Phytochemical investigation of Galanthus transcaucasicus Fomin, as a source of isoquinoline alkaloids
Galanthus transcaucasicus Fomin (Amaryllidaceae) is an endemic species of the Caucasus region and the Alborz mountains in Iran and is used in folk medicine to recover paralysis and nerve pain (1, 2). All species of Galanthus are famous for their bioactive alkaloids such as galanthamine, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, which is used for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (2). This study is designed to identify major constituents of the alkaloid fraction of G. transcaucasicus Fomin. The plant was collected from Alborz mountain area (Rostam abad) in February 2008. The bulbs of the plant were percolated with 96% ethanol and alkaloid fraction of the plant was prepared. Major constituents of alkaloid fraction were purified using different chromatographic methods. Finally, five isoquinoline type alkaloids involving galanthamine, narwedine, lycorine, caranine and tazettine were identified with spectroscopic methods. The results showed that this species can be considered as a source of isoquinoline type alkaloids especially galanthamine which is a long acting, competitive and reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (2).
References: 1. Bastida J et al. (2000) The alkaloids. Elsevier Scientific Publishing, Amsterdam 63: 87–179.
2. Heinrich M et al. (2004)J Ethnopharmacol 92: 147–162.