Hepatoprotective activity of Indian Phyllanthus
Context: Phyllanthus (Euphorbiaceae) species are traditionally well-known for their medicinal properties including hepatoprotective activity.
Objective: The study assessed the hepatoprotective and antioxidant activities of 11 Phyllanthus species, P. amarus Schumach., P. urinaria L., P. debilis Klein ex Willd, P. tenellus Roxb., P. virgatus G. Forst., P. maderaspatensis L., P. reticulatus Poir., P. polyphyllusWilld., P. emblica L., P. indofischerii Bennet. and P. acidus (L.) Skeels.
Materials and methods: The dried leaves and stems of each plant species were extracted in methanol and successively in water. The extracts were screened for hepatoprotective activity at a concentration of 50 µg/mL against tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BH) induced toxicity in HepG2 cells. Seven extracts from five species that showed hepatoprotective activity were assessed for their 50% effective concentration (EC50) values and their antioxidant activity using a DPPH assay. Phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin contents were also determined in these Phyllanthus species.
Results: The methanol extracts of P. polyphyllus, P. emblica and P. indofischeri showed high levels of hepatoprotective activity with EC50 values of 12, 19 and 28 µg/mL and IC50of 3.77, 3.38 and 5.8 µg/mL for DPPH scavenging activity respectively against an IC50 of 3.69 µg/mL for ascorbic acid. None of these activities could be attributed to phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin.
Discussion and conclusion: The hepatoprotective and antioxidant activities of P. indofischeri are demonstrated for the first time in literature. The study also confirms the hepatoprotective and antioxidant activities of leaves of P. emblica and P. polyphyllus. The molecule(s) responsible for the activities is being investigated.