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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1638342, 8 pages
Research Article

Cytotoxic Effect and TLC Bioautography-Guided Approach to Detect Health Properties of Amazonian Hedyosmum sprucei Essential Oil

1Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology (SVeB), University of Ferrara, Corso Ercole I d’Este 32, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
2Universidad Estatal Amazónica, Via Napo Km 2 1/2 Paso Lateral, 160150 Puyo, Ecuador

Received 1 February 2016; Accepted 1 March 2016

Academic Editor: José L. Ríos

Copyright © 2016 Alessandra Guerrini 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.


Bioautography has been used as rapid and easy strategy to detect and identify bioactive fractions/molecules in the never before investigated Hedyosmum sprucei Solms (Chloranthaceae) essential oil (EO). The antioxidant activity, performed through DPPH bioautographic assay and spectrophotometric evaluations (IC50 = 230 ± 10 µg/mL), seemed to be mainly due to α-cadinol and α-muurolol. (HP)TLC bioautography, focused on antimicrobial capacities, pointed out α-cadinol, α-muurolol, τ-muurolol, caryophyllene oxide, and methyleugenol as the most effective compounds against Staphylococcus aureus, considered as testing strain. Moreover, the microdilution method, assessed among a wide panel of microorganisms, revealed Listeria grayi and Staphylococcus aureus as the most sensitive among human tested strains and Clavibacter michiganensis among phytopathogens. GC-MS chemical profile showed that bioactive molecules represented only a small quantity of the whole EO: germacrene D (23.16%), β-caryophyllene (15.53%), δ-cadinene (5.50%), α-copaene (5.08%), and α-phellandrene (3.48%) were the main compounds, highlighting an uncommon composition among the genus Hedyosmum. Finally, H. sprucei EO was checked for cytotoxic potential against A549 (lung cancer) and MCF-7 (breast cancer) cell lines showing promising cytotoxic effects against both cell lines after 48 h (IC50 A549 = 44.05 ± 2.35 µg/mL; IC50 MCF-7 = 32.76 ± 4.92 µg/mL) and 72 h (IC50 A549 = 43.55 ± 2.80 µg/mL; IC50 MCF-7 = 33.64 ± 0.43 µg/mL).