Antioxidant and Antihypertensive Activity of Extract from Thymus serpyllum L. in Experimental Hypertension


The low incidence of cardiovascular disease in Mediterranean countries leads to an increased interest of the scientific community for the Mediterranean diet. Our aim was to evaluate total phenol and flavonoid contents, antioxidant capacity, free radical scavenging activity and potential antihypertensive effect of aqueous extract obtained from Thymus serpyllum L. (wild thyme, TE), an aromatic herb from the Lamiaceae family (highly present in Mediterranean diet), in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and in normotensive Wistar rats. Total phenol content of TE was 2008.33 ± 10.6 mg/L GAE, and rosmarinic and caffeic acids were predominant phenolic compounds. The ferric reducing/antioxidant power and antioxidant capacity analysis revealed strong antioxidative properties of TE. In vitro nitric oxide-scavenging activity of 1 mg/l TE was 63.43 % with the IC50 value of 122.36 μg/ml. Bolus injection of TE (100 mg/kg body weight i.v.) induced significant decrease of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and total peripheral resistance in SHR, without effects on these parameters in normotensive Wistar rats. Cardiac index remained unchanged after TE treatment in all experimental rats. Given dose of TE did not show significant nitric oxide-scavenging activity in vivo. Our results indicate that TE may protect against hypertension in experimental model of essential hypertension.

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Fig. 1



2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) diammonium salt


Cardiac index


Bone marrow cells


Diastolic blood pressure


Ferric reducing/antioxidant power


Gallic acid equivalents


Inducible nitric oxide synthase


3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide


Nitric oxide


Photodiode array detector


Systolic blood pressure


Spontaneously hypertensive rat


Extract from a plant Thymus serpyllum L. (wild thyme)


Total peripheral vascular resistance


Wistar rat


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Sources of Funding

This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Republic of Serbia (Project No III- 46010), by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, Republic of Croatia (Project No. 058-0000000-3470) and the Croatia–Serbia Bilateral agreement (Project No. 69-00-49/2010-02)

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Correspondence to N. Mihailovic-Stanojevic.

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Mihailovic-Stanojevic, N., Belščak-Cvitanović, A., Grujić-Milanović, J. et al. Antioxidant and Antihypertensive Activity of Extract from Thymus serpyllum L. in Experimental Hypertension. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 68, 235–240 (2013).

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  • Wild thyme
  • Antioxidant
  • Hypertension
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Blood pressure
  • Peripheral resistance
  • Nitric oxide
  • Spontaneously hypertensive rats
  • Rosmarinic acid