Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3823

Full Length Research Paper

Biological activities of extract of Anthemis aetnensis Schouw: In vitro evaluation

Rosaria Acquaviva1, Claudia Di Giacomo1, Michele Malaguarnera1*, Salvatore Ragusa2, Valeria Sorrenti1, Rosa Santangelo1, Silvana Mastrojeni3, Ignazio Barbagallo1and Liliana Iauk3
1Department of Drug Science, Biochemistry Section, University of Catania, V.le A. Doria, 6, 95125, Catania, Italy. 2Department of Pharmacobiological Sciences, University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy. 3Department of Microbiological and Gynaecological Sciences, University of Catania, Via Androne 81, 95124 Catania, Italy.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 03 January 2012
  •  Published: 16 March 2012


Although Anthemis spp. are commonly used as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial agents, the exact mechanism of action is still unknown. We evaluated the antioxidant effect of Anthemis aetnensis by testing the free radical scavenging capacity and its effect on xanthine oxidase (XO) activity. In addition, the effect of the same extract on human leukocyte elastase activity was also evaluated. Flowers of A. aetnensis Schouw were collected on the slopes of the volcano Mount Etna. Antioxidant activity was assessed using a method that excludes the Fenton-type reaction. Since xanthine (X)/XO system represents a source of free radicals, we also tested the hypothesis that the study’s extract might inhibit the enzymatic activity of XO. In addition, the same extract of A. aetnensis was used to test its activity on human leukocyte elastase. Extract of A. aetnensis showed antioxidant activity, which was not due to inhibition of XO activity. In addition, extract of A. aetnensis showed a significant elastase inhibitory activity. Our data suggest that antioxidant capacity and inhibitor activity on elastase may explain the protective effects on inflammation, ulcers, irradiated skin injuries and cystitis afflictions.


Key words: Anthemis aetnensis, reactive oxygen species, antioxidant activity, human leukocyte elastase, xanthine oxidase.


DPPH, 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical; DMSO, dimethylsulfoxide;HLE, human leukocyte elastase; MeOsucc-AAPV-pNA, methoxysuccinyl-Ala-Ala-Pro-Val-pNitroanilide; NF-kB, nuclear factor-kappaB; ROS, reactive oxygen species; SOD,superoxide dismutase; X,  xanthine; XO, xanthine oxidase; NADH, b-Nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide.