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See detailIsolation and identification of antioxidant phytochemicals from Cuban species of the genera Erythroxylum P. Browne and Pluchea Cass
Perera Cordova, Wilmer ULg

Doctoral thesis (2012)

Phytochemicals showing antioxidant properties are largely recognized as beneficial to human health and disease prevention. Cuba is well known for having a rich flora with a high percentage of endemic ... [more ▼]

Phytochemicals showing antioxidant properties are largely recognized as beneficial to human health and disease prevention. Cuba is well known for having a rich flora with a high percentage of endemic species; it is considered as an interesting source of plant species for searching bioactive metabolites. Polar and non-polar extracts were prepared by fractionation from macerations in ethanol: H2O (7:3 v/v) from several Cuban plant species. The antioxidant capacity and the concentration in phenolic compounds were assayed in these extracts. The native species Pluchea carolinensis (Jacq.) G. Don., Pluchea odorata (L.) Cass. and Pluchea rosea Godfrey were identified as the most promising sources of antioxidants. The n-butanol extracts obtained by reflux from endemic Erythroxylum alaternifolium A. Rich. var. alaternifolium, var. parvifolium and suborbiculare also displayed high antioxidant capacity and high levels in phenolic compounds. The antioxidant capacity and the phenolic content of hydroalcoholic macerations from leaves, inflorescences, stems and roots of species of the genus Pluchea were also compared. Leaf extracts followed by inflorescence extracts showed the highest values of antioxidant capacity. The species P. carolinensis was used as a model to evaluate the antioxidant capacity in two locations and two phenological stages and also for monitoring the antioxidant capacity over some months. Natural adult specimens presented a higher phenolic content, as well as higher antioxidant capacity than young and cultivated specimens. Maximal antioxidant capacity and concentrations in phenolics were recorded in January, September and December; over the blooming stage (March), the antioxidant capacity was minimal. Two different solvents of extraction and two methods were also screened for extracting the maximal concentrations in antioxidants. Hydroalcoholic extractions showed higher antioxidant capacity than ethanolic ones. However, no difference in antioxidant capacity were measured between the two methods of extraction. The antioxidant capacity of P. carolinensis was also measured in leaves of plantlets micro-propagated on three different in vitro culture media and it was compared with leaves of young specimens grown ex-vitro. The inclusion of a cytokinin in culture media increased the antioxidant capacity of the leaf extracts of plantlets grown in vitro. However, the antioxidant capacity of plantlets grown in vitro was lower than that of young specimens grown ex-vitro. Additionally, several phenolic compounds were isolated from the species studied. Two flavonol glycosides were isolated from n-butanol leaf extract of Erythroxylum alaternifolium var. alaternifolium. Moreover, 22 phenolic compounds (including 9 phenolic acids and 13 flavonoids) were also identified from leaf, inflorescence and stem extracts of the three Pluchea species. All of them are reported for the first time in Cuban Pluchea species. In addition, rosmarinic acid, ferulic acid, quercetagetin, herbacetin, quercitrin, eupalitin and 3-methyl-quercetagetin were described for the first time in the genus Pluchea. The antioxidant capacity of each of these compounds was evaluated. The results suggested that most of these phytochemicals have an important contribution to the antioxidant capacity found in plant extracts. [less ▲]

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