Phenolic Profile and Antioxidant, Antibacterial, and Antiproliferative Activity of Juglans regia L. Male Flowers

Żurek, N.; Pawłowska, A.; Pycia, K.; Grabek-Lejko, D.; Kapusta, I.T.

Molecules 27(9)


ISSN/ISBN: 1420-3049
PMID: 35566113
Accession: 079938887

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Juglans regia L., walnut, is a large, long-living tree, cultivated in temperate climates around the world. It is highly appreciated for its nutritional kernels and high-quality timber. Its barks, leaves, and husk are used as dyes and in folk medicine as herbal remedies for several diseases. From a biological and chemical standpoint, relatively little is known about the male flowers of the tree. Therefore, the aim of the study was to evaluate the phenolic profile as well as in vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiproliferative activity of male Juglans regia L. flowers. Phenolic content was determined by UPLC/PDA/MS/MS analyses; antioxidant activity was assessed by five different methods; antimicrobial activity was evaluated against the six most common pathogenic strains of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and antiproliferative properties were assessed against six cell lines. Most of the analyses carried out in this study were performed for the first time for this raw material. J. regia flower extract was characterized by a strong ability to scavenge DPPH˙ free radicals, hydroxyl radicals, and chelating metal ions. Among the examined bacterial strains and neoplastic lines, the strongest antimicrobial activity was shown against S. aureus, L. monocytogenes, and B. cereus, and cytotoxic activity against breast cancer, glioblastoma, and astrocytoma cells. Male J. regia flowers have also been found to be a rich source of phenolic compounds. The content of polyphenols in the extract was 4369.73 mg/100 g d.w., and 24 compounds from the group of flavonoids, phenolic acids, and juglunosides were identified. Additionally, a strong correlation between the content of polyphenols and the antioxidant capacity and cytotoxic activity was observed. This is why the tested J. regia flowers are an excellent source of effective natural antioxidant, antibacterial, and chemopreventive compounds that have potential to be used in the pharmaceutical or food industries.