Nowadays, advanced extraction techniques and highly sensitive metabolic profiling methods are effectively employed to get new information on plant chemical constituents. Among them wild medicinal plants or their parts, with large and ancient use in folk medicine, are investigated for their potential functional use and cultivation. In this context, Inula viscosa leaves engaged our attention. A simple experimental design, based on Soxhlet extraction and chromatographic fractionation, allowed us to obtain the investigated polyphenol fraction (IvE). UHPLC-HRMS analyses revealed shikimoyl depsides of caffeic acid and unusual dihydrobenzofuran lignans as main secondary metabolites. These compounds, together with cinchonain-type phenols, and hydroxycinnamoyl flavonol glycosides, are reported for the first time in inula. Overall, forty-three secondary metabolites were identified. The extract exerted a remarkable antiradical activity towards DPPH• and ABTS+•. Furthermore, it was able to inhibit cell viability and mitochondrial redox activity of neuroblastoma, hepatoblastoma and colon carcinoma cells, whereas it did not affect cell density of HaCaT cells immortalized human keratinocytes. As detected by the oxidant-sensing probe 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, the inhibitory responses seemed to be related to IvE-induced increase of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). The obtained results highlighted that inula leaves, nowadays even undervalued and unexplored, could be considered a renewable source of nutraceutical compounds. © 2019

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