Methanol, methanol–water (1 : 1) and water extracts were prepared from seventy-seven Vietnamese medicinal plants and tested for their antiproliferative activities against human HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cells. Among them, fifteen extracts including seven methanol extracts of Caesalpinia sappan, Catharanthus roseus, Coscinium fenestratum, Eurycoma longifolia, Hydnophytum formicarum and Streptocaulon juventas (collected at two areas), six methanol–water (1 : 1) extracts of Cae. sappan, Cat. roseus, Co. fenestratum, H. formicarum and S. juventas (at two areas), and two water extracts of Cae. sappan and S. juventas exhibited antiproliferative activities in a concentration-dependent manner. Their antiproliferative activities against human cervix HeLa adenocarcinoma, human lung A549 adenocarcinoma, murine colon 26-L5 carcinoma, murine Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) and murine B16-BL6 melanoma cells were then examined. Co. fenestratum showed selective activity against lung carcinoma and/or lung metastatic cell lines, A549, LLC and B16-BL6, while H. formicarum and S. juventas showed selective activity against human tumor cell lines, HeLa and A549. Characteristic morphological change and DNA fragmentation indicated the antiproliferative activity to be due to the induction of apoptosis.
2002 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan