Variation in huperzine A and B in Australasian Huperzia species

Goodger, Jason Q.D., Whincup, Anne L., Field, Ashley R., Holtum, Joseph A.M., and Woodrow, Ian E. (2008) Variation in huperzine A and B in Australasian Huperzia species. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 36 (8). pp. 612-618.

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Abstract

Huperzine A (HupA) and huperzine B (HupB) are alkaloids with acetylcholine esterase inhibitory activity and potential applications in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Both alkaloids were isolated in the 1980s from the Chinese lycopod Huperzia serrata (Thunb. ex Murray) Trevis., which has been used since the Tang dynasty as a traditional Chinese medicine. Most of the HupA currently used in herbal supplements and medicines worldwide is sourced from H. serrata which on average contains only 0.18 mg g−1 dry wt HupA and is experiencing a rapid decline in China due to over-harvesting. Eleven Australasian Huperzia species were surveyed and nine species were found to contain both alkaloids, with a significant positive relationship observed between HupA and the lower abundance HupB. An Australian Huperzia carinata plant had one of the highest HupA concentrations recorded for a plant (1.03 mg g−1 dry wt) and an Huperzia phlegmaria plant had the highest HupB value of all species surveyed (0.23 mg g−1 dry wt). Intra-specific variation in huperzine concentration was examined for H. phlegmaria and Huperzia phlegmarioides and both HupA and HupB varied substantially within each species, but this variation was unrelated to foliar nitrogen levels.

Item ID: 6008
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Huperzia; huperzine; alkaloid; Alzheimer's disease; lycopod; survey
ISSN: 1873-2925
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2010 03:49
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060101 Analytical Biochemistry @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060705 Plant Physiology @ 25%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8299 Other Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 829999 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products not elsewhere classified @ 80%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 20%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 10
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