Inhibitory potential of the leaves and berries of Myrtus communis L. (myrtle) against enzymes linked to neurodegenerative diseases and their antioxidant actions.
ABSTRACT The dichloromethane (DCM), acetone, ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of the leaves and berries of Myrtus communis L. were screened against acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) and tyrosinase (TYRO), the enzymes linked to neurodegenerative diseases, at 200 μg ml⁻¹. Antioxidant activity was tested using radical scavenging activity against 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and N,N- dimethyl-p-phenylenediamine (DMPD) radicals, metal chelation capacity, ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and phosphomolybdenum-reducing antioxidant power (PRAP) assays. Total phenol and flavonoid quantification of the extracts was calculated spectrophotometrically. The extracts showed a moderate AChE (17.49 ± 3.99% to 43.15 ± 1.55%) and TYRO inhibition (4.48 ± 1.50% to 40.53 ± 0.47%). The leaf extracts were ineffective against BChE, while the berry extracts displayed inhibition between 21.83 ± 3.82% and 36.80 ± 2.00%. The polar extracts exerted remarkable scavenging effect against DPPH and DMPD and also in the FRAP assay, where the DCM extract of the berries had the best metal chelation capacity (79.29 ± 1.14%). This is the first study that demonstrates in vitro neuroprotective effects of myrtle.