The Eleutherococcus species including 40 species native to Asia are medicinal plants widely used in traditional medicine. Some of these species are cultivated at the botanical gardens in Europe. On the basis on our earlier studies it was concluded that the extracts of analyzed species act as antioxidants, inhibitors of MMPs, and cytotoxic against Jurkat 45 leukemia cell line. In this study, the anti-leukemic potential of roots and leaves from six Eleutherococcus species cultivated in Poland was determined. The in vitro cytotoxic activity towards human promyelotic leukemia cell line HL60 using trypan blue assay was evaluated. The induction of apoptosis in stimulated leukemia cells was determined by AnnexinV method. Morphological changes in treated cells were observed by microscopic investigations.
The results showed that ethanolic extracts from the roots and the leaves of E. senticosus, E. setchuensis, E. sessiliflorus, E.gracilistylus, E. henryi and E. divaricatus exhibit cytotoxic effect towards leukemic HL60 cells. The received IC50 values for roots ranged from 49- 208 μg/mL and for the leaves from 116-518 μg/mL. The ethanol extract from the roots of E. divaricatus showed the highest cytotoxic and proapoptotic effect on HL60 human lymphoid leukemia cell line.