Bioactive Constituents, Radical Scavenging, and Antibacterial Properties of the Leaves and Stem Essential Oils from Peperomia pellucida (L.) Kunth

Pharmacogn Mag. 2017 Oct;13(Suppl 3):S392-S400. doi: 10.4103/pm.pm_106_17. Epub 2017 Oct 11.


Background: Peperomia pellucida is an annual herbaceous ethnomedicinal plant used in the treatment of a variety of communicable and noncommunicable diseases in the Amazon region.

Objective: The study aimed at profiling the bioactive constituents of the leaves and stem essential oils (LEO and SEO) of P. pellucida, their in vitro antibacterial and radical scavenging properties as probable lead constituents in the management of oxidative stress and infectious diseases. Materials and.

Methods: The EOs were obtained from the leaves and stem P. pellucida using modified Clevenger apparatus and characterized by a high-resolution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, while the radicals scavenging and antibacterial effects on four oxidants and six reference bacteria strains were examined by spectrophotometric and agar diffusion techniques, respectively.

Results: The EOs exhibited strong antibacterial activities against six bacteria (Escherichia coli [180], Enterobacter cloacae, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Listeria ivanovii, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus uberis, and Vibrio paraheamolyticus) strains. The SEO antibacterial activities were not significantly different (P < 0.05) from the LEO against most of the test bacteria with minimum inhibitory concentration ranging between 0.15 and 0.20 mg/mL for both EOs. The two oils were bactericidal at 0.20 mg/mL against S. aureus while the minimum bactericidal concentration (0.15 mg/mL) of LEO against L. ivanovii was lower than of SEO (0.20 mg/mL) after 24 h. The LEO IC50 value (1.67 mg/mL) revealed more radical scavenging activity than the SEO (2.83 mg/mL) and reference compounds against 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical. The EOs also scavenged three other different radicals (2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt radical, lipid peroxyl radical, and nitric oxide radical) in concentration-dependent manner.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that apart from the indigenous uses of the plant extracts, the EO contains strong bioactive compounds with antibacterial and radicals scavenging properties and may be good alternative candidates in the search for novel potent antibiotics in this present era of increasing multidrug-resistant bacterial strains as well as effective antioxidants agents.

Summary: Established gas chromatography-mass spectrometry technique was applied to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze the volatile constituents in Peperomia pellucida essential oil (EO)The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (2014) guidelines were employed to evaluate the antibacterial effects of the EOsAmong the known prominent bioactive terpenoids, linalool 17.09%, limonene 14.25%, β-caryophyllene 12.52%, and linalyl acetate 10.15% were the main constituents of the EOs in this current studyThe leaf and stem EOs were bactericidal at a concentration below 0.23 mg/mL against three multidrug-resistant bacteria and significantly scavenged known free radicals reported to be associated with contagious and oxidative stress-related disorders. Abbreviations used: GC-MS: Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, DPPH: 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, ABTS: 2,2-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt, DMSO: Dimethyl sulfoxide, LP: Lipid peroxide radical, NO: Nitric oxide radical, LEO: Leaf essential oil, SEO: Stem essential oil, RC: Reference compound, TBARS: Thiobarbituric acid.

Keywords: Peperomia pellucida; antibacterial; limonene; radicals scavenging; β-caryophyllene.