Chemical composition of <i>Helietta parvifolia</i> and its <i>in vitro</i> anticholinesterase activity

<p>The chemical composition of the essential oil and the <i>n</i>-hexane (Hex), Ethyl Acetate (EtOAc) and butanol (BuOH) extracts from the leaves of <i>Helietta parvifolia</i> were determined by detailed GC-MS analysis, spectroscopic and spectrometric data. Eighty-four compounds were identified, revealing a furoquinoline alkaloid-rich composition. The phytochemical analysis of the extracts allowed the isolation of eigth furoquinoline alkaloids. Retention indices in GC-MS for six of this alkaloids are reported for the first time. Furoquinoline alkaloids are acethylcholinesterase inhibitors. Thus, the essential oil and extracts were submitted to this <i>in vitro</i> assay. The EtOAc and BuOH extracts showed potent activity, with IC<sub>50</sub> of 9.7 and 12.9 μg mL<sup>−1</sup>, respectively. Additionaly, a correlation of their chemical constituents, established by principal component analysis (PCA) demostrated a similar profile and a high content of alkaloids. It is for these reasons that we can assume that the alkaloid content in these extracts could be responsible for their anticholinesterase activity.</p>