Evaluation of the Biological Activity of Naturally Occurring 5,8-dihydroxycoumarin

Molecules. 2013 Apr 15;18(4):4419-36. doi: 10.3390/molecules18044419.


5,8-Dihydroxycoumarin (5,8-DHC) was isolated from aerial parts of sweet grass (Hierochloë odorata L.) and screened for antioxidant and genotoxic activities. A clear linear dependency of radical scavenging capacity in DPPH• and ABTS•+ assays was determined. 5,8-DHC was very efficient in retarding rapeseed oil oxidation (Oxipress test). TPC (total phenols content) and FRAP (the ability to reduce ferric ion to ferrous ion) assays revealed a somewhat lower antioxidant capacity of 5,8-DHC as compared with gallic acid. Genotoxic activity was tested using different genetic end-points: chromosome aberrations (CAs) and micronuclei (MN) in Wistar rat bone marrow in vivo, CAs and sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) in human lymphocytes in vitro, and somatic mutations and recombination in Drosophila melanogaster wing cells in vivo. 5,8-DHC did not increase frequency of CAs in rat bone marrow cells, but induced a significant increase of MN. It was slightly mutagenic in the Drosophila melanogaster assay after 120 h of treatment, but not after 48 h of treatment. 5,8-DHC induced both CAs and SCEs in vitro in human lymphocytes in a clear dose-dependent manner. Thus, 5,8-DHC may be classified as weakly genotoxic both in vivo and in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects
  • Chromosome Aberrations / drug effects
  • Coumarins / chemistry
  • Coumarins / pharmacology*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Male
  • Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective / drug effects
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutagens
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange / drug effects


  • 5,8-dihydroxycoumarin
  • Antioxidants
  • Coumarins
  • Mutagens
  • Plant Extracts