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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Glucosidase inhibitory activity and antioxidant activity of flavonoid compound and triterpenoid compound from Agrimonia Pilosa Ledeb

Xi Liu1, Liancai Zhu1*, Jun Tan2, Xuemei Zhou1, Ling Xiao1, Xian Yang3 and Bochu Wang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology (Chongqing University), Ministry of Education, College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, No. 174, Shapingba Main Street, Chongqing 400030, China

2 School of Biological & Chemical engineering, Chongqing University of Education, Chongqing 400067, China

3 College of Life Sciences, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 401331, China

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:12  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-12

Published: 10 January 2014



In Chinese traditional medicine, Agrimonia pilosa Ledeb (APL) exhibits great effect on treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), however its mechanism is still unknown. Considering that T2DM are correlated with postprandial hyperglycemia and oxidative stress, we investigated the α-glucosidase inhibitory activity and the antioxidant activity of flavonoid compound (FC) and triterpenoid compound (TC) from APL.


Entire plants of APL were extracted using 95% ethanol and 50% ethanol successively. The resulting extracts were partitioned and isolated by applying liquid chromatography using silica gel column and Sephadex LH 20 column to give FC and TC. The content of total flavonoids in FC and the content of total triterpenoids in TC were determined by using UV spectrophotometry. HPLC analysis was used to identify and quantify the monomeric compound in FC and TC. The α-glucosidase inhibitory activities were determined using the chromogenic method with p-nitrophenyl-α-D-glucopyranoside as substrate. Antioxidant activities were assessed through three kinds of radical scavenging assays (DPPH radical, ABTS radical and hydroxyl radical) & β-carotene-linoleic acid assay.


The results indicate FC is abundant of quercitrin, and hyperoside, and TC is abundant of 1β, 2β, 3β, 19α-tetrahydroxy-12-en-28-oic acid (265.2 mg/g) and corosolic acid (100.9 mg/g). The FC & the TC have strong α-glucosidase inhibitory activities with IC50 of 8.72 μg/mL and 3.67 μg/mL, respectively. We find that FC show competitive inhibition against α-glucosidase, while the TC exhibits noncompetitive inhibition. Furthermore, The FC exhibits significant radical scavenging activity with the EC50 values of 7.73 μg/mL, 3.64 μg/mL and 5.90 μg/mL on DPPH radical, hydroxyl radical and ABTS radical, respectively. The FC also shows moderate anti-lipid peroxidation activity with the IC50 values of 41.77 μg/mL on inhibiting β-carotene bleaching.


These results imply that the FC and the TC could be responsible for the good clinical effects of APL on T2MD through targeting oxidative stress and postprandial hyperglycaemia. So APL may be good sources of natural antioxidants and α-glucosidase inhibitors exhibiting remarkable potential value for the therapy of T2DM.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Flavonoid compound; Triterpenoid compound; Postprandial hyperglycemia; Oxidative stress