The aim of this work is to review the current knowledge on the lycopodium alkaloids with an emphasis on their pharmacology and potential medical application. Lycopodium alkaloids are produced by club mosses, a vulnerable group of slow-growing lower plants. (−)-Huperzine A (hupA) isolated from Huperzia serrata is known for its potent and reversible acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibiting activity and is used as a drug for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in China. In addition, hupA has been shown to have neuroprotective effects in preclinical studies. It is by far the most intensively studied lycopodium alkaloid and clinical trials do indicate positive effects on AD symptoms with minimum adverse effects. At present, the greatest hurdle for research and application of lycopodium alkaloids is the lack of sustainable methods to supply these compounds. Lycopodium alkaloids which resemble hupA in having favorable bioavailability, pharmacokinetics, and toxicological profiles, in addition to interesting biological activities, are likely to be included in the search for new drug leads in the future, for example, in the development of multi-target and multidrug therapies for AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.
|Title of host publication||Natural Products|
|Subtitle of host publication||Phytochemistry, Botany and Metabolism of Alkaloids, Phenolics and Terpenes|
|Publisher||Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg|
|Number of pages||24|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2013|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Biological activity
- Clinical trials
- Huperzine A
- Lycopodiumalka oids