Phytochemical Profiling and Evaluation of the Hepatoprotective Effect of Cuscuta Campestris by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Diode Array Detection

Plant-derived antioxidant compounds have the potential to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. As a holoparasitic plant, Cuscuta campestris Yuncker is being valorized for treatment of liver injury and cancer prevention in traditional medicine. The main purpose of this present study is to elucidate the antioxidant- and anticancer-associated contents of C. campestris by spectroscopic and chromatographic methods. Diethyl ether, ethyl acetate, methanol, n-butanol, and water were used as extraction solvents to reach a wide range of secondary metabolites synthesized by this plant. Antioxidant potentials of these extracts were characterized by (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl)-free radical scavenging activity. Their anticancer activities were evaluated on SNU-398 hepatocellular carcinoma cells and controlled on the normal adult human dermal fibroblasts (hDFs) cells. Their phenolic compounds were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector to illuminate the responsible anticancer agent(s). The ethyl acetate extract revealed the most significant antioxidant effect. Methanol and ethyl acetate extracts were found to be cytotoxic on the SNU-398 cell lines with CC50 values of 18.7 and 19.6 µg mL−1, respectively, whereas these extracts were not cytotoxic to the adult hDFs cells. Due to their abundance in the extracts, isorhamnetin, kaempferol, and quercetin may have caused this anticancer activity. Methanol extract has the highest concentration of phenolic compounds. Based on chromatographic analyses, we propose that these anticancer effects were positively correlated with plant phenolic compounds. The results showed that this plant is worth further study for its therapeutic uses.