Phytochemistry and biological activities of selected Lebanese plant species (Crataegus azarolus L. and Ephedra campylopoda)

Abstract : Plants have long been known for their natural arsenal, serving as an important source of nutrients and therapeutic components. Since about 600,000 years ago, humans used plants as medicines. Plant medicines correspond to the preparations issued from those plants. Today, plant medicines are widely worldwide where about 80% of the world's population uses herbs as primary medicines. This medicinal value is mainly attributed to the fact that plants are rich inbioactive phytochemicals. Lebanon, due to its geographical location and important environmental characteristics, is endowed with a rich flora. Hundreds of Lebanese plants have been defined in terms of their chemical composition and medicinal value where many other species are yet to be characterized.In this study, we aimed at characterizing the phytochemical content and therapeutic value of two Lebanese plant species, Crataegus azarolus L and Ephedra campylopoda. Fresh leaves, derived from each plant species, were dissolved in three different solvents distilled water, ethanol, and methanol. The phytochemical composition of different extracts issued from the two plant species was examined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the essential oil content was determined by gas chromatography (GC) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS). DPPH radical scavenging and Fe2+ chelating activity assays were used to assess the antioxidant potential. Anti-inflammatory potential was evaluated by measuring the secreted amounts of the pro-inflammatory mediator PGE2 using ELISA technique, as well as by assaying the mRNA levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-α, IL-β and IL-6), chemokines (CCL3 and CCL4) and inflammation-sensitive COX-2 and iNOS using quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). XTT viability assay was carried out to determine the anti-proliferative effect of each extract. For both plant species, we observed an important phytochemical content with thealcoholic (methanol and ethanol) extracts being more rich in bioactive molecules. In parallel, the two plant species exhibited significant biological activities with the alcoholic extracts exerting important, in vitro, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects.Collectively, our observations suggest a promising potential for Crataegus azarolus L and Ephedra campylopoda during treatment of diseases associated with oxidative stress, aberrant inflammatory responses or uncontrolled cell proliferation. However, further in vivo characterization of these effects is indispensable.
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Hany Kallassy. Phytochemistry and biological activities of selected Lebanese plant species (Crataegus azarolus L. and Ephedra campylopoda). Human health and pathology. Université de Limoges, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017LIMO0036⟩. ⟨tel-01626001⟩

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