A contribution to pharmaceutical biology of freshwater sponges

In vitro anti-tumour and anti-radical activities of the acetone extract of the freshwater sponge Ochridaspongia rotunda were the subject of this study. The extract was found to be highly cytotoxic to human lung tumour cell line A-549 reaching IC50 value of 5.01 ± 0.21 μg/mL. Indeed, it displayed only 2-fold less anti-tumour activity than doxorubicin (IC50 value 2.42 ± 0.13 μg/mL) used as a positive control. The same extract was also found to be almost 37-fold more selective against A-549 vs. MRC-5 (normal) lung cells, in difference to weak selectivity of doxorubicin (less than 3-fold). Its profound anti-DPPH radical activity comparable to that of quercetin (IC50 values 3.68 ± 0.19 and 3.14 ± 0.09 μg/mL, respectively) coupled with no signs of genotoxicity in the comet assay (MRC-5 cell line, vs. doxorubicin) has actually implicated the importance of this animal bioresource in searching for pharmaceutically useful bioactive compounds of natural origin.