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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 206581, 5 pages
Research Article

Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Effects of Crude Extract, Fractions and 4-Nerolidylcathecol from Aerial Parts of Pothomorphe umbellata L. (Piperaceae)

1Departamento de Ciências Exatas e da Terra, Instituto de Ciências Ambientais, Químicas e Farmacêuticas, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Nicolau Street 210, 09972-270 Diadema, SP, Brazil
2National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS 38677, USA
3Laboratório de Pesquisa em Fármacos, Universidade Federal do Amapá, 68902-280 Macapá, AP, Brazil
4Departamento de Fonoaudiologia, Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências, Universidade Estadual Paulista, 17525-900 Marília, SP, Brazil
5Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, 14040-903 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

Received 13 August 2012; Accepted 26 September 2012

Academic Editor: Didier Bereau

Copyright © 2013 Andrey P. Lopes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The crude ethanolic extract from aerial parts of Pothomorphe umbellata L. (Piperaceae) and fractions obtained by partitions sequentially among water-methanol, methylene chloride, and ethyl acetate, as well as the major constituent, 4-nerolidylcatechol, were, respectively, evaluated and evidenced for antioxidant and cytotoxic effects through fluorometric microplate and microculture tetrazolium assays in HL-60 cells. The crude ethanolic extract demonstrated the preeminent antioxidant activity ( μg/mL) against exogenous cytoplasmic reactive oxygen species, followed by the water-methanolic ( μg/mL), methylene chloride ( μg/mL), ethyl acetate ( μg/mL), 4-nerolidylcatechol ( μg/mL), and the sterol fractions ( μg/mL). Vitamin C, the positive control used in this assay, presented IC50 value equivalent to 1.7 μg/mL. 4-Nerolidylcatechol ( μg/mL) and methylene chloride fraction ( μg/mL) presented considerable cytotoxicity probably because of the presence of an o-quinone, an auto-oxidation by product of the catechol. Polar compounds, present in the ethanol extract, appear to increase the solubility and stability of the major active constituent, acting synergistically with 4-nerolidylcatechol, improving its pharmacokinetic parameters and increasing significantly its antioxidant activity which, in turn, suggests that the aqueous-ethanolic extract, used in folklore medicine, is safe and effective.