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In vitro and in vivo Anticholinesterase Activity of the Volatile Oil of the Aerial Parts of Ocimum basilicum L. and O. africanum Lour. Growing in Egypt

Authors: M. G. Tadros, S. M. Ezzat, M. M. Salama, M. A. Farag


In this study, the in vitro anticholinesterase activity of
the volatile oils of both O. basilicum and O. africanum was
investigated and both samples showed significant activity. The major
constituents of the two oils were isolated using several column
chromatographies. Linalool, 1,8-cineol and eugenol were isolated
from the volatile oil of O. basilicum and camphor was isolated from
the volatile oil of O. africanum. The anticholinesterase activities of
the isolated compounds were also evaluated where 1,8-cineol showed
the highest inhibitory activity followed by camphor. To confirm these
activities, learning and memory enhancing effects were tested in
mice. Memory impairment was induced by scopolamine, a
cholinergic muscarinic receptor antagonist. Anti-amnesic effects of
both volatile oils and their terpenoids were investigated by the
passive avoidance task in mice. We also examined their effects on
brain acetylcholinesterase activity. Results showed that scopolamineinduced
cognitive dysfunction was significantly attenuated by
administration of the volatile oils and their terpenoids, eugenol and
camphor, in the passive avoidance task and inhibited brain
acetylcholinesterase activity. These results suggest that O. basilicum
and O. africanum volatile oils can be good candidates for further
studies on Alzheimer’s disease via their acetylcholinesterase
inhibitory actions.

Keywords: Ocimum africanum, passive avoidance, acetylcholinesterase, Ocimum basilicum

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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