma cell lines. Gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry pointed out citral as the main molecule responsible for C. citratus effects.

Citral could thus become a lead for the synthesis of more efficient molecules.

Epidemiological studies show that the number of diagnosed cancers considerably increases every year. The question of the development of new treatments is thus asked. Up to date, more than 70% of the molecules used in therapy have been extracted from natural plants with a biological activity. It is thus of primary importance to cooperate with traditional practitioners in order to identify these plants used in folk medicine.

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Essential oils have been extracted by water distillation from leaves of Cymbopogon citratus collected in the town of Gampela, located10 kms NE of Ouagadougou. These extracts have important anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties on prostate cancer and glioblastoma cell lines. Gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry identified citral as the main molecule responsible for C. citratus effects. Interestingly citral shows the same cytotoxic effects as cisplatine, a molecule used for the treatment of aggressive prostate cancer.

Contact :Jean-Marc LOBACCARO

j-marc.lobaccaro@uca.fr

 To know more:

Cymbopogon citratus and Cymbopogon giganteus essential oils have cytotoxic effects on tumor cell cultures. Identification of citral as a new putative anti-proliferative molecule. Bayala B, Bassole IHN, Maqdasy S, Baron S, Simpore J, Lobaccaro JA. Biochimie. 2018 Feb 28. pii: S0300-9084(18)30056-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2018.02.013.

Last modified: 04/23/2018