In vitro neuroprotective potential of Clivia miniata and Nerine humilis (Amaryllidaceae) in MPP+-induced neuronal toxicity in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells

Sylvester I. Omoruyi, Joshua Delport, Tusekile S. Kangwa, Abobaker S. Ibrakaw, Christopher N. Cupido, Okobi E. Ekpo, Ahmed A. Hussein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) and mainly affects the ageing population. A significant feature of PD pathogenesis is the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta part of the midbrain in affected persons. This neuronal loss occurs partly due to the increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the mitochondrial and the depletion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in affected neurons. In this study, the methanolic extracts of Clivia miniata (CME) and Nerine humilis (NHE) belonging to the plant family Amaryllidaceae, were investigated for their neuroprotective potential in MPP+-induced neurotoxicity in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Cell viability was determined using the 3-(4,5-dimethyithiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays and cell morphology was analysed using light microscopy. Furthermore, the effects of the extracts on apoptosis and ATP production were investigated using caspase 3/7 apoptosis kit and the Promega Mitochondrial ToxGlo ATP assay kit respectively. Additionally, the antioxidant contents of extracts were evaluated using routine laboratory procedures. The results show that pre-treatment of cells with the extracts at 2 and 4 μg/mL concentrations improved cell viability as well as cell morphology by inhibiting the toxicity induced by MPP+. The extracts also improved ATP levels in cells and attenuated the apoptosis induced by MPP+. Furthermore, antioxidant assays showed that both extracts had low antioxidant activity. Findings from this study indicate that CME and NHE may be promising as neuroprotective agents for PD and warrant further investigation to determine the bioactive components of the plants that may be responsible for the observed effects.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)110-117
Number of pages8
JournalSouth African Journal of Botany
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP)
  • Amaryllidaceae
  • Clivia miniata
  • Nerine humilis
  • Neuroprotection
  • Parkinson's disease


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