Screening the methanol extracts of some Iranian plants for acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity

A Gholamhossainian, MN Moradi, F Sharifi-far


Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is the main enzyme for the breakdown of acetylcholine. Nowadays, usage of the inhibitors of this enzyme is one of the most important types of treatment of mild to moderate neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Herbal medicines can be a new source of inhibitors of this enzyme. In this study we examined around 100 different plants to evaluate their inhibitory properties for AChE enzyme. Plants were scientifically identified and their extracts were prepared by methanol percolation. Acetylcholinesterase activity was measured using a colorimetric method in the presence or absence of the extracts. Eserine was used as a positive control. Methanol extracts of the Levisticum officinale, Bergeris integrima and Rheum ribes showed more than 50% AChE inhibitory activity. The inhibition kinetics were studied in the presence of the most effective extracts. L. officinale and B. integrima inhibited AChE activity in a non-competitive manner, while R. ribes competitively inhibitied the enzyme as revealed by double-reciprocal Linweaver-Burk plot analysis. Under controlled condition, Km and Vmax values of the enzyme were found to be 9.4 mM and 0.238 mM/min, respectively. However,in the presence of L. officinale, B. integrima, and R. ribes extracts, Vmax values were 0.192, 0.074 and 0.238 mM/min, respectively. Due to the competitive inhibition of the enzyme by R. ribes extract, the Km value of 21.2 mM was obtained. The concentration required for 50% enzyme inhibition (IC50 value) was 0.5, 0.9, and 0.95 mg/ml for the L. officinale, B. integrima and R. ribes extracts, respectively. The IC50 of the eserine was determined to be 0.8 mg/ml.


Acetylcholinesterase; Inhibitor; Levisticum officinale; Bergeris integrima; Rheum ribes

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