King's College London

Research portal

Choline esterase inhibitory properties of alkaloids from two Nigerian Crinum species

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

P J Houghton, J M Agbedahunsi, A Adegbulugbe

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2893 - 2896
Number of pages4
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004

King's Authors

Research Groups

  • King's College London


The bulbs of Crinum jagus and Crinum glaucum are used in traditional medicine in southern Nigeria for memory loss and other mental symptoms associated with ageing. Alkaloidal extracts of bulbs from each species showed inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, an activity exploited therapeutically to raise the depressed levels of acetylcholine in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease. Using the in situ bioautographic test method for enzyme inhibition, a number of alkaloids were isolated and their activity quantified using the Ellman spectrophotometric test. The most active alkaloids isolated were hamayne (IC50 250 muM) and lycorine (IC50 450 muM) whilst other alkaloids were comparatively inactive with haernanthamane giving 3degreesC inhibition and crinamine giving 4.4% inhibition at 50 mg ml(-1) (174 muM). These contrast with the positive control physostigmine which gave IC50 of 0.25 muM. Cholinesterase activity appears to be associated with the presence of two free hydroxy groups in this structural type of Amaryllidaceae alkaloid. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454