Tagetes erecta L. is a popular ornamental plant of the Asteraceae family, which is widely cultivated not only for its decorative use, but also for the extraction of lutein. Besides carotenoid representatives, which have been extensively studied, other important classes of secondary metabolites present in the plant, such as polyphenols, could exhibit important biological activities.
The phytochemical analysis of a methanolic extract obtained from T. erecta inflorescences was achieved using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) techniques. The extract was further subjected to a multistep purification process, which allowed the separation of different fractions. The total extract and its fractions contain several polyphenolic compounds, such as hydroxybenzoic and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, flavonols (especially quercetagetin glycosides), and several aglycons (e.g., quercetin, patuletin). One of the fractions, containing mostly quercetagitrin, was subjected to two different antioxidant assays (metal chelating activity and lipoxygenase inhibition) and to in vitro cytotoxicity assessment.
Generally, the biological assays showed promising results for the investigated fraction compared to the initial extract. Given the encouraging outcome of the in vitro assays, further purification and structural analysis of compounds from T. erecta extracts, as well as further in vivo investigations are justified.
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Burlec, A.F. & Pecio, Łukasz & Kozachok, Solomiia & Mircea, Cornelia & Corciovă, Andreia & Vereștiuc, Liliana & Cioanca, Oana & Oleszek, Wieslaw & Hancianu, Monica. (2021). Phytochemical Profile, Antioxidant Activity, and Cytotoxicity Assessment of Tagetes erecta L. Flowers. Molecules. 26. 1201. 10.3390/molecules26051201.