Screening of antioxidant activity of three Indian medicinal plants, traditionally used for the management of neurodegenerative diseases

Author: Auddy B//Ferreira M//Blasina F//Lafon L////
SN Pradhan Center for Neurosciences, University College of Medicine, Kolkata 700 020, India
Conference/Journal: J Ethnopharmacol
Date published: 2003
Other: Volume ID: 84 , Issue ID: 2-3 , Pages: 131-8 , Word Count: 327

A number of Indian medicinal plants have been used for thousands of years in the traditional system of medicine (Ayurveda). Amongst these are plants used for the management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, loss of memory, degeneration of nerves and other neuronal disorders by the Ayurvedic practitioners. Though the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases remains enigmatic, there is evidence, which indicates that defective energy metabolism, excitotoxicity and oxidative damage may be crucial factors (Ann. Neurol. 38 (3) (1995) 357). The part of the Ayurvedic system that provides an approach to prevention and treatment of degenerative diseases is known as Rasayana, and plants used for this purpose are classed as rejuvenators. This group of plants generally possesses strong antioxidant activity (Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 43 (1992) 1175), but only a few have been investigated in detail. In the present study, three such rasayana plants were tested for the first time for their toxicity and free radical scavenging activity both in vitro and ex vivo. All the three plant infusions (up to 1 mg/ml) showed no toxic effects on the viability of PC12 cell line as judged by MTT-test. Both ethanolic extracts and water infusions of the plants were tested for their antioxidant activity in the 2,2'-azinobis-3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS*(+)) radical cation decolorization assay; inhibition of lipid peroxidation by plant infusions was carried out using spontaneous lipid peroxidation of rat brain homogenate, and IC50 values were determined. The results from the ABTS assay showed that the ethanolic extract of Sida cordifolia was found to be most potent (IC50 16.07 microg/ml), followed by Evolvulus alsinoides (IC50 33.39 microg/ml) and Cynodon dactylon (IC50 78.62 microg/ml). The relative antioxidant capacity for the water infusions was observed in the following order: E. alsinoides (IC50 172.25 microg/ml)>C. dactylon (IC50 273.64 microg/ml)>S. cordifolia (IC50 342.82 microg/ml). The results of water infusions of the plants on lipid peroxidation were as follows: E. alsinoides (IC50 89.23 microg/ml)>S. cordifolia) (IC50 126.78 microg/ml)>C. dactylon (IC50 608.31 microg/ml).