Biological Activities of Aqueous Extracts from Carob Plant ( Ceratonia siliqua L.) by Antioxidant, Analgesic and Proapoptotic Properties Evaluation

Molecules. 2020 Jul 8;25(14):3120. doi: 10.3390/molecules25143120.


The present work describes the volatile compounds profile and phytochemical content of Ceratonia siliqua L. Fifty different components have been identified. Among them, three constituents are shared i.e., 2-methlybutanoic acid, methyl hexanoate and limonene by different common carob preparations: pulp decoction (PD), seeds decoction (SD) and Rob, a sweet syrup extracted from the pulp of the carob pod. Each extract exhibits different volatile aromatic emission profiles. The antioxidant activity of the extracts was evaluated using three methods, DPPH, ABTS and FRAP, producing a dose-dependent response. The IC50, when determined by FRAP, gave the lowest values (0.66 ± 0.01, 0.73 ± 0.05 and 0.55 ± 0.00 mg/mL PD, SD and Rob, respectively). The nociception essay, after intraperitoneal injection of acetic acid in mice, demonstrated that Rob, pulp and seeds decoction extracts showed an efficient inhibition of writhes over time, with persistence over 30 min. The SD decoction revealed the highest efficacy in decreasing the writhing reflex (90.3 ± 1.2%; p < 0.001). Furthermore, the proapoptotic activity of SD against three human cell line, THP-1, MCF-7 and LOVO, evaluated by flow cytometry, showed a significantly stronger proapoptotic activity on colon cancer (LOVO) than on the other cell lines, a phenomenon known as phenotypic selectivity.

Keywords: Ceratonia siliqua L.; analgesic; antioxidant; decoction; phytochemicals; proapoptotic activities; pulps; rob; seeds; volatiles.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / chemistry
  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Fabaceae / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • THP-1 Cells


  • Analgesics
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts