Juncaceae species as sources of innovative bioactive compounds for the food industry: In vitro antioxidant activity, neuroprotective properties and in silico studies

Maria João Rodrigues, Katkam N. Gangadhar, Gokhan Zengin, Adriano Mollica, João Varela, Luísa Barreira, Luísa Custódio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Several Juncus species are traditionally used as sedative and to treat health problems like insomnia. This work was based on the hypothesis that Juncus acutus, J. maritimus and J. inflexus may have molecules with bioactivities relevant for the improvement of cognitive functions and thus with potential use as food additives and/or nutraceuticals. Therefore leaves and roots extracts of those species were evaluated for radical scavenging (RSA) and metal chelating activities, and for in vitro inhibition of acetyl-(AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE). The bioactive compound was isolated and identified by HPLC-DAD, and its anticholinesterase capacity was determined by different assays. Docking studies were performed to elucidate its inhibitory mechanism. The dichloromethane root extract of J. acutus had the highest RSA against DPPH and ABTS radicals, and the dichloromethane extract of J. maritimus leaves had the uppermost FRAP. The dichloromethane extract from J. acutus leaves had the strongest BuChE inhibition. Juncunol was the bioactive compound, exhibiting dual anticholinesterase capacity on enzyme-based assays and AChE inhibition in neuronal and glial cells in vitro. Molecular docking studies indicate juncunol as a competitive reversible inhibitor. Our results suggest that Juncus spp. can be sources of bioactive compounds with application in the food industry as cognitive-enhancer nutraceuticals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-596
Number of pages7
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Volume107
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Halophytes
  • Juncunol
  • Molecular docking
  • Neuroprotection
  • Oxidative stress

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