The therapeutic potential of some Linum species has been reported previously.
Nonetheless, several species of this genus warrant further scientific consideration. In this
study, the phenolic composition, antioxidant activity (DPPH, phosphomolybdenum, iron
chelating, hydroxyl radical and lipid peroxidation assays) and cytotoxicity effect (human
rhabdomyosarcoma, human cervix carcinoma, and murine fibroblast cell lines) of ethyl
acetate, methanol, and water extracts of three Linum species (Linum austriacum subsp.
glaucescens, Linum hirsutum subsp. anatolicum, and Linum tenuifolium) were assessed.
High performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection (HPLC-DAD)
analysis revealed the presence of ferulic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, synapic acid, rutin,
apigenin-glucoside, quercetin, luteolin, and naringenin in all the extracts. It was observed
that the extracts (IC50 ranging from 42.07 to 51.66 µg/mL) showed IC50 significantly (p<0.05) lower than
ascorbic and gallic acid (> 1000 and 255.43 µg/mL respectively) against lipid peroxidation. According to the
American National Cancer Institute guidelines, the extracts showed low cytotoxicity (IC50 < 30 µg/mL). However,
the water extracts showed cytotoxicity effects (IC50 17.43±0.13 to 28.12±0.66 µg/mL) against the studied
cell lines as compared to the antineoplastic positive control (Cis-DDP). These findings support the use of these
plants in the management of ROS mediated disorders and advocates for the need for further scientific evaluations
to confirm the observed in vitro bioactivity. The cytotoxic potential coupled with the antioxidant property
of the water extracts of these plant species is of particular interest which can open new avenues in the
quest for novel anticancer drugs.