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Plants 2017, 6(4), 62; doi:10.3390/plants6040062

Flavonoids and Ellagitannins Characterization, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activities of Phyllanthus acuminatus Vahl

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Costa Rica (UCR), Rodrigo Facio Campus, San Pedro Montes Oca, San Jose 2060, Costa Rica
2
Department of Biology, Technological University of Costa Rica (TEC), Cartago 7050, Costa Rica
3
Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Costa Rica (UCR), Rodrigo Facio Campus, San Pedro Montes Oca, San Jose 2060, Costa Rica
4
Department of Biology, University of Costa Rica (UCR), Rodrigo Facio Campus, San Pedro Montes Oca, San Jose 2060, Costa Rica
5
Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory, Department of Agriculture, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Flavonoids)
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Abstract

The phenolic composition of leaves from Phyllanthus acuminatus L., a plant commonly used in Costa Rica as traditional medicine, was studied using UPLC-ESI-MS on an enriched phenolic extract. A total of 20 phenolic compounds were identified, comprising eight flavonoids (two flavanones—pinocembrin isomers and six derivatives from apigenin, chrysin, quercetin, and kaempferol); seven ellagitannins, two flavan-3-ols (prodelphinidin B dimer and (epi)gallocatechin); and three phenolic acids (ellagic acid, trimethylellagic acid, and ferulic acid). All of these compounds are reported for the first time in P. acuminatus, while previously reported in the genus Phyllanthus. Antioxidant evaluation was performed for P. acuminatus phenolic extract obtaining DPPH results with a remarkably low IC50 value of 0.15 μg/mL. Also, cytotoxicity on gastric AGS and colon SW20 adenocarcinoma cell lines was evaluated, and highly promising results were obtained, with IC50 values of 11.3 μg/mL and 10.5 μg/mL, respectively. Furthermore, selectivity index values obtained when comparing cytotoxicity on normal Vero cells was SI > 20 for both cancer cell lines, indicating a particularly high selectivity. Additionally, Justicidin B, a metabolite extensively studied for its antitumoral activity, was isolated from a non-polar extract of P. acuminatus, and comparatively evaluated for both bioactivities. The DPPH value obtained for Justicidin B was moderate (IC50 = 14.28 μg/mL), while cytotoxicity values for both AGS (IC50 = 19.5 μg/mL) and SW620 (IC50 = 24.8 μg/mL) cell lines, as well as selectivity when compared with normal Vero cells (SI = 5.4 and 4.2 respectively), was good, but lower than P. acuminatus extract. These preliminary results suggest that P. acuminatus enriched phenolic extract containing flavonoids, ellagitannins, flavan-3-ols, and phenolic acids, reported for the first time in this plant, could be of interest for further cancer cytotoxicity studies to elucidate structure–bioactivity relationships, and the molecular mechanisms and pathways. View Full-Text
Keywords: P. acuminatus; UPLC; ESI-MS; flavonoids; ellagitannins; mass spectrometry; antioxidant; cytotoxicity P. acuminatus; UPLC; ESI-MS; flavonoids; ellagitannins; mass spectrometry; antioxidant; cytotoxicity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Navarro, M.; Moreira, I.; Arnaez, E.; Quesada, S.; Azofeifa, G.; Vargas, F.; Alvarado, D.; Chen, P. Flavonoids and Ellagitannins Characterization, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activities of Phyllanthus acuminatus Vahl. Plants 2017, 6, 62.

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