Balkan Medical Journal
Original Articles

Assessment of Eyebright (Euphrasia Officinalis L.) Extract Activity in Relation to Human Corneal Cells Using In Vitro Tests


Department of Virology and Immunology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Lublin, Poland


Department of General Ophthalmology, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland


Department of Surgery, District Railway Hospital, Lublin, Poland

Balkan Medical Journal 2014; 31: 29-36
DOI: 10.5152/balkanmedj.2014.8377
Read: 253 Downloads: 69 Published: 01 January 2014


Background: Euphrasia officinalis L. is an herb traditionally used in folk medicine, mainly in the treatment of eye disorders.

Aims: The present study analyzed the activity of three extracts of E. officinalis L. (ethanol, ethyl acetate and heptane) on cultured human corneal epithelial cells (10.014 pRSV-T).

Study Design: In vitro study.

Methods: Toxicity, free radical scavenging activity and the immunomodulatory effects of the extracts were tested using the thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide (MTT) or Neutral Red, 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ELISA tests, respectively. Moreover, nitric oxide levels and cytoskeleton architecture were analyzed after corneal cell incubation with the plant extracts.

Results: We show that the biological effect depended on both the concentration and the extraction solvent used. Heptane extracts, distinct from those in ethanol and ethyl acetate, were toxic to 10.014 pRSV-T cells at low concentrations (25 mu;g/mL) and did not demonstrate free radical scavenging effects. All tested extracts decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine expression (IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF- α) and also anti-inflammatory IL-10 expression by human corneal cells when the extracts were added to the cell culture medium for 24 h.

Conclusion: In conclusion, we show that the promising effects of the application of E. officinalis L. preparations as a supplementary therapy for eye disorders are associated with the ethanol and ethyl acetate extracts, not the heptane extract.

ISSN 2146-3123 EISSN 2146-3131