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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 3169751, 11 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of the Antioxidant Capacities and Cytotoxic Effects of Ten Parmeliaceae Lichen Species

1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University Complutense of Madrid, Plaza Ramón y Cajal s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2Department of Plant Biology II, Faculty of Pharmacy, University Complutense of Madrid, Plaza Ramón y Cajal s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 31 July 2016; Revised 28 October 2016; Accepted 8 November 2016

Academic Editor: Michał Tomczyk

Copyright © 2016 C. Fernández-Moriano 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.


Parmeliaceae represents the largest and widespread family of lichens and includes species that attract much interest regarding pharmacological activities, due to their production of unique secondary metabolites. The current work aimed to investigate the in vitro antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of the methanol extracts of ten Parmeliaceae species, collected in different continents. Methanol extraction afforded high phenolic content in the extracts. The antioxidant activity displayed by lichens was evaluated through chemical assays, such as the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activities and the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). A moderately positive correlation was found between the phenolic content and the antioxidant properties for all the species: : 0.7430 versus ORAC values, : 0.7457 versus DPPH scavenging capacity, and : 0.7056 versus FRAP reducing power. The methanol extract of Flavoparmelia euplecta exhibited the highest ORAC value, the extract of Myelochroa irrugans showed the maximum DPPH scavenging capacity, and Hypotrachyna cirrhata methanol extract demonstrated the highest reducing power. Further, the cytotoxic activity of the ten species was investigated on the human cancer cell lines HepG2 and MCF-7; Myelochroa irrugans exhibited the highest anticancer potential. The pharmacological activities shown here could be attributed to their phytochemical constituents.