Phytochemical and biological characterization of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Parthenium hysterophorus.
Introduction:Parthenium hysterophorus is a plant used in traditional medicine to treat health issues and which could be a source of phytochemicals with possible antioxidant activity without causing cytotoxic effects. Hence, this work was designed to evaluate its phytochemical profile, cytotoxicity, and antioxidant activity. Methods: The aqueous (AE) and ethanolic (EE) extracts of P. hysterophorus flowers were obtained by decoction and ultrasound, respectively. Their phytochemical composition was determined by colorimetric tests and RP-HPLC-MS analysis. Their cytotoxic activity was tested by a hemolysis assay. The antioxidant activity was evaluated with the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), 2,2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), and hydroxyl radical (-OH) scavenging assays. In addition, the effect of the extracts on the activity of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) from human erythrocytes, was evaluated. Results: The phytochemical screening of the AE and EE by colorimetric test showed the presence of flavonoids, steroids, triterpenes, saponins, coumarins, sesquiterpene lactones, tannins, and carbohydrates. In addition, the RP-HPLC-MS analysis identified some phenolic compounds such as flavonols, methoxyflavonols, flavones, methoxyflavones, and hydroxycinnamic acids. The hemolysis assay showed non-cytotoxic activity by AE, but EE exhibited a hemolytic effect. Furthermore, the AE and EE showed significant antioxidant activity to inhibit radicals in the TEAC, DPPH and -OH scavenging assays. Moreover, the SOD activity only showed a significant increase by AE. However, the two crude extracts increased the CAT activity, at the highest concentrations. Conclusion: P. hysterophorus has phytochemicals with antioxidant activity to inhibit radicals and increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes in vitro.