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Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Lui, Edmund

Ed. by Ko, Robert / Leung, Kelvin Sze-Yin / Saunders, Paul / Suntres, PH. D., Zacharias


CiteScore 2017: 1.41

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.472
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1553-3840
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Phytochemical analysis, cytotoxic and antioxidant activities of Myrtus communis essential oil from Morocco

Younes Harassi
  • Experimental Oncology and Natural Substances Team, Cellular and Molecular Immuno-pharmacology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Beni-Mellal, Morocco
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/ Mounir TilaouiORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0371-0927 / Abderrazak Idir
  • Experimental Oncology and Natural Substances Team, Cellular and Molecular Immuno-pharmacology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Beni-Mellal, Morocco
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/ Jullien Frédéric
  • Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology Applied to Aromatic and Medicinal Herbs, Faculty of science and Technology, Jean Monnet University, Saint-Etienne, France
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/ Sylvie Baudino
  • Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology Applied to Aromatic and Medicinal Herbs, Faculty of science and Technology, Jean Monnet University, Saint-Etienne, France
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/ Sana Ajouaoi
  • Experimental Oncology and Natural Substances Team, Cellular and Molecular Immuno-pharmacology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Beni-Mellal, Morocco
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/ Hassan Ait Mouse
  • Experimental Oncology and Natural Substances Team, Cellular and Molecular Immuno-pharmacology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Beni-Mellal, Morocco
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/ Abdelmajid Zyad
  • Corresponding author
  • Experimental Oncology and Natural Substances Team, Cellular and Molecular Immuno-pharmacology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Beni-Mellal, Morocco
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Published Online: 2019-01-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2018-0100

Abstract

Background

Myrtus communis L. is an aromatic evergreen plant common in Morocco. In addition to its culinary uses, it has been used medicinally as a disinfectant, an antiseptic or as a hypoglycemic agent. However, its cytotoxic activity has not been well investigated so far. The current study describes the chemical composition, cytotoxic and antioxidant activities of Myrtus communis L essential oil obtained from different regions of Morocco.

Methods

Myrtus communis essential oils were obtained by hydrodistillation, and analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Cytotoxic activity was evaluated in murine mastocytoma P815 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells, using the MTT assay. In addition, DNA fragmentation was assessed by gel electrophoresis. The antioxidant effect was determined by measuring bleaching of β-carotene with the linoleic acid and the DPPH radical scavenging methods.

Results

GC-MS analysis showed high amounts of methyl eugenol (18.7%), α-terpineol (15.5%) and geranyl acetate (11.64%) in essential oil from the Benslimane region. In contrast, essential oil from Ouazzane was particularly rich in 1,8-cineole (36.3%). The cytotoxicity results showed that MCF-7 cells were more sensitive than P815 cells to the essential oils from Ouazzane and Benslimane regions with IC50 values of 4 and 6.25 µg/mL, respectively. Moreover, this cytotoxicity was partly associated with DNA fragmentation, which is one of the characteristics of apoptosis. The tested essential oils did not show strong antioxidant activity.

Conclusions

Myrtus communis L. essential oil exhibits a weak antioxidant effect, but induced remarkable cytotoxic activity by a mechanism related to apoptosis, suggesting a possible application of the bioactive compounds as natural anticancer compounds.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: antioxidant; apoptosis; cytotoxicity; essential oil; Myrtus communis

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About the article

Received: 2018-07-01

Accepted: 2018-10-30

Published Online: 2019-01-19


Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: This work received financial support from Lalla Salma Foundation: Prevention and Treatment of Cancer, Rabat, Morocco (Project 9/2013).

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.


Citation Information: Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 20180100, ISSN (Online) 1553-3840, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2018-0100.

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