Journal of ethnopharmacology

Pharmacological and phytochemical study on a Sisymbrium officinale Scop. extract.

PMID 19969059


The aerial parts of Sisymbrium officinale Scop. are commonly used to treat airway ailments, moreover in antiquity the herbal drug was reputed to possess anticancer properties. The results obtained in present work support the traditional use and the properties ascribed to Sisymbrium officinale. In order to give a scientific basis to the traditional uses of Sisymbrium officinale, this study was aimed to evaluate in vitro the myorelaxant activity, the antimicrobial properties and the antimutagenic effect of an aqueous dry extract of the aerial parts of the plant. A phytochemical characterization of the extract was also performed. The myorelaxant activity was studied against the contractions induced by carbachol, histamine and leukotriene C(4), in isolated guinea-pig trachea. The antimicrobial activity was tested against six bacteria and one yeast. The Ames test, performed by the preincubation method, was used to study the antimutagenic activity of the extract by its capability to inhibit the mutagenic effect of 2-nitrofluorene, sodium azide, methyl methanesulfonate and 2-aminoanthracene, in Salmonella typhimurium TA98, Salmonella typhimurium TA100 and Escherichia coli WP2uvrA strains. The chemical composition of the extract was analyzed by TLC and HPLC. Sisymbrium officinale showed to reduce the chemically-induced contractions of isolated guinea-pig trachea with major potency against leukotriene C(4) and histamine. The extract did not show any antibacterial activity. The Ames test showed a strong antimutagenic activity against 2-aminoanthracene, in Escherichia coli WP2uvrA and in Salmonella typhimurium TA98 strains. The phytochemical study highlighted the presence of putranjivine, the glucosinolate marker of Sisymbrium officinale, and of proline. The myorelaxant activity of Sisymbrium officinale offers a scientific basis to its use in traditional medicine. The strong antimutagenic effect suggests further studies to evaluate its possible chemopreventive activity.

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2-Aminoanthracene, 96%