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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (6): 619-625.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110607

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Identification of antiplatelet and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory constituents in betel nut

Nabeel Ghayur Muhammad1,2,Faraz Kazim Syed1,Rasheed Huma3,Khalid Asaad3,4,Iqbal Jumani Maliha1,Iqbal Choudhary Muhammad3,Hassan Gilani Anwarul1()   

  1. 1. Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
    2. Department of Medicine, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton,McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
    3. Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan
    4. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research Institute, National Center for Research, Khartoum, Sudan
  • Received:2010-12-23 Accepted:2011-03-01 Online:2011-06-20 Published:2018-10-17
  • Contact: Hassan Gilani Anwarul E-mail:anwar.gilani@aku.edu
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by the grants from the Pakistan Science Foundation and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan

Objective: To investigate the possible mechanism and the compound(s) responsible for the antiplatelet and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory effects of Areca catechu crude extract (Ac.Cr).
Methods: Aqueous-methanol (70%) was used for extraction of plant material (betel nut). Antiplatelet activity was measured in human platelet-rich plasma by using a Lumi-aggregometer while anti-AChE activity was measured spectrophotometrically in vitro. In an attempt to find the responsible compound(s) in betel nut for antiplatelet and anti-AChE activities, different commercially available betel nut compounds were tested.
Results: Ac.Cr inhibited platelet aggregation induced by arachidonic acid (AA), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), platelet-activating factor (PAF), epinephrine and Ca 2+-ionophore. Ac.Cr was the most potent in inhibiting ADP- and Ca 2+-ionophore-induced aggregation. In the AChE assay, Ac.Cr showed significant AChE inhibitory activity with almost complete inhibition of the enzyme. Out of the tested compounds, none of the compounds in betel nut showed any antiplatelet effect except for catechin that was the most potent against epinephrine-induced aggregation. Catechin was significantly less potent than Ac.Cr, indicating a presence of additional compound(s) with antiplatelet activity. For the AChE inhibitory effect, only tannic acid, gallic acid, diosgenin and isoguvacine were found to be active, whereby tannic acid was more potent than Ac.Cr.
Conclusion: This study shows the possible antiplatelet and AChE inhibitory potential of betel nut while further studies are needed to confirm and identify more compounds in betel nut for these actions.

Key words: Areca catechu, plant extracts, platelet aggregation inhibitors, cholinesterase inhibitors, catechin, tannic acid

Figure 1

Effects of betel nut crude and pure compounds on human platelet aggregation Concentration-response curves show the inhibitory effect of (A) betel nut 70% aqueous-methanolic extract and (B) (+)-catechin, against platelet aggregation induced by agonists such as arachidonic acid (AA, 1.7 mmol/L), adenosine diphosphate (ADP, 4.3 μmol/L), platelet-activating factor (PAF, 8 nmol/L), epinephrine (20 μmol/L) and Ca2+-ionophore (10 μmol/L) in human venous blood. The symbols represent x±sx from 4 to 6 determinations and expressed as a percentage of agonist-induced aggregation."

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