Essential Oil of Myrtus Communis L. As a Potential Antioxidant and Antimutagenic Agents

Molecules. 2010 Apr 15;15(4):2759-70. doi: 10.3390/molecules15042759.


The present study describes DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) radical scavenging activity and antimutagenic properties of the essential oil of myrtle (Myrtus communis L.). Plant samples were collected from the two distant localities (southernmost and northern point) of the Montenegro coastline. Chemical profiles of the two samples were evaluated by GC-MS. In both of the samples monoterpenes were found to be the predominant compounds. Among them alpha-pinene, linalool, 1,8-cineole, and myrtenyl acetate were the major compounds. Significant differences between the samples were found in the ranges of alpha-pinene (14.7%-35.9%) and myrtenyl acetate (5.4%-21.6%). Both oils exhibited moderate DPPH scavenging activity, with IC50 values of 6.24 mg/mL and 5.99 mg/mL. The antimutagenic properties were assayed against spontaneous and t-BOOH-induced mutagenesis in Escherichia coli oxyR mutant IC202, a bacterial strain deficient in removing ROS. Reduction of the spontaneous mutagenesis in presence of myrtle EO was only slight, up to 13% at the highest concentration tested. When the oxidative mutagen was used, EO expressed higher reduction of mutagenesis, in a concentration dependent manner, with statistical significance for effect at the highest concentration tested (28%). Suppression of t-BOOH induced mutagenesis was correlated with the observed scavenging activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antimutagenic Agents / chemistry
  • Antimutagenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biphenyl Compounds / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Free Radical Scavengers / chemistry
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology*
  • Free Radicals / chemistry
  • Mutagenesis / drug effects
  • Myrtus / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Picrates / chemistry
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics


  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Free Radicals
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Picrates
  • Repressor Proteins
  • oxyR protein, E coli
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl