Among several Andrographis species, only A. panniculata had been extensively studied and the bioactivity was attributed to the active component Andrographolide (AG). In the current investigation, we report that aqueous (ASAE) and methanol (ASME) extracts of Andrographis serpyllifolia contained phenolic acids up to 3-5%, in addition to AG which is present at ~2% level. Aqueous extract exhibited ~2 and 10 fold better free radical scavenging and reducing power activities than those of methanol extract and the isolated andrographolide, suggesting that Andrographis species may contain antioxidant components other than Andrographolide as well. Further, about 70-80% of DNA and red blood cells were protected against oxidant-induced damages at 4 ?g/mL, and there was about 80% inhibition of proliferation of highly metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells at 10 ?g/mL, which suggests the anticancer potential of A. Serpyllifolia. Identification of phenolic acids contributing to antioxidant potency revealed that gentisic (48%) followed by gallic (25%), protocatechuic (14%) & cinnamic (11%) acids in ASAE, while protocatechuic (59%), followed by ferulic (30%) and p-coumaric (8%) acids in ASME contributed to the activity. Thus, phenolics and andrographolide in A. Serpyllifolia may be implicated in anticancer properties as observed in traditional therapies.
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