Extracts from a traditional African tree called “False Iroko” found to be effective at treating neurodegenerative disease

Researchers discovered that the “False Iroko” tree (Antiaris africana) contains compounds that can be used to treat mitochondria-related neurodegenerative diseases. This study, which was published in the European Journal of Medicinal Plants, conducted in vitro cyanide neurotoxicity tests to determine the neuroprotective properties of different solvent fractions of A. africana.

  • A. africana leaves were air dried and ground into a powder. This powder was then macerated in 80 percent methanol and then filtered before being partitioned into n-hexane, dichloromethane, and methane fractions.
  • The cerebellum and cerebral cortex of male Wistar rats were removed from the brain and homogenized. These were used for the biochemical assays.
  • Homogenized cerebellum and cerebral cortex samples were incubated in varying concentrations of each solvent fraction and potassium cyanide (KCN).
  • Biological oxidation activity was induced based on the ability to reduce p-iodonitro tetrazolium violet.
  • Reduced glutathione (GSH) levels were determined along with protein carbonyl level, and monoamine oxidase activity.
  • Formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances was measured and used to evaluate lipid peroxidation inhibitory activity.

The results of study show that all solvent fractions of A. africana can mitigate the mitochondrial damage induced by KCN on the cerebral cortex, possibly by utilizing antioxidant mechanisms.

Read the full text of this study at this link.

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Journal reference

Adewunmi R, Ilesanmi OB, Crown OO, Komolafe KC, Akinmoladun AC, Olaleye TM, Akindahunsi AA. ATTENUATION OF KCN-INDUCED NEUROTOXICITY BY SOLVENT FRACTIONS OF ANTIARIS AFRICANA LEAF. European Journal of Medicinal Plants. 26 April 2018;23(2). DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2018/41054

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