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Anti-acetylcholinesterase activity and antioxidant properties of extracts and fractions of Carpolobia lutea

Nwidu, Lucky Legbosi; Elmorsy, Ekramy; Thornton, Jack; Wijamunige, Buddhika; Wijesekara, Anusha; Tarbox, Rebecca; Warren, Averil; Carter, Wayne


Lucky Legbosi Nwidu

Ekramy Elmorsy

Jack Thornton

Buddhika Wijamunige

Anusha Wijesekara

Rebecca Tarbox

Averil Warren


Context: There is an unmet need to discover new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. This study determined the anti-acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, DPPH free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties of Carpolobia lutea G. Don (Polygalaceae).
Objective: To quantify C. lutea anti-AChE, DPPH free radical scavenging, and antioxidant activities, and cell cytotoxicity.
Materials and methods: Plant stem, leaves, and roots were subjected to sequential solvent extractions, and screened for anti-AChE activity across a concentration range of 0.02-200 μg//mL. Plant DPPH radical scavenging activity, reducing power, and total phenolic and flavonoid content were determined, and cytotoxicity evaluated using human hepatocytes.
Results: C. lutea exhibited concentration dependent anti-AChE activity. The most potent inhibitory activity for the stem was the crude ethanol extract and hexane stem fraction oil (IC₅₀ = 140 μg/mL); for the leaves the chloroform leaf fraction (IC₅₀ = 60 μg/mL/mL); and for roots, the methanol, ethyl acetate, and aqueous root fractions (IC₅₀ = 0.3-3 μg/mL). Dose-dependent free radical scavenging activity and reducing power were observed with increasing stem, leaf, or root concentration. Total phenolics were highest in the stem: ~632 mg gallic acid equivalents/g for a hexane stem fraction oil. Total flavonoid content was highest in the leaves: ~297 mg quercetin equivalents/g for a chloroform leaf fraction. At 1 μg/mL, only the crude ethanol extract oil was significantly cytotoxic to hepatocytes.
Discussion and conclusion: C. lutea possesses anti-AChE activity and beneficial antioxidant capacity indicative of its potential development as a treatment of Alzheimer’s and other diseases characterized by a cholinergic deficit.


Nwidu, L. L., Elmorsy, E., Thornton, J., Wijamunige, B., Wijesekara, A., Tarbox, R., …Carter, W. (2017). Anti-acetylcholinesterase activity and antioxidant properties of extracts and fractions of Carpolobia lutea. Pharmaceutical Biology, 55(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 3, 2017
Publication Date Jun 19, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 13, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 19, 2017
Journal Pharmaceutical Biology
Print ISSN 1388-0209
Electronic ISSN 1744-5116
Publisher Taylor & Francis Open
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 55
Issue 1
Keywords Anti-acetylcholinesterase; Carpolobia lutea; Antioxidant; Alzheimer's disease
Public URL
Publisher URL


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