Reactive oxygen species (ROS), products of normal cell metabolism may cause damage to biological macromolecules leading to severe health threats when they are present in high concentrations. Aromatic plants contain phytochemicals rich of antioxidants that prevent oxidant formation or scavenge oxidants produced under oxidative stress conditions. In the present study, we investigated the free radical scavenging effects, the antioxidant and ion toxicity preventive effect of Xylopia aethiopica (X. aethiopica), a plant of the family of Annonaceae used as spice in Cameroon. The scavenging properties of extracts of X. aethiopica were tested on 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), nitric oxide (NO), hydroxyl (OH), 2,2′-azinobis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline)-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) radicals. The total antioxidant capacity was assayed by ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), phosphomolybdenum antioxidant power (PAP), reduction assays. The protective potential was carried on superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and peroxidases. The results showed that both the ethanolic (BEE) and the hydroethanolic (BEH) extracts from the barks of X. aethiopica scavenged all the tested radicals. The sample BEH showed the highest total antioxidant capacity both in the FRAP and the PAP. This result was positively correlated to its higher phenolic content (30.74±0.44 CAE/g dried extract). The higher protective capacity of BEH on SOD, catalase and peroxidase activities was comparable to that of the vitamin C used as standard. In conclusion, X. aethiopica has a higher antioxidant and protective potential against ion-mediated oxidative damage and may be considered as a potential drug against metal-mediated toxicity.
The authors are grateful to Mr Nana from the National Herbarium for helping in collecting and identifying the plant material. The authors acknowledge the Department of Chemical Engineering Materials Environment of Sapienza University of Rome for their hospitality and access to scientific instrumentation.
Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission. Moukette MB conducted the study and prepared the manuscript; Biapa NPC conducted the statistical analysis; Pieme CA designed the research and co-directed the research work with Ngogang YJ and provided reagents. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Research funding: None declared.
Employment or leadership: None declared.
Honorarium: None declared.
Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the report for publication.
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