Brachychiton populneus as a novel source of bioactive ingredients with therapeutic effects: antioxidant, enzyme inhibitory, anti-inflammatory properties and LC–ESI-MS profile

  • Ilhem RjeibiEmail author
  • Anouar Ben Saad
  • Sana Ncib
  • Sami Souid
  • Mohamed Salah Allagui
  • Najla Hfaiedh
Original Article


Brachychiton populneus is one of the unexploited Tunisian plants, traditionally eaten as food and used for medicinal purposes. The present study aimed to investigate the phytochemical components of the seeds, leaves and flowers from B. populneus using three different solvents and to explore their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Further, this study was focused on the identification of phenolic compounds from the most active extract. In vitro, all extracts showed strong antioxidant property by DPPH, ferrous ion chelating and lipid peroxidation-inhibiting assays, noticeable anti-inflammatory activity by protein denaturation and membrane stabilization methods and important neuroprotective effects by acetylcholinesterase inhibitory test. In vivo, B. populneus (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg, i.p.) showed significant dose–response anti-inflammatory effects against carrageenan-induced paw edema. With respect to the phenolic profile, the leaf methanol extract presented eight phenolic acids, one flavone and four flavonoids, with salvianolic acid B (820.3 mg/kg), caffeic acid (224.03 mg/kg), syringic acid (100.2 mg/kg) and trans-ferulic acid (60.02 mg/kg) as the major compounds. The results of the current study suggested that B. populneus could be a precious source of health-benefitting biomolecules and may be developed as new antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and AChE inhibitors.

Graphic abstract


Brachychiton populneus Anti-inflammatory Antioxidant activity Neuroprotective activity LC–ESI-MS 



The authors would like to thank Mr. Zied Tlili, a teacher of English for Specific Purposes at the Higher Institute of Business Administration of Gafsa, Tunisia, for high-quality language editing which significantly contributed to the completion of this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Unit of Macromolecular Biochemistry and GeneticsFaculty of Sciences of GafsaGafsaTunisia
  2. 2.Faculty of Sciences of GafsaUniversity of GafsaGafsaTunisia
  3. 3.Unit of Common Services, Faculty of Sciences GafsaUniversity of GafsaGafsaTunisia
  4. 4.Laboratory of Animal Ecophysiology, Faculty of Science of SfaxUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia

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