, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 135–142 | Cite as

Phenolic contents and antioxidant activity of ethanolic extract of Capparis spinosa

  • Riadh Ben Mansour
  • Imtinen Ben Haj Jilani
  • Mohammed Bouaziz
  • Bochra Gargouri
  • Nésrine Elloumi
  • Hamadi Attia
  • Zeineb Ghrabi-Gammar
  • Saloua Lassoued
Original Research


Caper plant (Capparis spinosa) extracts have been associated with diverse biological activities including anti-oxidant properties. In this work, we characterized the hydro-ethanolic extract obtained from C. spinosa leaves [hydroethanolic extract of C. spinosa (HECS)] by analyzing the content in anti-oxidant compounds such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins. Further, we evaluated HECS antioxidant activities in vitro using bleaching of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical and ABTS test as well as by pretreatment of HeLa cells exposed to Fe2+ or H2O2. Our findings indicate that HECS contains high amount of total phenolic compounds and high levels of flavonoids and anthocyanins. Furthermore, HECS exhibited antioxidant activity in both chemical and biological tests. Specially, pretreatment of HeLa cells with different concentrations of the extract conferred protection against lipid peroxidation and modulated activities of two antioxidant enzymes, SOD and catalase. These results revealed HECS antioxidant effects and suggest that C. spinosa leaves are a potential source of natural antioxidant molecules with possible applications in industry and medicine.


Caper (Capparis spinosaPhenolic compounds Ethanol extract Antioxidant activity Lipid peroxidation (LPO) 



2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid)


Dry matter




Foetal calf serum


Gallic acid equivalent


Hydroethanolic extract of Capparis spinosa




Capparis spinosa


Phosphate buffer saline


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase


Thiobarbuturic acid


Thiobarbuturic acid reactive species


Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity





The present investigation was supported financially by the ministry of high education and scientific research—TUNISIA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riadh Ben Mansour
    • 1
  • Imtinen Ben Haj Jilani
    • 2
  • Mohammed Bouaziz
    • 3
  • Bochra Gargouri
    • 1
  • Nésrine Elloumi
    • 1
  • Hamadi Attia
    • 1
  • Zeineb Ghrabi-Gammar
    • 2
  • Saloua Lassoued
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’analyse, valorisation et sécurité des aliments, groupe de recherche «Biotechnologie et pathologies», Institut Supérieur de Biotechnologie de SfaxUniversité de SfaxSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.Unité de Recherche Biogéographie, Climatologie Appliquée et Dynamique Erosive, Faculté des Lettres, Institut National Agronomique de Tunisiedes Arts et des Humanités de ManoubaSfaxTunisia
  3. 3.Laboratoire des Bioprocédés Environnementaux, Centre de Biotechnologie de SfaxUniversité de SfaxSfaxTunisia

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