Antidementia effects, metabolic profiles and pharmacokinetics of GJ-4, a crocin-rich botanical candidate from Gardeniae fructus†
Crocins, a series of hydrophilic carotenoids that are either mono- or di-glycosyl polyene esters of crocetin extracted from dried saffron stigma or fruits of gardenia, are attracting much attention due to their wide range of pharmacological effects. In our previous study, GJ-4, a mixture of crocin analogues, was obtained and derived from gardenia fruits. Mainly 18 crocin analogues were identified from GJ-4 and found to exhibit neuroprotective effects in in vitro and in vivo models. In this present study, we continue to investigate the therapeutic effects of GJ-4 on learning and memory impairments in a 2VO-induced VaD model, and the potential mechanism. In addition, the metabolic profiles and pharmacokinetic properties of GJ-4 were determined using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry after single and multiple oral doses. All these findings presented here will serve as a solid basis to develop GJ-4 as a new therapeutic agent for dementia.