Silver nanoparticles from leaf extract ofMentha piperita: Eco-friendly synthesis and effect on acetylcholinesterase activity

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Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been used in various medicinal and commercial products because of their exceptional anti-microbial and anti-odor properties. On the other hand, increased commercialization of AgNPs containing products has led to its release into the environment. Thus, studies are needed to assess their impact on the environment as well as on human body. Several reports have shown that AgNPs could cause some serious neurotoxic effects. Most of these studies have been performed using chemically synthesized AgNPs. In contrast, green nanoparticles are usually considered safer than their chemically synthesized counterparts. Accordingly, in this research work, we have assessed the effect of AgNPs synthesized from aqueous-leaf-extract of Mentha piperita on one of the most important neurological enzymes i.e. acetylcholinesterase (AChE) to predict its neurotoxicity. M. piperita synthesized AgNPs were subjected to characterization by UV–visible-spectrometry, Scanning Electron-Microscopy as well as Transmission Electron-Microscopy. Here, the size of the AgNPs was found to be 35 nm with spherical shape. These AgNPs showed concentration-dependent inhibitory-effect on the AChE enzyme-activity displaying an IC50 of 150 nM. Further, kinetic analysis showed mixed type of inhibition, which means that AgNPs were capable of binding to both the free enzyme (AChE) and to the enzyme-substrate (AChE-acetylcholine) complex. These results suggest that even green synthesized AgNPs might cause neurotoxicity via inhibiting AChE activity. However, more studies are needed to elucidate the exact mechanism of neurotoxicity by AgNPs. Nevertheless, we could safely state that the present study provides relevant preliminary information regarding neurotoxicity of green synthesized AgNPs.

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