Seeds of Peganum Harmala L. Chemical Analysis, Antimalarial and Antioxidant Activities, and Cytotoxicity Against Human Breast Cancer Cells
The present study evaluated the levels of total phenolics, flavonoids, tannins and anthocyanins from Peganum
harmala L. seeds and determined their antioxidant, antiplasmodial and anticancer potentials. Antioxidant activity was determined
by DPPH and ABTS assays. Extracts of P. harmala seeds from Oudref and Djerba (two places in Tunisia) were
obtained by successive extraction solvents: petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol and water. Their composition
was evaluated for phenolics (gallic acid equivalent 2.48 to 72.52 g/kg), tannins (catechin equivalent 0 to 25.27 g/kg),
anthocyanins (cyanidin equivalent 0 to 20.56 mg/kg) and flavonoids (quercetin equivalent 0 to 3.12 g/kg). Ethanolic
extract exerted the highest activities against a chloroquine-resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum (IC50=23 mg/L),
against human breast cancer cells MCF7 (IC50=32 mg/L) and against free radical (IC50=19.09±3.07 mg/L). Correlations
were studied between each chemical family and the three activities. Total phenolics content exhibited the highest correlation
with antiplasmodial activity (R2=0.92) and with anticancer activity (R2=0.86), respectively.
Keywords: Antimalarial, antioxidant, cytotoxic, extracts, Peganum harmala L., phenolics.
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