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Neuroprotective effects of natural diterpenoids in cerebral amyloidosis models


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of neurodegeneration and a major cause of dementia. It presents with behavioural and cognitive deficits, caused by the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) aggregates in brain. It is accompanied by innate immune response mediated by microglia and astroglia, known as neuroinflammation.


Anti-neuroinflammatory compounds are showing good potential for the treatment and preventative strategies of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Two natural diterpenes of plant origin, oridonin and forskolin, have been identified as anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective agents. The two diterpenoids are derived from Asian medicinal plants and target different proteins (table 1).






Rabdosia rubescens

Coleus forskohlii


Ent-kaurene diterpenoid

Labdane diterpenoid



NLRP3 inflammasome sensor

Adenylate cyclase

Table 1: Summary of oridonin and forskolin properties.


Oridonin and forskolin from Carbosynth were used in rodent models for cerebral amyloidosis to characterise their neuroprotective properties. Both compounds ameliorated Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and showed:

  • restored impairment in nesting ability,
  • restored sociability,
  • reduced neuroinflammation,
  • reduced amyloid beta deposition.


For more details, read the original papers published in the Journal of Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (Zhang et al., 2013) and in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology (Owona et al., 2016).


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