Author(s): Ljubuncic P, Portnaya I, Cogan U, Azaizeh H, Bomzon A
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The medicinal use of extracts prepared from plant parts of the genus Crataegus dates back to ancient times. Furthermore, it has been proposed that its antioxidant constituents account for its beneficial therapeutic effects. A decoction of leaves and unripe fruits from Crataegus aronia syn. azarolus (L) (Rosaceae), the indigenous Israeli hawthorn, is used to treat cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and sexual weakness in Arab traditional medicine. PURPOSE: Because laboratory data on the bioactivity of extracts prepared from the indigenous Israeli hawthorn is lacking, we evaluated the antioxidant and cytotoxic potentials of an extract prepared from leaves and unripe fruits in a variety of cell and cell-free in vitro assays. METHODS: The antioxidant assays measured: (a) its ability to inhibit (i) oxidation of beta-carotene, (ii) 2,2'-azobis(2-amidino-propan) dihydrochloride (AAPH)-induced plasma oxidation and (iii) iron-induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver homogenates; (b) its ability to scavenge the superoxide (O2-) radical; (c) its effects on the enzyme xanthine oxidase (XO) activity; (d) its effect on the redox state of glutathione (GSH) in cultured Hep G2 cells. In addition, we also evaluated the effects of the extract on cell membrane integrity and mitochondrial respiration in cultured Hep G2 cells. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Water-soluble extracts inhibited (1) oxidation of beta-carotene, (2) AAPH-induced plasma oxidation and (3) Fe(2+)-induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver homogenates. In addition, the extract (4) is an efficient scavenger of the O2- (5) increases intracellular GSH levels and (6) is not cytotoxic. Accordingly, we propose that the therapeutic benefit of Crataegus aronia can be, at least in part, attributed to its effective inhibition of oxidative processes, efficient scavenging of O2- and possible increasing GSH biosynthesis.
This article was published in J Ethnopharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacogenomics & Pharmacoproteomics