Chemical Composition, Antioxidant, Antimicrobial and Cytotoxic Activities of Essential Oil from Premna microphylla Turczaninow

Molecules. 2017 Feb 28;22(3):381. doi: 10.3390/molecules22030381.


Premna microphylla Turczaninow, an erect shrub, was widely used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat dysentery, appendicitis, and infections. In this study, the essential oil from P. microphylla Turcz. was obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC (Gas Chromatography) and GC-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer). Fifty-six compounds were identified in the oil which comprised about 97.2% of the total composition of the oil. Major components of the oil were blumenol C (49.7%), β-cedrene (6.1%), limonene (3.8%), α-guaiene (3.3%), cryptone (3.1%), and α-cyperone (2.7%). Furthermore, we assessed the in vitro biological activities displayed by the oil obtained from the aerial parts of P. microphylla, namely the antioxidant, antimicrobial, and cytotoxic activities. The antioxidant activity of the essential oil was evaluated by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity. For this, the IC50 value was estimated to be 0.451 mg/mL. The essential oil of P. microphylla exhibited considerable antibacterial capacity against Escherichia coli with an MIC (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) value of 0.15 mg/mL, along with noticeable antibacterial ability against Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus with an MIC value of 0.27 mg/mL. However, the essential oil did not show significant activity against fungus. The oil was tested for its cytotoxic activity towards HepG2 (liver hepatocellular cells) and MCF-7 Cells (human breast adenocarcinoma cell line) using the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide) assay, and exerted cytotoxic activity with an IC50 of 0.072 and 0.188 mg/mL for 72 h. In conclusion, the essential oil from P. microphylla is an inexpensive but favorable resource with strong antibacterial capacity as well as cytotoxic activity. Thus, it has the potential for utilization in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

Keywords: GC-MS; Premna microphylla Turczaninow; antibacterial activity; antifungal activity; antioxidant activity; cytotoxic activity; essential oil.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Bacillus subtilis / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lamiaceae / chemistry*
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Plant Components, Aerial / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils