Alzheimer’s disease (AD), one of the major causes of dementia, is an overwhelming neurodegenerative disease that particularly affects the brain, leading to memory loss and impairment of language and judgment capacity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the antioxidant and anticholinesterase properties of the leaves of Elatostema papillosum (EPL) and correlate with their phytochemical profiles, which are relevant to the treatment of AD.
The dried coarse powder of EPL was extracted with 80% methanol (EPL-M80) by cold extraction method. The resultant EPL-M80 was assessed for acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibitory activity by the Ellman method. The antioxidant activity was determined by DPPH (1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) and hydroxyl radical scavenging assays. Quantitative phytochemical (phenolic and flavonoid contents) analysis of endogenous substances in EPL-M80 was performed by standard spectrophotometric methods.
EPL-M80 significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited AChE and BChE activity with IC50 of 165.40 ± 4.01 and 213.81 ± 3.57 μg/mL, respectively in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, EPL-M80 exhibited strong radical scavenging activity against DPPH (IC50 = 32.35 ± 0.68 μg/mL) and hydroxyl radical (IC50 = 19.67 ± 1.42 μg/mL) when compared to that of standards. EPL-M80 was found to be rich in phenolic (23.74 mg gallic acid equivalent/g of dry extract) and flavonoid (31.18 mg quercetin equivalent/g of dry extract) content. Furthermore, a positive correlation (p < 0.001) was observed between the total phenolics and antioxidant as well as the anticholinesterase potential.
The marked inhibition of AChE and BChE, and potent antioxidant activity of the leaves of Elatostema papillosum highlight its potential to provide an effective treatment for AD.