Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized clinically by a progressive and gradual decline in cognitive function and neuropathologically by the presence of neuropil threads and specific neuronal and synapse losses in addition to postmortem confirmation of the presence of significantly elevated levels of neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques. Accumulating evidence suggests that β-amyloid (Aβ) plays a crucial role and is purported to be a key factor involved in triggering a complex pathological cascade of events involved in the development and progression of AD. However, there is also accumulating evidence that other factors may be important in AD, such as oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, loss of cholinergic neurons, neuroinflammation, genetic factors, and yet to be discovered factors that play important roles in the development and likely the rate of progression of AD. Geniposide and its aglycone genipin are the main bioactive constitutes of traditional Chinese medicine Gardenia jasminoides Ellis, and increasing evidence links geniposide and genipin to improvements in learning and memory in studies performed on animal models of AD. Moreover, both compounds appear to exert an array of neuroprotective-related effects that may be in turn linked to functional improvements that were observed. This review will focus upon and probe into the biological actions of geniposide and genipin, concentrating particularly on molecular mechanisms as related to their neuroprotective effects and actions.
Bioactive Nutraceuticals and Dietary Supplements in Neurological and Brain Disease (29 November 2014): 221–227.