Molecular and cellular approach in the study of antioxidant/pro-oxidant properties of Micromeria croatica (Pers.) Schott

Phytochemical composition and antioxidant activity of three wild populations of endemic Illyric-Balcanic species Micromeria croatica (Pers.) Schott have been evaluated with respect to plant organ and growing location. Multivariate analysis (principal component analysis) was performed to visualise (dis-)similarity among samples and identify the correlations between phytochemical variables that explain the most variability. The tested leaf extract from BaČić kuk locality exhibited protective effects against reactive oxygen species-induced damage of DNA and inhibition of lipid peroxidation, while it caused oxidative degradation of protein in the bovine serum albumin assay at higher concentrations. This extract also exhibited cytotoxic activity and facilitated the formation of reactive oxygen species in the HEp2 cell line, in a dose-dependent manner.