Chemical composition and biological evaluation of essential oils of Pulicaria jaubertii

Pharmacogn Mag. 2013 Jan;9(33):28-32. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.108133.


Background: The present study reports and compares the results of Gas Chromatographic-Mass analyses of Pulicaria jaubertii leaf (P-1) and root (P-2) essential oils, as well as their in vitro antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities.

Materials and methods: The chemical composition of P-1 and P-2 essential oils of P. jaubertii, was investigated by GC-MS. Moreover, the essential oils were evaluated for their antimicrobial activity using the broth micro-dilution assay for minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC). The crystal violet staining method (CVS) was used for evaluation of their cytotoxic activity on HEPG-2 and MCF-7 human cell lines.

Results: This investigation led to the identification of 16 constituents in P-1, and 23 constituents in P-2, representing 99.92% and 94.74% of the oils respectively. Oxygenated monoterpenes were found to be the major group in both P-1 (99.47%) and P-2 (89.88%). P-1 consists almost entirely of p-Menth-6-en-2-one (Carvotanacetone, 98.59%). P-2 is characterized by high contents of each of Dimethoxydurene (38.48%), Durenol (26.89%) and 2',4'-Dimethoxy-3'-methylacetophenone (20.52%). Both oils showed moderate antimicrobial activity against the Gram-positive strains and C. albicans. However, no activity was shown against Gram-negative bacteria. P-1 showed a significant cytotoxic activity against both MCF-7 and HEPG-2 (IC50 = 3.8 and 5.1 μg/ml, respectively), while P-2 showed selective cytotoxic activity against MCF-7 cell line (IC50 = 9.3 μg/ml).

Conclusion: The potent cytotoxic and moderate antimicrobial activities of P-1 may be attributed to its high content of Carvotanacetone.

Keywords: Carvotanacetone; Pulicaria jaubertii; cytotoxicity; essential oil.