Article

Acanthus mollis L. leaves as source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytoconstituents

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  • Faculty of Pharmacy and Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology University of Coimbra
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Abstract

This work expands the phytochemical composition knowledge of Acanthus mollis and evaluates antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities which could be related with its traditional uses. Extracts from leaves, obtained by sequential extraction, were screened using TLC and HPLC-PDA. The ethanol extract was the most active on DPPH assay (IC50 = 20.50 μg/mL) and inhibited nitric oxide (NO) production in RAW 264.7 macrophages (IC50 = 48.31 μg/mL). Significant amounts of cyclic hydroxamic and phenolic acids derivatives were detected. A lower antioxidant effect was verified for a fraction enriched with DIBOA derivatives (IC50 = 163.02 μg/mL), suggesting a higher contribution of phenolic compounds for this activity in ethanol extract. However, this fraction exhibited a higher inhibition of NO production (IC50 = 32.32 μg/mL), with absence of cytotoxicity. These results support the ethnomedical uses of this plant for diseases based on inflammatory processes. To our knowledge, it is the first report to the anti-inflammatory activity for DIBOA derivatives.

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... The fractionating process was monitored by TLC using two systems: System S1 for flavonoids and phenolic acids [41], and System S2 for tannins [42]. ...
... Phenolic acids were detected by a blue color. Relative to flavonoids, apigenin derivatives presented a yellow/greenish color and luteolin derivatives an orange color [41]. ...
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... Acanthus belongs to the Acanthaceae family and is the only genus that comprises of both terrestrial and aquatic species [15]. As the Acanthus model plant, A. mollis is native to the Mediterranean region from central Europe and northwest Africa [18]. A. mollis was recently introduced into China and used as a medicinal plant in traditional medicine [18][19]. The extracts of A. mollis tissues have been used for the treatment of inflammation and cancer problems [20]. ...
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Article
Ethnopharmacological relevance The Acanthus genus belongs to the Acanthaceae family, and its species are distributed in all continents, mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. Several traditional applications are referred to, but few scientific studies validate them. Despite this, studies in animal models corroborate some of its uses in folk medicine, such as anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive, which encourages the research on plants of this genus. Aim of the review To our knowledge, this document is the first comprehensive review study that provides information on the geographic distribution, botanical characteristics, ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemicals, and pharmacological activities of some Acanthus species to understand the correlation between traditional uses, phytochemical, and pharmacological activities, providing perspectives for future studies. Results In traditional medicine, Acanthus species are mainly used for diseases of respiratory, nervous and reproductive system, gastrointestinal and urinary tract, and skin illness. The most used species are A. montanus, A. ilicifolius, and A. ebracteatus. Chemical compounds (125) from different chemical classes were isolated and identified in seven species, mainly from A. ilicifolius, about 80, followed by A. ebracteatus and A. montanus, appearing with a slightly lower number with fewer phytochemical profile studies. Isolated phytoconstituents have been mainly alkaloids, phenylpropanoid glycosides, and phenylethanoids. In addition, aliphatic glycosides, flavonoids, lignan glycosides, megastigmane derivatives, triterpenoids, steroids, fatty acids, alcohols, hydroxybenzoic acids, simple phenols were also cited. Scientific studies from Acanthus species extracts and their phytoconstituents support their ethnomedical uses. Antimicrobial activity that is the most studied, followed by the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties, underlie many Acanthus species activities. A. dioscoridis, A. ebracteatus, A. hirsutus, A. ilicifolius, A. mollis, A. montanus, and A. polystachyus have studies on these activities, A. ilicifolius being the one with the most publications. Most studies were essentially performed in vitro. However, the anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties have been studied in vivo. Conclusion Acanthus species have remarkable phytoconstituents with different biological activities, such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, hepatoprotective, and leishmanicidal, supporting traditional uses of some species. However, many others remain unexplored. Future studies should focus on these species, especially pharmacological properties, toxicity, and action mechanisms. This review provides a comprehensive report on Acanthus genus plants, evidencing their therapeutic potential and prospects for discovering new safe and effective drugs from Acanthus species.
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Benzoxazinoids are metabolites occurring in a restricted group of plant species including crops such as rye, wheat, and maize. Focus on the analysis of benzoxazinoid metabolites has typically been due to their importance to plant biochemistry and physiology as highly bioactive molecules that plants use as alleochemicals to defend themselves against predators and infections. However, the potential dietary contribution of these compounds has not been addressed. This study conducted a detailed qualitative characterization of benzoxazinoid metabolites present in the whole grain rye and processed fractions of rye bran, and their presence was also detected in whole grain wheat samples. Several novel benzoxazinoid metabolites of the hydroxamic acids (2,4-dihydroxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one, DIBOA; 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one, DIMBOA), lactams (2-hydroxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one, HBOA), and benzoxazolinones (1,3-benzoxazol-2-one, BOA) were identified, including double-hexose derivatives of DIBOA, DIMBOA, and HBOA. This paper presents an important addition to the information on the phytochemical composition of rye and wheat grains, which deserves attention in the discussion of the potential health-promoting effects of these grains.
Lisbon (PT): Faculdade de Ciências Humanas (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
  • J Ferrão
  • M Liberato