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Chemical Composition and Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Antiproliferative Activities of Lebanese Ephedra Campylopoda Plant

Hany Kallassy, Mohammad Fayyad-Kazan, Rawan Makki, Yolla EL-Makhour, Hasan Rammal, David Y. Leger, Vincent Sol, Hussein Fayyad-Kazan, Bertrand Liagre, Bassam Badran

(Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Molecular Immunology, Faculty of Sciences I, Lebanese University, Hadath, Beirut, Lebanon)

Med Sci Monit Basic Res 2017; 23:313-325

DOI: 10.12659/MSMBR.905056

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to identify the phytochemical content and evaluate the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative capacities of various solvent extracts of Ephedra campylopoda stems.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fresh stems were suspended in 3 different solvent systems, including distilled water, ethanol, and methanol. The chemical composition was determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and the content of essential oil of this plant species was determined by gas chromatography (GC) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS). Antioxidant activity was determined using DPPH radical scavenging and Fe2+-chelating activity assays. Anti-inflammatory capacity was estimated by both evaluating RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells-mediated secretion of PGE2 using ELISA technique, and quantifying the mRNA level of the pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-α, IL-β and IL-6), chemokines (CCL3 and CCL4), and inflammation-inducible COX-2 and iNOS enzymes using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The antiproliferative potential was determined using the XTT viability assay.
RESULTS: Our results showed that the alcoholic extracts were better than the aqueous one in terms of their chemical composition. In parallel, the alcoholic extracts showed more potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative capacities than aqueous extract.
CONCLUSIONS: Our observations suggest that Ephedra campylopoda plant could be a promising resource of natural products with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative capacities.

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