Antioxidant activities of Ptychopetalum olacoides ("muirapuama") in mice brain

Phytomedicine. 2007 Nov;14(11):763-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2006.12.007. Epub 2007 Apr 12.


Ptychopetalum olacoides (PO) roots are used by Amazonian peoples to prepare traditional remedies for treating various central nervous system conditions in which free radicals are likely to be implicated. Following the identification of PO ethanol extract (POEE) free-radical scavenging properties in vitro, the aim of this study was to verify the in vivo antioxidant effect of POEE. Aging mice (14 months) were treated (i.p.) with saline, DMSO (20%) or POEE (100mg/kg body wt.), and the hippocampi, cerebral cortex, striata, hypothalamus and cerebellum dissected out 60 min later to measure antioxidant enzyme activities, free-radical production and damage to macromolecules. POEE administration reduced free-radical production in the hypothalamus, lead to significant decrease in lipid peroxidation in the cerebral cortex, striatum and hypothalamus, as well as in the carbonyl content in cerebellum and striatum. In terms of antioxidant enzymes, catalase activity was increased in the cortex, striatum, cerebellum and hippocampus, while glutathione peroxidase activity was increased in the hippocampus. This study suggests that POEE contains compounds able to improve the cellular antioxidant network efficacy in the brain, ultimately reducing the damage caused by oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Brazil
  • Free Radical Scavengers / administration & dosage
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Mice
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Olacaceae*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Roots


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts