The medicinal importance of a novel plant Olax nana Wall. ex Benth. (family: Olacaceae) was revealed for the first time via HPLC-DAD finger printing, qualitative phytochemical analysis, antioxidant, cholinesterase, and α-glucosidase inhibitory assays.
The crude methanolic extract of O. nana (ON-Cr) was subjected to qualitative phytochemical analysis and HPLC-DAD finger printing. The antioxidant potential of ON-Cr was assessed via 1,1-diphenyl,2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2-azinobis[3-ethylbenzthiazoline]-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) free radical scavenging assays. Furthermore, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) & butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibitory activities were performed using Ellman’s assay, while α- glucosidase inhibitory assay was carried out using a standard protocol.
The qualitative phytochemical analysis of ON-Cr revealed the presence of secondary metabolites like alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, sterols, saponins and terpenoids. The HPLC-DAD finger printing revealed the presence of 40 potential compounds in ON-Cr. Considerable anti-radical activities was revealed by ON-Cr in the DPPH, ABTS and H2O2 free radical scavenging assays with IC50 values of 71.46, 72.55 and 92.33 μg/mL, respectively. Furthermore, ON-Cr showed potent AChE and BChE inhibitory potentials as indicated by their IC50 values of 33.2 and 55.36 μg/mL, respectively. In the α-glucosidase inhibition assay, ON-Cr exhibited moderate inhibitory propensity with an IC50 value of 639.89 μg/mL.
This study investigated Olax nana for the first time for detailed qualitative phytochemical tests, HPLC-DAD finger printing analysis, antioxidant, anticholinesterase and α-glucosidase inhibition assays. The antioxidant and cholinesterase inhibitory results were considerable and can provide scientific basis for further studies on the neuroprotective and anti-Alzheimer’s potentials of this plant. ON-Cr may further be subjected to fractionation and polarity guided fractionation to narrow down the search for isolation of bioactive compounds.