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Molecules. 2011 Sep 13;16(9):7773-88. doi: 10.3390/molecules16097773.

Chemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial investigations of Pinus cembra L. bark and needles.

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Department of Plant and Animal Biology, School of Pharmacy, Gr. T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Universitatii Street Number 16, 700115 Iasi, Romania.


The chemical constituents and biological activity of Pinus cembra L. (Pinaceae), native to the Central European Alps and the Carpathian Mountains, are not well known. The aim of the present work was to examine the phenolic content, antioxidant and antimicrobial effects of hydromethanolic extracts of Pinus cembra L. bark and needles. Bark extract had higher concentrations of total phenolics (299.3 vs. 78.22 mg gallic acid equivalents/g extract), flavonoids (125.3 vs. 19.84 mg catechin equivalents/g extract) and proanthocyanidins (74.3 vs. 12.7 mg cyanidin equivalents/g extract) than needle extract and was more active as a free radical scavenger, reducing agent and antimicrobial agent. The EC₅₀ values in the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzo-thiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt (ABTS) and reducing power assays were 71.1, 6.3 and 26 mg/mL for bark extract and 186.1, 24 and 104 mg/mL for needle extract, respectively. In addition, needle extract showed ferrous ions chelating effects (EC₅₀ = 1,755 μg/mL). The antimicrobial effects against Staphylococcus aureus, Sarcina lutea, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans were assessed by the agar diffusion method. Both extracts (4 mg/well) were active against all the microorganisms tested; bark extract showed higher inhibition on all strains. These results indicate that Pinus cembra L. bark and needles are good sources of phytochemicals with antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.

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