Background: Several Serratula species are used in folk medicine and showed interesting
biological activities. The objective of this work was to continue the investigation of the chemical composition
of the ethyl acetate extract of the flowers of Serratula cichoracea which in our previous study
showed a significant antioxidant activity in 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH•) essay compared
to quercetin used as control molecule and to evaluate the isolated compounds for their antioxidant
and antimicrobial activities.
Methods: Ethyl acetate extract (15 g) was fractionated by column chromatography on silica gel. After
purification on preparative plates, the isolated compounds were identified by spectral analyses mainly
high resolution electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (HR-ESIMS) and one- and two-dimensionnal
nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy experiments, and were evaluated in vitro for antioxidant activity
using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical and for antimicrobial properties.
Results: A new phytoecdysteroid named 22-epi-ajugasterone C (1) together with ajugasterone C (2),
were isolated. Compounds 1 and 2 had weak scavenging effect compared with myricetin used as positive
control, whereas the two compounds showed antimicrobial properties against multiresistant strains like
Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Serratia sp., Klebsiella pneumoniae and Candida albicans.
Conclusion: The new isolated phytoecdysteroid and its epimer ajugasterone C, responded to their effectiveness
against different various antibiotic-resistant bacteria.