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Antioxidant capacity, anti-acetylcholinesterase activity and inhibitory effect on lipid peroxidation in mice brain homogenate of Achillea millefolium

Objective: Achillea millefolium (A. millefolium) is a tradi­tional herbal medicine that contains natural compounds with antioxidant activities and is used for a wide range of conditions among people. The aim of our study was to investigate antioxidant and anti-acetylcholinesterase activities of A. millefolium extracts to determine its potential therapeutic usage in Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods: Methanol extracts (ME) and ethanol extracts (EE) of A. millefolium were prepared to determine (a) in vitro antioxidant activities, (b) the effects on acetylcholinester­ase kinetics (by using a colorimetric spectroscopic method) and (c) the effects on sodium nitroprusside (SNP)-induced lipid peroxidation in mice brain homogenate.

Results: ME had higher antioxidant activities compared to EE. Both extracts displayed a competitive inhibition of acetylcholinesterase; however, the inhibitory activity of ME was higher than EE. The inhibitory constant (K) values of ME and EE were found to be 28.43 and 68.47 µg/mL, respectively. Both extracts caused a significant concen­tration-dependent decrease in malondialdehyde (MDA) contents in mice brain homogenate, indicating a strong inhibition of lipid peroxidation.

Conclusions: Our results showed that A. millefolium has a high antioxidant capacity and anti-acetylcholinester­ase activity due to its phenolic compounds, suggesting a potential use as adjuvant therapy in neurodegenerative conditions such as AD.