MONTHLY VARIATION OF PHARMACEUTICALLY VALUABLE ALKALOIDS, GALANTHAMINE AND LYCORINE, IN SUMMER SNOWFLAKE (LEUCOJUM AESTIVUM L.)
Oktelik, Fatma Betul
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Leucojum aestivum L. (summer snowflake) is a perennial bulbous plant of Amaryllidaceae family. It is exported for medicinal purposes to pharmaceutical industry and uncontrolled excessive collection of them causes a decline in natural population. L. aestivum is a well-known producer of pharmaceutically important alkaloids. Among the various alkaloids in L. aestivum, galanthamine is the major bioactive compound. Galanthamine is widely used in the treatment of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Another alkaloid is found in the summer snowflake is lycorine having variety of biological activities such as, antitumor, antimalarial, hepatoprotective, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic. Objective of the study was to determine the monthly variations of galanthamine and lycorine content in L. aestivum grown in a sheltered area. Bulbs and leaves of L. aestivum collected each month for two years were extracted with methanol and then quantitatively analyzed and compared for their galanthamine and lycorine content by using HPLC-DAD system. Bulbs of summer snowflake contained more alkaloids than leaves and lycorine content was much more than galanthamine in both leaves and bulbs. It was concluded that July was the best month for bulbs and November was the most efficient month for leaves in terms of galanthamine and lycorine content.
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