Cytotoxic Effects of Salvinorin A, A Major Constituent of Salvia divinorum.
Med Chem. 2015 Oct 4. Epub 2015 Oct 4. PMID: 26434801
S. divinorum is a psychoactive plant that, in the last years, has been consumed as a recreational drug of abuse. Salvinorin A is the main constituent and the responsible for the psychoactive effects attributed to this herb. Both S. divinorum and salvinorin A have become controlled drugs in various countries, but they are not listed in the Schedules of the United Nations Drug Conventions. Regarding the effects of the consumption of S. divinorum, almost all studies are based on in vivo or on survey-based studies and there are no studies on its toxicity in vitro. Furthermore, all studies are focused in the acute toxicological effects promoted by this plant. So, it is of utmost importance to further investigate the effects of S. divinorum and salvinorin A, particularly on in vitro models, after a prolonged time exposure. In this context, the present work evaluated the toxicity in vitro induced by S. divinorum or salvinorin A in six cell lines, through MTT assays and LC50 determination. Overall, results showed that both S. divinorum and salvinorin A are cytotoxic, dose- and time-dependent. Also, Hep G2, and, in a lesser extent, Caco 2 cells showed lower sensitivity to S. divinorum and salvinorin A, comparing to the other cells. To our knowledge, this is the first work focused on in vitro toxicity of S. divinorum and salvinorin A using a variety of cell lines, extensively described in literature and widely used in a variety of in vitro studies.