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Agriculture 2012, 2(4), 472-492; doi:10.3390/agriculture2040472

Biological Characterization of Cynara cardunculus L. Methanolic Extracts: Antioxidant, Anti-proliferative, Anti-migratory and Anti-angiogenic Activities

1,2,* , 1
2,3, 2
1 Center for Marine Sciences (CCMAR), Universidade do Algarve Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal 2 Centro de Biotecnologia Agrícola e Agro-Alimentar do Baixo Alentejo e Litoral (CEBAL), Instituto Politécnico de Beja (IPBeja), 7801-908 Beja, Portugal 3 Centre for Research in Ceramics & Composite Materials (CICECO), University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal 4 Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal 5 Department of Pathology and Oncology, Medical Faculty of University of Porto, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 October 2012 / Revised: 12 November 2012 / Accepted: 10 December 2012 / Published: 19 December 2012
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Cynara cardunculus (Cc) is a multipurpose species; beyond its use in southwestern European cuisine, it is also used for the production of solid biofuel, seed oil, biodiesel, paper pulp and cheese, as well as animal feed. In addition, Cc has a long tradition of use in folk medicine as a diuretic and liver protector. The value of this species as a source of bioactive compounds is known; however, pharmacological use would further increase its cultivation. The main goal of the current work was to evaluate the potential of Cc as source of anti-carcinogenic phytochemicals. Different methanolic extracts obtained from wild and cultivated plants were tested for antioxidant activity and effect on breast tumor cell viability. The most effective extract, both as antioxidant and inhibition of tumor cell viability, was tested for effects on angiogenesis and tumor cell migration capacity. All the extracts tested had high antioxidant activity; however, only green leaves and dry head extracts exhibit anti-proliferative activity. Green cultivated leaves (GCL) were the most effective extract both as antioxidant and inhibiting the proliferation of tumor cells; it is equally active inhibiting tumor cell migration and in vivo angiogenesis. GCL extract is an effective inhibitor of several key points in tumor development and thus a promising source of anti-carcinogenic phytochemicals.
Keywords: Cynara cardunculus; phenols; antioxidant; antitumor; breast cancer Cynara cardunculus; phenols; antioxidant; antitumor; breast cancer
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Velez, Z.; Campinho, M.A.; Guerra, Â.R.; García, L.; Ramos, P.; Guerreiro, O.; Felício, L.; Schmitt, F.; Duarte, M. Biological Characterization of Cynara cardunculus L. Methanolic Extracts: Antioxidant, Anti-proliferative, Anti-migratory and Anti-angiogenic Activities. Agriculture 2012, 2, 472-492.

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