It is well known that plant species synthesize and accumulate various secondary metabolites belonging to different phytochemical groups. In intact plants, the formation of these metabolites is regulated in a coordinated fashion. Differentiation of plant cells or tissues during development is implied in this process. On the other hand, plant cell cultures are widely used for the comparison of biological activities of extracts, fractions or isolated compounds from the intact plant material to that of cultured plant material obtained in some experimental conditions. Callus cultures are also initiated for analytic and quantitative comparative studies of secondary metabolites synthesis between the intact plant material and callus extracts.
Phyllanthus niruri L. (Euphorbiaceae) is a medicinal plant widely used in different regions in the world for the treatment of various diseases. An aqueous infusion of the whole plant, which is a typical preparation, is employed as a stomachic, aperitive, antispasmodic, laxative, diuretic, carminative, against constipation, fever including malaria, hepatitis B, dysentery, gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis, cough, diarrhea and vaginitis. The in vitro and in vivo antiplasmodial activity of the ethanolic and dichloromethane extracts as well as the toxicity of the lyophilized aqueous extract from Phyllanthus niruri was previously reported.