The Protective Effects of Gardenia jasminoides (Fructus Gardenia) on Amyloid-β-Induced Mouse Cognitive Impairment and Neurotoxicity

Am J Chin Med. 2018;46(2):389-405. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X18500192. Epub 2018 Feb 12.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. Although the exact causes of AD have not yet been fully elucidated, cholinergic dysfunction, mitochondrial damage, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation have been recognized as influential factors. Current drugs that are designed to address only a single target are unable to mitigate or prevent the progression of this complicated disease, so new disease-modifying drugs are urgently needed. Chinese herbs with thousand years of effective usage might be a good source for potential drugs. Gardenia jasminoides J. Ellis (Fructus Gardenia) is a common traditional Chinese medicine with tranquilizing effects, which is an important component of widely-used traditional Chinese medicine for dementia. GJ-4 is crocin richments extracted from Gardenia jasminoides J. Ellis. In our study, we attempted to observe the effects of GJ-4 on learning and memory injury induced by amyloid-[Formula: see text] 25-35 (A[Formula: see text] injection in mice. Treatment with GJ-4 dose-dependently enhanced the memory and cognition ability of A[Formula: see text]-injected mice. Preliminary mechanistic studies revealed the protective effect of GJ-4 was related to its protection of neurons and cholinergic dysfunction. The mechanistic results also indicated that GJ-4 could enhance antioxidant capacity and attenuate neuroinflammation. Our results implied that GJ-4 might be a promising drug to improve cognitive and memory impairment, with multiple targets.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s Disease; Amyloid Protein; GJ-4; Gardenia Jasminoides J. Ellis; Learning and Memory; Neuroprotection.

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / adverse effects*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants*
  • Carotenoids / isolation & purification
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology*
  • Carotenoids / therapeutic use*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / chemically induced*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / prevention & control*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Gardenia / chemistry*
  • Learning / drug effects
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Peptide Fragments / adverse effects*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Antioxidants
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Plant Extracts
  • amyloid beta-protein (25-35)
  • Carotenoids
  • crocin