Editor's Note
This article reports on a detailed phytochemical investigation of different parts (herba, leaf, flowers) of wild collected and cultivated Hypericum perforatum populations. The advanced chromatographic tools revealed significant variability in the secondary metabolites content of the examined methanolic extracts. The cytotoxic activity of the crude extracts was assessed at concentrations ranged between 0.01 and 100 μg/mL, on Caco-2 intestinal cancer cell cultures, and a cytotoxic behavior was shown only at the highest concentration of 100 μg/mL.
Hypericum perforatum is known as an important medicinal plant, used for the treatment of several diseases, while its pharmacological properties are attributed to the presence of a wide range of secondary metabolites. Due to the great chemotypic variability of Hypericum species in the nature, and the demand for standardized herbal products, a detailed phytochemical investigation was carried out on different parts (herba, leaf, flowers) from wild collected and cultivated populations, using advanced chromatographic tools. Liquid Chromatographic analysis (LC-MS/MS MRM) revealed significant variability in the secondary metabolites content of the examined methanolic extracts. The most common derivatives belong to 9 groups i.e. benzoic acids, phenylpropanoids, coumarins, flavones, flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, phloroglucinols and naphtodianthrones. The main polyphenolic compounds were catechin, epicatechin, quercetin, quercetin 3-O-rhamnoside, quercetin 3-O-glucoside, neochlorogenic acid, proanthocyanidins (A and B series) and cyanidin-3-O-glucoside. In addition, the content of the characteristic compounds hypericin and hyperforin in herba crude extracts ranged between 0.5 and 1.7 mg/g and 0.6–3.3 mg/g respectively. The cytotoxic activity of the crude extracts was assessed at concentrations ranged between 0.01 and 100 μg/mL, on Caco-2 intestinal cancer cell cultures, and a cytotoxic behavior was shown only at the highest concentration of 100 μg/mL.