Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine
Chromatographic fingerprinting and free-radical scavenging activity of ethanol extracts of Muntingia calabura L. leaves and stems

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Supported by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development for the Outright Research Grant (Project No. 151516 PNSE), the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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    Objective: To determine the thin-layer chromatography (TLC) fingerprint profiles and to evaluate the in vitro antioxidant activity of ethanol extracts of Muntingia calabura (M. calabura) leaves and stems. Methods: The leaves and stems were extracted using ethanol as solvent. The TLC separation of the phytochemical constituents of the leaf and ethanol extracts was carried out in ethyl acetate: n-hexane and chloroform: ethyl acetate mobile phase systems. Distinct spots were visualized under visible light, UV 254 nm, UV 366 nm and after spraying with vanillin-sulfuric acid. The 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl free-radical scavenging assay was used to evaluate the antioxidant activity of the extracts. Results: Both the leaf and stem ethanol extracts at 4 mg/mL exhibited 2,2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl inhibition of more than 90%, relative to gallic acid. The results of TLC showed that the degree of resolution between the constituent spots was comparable between the two mobile phase systems using the different visualization wavelengths. Under the 254 nm visualization, few spots were observed in leaf and stem extracts. Visualization at 366 nm yielded the greatest number of observable spots of various colors in both leaf and stem extracts. More spots were visualized upon post-derivatization with vanillinsulfuric acid in the TLC chromatograms using chloroform: ethyl acetate mobile phase, compared to those in ethyl acetate: n-hexane mobile phase. Conclusions: M. calabura exhibited very high antioxidant activity in its leaves and stems ethanol extracts, both of which are used in traditional medicine. The TLC results demonstrated the presence of diverse secondary metabolites in the leaf and stem ethanol extracts, indicating that the antioxidant activity, including other bioactivities may be attributed to these phytochemical constituents. This paper has reported for the first time the TLC fingerprinting of M. calabura using visible light, UV 254 nm, UV 366 and postderivatization with vanillin-spray to visualize separate spots on TLC plates.

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William Patrick Cruiz Buhian, Raquel Orejudos Rubio, Juliana Janet Martin-Puzon. Chromatographic fingerprinting and free-radical scavenging activity of ethanol extracts of Muntingia calabura L. leaves and stems. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2017; 7(2): 139-143.

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  • Received:March 18,2016
  • Revised:March 25,2016
  • Adopted:July 14,2016
  • Online: November 23,2016
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