Background: Alpha-terpineol is monoterpene alcohol with anti-tumor activity against different tumor
cell lines (lung, breast, leukemias and colorectal) through blockage of NF-kB expression, which play an important
role in tumor cells growth.
Objective: Evaluate the antitumor activity of alpha-terpineol in murine Sarcoma 180 cell line.
Methods: For the tests, different cytotoxic and genotoxic assays were used, including Trypan blue, cytokinesis-
blocked micronucleus assay, comet assay, agarose gel DNA fragmentation, flow cytometry and cell viability
using fluorescence. Ascitic fluid cells from sarcoma 180 were obtained from Mus musculus peritoneal cavity
and Alpha-terpineol was tested at 100, 250 and 500 μg/mL. Doxorubicin and Cisplatin were used as positive
Results: Cytotoxic effects of alpha-terpineol were found in all concentrations tested, reducing cell viability in
50.9; 38.53; 30.82% at 100, 250 and 500 μg/mL, respectively. Alpha-terpineol induced genotoxic effects due to
DNA fragmentation (increased frequency and index of damage), and was clastogenic by increased micronuclei
formation, nucleoplasmic bridges and nuclear buds. DNA fragmentation and increased cell death indicated that
alpha-terpineol can cause early, late, and necrotic apoptosis.
Conclusion: Our data indicate that alpha-terpineol has antitumor activity revealed by cytogenetic mechanisms
and / or loss of cell membrane integrity.