Ethnomedicinal plants with protective effects against beta-amyloid peptide (Aβ)1-42 indicate therapeutic potential in a new in vivo model of alzheimer’s disease

Norah A. Althobaiti*, Farid Menaa*, Johnathan J. Dalzell, Aishah E. Albalawi, Hammad Ismail, Mousa A. Alghuthaymi, Reem D. Aldawsari, Haroon Iqbal, Claire McAlinney, Brian D. Green*, Alexandra Plácido (Editor), José Pinela (Editor), Maria Ines Dias (Editor), Carla Pereira (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with unmet medical need. This investigation consisted of testing a range of ethanolic ethnomedicinal plant extracts (n = 18) traditionally used in the treatment of disorders such as anxiety, delirium, and memory loss. They were then screened for in vitro inhibitory activity against acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butylcholinesterase (BuChE), beta-secretase 1/beta-site amyloid precursor protein (APP) cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1), and antioxidant activities. Plants with potent activities were further characterised using a recently developed in vivo model of AD, Globodera pallida. The ability of phytoextracts to protect this organism against amyloid-beta Aβ (1-42) exposure was assessed by measuring chemosensing, survival rate, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and antioxidant responses. Extracts (n = 5) from Juglans regia (leaves), Ellettaria cardamomum (seeds), Cinnamomum zeylanicum (bark), Salvia officinalis (leaves/flowers), and Hypericum perforatum (flowers) exerted concentration-dependent inhibitory activities against AChE and BuChE. Three of these plant extracts (i.e., J. regia, E. cardamomum, and S. officinalis) possessed strong concentration-dependent inhibitory activity against BACE1. Furthermore, the five selected medicinal plant extracts not only enhanced significantly (p < 0.05) the nematode’s chemosensing, survival rate, and antioxidant responses (i.e., anti-ROS production, mitochondrial reductase activity, oxidized glutathione (GSSG) to reduced glutathione (GSH) ratio), but also greatly restored (p < 0.05) in a concentration-dependent manner the Aβ (1-42)-induced deleterious changes in these same parameters. In brief, this investigation highlights plant extracts with strong anti-AD activities which could be trialled as novel therapeutic supplements or undergo further biodiscovery research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1865
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2022


  • Article
  • G. pallida
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • phytotherapy
  • ethnomedicine
  • amyloid-beta peptide
  • oxidative stress
  • chemosensing
  • survival
  • antioxidant response


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