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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Methanolic Extract of the Herb Ononis spinosa L. Is an Antifungal Agent with no Cytotoxicity to Primary Human Cells

1
Department of Plant Physiology, Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković”- National Institute of Republic of Serbia, University of Belgrade, Bulevar despota Stefana 142, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
2
Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal
3
Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering, University of Belgrade, Vojvode Stepe 444a, 11042 Belgrade, Serbia
4
Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 16, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
5
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Knez Mihailova 35, 11001 Belgrade, Serbia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13040078
Received: 10 March 2020 / Revised: 21 April 2020 / Accepted: 23 April 2020 / Published: 24 April 2020
Ononis spinosa L. is a plant traditionally used as folk remedy. There are numerous studies regarding chemical constituents and health beneficial properties of Ononidis Radix. The following study was designed to investigate chemical composition and antifungal potential of the methanolic extract obtained from the O. spinosa L. herb. Chemical analyses regarding phenolic compounds of O. spinosa were performed by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC-DAD-ESI/MSn). Antifungal activity, antibiofilm properties and antifungal mode of action of the extract were evaluated, as well as cytotoxicity. Chemical analyses revealed the presence of flavonoids, isoflavonoids and phenolic acids in O. spinosa, with kaempherol-O-hexoside-pentoside being the most abundant compound (5.1 mg/g extract). Methanolic extract was active against all of the tested microfungi with Penicillium aurantiogriseum being the most sensitive to the extract inhibitory effect at 0.02 mg/mL; and effectively inhibited biofilms formed by Candida strains. Minimum fungicidal concentrations of extract rose in the presence of ergosterol and leakage of cellular components was detected. The extract showed no cytotoxicity to human gingival fibroblast (HGF-1) cells. This study significantly contributes to overall knowledge about medicinal potential of O. spinosa herbal extract and enlightens previously unrevealed properties. O. spinosa aerial parts seem to be an interesting candidate for the development of antifungal preparations, non-toxic to human cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: O. spinosa; methanolic extract; aerial parts; phenolic compounds; antifungal; antibiofilm; cytotoxicity O. spinosa; methanolic extract; aerial parts; phenolic compounds; antifungal; antibiofilm; cytotoxicity
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Stojković, D.; Dias, M.I.; Drakulić, D.; Barros, L.; Stevanović, M.; C. F. R. Ferreira, I.; D. Soković, M. Methanolic Extract of the Herb Ononis spinosa L. Is an Antifungal Agent with no Cytotoxicity to Primary Human Cells. Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13, 78.

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