Potential therapeutic targets of huperzine A for Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia
Huperzine A (HupA), a novel Lycopodium alkaloid isolated from Chinese folk medicine Huperzia serrata (Qian Ceng Ta), is a potent, selective and well-tolerated inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). It has been proven to significantly improve the learning and memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) patients in China. Interestingly, our recent data indicate that HupA also possesses other protective functions. This paper will give an overview on the protective effects of HupA, which includes regulating beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism, protecting against Abeta-mediated oxidative stress, apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction, as well as anti-inflammation. The multiple neuroprotective effects of HupA might yield additional beneficial effects in AD and VaD therapy.
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