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Systematic review: Antioxidant and neuroprotective capacity of species of the genus Asplenium (Monilophyta: Aspleniaceae)
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1  Instituto de Farmacia, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
2  Programa de Maestría en Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad del Tolima, Ibagué, Colombia
Academic Editor: Stephen Meriney


The genus Asplenium L. comprises about 700 species of terrestrial, epiphytic, and saxicolous habits distributed in temperate and tropical regions around the world, exhibiting a high chemical richness with variable biological activity. In this review, compounds with antioxidant activity that constitute a pharmacological potential in diseases of the central nervous system are detailed. Asplenium nidus L. species presents a high concentration of phenols and flavonoids evidenced by antioxidant activity assays such as DPPH, FRAP, total phenols, total flavonoids, and ORAC, and represent compounds with bioactive potential including neuroprotection. The species Asplenium adiantum-nigrum L. presents a high antioxidant potential of its rhizomes extracts exhibited in DPPH and ABTS assays, attributed to the high concentration of mangiferin; the xanthone mangiferin is a compound also present in other species of the genus such as Asplenium ceterach L.and Asplenium montanum Willd. in significant amounts. This xanthone has studies on its neuroprotective effect through different targets, some of them being the acetylcholinesterase enzymes, the 5-lipooxygenase enzyme, and the antioxidant activity itself. All these ways of action of mangiferin constitute an object of study for its effect on memory loss, which can be delayed in Alzheimer's disease.

Keywords: Ferns; Asplenium; bioactive compounds; antioxidant capacity; neuroprotection