Effects of Acmella oleracea methanolic extract and fractions on the tyrosinase enzyme


The aim of the current study is to evaluate the effect of Acmella olerácea (L.) R.K. Jansen, Asteraceae, methanolic extract, hexane (84.28% spilanthol) and dichloromethane (approximately 100% spilanthol) fractions on the tyrosinase enzyme. The dehydrated jambu extract was obtained through maceration using methanol. The extract residue was solubilized in MeOH/H2O (8:2) and subjected to liq.-liq. partition in organic solvents. Both the extraction and the partition procedures were conducted with three replicates. The analyses were performed using GC-MS, 1H and 13C NMR. The hexane fraction provided samples containing 84.28,82.91 and 62.83% spilanthol in repetitions 1,2 and 3, respectively. The dichloromethane fraction showed 88.55% spilanthol in repetition 1, and approximately 100% spilanthol in repetitions 2 and 3. The jambu extract as well as the hexane fraction (84.28% spilanthol) were able to activate the oxidizing activity of the tyrosinase enzyme for L-DOPA. The dichloromethane fraction (approximately 100% spilanthol) showed stronger inhibition effect on the tyrosinase enzyme in the first 10 min. The results raise the interest in study in spilanthol formulations for topical use, since it may prevent and/or slow skin hyperpigmentation or depigmentation processes. Furthermore, spilanthol may be used to control the enzymatic browning in fruits and vegetables.


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The authors are grateful to FAPERJ, CNPq, and to CAPES for granting the scholarships and the financial support.

Author information




AFB, KCS, MCCO, MGC, and AUOSR all contributed to the writing of this article. AFB, MGC, and AUOSR obtained and identified samples. KCS and MCCO performed enzymatic analyzes.

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Correspondence to Alan F. Barbosa.

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Barbosa, A.F., Silva, K.C.B., de Oliveira, M.C.C. et al. Effects of Acmella oleracea methanolic extract and fractions on the tyrosinase enzyme. Rev. Bras. Farmacogn. 26, 321–325 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2016.01.004

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  • Jambu
  • Acmella oleracea
  • Spilanthol
  • Tyrosinase