Planta Med 2012; 78 - PD27
DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1320385

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities of plastoquinones from the seed fat of Pycnanthus Angolensis

K Gustafson 1, 2, D Giurleo 1, 2, CT Ho 2, 3, W Dang 4, MH Pan 5, Q Wu 1, 2, JE Simon 1, 2
  • 1New Use Agriculture & Natural Plant Products Program, Department of Plant Biology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
  • 2Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854
  • 3Department of Food Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
  • 4Department of Cell Biology & Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, Shriners Institute, Sacramento, CA 95817
  • 5Department of Seafood Science, National Kaohsiung Marine University, Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan

Pycnanthus angolensis (African nutmeg), native to several West African countries, was investigated for new medicinal uses. Sustainably harvested in Ghana, the seed fat is processed into kombo butter by farmer cooperatives. This plant-based butter is rich in myristoleic acid, a precursor to cetyl myristoleate (CMO) which is currently marketed as a supplement in the treatment of joint pain. Separate from the myristoleic acid and as a waste product from the processing of kombo butter into CMO, the effluent was found to contain high concentrations of the plastoquinones sargaquinoic acid (KB-1), sargachromenol (KB-2) and sargahydroquinoic acid (KB-3). These three major phytochemicals, along with kombo butter and plastoquinone-enriched extract, were tested in vitro for antioxidant activity in the ABTS and DPPH assays, and for anti-inflammatory activity using RT-PCR and Western blot analysis to measure inhibition of both COX-2 and iNOS mRNA and protein expression in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages. Additionally, KB-3 and an acetylated derivative exhibited neuroprotective activity in vivo using the pMCAO model, demonstrating their potential for use following ischemic stroke.