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In this work, we studied the effects of kaurenoic acid, a diterpene isolated from the oleo-resin of Copaifera langsdorffii in developing sea urchin (Lytechinus variegatus) embryos, on tumor cell growth in microculture tetrazolium (MTT) test and on mouse and human erythrocytes in hemolysis assay. Continuous exposure of embryos to kaurenoic acid starting immediately after fertilization inhibited the first cleavage (IC(50): 84.2 microM) and progressively induced embryo destruction (IC(50): 44.7 microM and < 10 microM for blastulae and larvae stages, respectively). In MTT assay, kaurenoic acid at a concentration of 78 microM produced growth inhibition of CEM leukemic cells by 95%, MCF-7 breast and HCT-8 colon cancer cells by 45% each. Further, kaurenoic acid induced a dose-dependent hemolysis of mouse and human erythrocytes with an EC(50) of 74.0 and 56.4 microM, respectively. The destruction of sea urchin embryos, the inhibition of tumor cell growth and the hemolysis of mouse and human erythrocytes indicate the potential cytotoxicity of kaurenoic acid.


L V Costa-Lotufo, G M A Cunha, P A M Farias, G S B Viana, K M A Cunha, C Pessoa, M O Moraes, E R Silveira, N V Gramosa, V S N Rao. The cytotoxic and embryotoxic effects of kaurenoic acid, a diterpene isolated from Copaifera langsdorffii oleo-resin. Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology. 2002 Aug;40(8):1231-234

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PMID: 12165328

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