Comparison of cytotoxicity caused by Viscum album in human mesenchymal stem cells and hepatocellular carcinoma cells

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Ana Catarina Viana Valle Aloiso Cunha de Carvalho Samir Wady Rahme Andressa de Rezende Bastos Araujo Patrícia Furtado Malard Hilana S. Sena Brunel


Viscum album (VA), also known as Mistletoe, has various therapeutic properties, including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. It has been used for treating different types of cancer, exhibiting proven efficacy against breast cancer, glioblastoma, carcinoma, and other advanced-stage tumor types. Besides promoting improvements in the clinical condition, VA also helps reduce the side effects caused by conventional treatment, thereby offering patients a better quality of life. Hence, the objective of this study was to assess the effects of the homeopathic dilution of VA at the potency of D30 (1x10-30) (VA D30) on human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2). The cells were grown in 75 cm² flasks until they reached approximately 80% confluence. Subsequently, they were trypsinized and plated in 96-well plates at 10,000 cells/well. After 24 hours of incubation in an oven, VA was added at 30 and 40 µL/mL concentrations. The cells were further incubated for an additional 48 hours. After the treatment, the cells underwent a cell viability test using MTT. The results indicated a decrease in HepG2 viability, while no damage to normal cells (MSCs) was detected. The findings suggest that VAD30 holds promise as a potential therapeutic agent in treating hepatocellular carcinoma due to its observed cytotoxicity towards HepG2 cells while exhibiting no adverse effects on mesenchymal stem cells at the equivalent concentration.

Keywords: cytotoxicity, stem cells, hepatocellular carcinoma cells

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VALLE, Ana Catarina Viana et al. Comparison of cytotoxicity caused by Viscum album in human mesenchymal stem cells and hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 5, may 2024. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 june 2024. doi:
Research Articles


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