DOI: 10.3390/molecules28155913 ISSN: 1420-3049

Antioxidant, Volatile Compounds; Antimicrobial, Anti-Inflammatory, and Dermatoprotective Properties of Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti Ex Carriere Essential Oil: In Vitro and In Silico Investigations

Naoufal El Hachlafi, Hanae Naceiri Mrabti, Samiah Hamad Al-Mijalli, Mohamed Jeddi, Emad M. Abdallah, Nesrine Benkhaira, Hanine Hadni, Hamza Assaggaf, Ahmed Qasem, Khang Wen Goh, Ammar AL-Farga, Abdelhakim Bouyahya, Kawtar Fikri-Benbrahim
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carriere is an endemic tree possessing valuable health benefits which has been widely used since time immemorial in international traditional pharmacopoeia. The aim of this exploratory investigation is to determine the volatile compounds of C. atlantica essential oils (CAEOs) and to examine their in vitro antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and dermatoprotective properties. In silico simulations, including molecular docking and pharmacokinetics absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity (ADMET), and drug-likeness prediction were used to reveal the processes underlying in vitro biological properties. Gas chromatography–mass spectrophotometry (GC-MS) was used for the chemical screening of CAEO. The antioxidant activity of CAEO was investigated using four in vitro complementary techniques, including ABTS and DPPH radicals scavenging activity, ferric reductive power, and inhibition of lipid peroxidation (β-carotene test). Lipoxygenase (5-LOX) inhibition and tyrosinase inhibitory assays were used for testing the anti-inflammatory and dermatoprotective properties. GC-MS analysis indicated that the main components of CAEO are β-himachalene (28.99%), α-himachalene (14.43%), and longifolene (12.2%). An in vitro antimicrobial activity of CAEO was examined against eleven strains of Gram-positive bacteria (three strains), Gram-negative bacteria (four strains), and fungi (four strains). The results demonstrated high antibacterial and antifungal activity against ten of them (>15 mm zone of inhibition) using the disc-diffusion assay. The microdilution test showed that the lowest values of MIC and MBC were recorded with the Gram-positive bacteria in particular, which ranged from 0.0625 to 0.25 % v/v for MIC and from 0.5 to 0.125 % v/v for MBC. The MIC and MFC of the fungal strains ranged from 0.5 to 4.0% (MIC) and 0.5 to 8.0% v/v (MFC). According to the MBC/MIC and MFC/MIC ratios, CAEO has bactericidal and fungicidal activity. The results of the in vitro antioxidant assays revealed that CAEO possesses remarkable antioxidant activity. The inhibitory effects on 5-LOX and tyrosinase enzymes was also significant (p < 0.05). ADMET investigation suggests that the main compounds of CAEO possess favorable pharmacokinetic properties. These findings provide scientific validation of the traditional uses of this plant and suggest its potential application as natural drugs.

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