The Metabolism and Disposition of Koumine, Gelsemine and Humantenmine from Gelsemium

Author(s): Zi-Yuan Wang, Meng-Ting Zuo, Zhao-Ying Liu*.

Journal Name: Current Drug Metabolism

Volume 20 , Issue 7 , 2019

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Gelsemium is a toxic flowering plant of the Gelsemiaceae family. It is used to treat skin diseases in China, and it is an important medicinal and homeopathic plant in North America. Up to now, more than 200 compounds have been isolated and reported from Gelsemium. More than 120 of these are indole alkaloids, including the main components, koumine, gelsemine and humantenmine which produce the pharmacological and toxicological effects of Gelsemium. However, their clinical application their limited by its narrow therapeutic window. Therefore, it is very important to study the metabolism and disposition of indole alkaloids from Gelsemium before their clinical application. This paper reviews all the reports on the metabolism and disposition of alkaloids isolated from Gelsemium at home and abroad.

Methods: The metabolism and disposition of alkaloids from Gelsemium were searched by the Web of Science, NCBI, PubMed and some Chinese literature databases.

Results: Only koumine, gelsemine and humantenmine have been reported, and few other alkaloids have been described. These studies indicated that the three indole alkaloids are absorbed rapidly, widely distributed in tissues, extensively metabolized and rapidly eliminated. There are species differences in the metabolism of these alkaloids, which is the reason for the differences in their toxicity in animals and humans.

Conclusion: This review not only explains the pharmacokinetics of indole alkaloids from Gelsemium but also facilitates further study on their metabolism and mechanism of toxicity.

Keywords: Gelsemium, koumine, gelsemine, humantenmine, pharmacokinetics, metabolism.

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Article Details

Year: 2019
Page: [583 - 591]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1389200220666190614152304
Price: $58

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PDF: 11