BBB-permeable aporphine-type alkaloids in Nelumbo nucifera flowers with accelerative effects on neurite outgrowth in PC-12 cells

  • Mamiko Yano
  • Souichi Nakashima
  • Yoshimi Oda
  • Seikou Nakamura
  • Hisashi MatsudaEmail author
Original Paper


Blood–brain barrier (BBB)-permeable components in the methanolic extract of Nelumbo nucifera flowers showed accelerative effects on neurite outgrowth in PC-12 cells. Among the constituents isolated from N. nucifera flowers in our previous study, aporphine-type alkaloids, lirinidine, asimilobine, N-methylasimilobine, and pronuciferine, showed accelerative effects. Lirinidine, N-methylasimilobine, and an alkaloid-rich diethyl ether fraction at low concentrations increased the expression of mRNAs coding for TrkA, Vav3, and Rac1. In addition, good permeability of asimilobine and N-methylasimilobine was confirmed using an in vitro BBB model. Asimilobine and N-methylasimilobine are considered to be suitable as seed compounds of drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, because of their activity and BBB permeability.


Nelumbo nucifera Alkaloid PC-12 Neurite outgrowth BBB 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

S. Nakashima and H. Matsuda had received research grants from N.T.H Co., Ltd. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Ethics statement

We declare that our research included neither human subjects nor animal experiments.

Supplementary material

11418_2019_1368_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1809 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacognosyKyoto Pharmaceutical UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.N.T.H. Co., Ltd.TokyoJapan

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