Preliminary evaluation of Prodigiosa herbal tea: cytotoxicity and GLUT2 expression in HepG2 cells

René Viñas, Ernest E. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this study, we characterized the potential cytotoxicity of Prodigiosa herbal tea on hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells in vitro. HepG2 were submitted to both concentration and time-dependent toxicity evaluation of the herbal tea of Prodigiosa (0-200 mg·L-1) following exposures of 24 and 48 h. Cell viability was determined with the (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and the data reported relative to the non-treated cells. Cellular toxicity was observed at concentrations greater than 100 mg·L-1 of Prodigiosa with a clear indication of time-dependent decrease in cell viability. In contrast the 100 mg·L-1 significantly stimulated cell growth over the non-treated cells. The expression data indicated that Prodigiosa alters glucose transporter (GLUT2) protein and cDNA levels in HeG2 cells. The preliminary data from this study suggest that the effects from Prodigiosa herbal tea negatively influence HepG2 cell viability, GLUT2 protein, and mRNA expression at concentrations greater than 100 mg·L-1. Ongoing work in our laboratory will characterize the specific bioactive compound that is associated with the regulatory mechanisms of Prodigiosa on GLUT2 expression and the effects of Prodigiosa in normal liver cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-678
Number of pages10
JournalToxicological and Environmental Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • GLUT2
  • HepG2 cells
  • Prodigiosa cytotoxicity
  • herbal tea Prodigiosa


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