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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2019, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (6): 430-437.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.08.001

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Chemical compounds as well as antioxidant and litholytic activities of Arbutus unedo L. leaves against calcium oxalate stones

Rabie Kachkoula,b, Tarik Squalli Housseinic,d, Mohamed Mohimb,c, Radouane El Habbania,Youssef Miyaha, AnissaLahrichia

  1. a. Laboratory of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, BP 1893, Fez, Morocco
    b. Faculty of Science and Technology, University Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, BP 2202, Fez, Morocco
    c. Laboratory of Molecular Bases in Human Pathology and Therapeutic Tools, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, BP 1893, Fez, Morocco
    d. Department of Nephrology, University Hospital Hassan II, BP 1835, Atlas, Fez, Morocco
  • Online:2019-11-10 Published:2019-08-28



The present study aimed to quantify and identify the bioactive compounds of the Arbutus unedo L. leaves in order to evaluate both their antioxidant properties and litholytic activities against calcium oxalate stones.


This survey was carried out using hydroalcoholic extract (E.FA) and infusion (I.FA) of A. unedo leaves. The quantification of phenolic compounds, flavonoids, flavonols and anthocyanins was done by spectrophotometric methods and identification of chemical components was performed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array and electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Antioxidant activity was measured using the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) method and by the ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. Litholytic activity of E.FA and I.FA was studied using a special model that resembles circuitry of the urinary system.


E.FA showed greater antioxidant efficacy than I.FA (P < 0.05). Its higher efficiency was shown via the values of median inhibitory concentration, which was close to (76.14 ± 0.91) μg/mL for E.FA versus (202.64 ± 5.77) μg/mL for I.FA using the DPPH method, and (53.77 ± 0.81) μg/mL for E.FA versus (236.86 ± 31.90) μg/mL for I.FA, using FRAP method. I.FA exhibited significantly higher litholytic activity compared to E.FA (P < 0.05), with dissolution values of 31.03% ± 0.63% versus 14.55% ± 0.65%, respectively.


Overall, the results suggest that the A. unedo is rich in bioactive compounds, and possesses antioxidant and litholitic abilities that are worthy of further study.

Key words: Antioxidant activity, Arbutus unedo L., Litholytic activity, Phenolic compounds, Liquid chromatography, Photodiode array, Electrospray ionization tandem, Mass spectrometry

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