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Phytochemical analysis, evaluation of the antioxidant and antiplasmodial activities of the ethanolic extract of Ficus elastica Roxb. ex Hornem. (Moraceae) lianas

Jean Emmanuel Mbosso Teinkela, Jean Baptiste Hzounda Fokou, Caroline Ngo Nyobe, Joseph Crépin Kouopmtchop Sado, Alain Njoya Mbouombouo, Thierry Fokou Nzodjou, William Dakam


Ficus elastica Roxb. ex Hornem, also called the Rubber fig tree, is a plant of the Moraceae family used in traditional medicine to treat allergies and skin infections. Our study aims to perform the quantitative screening and the evaluation of the antioxidant and anti-plasmodial activities of the ethanolic extract of Ficus elastica lianas. The estimation of total polyphenols, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, and saponins has been evaluated by different methods described in the literature. The evaluation of the antioxidant activity was carried out using the DPPH scavenging method and that of the ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). The antiplasmodial activity was tested on the Pf 3D7 strain (sensitive to Chloroquine and artemisinin), and Pf Dd2 (chloroquine-resistant and sensitive to artemisinin), and the inhibitory concentration 50 (IC50) was determined. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, polyphenols, and tannins with respective contents of 855.2 µg QiE/mg D.M., 179.99 µg Q.E./mg D.M., 68.24 µg SaE/mg D.M., 46.46 µg GAE/mg D.M. and 0.11 µg TAE/mg D.M. The extract of Ficus elastica lianas showed antioxidant activity with an IC50 = 25.30 µg/ml compared to that of gallic acid, which was 5.06 µg/ml. At 31,25 µg/ml, a 22,49 µg/g GAE concentration could reduce Fe3+ to Fe2+. It also showed good antiplasmodial activity (IC50: 11.98 ± 0.42 µg/ml) on strain Dd2 and moderate activity (IC50: 23.17 ± 0.45 µg/ml) on strain 3D7. On the Pf Dd2 strain, the extract was more active than Chloroquine and artemisinin, while on the Pf 3D7 strain, the extract showed better activity than Chloroquine but less than artemisinin. These results demonstrate that the ethanolic extract of Ficus elastica lianas has antioxidant and antiplasmodial properties, probably due to its high alkaloids and flavonoids. It could be a natural alternative for discovering new antioxidant and antimalarial drugs.

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