Biologically active Amaryllidaceae alkaloids in Narcissus pseudonarcissus cv. Carlton and Andrew’s Choice dormant bulbs
Since the ancient times, Amaryllidaceae genus Narcissus has been reported for the production of biologically important alkaloids, many of which are used as therapeutic tools for human diseases. Among them, galanthamine (Gal) has received a considerable attention for its acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity for the treatment of early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s diseases. In this study, gas chromatography-mass spectrophotometry was used to determine the galanthamine content along with the detection of other biologically important alkaloids in dormant bulb and basal plate of two cultivated varieties of Narcissus pseudonarcissus, Carlton and Andrew’s Choice. The amount of galanthamine was higher in Carlton bulb (860 µg Gal/g) and basal plate (1254 µg Gal/g) than Andrew’s Choice bulb (674 µg Gal/g) and basal plate (1051 µg Gal/g). Non-dormant Carlton bulb was used as control, which represented the galanthamine content of 1117 µg Gal/g. Besides galanthamine, other biologically important alkaloids were detected in Carlton such as lycoramine, lycorine, lycorenine, crinamine, and pancracine; while tazettine, oxoassoanine, lycorine, and o-methyl-macronine were detected in Andrew’s Choice. Findings of this study suggest that both Narcissus cultivars could be the important sources for the isolation of naturally occurring bioactive alkaloids for their commercial availability and could be potentially used in pharmaceuticals.
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