1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
2Department of Pharmaceutical and medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
3Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
Objective:Alchornea floribunda leaves are widely used in ethnomedicine for the management of immuno-inflammatory disorders. We investigated the in vivo and in vitro antioxidant activity of the leaf extract, fractions and isolated compounds of A. floribunda.
Materials and Methods: The ethyl acetate fraction of the methanol leaf extract was subjected to several chromatographic separations to isolate compounds 1-4. The structures of the isolated compounds were elucidated by a combination of 1D and 2D NMR and mass spectrometry. Oxidative stress was induced with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Further analysis on the isolated phenolic compounds were done using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity tests.
Results: The ethyl acetate fraction at 200 mg/kg produced significant (p<0.05) elevations of catalase enzyme activity and a significant (p<0.05) reduction in serum malondialdehyde. The chemical investigation of the ethyl acetate fraction led to the isolation of three flavans, (-) cathechin (1), (-) epicathechin (2), (+) epicathechin (3) and a flavanone, 2R, 3R dihydroquercitin (4). In hydrogen peroxide scavenging assay, (-) epicathechin exhibited an EC50 value of 8 μg/ml, similar to the standard ascorbic acid (EC50 = 8 μg/ml). (-) epicathechin showed scavenging of DPPH radical with EC50 value of 19 μg/ml while in the FRAP assay, it had EC50 value of 46 μg/ml which was lower than that of the standard, ascobic acid (EC50 = 66 μg/ml).
Conclusion: The medicinal uses of A. floribunda may be due to the antioxidant activities of its phenolic compounds.
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