Background: Prostate cancer is the most common visceral neoplasia in men and frequently presents chemotherapy resistance. In this context, lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus (D.C.) Stapf) has been studied since it presents many important biological activities, such as anticancer.
Objective: We investigated the antitumor effect of lemongrass and in chemotherapy activity using prostate cancer cells line (DU-145).
Methods: DU-145 cells were exposed to different concentrations of aqueous extract of lemongrass (30; 100; 300; 500 and 1000 μg/mL), isolated and in combination with docetaxel, during 24 and 72 hours. After, cell viability and proliferation, oxidative metabolism, colony formation and cell cycle analyses were performed. Also, we exposed the African green monkey kidney cell line (VERO) to the same lemongrass concentrations to investigate a possible toxicity of this extract.
Results: Our findings suggested that lemongrass presented an antitumor effect and improved docetaxel chemotherapy activity by decreasing cell viability and proliferation as well as colony formation. Moreover, we found an oxidative stress increased and cell cycle arresting in G0 /G1 phase. In addition, this extract presented selectivity action for cancer cells, since it did not cause cytotoxicity in normal cells, ensuring non-toxic therapeutic concentrations.
Conclusion: Lemongrass is a promising medicinal plant that could be used during chemotherapeutic treatment, in order to potentiate the antitumor response and decrease the resistance of prostate cancer.