Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 247685, 21 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/247685
Review Article

Sesquiterpene Lactones from Artemisia Genus: Biological Activities and Methods of Analysis

1Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Grigore T. Popa”, 16 Universitatii Street, 700150 Iasi, Romania
2Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Grigore T. Popa”, 16 Universitatii Street, 700150 Iasi, Romania
3Department of Drug Analysis, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Grigore T. Popa”, 16 Universitatii Street, 700150 Iasi, Romania

Received 10 April 2015; Revised 23 August 2015; Accepted 25 August 2015

Academic Editor: Shixin Deng

Copyright © 2015 Bianca Ivanescu 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.

Abstract

Sesquiterpene lactones are a large group of natural compounds, found primarily in plants of Asteraceae family, with over 5000 structures reported to date. Within this family, genus Artemisia is very well represented, having approximately 500 species characterized by the presence of eudesmanolides and guaianolides, especially highly oxygenated ones, and rarely of germacranolides. Sesquiterpene lactones exhibit a wide range of biological activities, such as antitumor, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiulcer, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, and insect deterrent. Many of the biological activities are attributed to the α-methylene-γ-lactone group in their molecule which reacts through a Michael-addition with free sulfhydryl or amino groups in proteins and alkylates them. Due to the fact that most sesquiterpene lactones are thermolabile, less volatile compounds, they present no specific chromophores in the molecule and are sensitive to acidic and basic mediums, and their identification and quantification represent a difficult task for the analyst. Another problematic aspect is represented by the complexity of vegetal samples, which may contain compounds that can interfere with the analysis. Therefore, this paper proposes an overview of the methods used for the identification and quantification of sesquiterpene lactones found in Artemisia genus, as well as the optimal conditions for their extraction and separation.