Comparative Clinical Pathology

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1213–1219 | Cite as

Alkaloid extracts from shea butter and breadfruit as potential inhibitors of monoamine oxidase, cholinesterases, and lipid peroxidation in rats’ brain homogenates: a comparative study

  • Stephen A. Adefegha
  • Ganiyu Oboh
  • Tosin A. Olasehinde
Original Article


Shea butter (Vitellaria paradoxa) and breadfruit (Treculia africana) are wild edible plants commonly consumed across the world. Unfortunately, these plants are currently going into extinction despite their potential biological properties. The actions of alkaloid extract from shea butter nut and breadfruit on some central nervous system biomarkers (monoamine oxidase (MAO), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE)) linked to some neurodegenerative diseases were investigated in this study. The radical scavenging and metal chelating abilities of the extract were also studied. Alkaloid extracts were obtained from shea butter and breadfruit via solvent extraction. The total alkaloid content of the extracts and their interactions on MAO, AChE, and BChE were determined. The ability of the extract to inhibit Fe2+-induced malondialdehyde (MDA) production in rats’ brain homogenates including their radical scavenging and metal chelating abilities were also determined. Breadfruit (17.00 mg CE/g) had higher alkaloid content than shea butter (15.34 mg CE/g). Furthermore, a significant decrease in MAO, AChE, and BChE activities was exhibited by breadfruit compared to shea butter. However, shea butter had stronger antioxidant activity. The observed modulatory effects of the extracts on MAO, AChE, and BChE activities and their antioxidant properties give credence to the fact that they could be a novel multifunctional target for the treatment and management of some neurodegenerative diseases.


Neurodegenerative diseases Alkaloid extract Monoamine oxidase Cholinesterases Shea butter Breadfruit 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Handling of the animals was in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals prepared by the National Academy of Science which was published by the National Institutes of Health (USA).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen A. Adefegha
    • 1
  • Ganiyu Oboh
    • 1
  • Tosin A. Olasehinde
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Functional food and Nutraceutical Laboratory, Department of BiochemistryFederal University of TechnologyAkureNigeria
  2. 2.Nutrition and Toxicology Division, Food Technology DepartmentFederal Institute of Industrial Research OshodiLagosNigeria

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