Polyphenolic Profile, Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Eastern Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens L.) Leaf Extracts

Molecules. 2014 Dec 8;19(12):20498-20520. doi: 10.3390/molecules191220498.


Dry leaf extracts of eastern teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens L.) were evaluated as a source of bioactive phytocompounds through systematic activity testing and phytochemical profiling. The antioxidant efficiency was tested using five complementary in vitro models (DPPH; FRAP; linoleic acid (LA) peroxidation assay; O2•- and H2O2 scavenging tests) in parallel with standard antioxidants. The 75% methanol extract and its diethyl ether, ethyl acetate (EAF), n-butanol and water fractions exhibited the dose-dependent responses in all assays, with the highest capacities found for EAF (DPPH EC50 = 2.9 μg/mL; FRAP = 12.8 mmol Fe2+/g; IC50 for LA-peroxidation = 123.9 μg/mL; O2•- SC50 = 3.9 μg/mL; H2O2 SC50 = 7.2 μg/mL). The EAF had also the highest anti-inflammatory activity in the inhibition tests of lipoxygenase and hyaluronidase (60.14% and 21.83% effects, respectively, at the concentration of 100 μg/mL). Activity parameters of the extracts correlated strongly with the levels of total phenolics (72.4-270.7 mg GAE/g), procyanidins, and phenolic acids, whereas for flavonoids only moderate effects were observed. Comprehensive UHPLC-PDA-ESI-MS3 and HPLC-PDA studies led to the identification of 35 polyphenols with a procyanidin A-type trimer, quercetin 3-O-glucuronide, isomers of caffeoylquinic acids, and (‒)-epicatechin being the dominant components. Significant activity levels, high phenolic contents and high extraction yields (39.4%-42.5% DW for defatted and crude methanol extracts, respectively) indicate the value of eastern teaberry leaves as bioactive products.