Monday, 16 September 2013

A novel drug candidate for Alzheimer's disease treatment: gx-50 derived from Zanthoxylum bungeanum.

A novel drug candidate for Alzheimer's disease treatment: gx-50 derived from Zanthoxylum bungeanum.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2013 Jan 1;34(1):203-13
Authors: Tang M, Wang Z, Zhou Y, Xu W, Li S, Wang L, Wei D, Qiao Z
Abstract
This study focused on a promising drug candidate, N-[2-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)ethyl]-3-phenyl-acrylamide (gx-50), a compound extracted from Sichuan pepper (Zanthoxylum Bungeanum), to determine whether it would be an effective therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease (AD) via biological experiments. In vivo, we determined the pharmacokinetic profile of gx-50 and evaluated the effect of gx-50 on the cognitive abilities of amyloid-β protein precursor transgenic (AβPP-Tg) mice by Morris water maze testing. In addition, we examined the effects of gx-50 on amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers in the brains of AβPP-Tg mice by immunohistochemistry. In vitro, we observed a direct effect of gx-50 on Aβ oligomers by atomic force microscopy, detected the neuroprotective effects of gx-50 by western blotting and cell apoptosis assays, and measured its effects on intracellular calcium currents by laser confocal microscopy. Experiments in vivo showed that gx-50 could penetrate the blood brain barrier and improve the cognitive abilities of mice. Moreover, gx-50 treatment decreased the accumulation of Aβ oligomers in the cerebral cortex. The results in vitro demonstrated that gx-50 could disassemble Aβ oligomers, inhibit Aβ-induced neuronal apoptosis and apoptotic gene expression, and reduce neuronal calcium toxicity. These results strongly suggest that gx-50 is a potential candidate drug for treating AD