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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 186; doi:10.3390/ijms19010186

A Comparative Study on Phytochemical Profiles and Biological Activities of Sclerocarya birrea (A.Rich.) Hochst Leaf and Bark Extracts

University of Basilicata, Department of Science, V.le dell’AteneoLucano, 85100 Potenza, Italy
REQUIMTE/LAQV, Laboratório de Farmacognosia, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, R. Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, nº 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 December 2017 / Revised: 29 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Bioactives and Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention)
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Sclerocarya birrea (A.Rich.) Hochst (Anacardiaceae) is a savannah tree that has long been used in sub-Saharan Africa as a medicinal remedy for numerous ailments. The purpose of this study was to increase the scientific knowledge about this plant by evaluating the total content of polyphenols, flavonoids, and tannins in the methanol extracts of the leaves and bark (MLE and MBE, respectively), as well as the in vitro antioxidant activity and biological activities of these extracts. Reported results show that MLE is rich in flavonoids (132.7 ± 10.4 mg of quercetin equivalents/g), whereas MBE has the highest content of tannins (949.5 ± 29.7 mg of tannic acid equivalents/g). The antioxidant activity was measured using four different in vitro tests: β-carotene bleaching (BCB), 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS), O2−•, and nitric oxide (NO) assays. In all cases, MBE was the most active compared to MLE and the standards used (Trolox and ascorbic acid). Furthermore, MBE and MLE were tested to evaluate their activity in HepG2 and fibroblast cell lines. A higher cytotoxic activity of MBE was evidenced and confirmed by more pronounced alterations in cell morphology. MBE induced cell death, triggering the intrinsic apoptotic pathway by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, which led to a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential with subsequent cytochrome c release from the mitochondria into the cytosol. Moreover, MBE showed lower cytotoxicity in normal human dermal fibroblasts, suggesting its potential as a selective anticancer agent. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyphenols; cytotoxic effect; ROS; apoptosis; mitochondrial membrane potential; HepG2 cell line polyphenols; cytotoxic effect; ROS; apoptosis; mitochondrial membrane potential; HepG2 cell line

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Russo, D.; Miglionico, R.; Carmosino, M.; Bisaccia, F.; Andrade, P.B.; Valentão, P.; Milella, L.; Armentano, M.F. A Comparative Study on Phytochemical Profiles and Biological Activities of Sclerocarya birrea (A.Rich.) Hochst Leaf and Bark Extracts. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 186.

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