Background: Plants are a vital source of natural drugs as the traditional use of plants as
therapeutic agents for a variety of ailments has been traced back thousands of years. The utilization
of Heliotropium calcareum has been evident since ancient times for treating various disease states
like inflammation associated with gout and rheumatism, poisonous bites, and other skin disorders.
The current research work was carried out to determine the phytochemistry and biological activities
of the crude methanolic extract obtained through maceration from the aerial parts of Heliotropium
Methods: The plant was collected from district Bhakkar, Punjab, Pakistan. Maximum phenolic
(74.5 μg GAE/mg) and flavonoid contents (58.99 μg QE/mg) were observed in ethyl acetate fraction.
Significant antioxidant potential was observed in ethyl acetate fraction with the highest free
radical hunting activity of 92.6 ± 6.7 μM.
Results: Cytotoxicity assay using MTT dye was performed where non-polar (n-hexane) and polar
(ethyl acetate) fractions displayed excellent cytotoxicity against HeLa cells (IC50 = 79.95 ± 3.718 &
164 ± 4 μg/mL, respectively). Furthermore, the above fractions showed momentous results in cell
cycle analysis and promising proapoptotic effect against cervical (HeLa) cancer cell lines. An nhexane
and ethyl acetate fraction were selected for cell cycle analysis to determine the quantitative
measurement of the degree of apoptosis. According to the results given below in the figure, the cervical
(HeLa) cancer cells were treated with n-hexane and ethyl acetate fractions at various concentrations.
An increase in the cell population at G0/G1 phase and a decrease in the S-phase population
concerning untreated cells suggested the G0/G1 phase arrest in n-hexane and ethyl acetate fractions
treated HeLa cells.
Conclusion: Taken together, n-hexane and ethyl acetate fractions were found to be the most
promising and active elements of H. calcareum and may be utilized to explore their cytotoxic effects
further in the animal model.