The radical scavenging activity using 1,1-diphenyl, 2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and cytotoxicity using sulphorhodamine B (SRB) assay of the aqueous methanolic extract ofTamarix nilotica (Ehrenb.) Bunge (Tamaricaceae) flowers and its subextracts (CHCl3, EtOAC and Pet.ether) were evaluated. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents were estimated using colorimetric assays. Ethyl acetate (EtOAc) showed the highest free radical scavenging activity with inhibitory concentration (IC50) 7.25 ± 0.86 µg/ml in addition to potential cytotoxic effect on liver cell carcinoma (Huh-7) (IC50 49.1 ± 0.96 µg/ml) whereas effect on lung cell carcinoma (A-549) was much lower (IC50: 137.9 ± 1.85 µg/ml). EtOAc had the highest flavonoid content (1.75 ± 1.5 mg/g QE) compared to other subextracts. These results indicated that ethyl acetate fraction contains bioactive compounds worthy of more sophisticated studies as free radical scavenger and cytotoxic agent.
Key words: Tamarix nilotica, cytotoxic activity, sulphorhodamine B (SRB) assay, scavenging activity, 1,1-diphenyl, 2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, flavonoid, phenolic.
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