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Nat Prod Res. 2011 Jul;25(12):1195-201. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2010.534097.

Evaluation of antileishmanial, cytotoxic and antioxidant activities of essential oils extracted from plants issued from the leishmaniasis-endemic region of Sned (Tunisia).

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Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences de Gafsa, Campus Universitaire Zarroug-Gafsa 2112, Gafsa, Tunisia.


In this study, we tested 10 essential oils (EOs) extracted from 10 plants issued from Sned region (Tunisia) to evaluate both their leishmanicidal effects against Leishmania major and L. infantum, and their cytotoxicity against murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 (ATCC, TIB-71). The antioxidant activity was also monitored by the DDPH method, while the chemical composition of active EO was assessed by GC-MS analysis. The results showed that the EOs obtained from Thymus hirtus sp. algeriensis (rich on monoterpenoids, especially linalool at 17.62% and camphor at 13.82%) is significantly active against both L. major and L. infantum, whereas Ruta chalepensis EO (rich on 2-undecanone at 84.28%) is only active against L. infantum. Both oil extracts showed low cytotoxicity towards murine macrophages. The characteristic ratios (IC₈₀ Raw264.7 cells/IC₅₀ L. infantum and IC₈₀ Raw264.7 cells/IC₅₀ L. major) were, respectively, 2.7 and 1.57 for T. hirtus sp. algeriensis, and 1.34 and 0.19 for R. chalepensis. However, when measuring the antioxidant effects (DDPH method), the two latter EOs presented a moderate 2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl hydrate scavenging effects compared to EOs from Eucaliptus globulus, Pinus halepensis, Pituranthos tortuosus, Rosmarinus officinalis, Tetraclinis articulata or to BHT.

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