Comparative study of polyphenolic composition and anti-inflammatory activity of Thymus species


The polyphenolic composition and anti-inflammatory activity of selected Thymus species (T. longicaulis C. Presl, T. praecox Opiz subsp. polytrichus (A. Kerner Ex Borbás) Jalas, T. pulegioides L., T. serpyllum L. subsp. serpyllum and T. striatus Vahl) was studied in comparison with T. vulgaris, as an officinal medicinal plant, to evaluate the biomedical potential of these Croatian wild-growing species. This paper provides a first insight into the polyphenolic profiles of T. praecox subsp. polytrichus and T. striatus. Also, some flavone and hydroxycinnamic derivatives were at first identified in the other studied species by LC-DAD-ESI–MS/MS analysis. Rosmarinic acid and glycosides of scutellarein and luteolin were found to be the most abundant polyphenolic constituents. The Thymus extracts inhibited Src tyrosine kinase activity and they reduced the production of proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 in Balb/C mice splenocytes. The obtained results highlighted T. longicaulis as a potential source of herbal drugs with anti-inflammatory properties and/or novel functional food rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids.

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This research was funded by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (number of the project: 006-0061117-1238). The authors want to thank Gordan Lukač, PhD (NP Paklenica), and Associate Professor Antun Alegro, PhD (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany and Botanical Garden) for their assistance in collection and identification of the plant material. We also thank Fidelta In vivo Pharmacology Department for mouse splenocyte isolation.

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Correspondence to Sanda Vladimir-Knežević.

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Kindl, M., Bucar, F., Jelić, D. et al. Comparative study of polyphenolic composition and anti-inflammatory activity of Thymus species. Eur Food Res Technol 245, 1951–1962 (2019).

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  • Thymus spp.
  • Rosmarinic acid
  • Luteolin
  • Scutellarein
  • Src tyrosine kinase
  • Interleukin-6