ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-200524-23
Antiseizure potential of the ancient Greek medicinal plant Helleborus odorus subsp. cyclophyllus and identification of its main active principles
Brillatz, T., Jacmin, M., Vougogiannopoulou, K., Petrakis, E.A., Kalpoutzakis, E., Houriet, J., Pellissier, L., Rutz, A., Marcourt, L., Queiroz, E.F., Crawford, A.D., Skaltsounis, A.L., Wolfender, J.L.
Date: 2020
Source: Journal of ethnopharmacology   259: 112954 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Crawford, Alexander
Keywords: Epilepsy, Ethnopharmacology, Helleborus odorus subsp. cyclophyllus, Ranunculaceae, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants/isolation & purification
  • Anticonvulsants/pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Helleborus*/chemistry
  • Locomotion/drug effects
  • Metabolome/drug effects
  • Metabolomics
  • Methanol/chemistry
  • Pentylenetetrazole
  • Phytochemicals/isolation & purification
  • Phytochemicals/pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts/isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts/pharmacology*
  • Plant Roots
  • Seizures/chemically induced
  • Seizures/metabolism
  • Seizures/physiopathology
  • Seizures/prevention & control*
  • Solvents/chemistry
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 32445663 Full text @ J. Ethnopharmacol.
Ethnopharmacological data and ancient texts support the use of black hellebore (Helleborus odorus subsp. cyclophyllus, Ranunculaceae) for the management and treatment of epilepsy in ancient Greece.
A pharmacological investigation of the root methanolic extract (RME) was conducted using the zebrafish epilepsy model to isolate and identify the compounds responsible for a potential antiseizure activity and to provide evidence of its historical use. In addition, a comprehensive metabolite profiling of this studied species was proposed.
The roots were extracted by solvents of increasing polarity and root decoction (RDE) was also prepared. The extracts were evaluated for antiseizure activity using a larval zebrafish epilepsy model with pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizures. The RME exhibited the highest antiseizure activity and was therefore selected for bioactivity-guided fractionation. Isolated compounds were fully characterized by NMR and high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (HRMS/MS). The UHPLC-HRMS/MS analyses of the RME and RDE were used for dereplication and metabolite profiling.
The RME showed 80% inhibition of PTZ-induced locomotor activity (300 μg/ml). This extract was fractionated and resulted in the isolation of a new glucopyranosyl-deoxyribonolactone (1) and a new furostanol saponin derivative (2), as well as 20-hydroxyecdysone (3), hellebrin (4), a spirostanol glycoside derivative (5) and deglucohellebrin (6). The antiseizure activity of RME was found to be due to the new furostanol saponin (2), hellebrin (4), which reduced 45% and 60% of PTZ-induced seizures (135 μM, respectively). Besides, the aglycone of hellebrin, hellebrigenin (S34), was also active (45% at 7 μM). To further characterize the chemical composition of both RME and RDE, 30 compounds (A7-33, A35-37) were annotated based on UHPLC-HRMS/MS metabolite profiling. This revealed the presence of additional bufadienolides, furostanols and evidenced alkaloids.
This study is the first to identify the molecular basis of the ethnopharmacological use of black hellebore for the treatment of epilepsy. This was achieved using a microscale zebrafish epilepsy model to rapidly quantify in vivo antiseizure activity. The UHPLC-HRMS/MS profile revealed the chemical diversity of the extracts and the presence of numerous bufadienolides, furostanols and ecdysteroids, also present in the decoction.