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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Cytostatic Properties of a Novel Compound Derived from Penicillium pinophilum: An In Vitro Study

Annalaura Stammati, Rosario Nicoletti, Salvatore De Stefano, Franco Zampaglioni & Flavia Zucco

3-O-Methylfunicone (OMF), a secondary metabolite produced by Penicillium pinophilum, inhibits the in vitro growth of plant pathogenic fungi. This specific property suggested that the compound could be used against other fungal pathogenic activities, including dermatological ones. However, for such applications, toxicological side-effects should be taken into account, in order to prevent other types of risk to mammalian cells. Therefore, investigations were made of the basic toxicity of OMF toward a human tumour cell line. The compound was found to have a cytostatic effect, which represents a counter-indication to its use as a therapeutic agent in dermatology, but suggests that it may have potential as an antitumour agent. This study confirmed the validity of in vitro systems for preliminary assays on new compounds, in order to avoid the use of animals in toxicological studies.