An insight into the cytotoxic activity of phytol at <i>in vitro</i> conditions

<div><p>The cytotoxicity of the diterpene alcohol, phytol, was evaluated by using the MTT assay <i>in vitro</i> against seven tumour cells and one normal cell of human origin. The compound tested induced concentration-dependent cytotoxic response in all cell lines, demonstrating to be most and least effective against the breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 and the prostate adenocarcinoma PC-3 cells, respectively (IC<sub>50</sub> 8.79 ± 0.41 μM and 77.85 ± 1.93 μM). The IC<sub>50</sub> values towards the other five tumours (HeLa, HT-29, A-549, Hs294T and MDA-MB-231) ranged from 15.51 to 69.67 μM. However, mild toxicity was detected against the foetal lung fibroblast MRC-5 cells at the concentrations used (IC<sub>50</sub> 124.84 ± 1.59 μM). According to the experimental data obtained, this cost-effective natural product widely present in the biosphere may inspire the development of new drug-like substances with improved cytotoxic activity on breast cancer.</p></div>