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Open Access Research article

Medicinal attributes of Solanum xanthocarpum fruit consumed by several tribal communities as food: an in vitro antioxidant, anticancer and anti HIV perspective

Shashank Kumar and Abhay K Pandey*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry, University of Allahabad, Allahabad 211002, India

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:112  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-112

Published: 28 March 2014



Solanum xanthocarpum (Solanaceae) has been used for treatment of many infectious and degenerative diseases in traditional medicine. Present study reports the medicinal efficacy of S. xanthocarpum fruit as antioxidant, anticancer and anti HIV agents.


Extracts were prepared using Soxhlet apparatus and partially characterized by thin layer chromatography (TLC). Total flavonoid content was determined spectrophotometrically. Reducing power, DPPH radical scavenging activity and lipid peroxidation inhibition assays were used for measurement of antioxidant potential. Cytotoxic (SRB assay) and anti-HIV RT inhibition (RT assay kit, Roche) activities were determined using ELISA.


TLC revealed the diversity of phytoconstituents in various sequential extracts of S. xanthocarpum fruit. Total flavonoid contents in extracts ranged between 10.22–162.49 μg quercetin equivalent/mg. Spectroscopic scanning of water soluble phenolics showed maximum absorbance at 250 and 280 nm. Polar extracts displayed potent radical scavenging activity (>80%). Several sub-fractions (spots) of extracts separated on TLC plates also exhibited powerful radical scavenging activity. Considerable reducing power was observed in extracts. Hexane fraction provided 55% lipoprotection in rat kidney homogenate. Non-polar extracts exhibited appreciable cytotoxic activity (70-91%) against leukemia (THP-1) and lung cancer (HOP-62) cell lines. Lower inhibitory activity was observed in extracts against HIV Reverse Transcriptase enzyme.


The study demonstrated considerable antioxidant and anticancer activities in S. xanthocarpum fruit.

Antioxidant; Anticancer; DPPH; LPOI; Reducing power; Solanum xanthocarpum; Anti HIV