Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a complex neurodegenerative disease with no availability of disease-modifying therapeutics. The complex etiology and recent failures in clinical trials indicate the need for multitargeted agents.
The present study aims to discover new plant-based multitargeted anti-AD leads.
A library of plant extracts was screened for inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE-1). The secondary metabolites of active extracts were also tested, followed by enzyme-kinetics and molecular modeling to understand the mechanism of inhibition. The most active extract was investigated for in-vivo anti-dementia activity in behavioral mice models.
Among the library of 105 extracts, Woodfordia fruticosa (SBE-80) and Bergenia ciliata (SBE-65) extracts displayed significant inhibition of all three enzymes. Gallic acid, one of the constituents of both plants, shows moderate inhibition of AChE and BACE-1. Catechin-3-O-gallate (CG), another constituent of SBE-65, inhibits EeAChE, rHuAChE, and eqBChE with IC’s of 29.9, 1.77, and 8.4 µM, respectively; along with a mild-inhibition of BACE-1. Ellagic acid, the constituent of SBE-80, inhibits BACE-1 with an IC value of 16 µM. The W. fruticosa extract SBE-80 at the dose of 25 mg/kg QD × 9 (PO) displayed memory-enhancing activity in Morris Water Maze and Passive Avoidance Test in Swiss albino mice. Treatment with SBE-80 also inhibits AChE in-vivo; whereas, a non-significant decrease in the serum TBARS was observed.
W. fruticosa is identified for the first time as an anti-AD lead candidate. The in-vitro and in-vivo data presented herein and the documented safety profile of W. fruticosa indicate its strong potential for preclinical development as a botanical drug for dementia/AD.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier GmbH.