Anti-cholinesterase and Neuroprotective Activities of Sweet and Bitter Apricot Kernels ( Prunus armeniaca L.)

Document Type : Research article


1 Nutrition Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

2 Persian Medicine and Pharmacy Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Persian Medicine and Pharmacy Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Electrophysiology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

6 Cardiovascular Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

7 Persian Medicine and Pharmacy Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran,Iran. Medicinal Plants Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

8 Nutrition Research Center, Faculty of Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) is a fruit cultivated in various parts of the world. Both sweet and bitter kernels of apricot have been used for the treatment of different diseases such as loss of memory in Iranian traditional medicine (ITM). In the present study, the inhibitory activity of sweet and bitter extracts of apricot kernels towards cholinesterase (ChE) enzymes, both acetyl and butyrylcholinesterase was examined through Ellman’s method. In addition, neuroprotectivity of aqueous extracts and amygdalin were investigated against H2O2-induced cell death in PC12 neurons. Among them, the best acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity (IC50 = 134.93 ± 2.88 µg/mL) and neuroprotectivity (P-value < 0.0001) were obtained by the aqueous extract of bitter type. It was found that all extracts showed no butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibitory activity.

Graphical Abstract

Anti-cholinesterase and Neuroprotective Activities of Sweet and Bitter Apricot Kernels ( Prunus armeniaca L.)


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