Mucuna pruriens Seed Aqueous Extract Improved Neuroprotective and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Effects Compared with Synthetic L-Dopa

Abstract: L-dopa, a dopaminergic agonist, is the gold standard for the treatment of Parkinson’s
disease. However, due to the long-term toxicity and adverse effects of using L-dopa as the first-line
therapy for Parkinson’s disease, a search for alternative medications is an important current challenge.
Traditional Ayurvedic medicine has suggested the use of Mucuna pruriens Linn. (Fabaceae) as an
anti-Parkinson’s agent. The present study aimed to quantify the amount of L-dopa in M. pruriens seed
extract by HPLC analysis. The cytotoxicity and neuroprotective properties of M. pruriens aqueous extract were investigated by two in vitro models including the serum deprivation method and co-administration of hydrogen peroxide assay. The results showed the significant neuroprotective activities of M. pruriens seed extracts at a concentration of 10 ng/mL. In addition, the effects of L-dopa and M. pruriens seed extract on in vitro acetylcholinesterase activities were studied. M. pruriens seed extract demonstrated acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity, while synthetic L-dopa enhanced the activity of the enzyme. It can be concluded that the administration of M. pruriens seed might be effective in protecting the brain against neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. M. prurience seed extract containing L-dopa has shown less acetylcholinesterase activity stimulation compared with L-dopa, suggesting that the extract might have a superior benefit for use in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.