Polyphenol composition and biological activity of Thymus citriodorus and Thymus vulgaris: Comparison with endemic Iberian Thymus species

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The polyphenol compositions of Thymus × citriodorus and Thymus vulgaris extracts as obtained by exhaustive hydroethanolic (HE) extraction and aqueous decoction (AD) were compared. In addition, their compositions and bioactivities were compared to those of Thymus pulegioides and Thymus mastichina, grown under the same edaphoclimatic conditions, and Thymus carnosus. Rosmarinic acid was the most abundant polyphenol followed by luteolin-hexuronide, salvianolic acids I and K. Cluster analysis suggests a similarity of the polyphenol composition of T. citriodorus and T. vulgaris. A significant antioxidant activity was observed and correlated with their polyphenol levels. The same being observed for the higher anti-proliferative activity/cytotoxicity of HE extracts on Caco-2 and HepG2 cells as compared to AD extracts. Significant association between the total phenolic compounds with the anti-proliferative activity, for both cell lines, was observed. These results support the importance of salvianolic acids levels in Thymus extracts and their in vitro anti-proliferative/cytotoxic activities.
Thymus L. species , Thymus × citriodorus