UPLC-Orbitrap HRMS metabolic profiling of Cymbopogon citratus cultivated in Egypt; neuroprotective effect against AlCl-induced neurotoxicity in rats.

UPLC-Orbitrap HRMS metabolic profiling of Cymbopogon citratus cultivated in Egypt; neuroprotective effect against AlCl-induced neurotoxicity in rats., Madi, Yasmine F., Choucry Mouchira A., El-Marasy Salma A., Meselhy Meselhy R., and El-Kashoury El-Sayeda A. , Journal of ethnopharmacology, Volume 259, p.112930, (2020)


ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) is commonly used in teas, soups and treat inflammatory-based ailments, vascular and nervous disorders.

AIM OF THE STUDY: The study aimed to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of Cymbopogon citratus leaves through scientific protocol. The effect of aqueous (AE) and ethanolic (EE) extracts was evaluated against AlCl-induced Alzheimer's disease (AD) in rats. Metabolic profiling of the plant, isolation of bioactive compounds and standardization of the active fraction were investigated.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: AE of Cymbopogon citratus leaves was prepared as per traditional method (infusion), EE was prepared by repeated maceration in 90% ethanol, bioactive fraction (BAEE) was obtained from EE and the active compounds thereof were obtained by column chromatography. Metabolic profiling of Cymbopogon citratus was performed by UPLC-Orbitrap HRMS and HPLC was used for standardization. AlCl-induced Alzheimer's rats were used to assess neuroprotective effect of the extracts. Neuroprotective mechanism(s) of Cymbopogon citratus extracts was clarified through histopathological examination of brain tissues, estimation of AD biochemical markers, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in brain homogenates. In addition, antioxidant (using DPPH assay) and anticholinesterase (using modified Ellman's method) activities were investigated.

RESULTS: AlCl-treated rats (17 mg/kg/day) showed histopathological alteration in brain tissues together with elevated levels of Aβ, tau proteins, MDA, NF-kB and IL-6. However, treatment with AE and EE of Cymbopogon citratus leaves prevented the pathological changes and maintained the levels of oxidative stress and inflammatory markers. In addition, BAEE significantly inhibited acetylcholinesterase enzyme (2.11 ± 0.11 mg/ml) and exhibited a strong antioxidant activity (24.99 ± 0.00 μg/ml). UPLC-MS of Cymbopogon citratus leaves showed peaks for twenty-eight compounds, twenty-one of them were identified. Three flavonoids; isoorientin, isoschaftoside and luteolin-7-O-neohesperidoside were isolated from BAEE as major constituents. The powdered leaves of Cymbopogon citratus was found to contain remarkable amounts of caffeic acid (3.49 mg/g dry wt.) and isoorientin (7.37 mg/g dry wt.) as determined by HPLC.

CONCLUSION: Cymbopogon citratus ethanolic extract attenuates AlCl-induced neurotoxicity in rats through inhibition of oxidative stress and inflammatory markers. This effect could possibly attributed, in part to its high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids. Accordingly, we recommend Cymbopogon citratus leaves for protection against AD.