Background: Pistacia atlantica Desf. (Anacardiaceae) has various applications for dietetic and medicinal purposes.
Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate antioxidant, antiproliferative and anticholinesterase activities of different extracts from leaf and stem of Pistacia atlantica Desf.
Methods: The antioxidant activity was performed by four methods: DPPH, ABTS, CUPRAC and reducing power assays. Anti-cholinesterase activity was performed against acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and Butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) enzymes. Antiproliferative assays were investigated against HeLa cell lines using xCELLigence RTCA instrument. The secondary metabolites composition was established by HPLC-TOF/MS analysis.
Results: In DPPH, reducing power and in ABTS.+ scavenging activity, all the extracts showed strong inhibitory activity compared to synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), in which the activities were almost equal to the two standards. The results were less significant in CUPRAC assay. The ethyl acetate (EtOAc) extracts exhibited the best antioxidant activity in all tests. Moreover, P. atlantica extracts inhibited AChE and BChE activities in a dose-dependent manner. The strongest AChE and BuChE inhibition activities were obtained for EtOAc extract of the stem (IC50 values 15.14±0.74 and 24.01±0.21 µg/mL, respectively) compared to galantamine (IC50 values 6.27±1.15 and 34.75±1.99 µg/mL, respectively). P. atlantica extracts also showed significant antiproleferative activity against HeLa cell lines, the best antiproleferative activity was obtained for the methanol and EtOAc extracts. The observed biological activities can be attributed to the presence of phenolic compounds and flavonoids in the extracts. The HPLC-TOF/MS analysis identified the presence of 22 phytochemicals. Gallic acid and rutin were the main compounds detected. Cichoric, gentisic, vanillic, protocatechuic and rosmarinic acids as well as catechin and quercetin were also present.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated good antioxidant, anticholinesterase and anti-proliferative activities of P. atlantica extracts, which opens up new possibilities for pharmaceutical and food industries.