High-performance thin-layer chromatographic methods in the evaluation of the antioxidant and anti-hyperglycemic activity of Myrmecodia platytyrea as a promising opportunity in diabetes treatment
The steady increase of diabetes is becoming a major burden on health care systems. As diabetic complications arise from oxidative stress, an antioxidant therapy along with anti-diabetic drugs is recommended. Myrmecodia or ant plant is highly valued as a traditional medicine in West Papua. It is used as an alternative treatment for diabetes, as the substances produced by ants can reduce blood sugar levels. The aim of this study was to develop and establish high-performance thin-layer chromatographic (HPTLC)-bioautographic methods to measure the antioxidant and hypoglycemic effects in different extracts from Myrmecodia platytyrea and to compare them with sterol content. Antioxidant activity in methanol, ethanol, dichloromethane (DCM) and ethyl acetate (EA) extracts were measured with a direct HPTLC-2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl free radical (DPPH) assay, while hypoglycemic effects were assessed using a newly developed α-amylase inhibitory activity assay. Stigmasterol is observed, after derivatization with anisaldehyde, as purple colored zones under visible light at hRF values of 0.66. The highest antioxidant activity was observed in the ethanol extract which is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, while the DCM extract did not show antioxidant activity, but had significant α-amylase inhibitory activity. The highest α-amylase inhibitory activity was observed in the EA and DCM extracts and was related to their stigmasterol content.