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Anticholinesterase and Antioxidant Activities of Spilanthes filicaulis Whole Plant Extracts for the Management of Alzheimer’s Disease

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 2 ]


Taiwo O. Elufioye *, Cynthia C. Unachukwu and Adebola O. Oyedeji   Pages 103 - 113 ( 11 )


Background: Spilanthes filicaulis is a tropical herb implicated as a memory enhancer in ethnomedicine.

Objective: The study investigated acetyl/butyryl cholinesterase inhibitory and antioxidant activities of different extracts of S. filicaulis whole plant and correlated them to its phytochemical constituents.

Methods: The powdered whole plant was successively extracted with n-hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol. Acetyl cholinesterase (AChE) and Butyryl cholinesterase (BuChE) inhibitory activity were evaluated by Ellman colorimetry assay. Antioxidant activity was tested using 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging, ferric reducing power and nitric oxide scavenging assays. Total phenolic, flavonoid and tannin were estimated using standard methods. Correlation was determined using Quest Graph™ Regression Calculator.

Results: Various extracts exhibited concentration-dependent AChE and BuChE inhibitory activity with ethyl acetate extract being the highest with IC50 of 0.77 μg/mL and 0.92 μg/mL for AChE and BuChE respectively. The ethyl acetate extract also showed the highest reducing power when compared with the other extracts. The methanol extract had slightly higher phenolic and flavonoid content and showed the highest DPPH radical scavenging effect. DPPH scavenging, AChE and BuChE inhibition had high correlation with the total flavonoid content with R2 values of 1.00, 0.800 and 0.992 respectively while nitric oxide scavenging had high correlation with phenolics and tannins with R2 = 0.942 and 0.806 respectively.

Conclusion: These results show that the extracts of the whole plant of S. filicaulis possess significant AChE/BuChE inhibitory and antioxidant properties, mostly due to its flavonoid content, suggesting the possible use of the plant in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD.


Alzheimer’s disease, anticholinesterase, antioxidant, Spilanthes filicaulis, total flavonoids, total phenolic.


Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha

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