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Open access

Natalia Wszelaki, Agnieszka Kuciun and Anna Kiss

Screening of traditional European herbal medicines for acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activity

Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors are widely used for the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to enhance central cholinergic transmission. On the other hand, butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) inhibitors were reported to produce a significant increase in brain extracellular AChE without triggering severe peripheral or central side effects. In the present study, we selected twelve plants used in traditional European medicine to treat different central nervous system (CNS) disorders or to improve memory.

Methanolic and hexane extracts of these plants were tested for the AChE and BuChE inhibitory activity using Ellman's colorimetric method. The most potent AChE and BuChE inhibition was observed in the hexane extracts of the flowers of Arnica chamissonis Less. subs. foliosa and Ruta graveolens L. herb at a concentration of 400 μg mL-1. However, methanolic extracts of the flowers of Arnica chamissonis Less. subs. foliosa and the Hypericum perforatum L. herb demonstrated at the same concentration, selective inhibition only against AChE but not against BuChE. The other extracts did not show any significant AChE or BuChE inhibitory activity. Our results show that further investigations of the extracts of arnica, rue and St. John's Wort are needed to identity the compounds responsible for the AChE and BuChE inhibitory activity.

Open access

Anna Kiss, Małgorzata Derwińska and Sebastian Granica

Quantitative Analysis of Biologically Active Polyphenols in Evening Primrose (Oenothera paradoxa)Seeds Aqueous Extracts

The qualitative analysis of the aqueous extract showed the presence of polyphenolics belonging to different chemical groups: flavan-3-ol derivatives (catechin and procyanidin B3), gallic acid derivatives (gallic acid, ethyl gallate and pentagalloylglucose) and depsides (ellagic acid). The content of total phenolic and procyanidin in extracts depended on the duration of seeds storage and varied from 469 to 388 mg/g and from 436 to 372 mg/g, respectively. The HPLC quantitative analysis of the three main compounds showed that their content varied from 3.70 to 6.18 mg/g for gallic acid, from 23.43 to 18.91 mg/g for (+)-catechin and from 12.50 to 8.02 mg/g for pentagalloylglucose. During seeds storage, the quantity of pentagalloylglucose in extracts decreased by about 30%, while gallic acid content increase was about 30%. The quantity of (+)-catechin has changed less significantly. The scavenging potential of the extracts determined with the DPPH method correlated with the higher concentration of pentagalloylglucose.

Open access

Dániel Kiss and Anna Lovrics

Abstract

In this paper, we introduce a three-dimensional lattice-based computational model in which every lattice point can be occupied by an agent of various types (e.g. cancer cell, blood vessel cell or extracellular matrix). The behavior of agents can be associated to different chemical compounds that obey mass-transfer laws such as diffusion and decay in the surrounding environment. Furthermore, agents are also able to produce and consume chemical compounds. After a detailed description, the capabilities of the model are demonstrated by presenting and discussing a simulation of a biological experiment available in the literature.

Open access

Monika E. Czerwińska, Katarzyna Duszak, Andrzej Parzonko and Anna K. Kiss

Abstract

Plants belonging to the family Oleaceae have been traditionally used in treatment of various inflammatory skin disorders. One of the most well-known species is Olea europaea L. (olive), cultivated in the Mediterranean countries. Another species is Ligustrum vulgare L. (common privet), occurring particularly in Northern Europe and Asia.

The aim of the study was a comparison of the composition of aqueous and ethanolic extracts from leaves of O. europaea and L. vulgare (HPLC-DAD-MS), and determination of the total content of phenolics and flavonoids, as well as the content of the major compound, oleuropein. Secondly, we aimed to study the protective effect of extracts on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by human fibroblast cells (NHDF), cell viability (MTT assay), and apoptosis rate (Annexin V/propidium iodide staining) after UVA-irradiation.

The phytochemical analysis allowed us to identify compounds belonging to the groups of flavonoids, phenylpropanoids and secoiridoids in the extracts. The compounds from the group of lignans (olivil) were identified as being unique to O. europaea extracts. Echinacoside, ligustroflavone and ligustaloside A were identified in L. vulgare extracts in contrast to olive preparations. It was established that the aqueous and ethanolic extracts from leaves of both species, except the privet aqueous extract at a concentration of 5 μg/ml, did not show any significant inhibition of ROS production after UVA-irradiation in the model of NHDF cell line. The aqueous extracts of both species at concentrations of 5 and 25 μg/ml had a protective effect on the viability of UVA-treated cells in contrast to the ethanolic extract.

In conclusion, no significant difference in the activity of olive and privet leaf extracts has been observed, which suggests that both plant materials’ extracts, particularly aqueous ones, are effective herbal medicines and photoprotectors, which – to some extent – confirms the use of their preparations in skin disorders.

Open access

Sebastian Granica, Jakub P. Piwowarski and Anna K. Kiss

Abstract

The chemical composition and bioactivity of a water/methanol extract prepared from aerial parts of Circaea lutetiana were determined. HPLC-DAD-MS3 analysis revealed the presence of 14 different compounds comprising phenolic acids, ellagitannins and flavonoids. Antioxidant assays showed the extract's strong scavenging activity towards DPPH (SC50 33.1±3.1 μg/ml), O2 - (SC50 4.0±2.3 μg/ml) and H2O2 (SC50 below 2 μg/ml). Enzyme-based studies revealed that Circaea lutetiana extract inhibits the activity of hyaluronidase (IC50 13.3±2.4 μg/ml) and lipoxygenase (IC50 44.7±1.4 μg/ml). These results support some traditional uses of Circaea lutetiana.