Journal article

Variation in huperzine A and B in Australasian Huperzia species

Jason QD Goodger, Anne L Whincup, Ashley R Field, Joseph AM Holtum, Ian E Woodrow

BIOCHEMICAL SYSTEMATICS AND ECOLOGY | PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2008

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, wit..

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