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    Forskolin (Coleonol) is a labdane diterpene produced by the plant Coleus forskohlii. Other names include pashanabhedi, Indian coleus, makandi, HL-362, maohouqiaoruihua. Forskolin is commonly used in laboratory research to increase levels of cyclic AMP by stimulation of adenylate cyclase.

    Forskolin contains some unique functional elements, including the presence of a tetrahydropyran-derived heterocyclic ring. Forskolin is chemically described as (3R,4aR,5S,6S,6aS,10S,10aR,10bS)-3-Ethenyl-6,10,10b-trihydroxy-3,4a,7,7,10a-pentamethyl-1-oxododecahydro-1H-naphtho[2,1-b] pyran-5-yl acetate. Its molecular formula is C22H34O7, which corresponds to a molecular weight of 410.5.

    Forskolin is a white to off-white powder. Its melting point is 228-232°C.

    Clinical Applications

    Forskolin is a herbal supplement which can be used as a natural remedy for treatment in cancer, obesity, glaucoma, allergies and asthma, heart failure, intestinal spasms, painful cramps during period (dysmenorrhea), irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infection, high blood pressure (hypertension), chest pain (angina), difficulty falling asleep (insomnia) and convulsions. Small clinical studies indicate obesity reduction potential as well as asthma prevention.

    Mode of Administration

    Forskolin is given by oral or inhalation route.

    Pharmacological Effects

    Forskolin activates the enzyme adenylyl cyclase and increases intracellular levels of cAMP. cAMP is an important second messenger necessary for the proper biological response of cells to hormones and other extracellular signals. It is required for cell communication in the hypothalamus/pituitary gland axis and for the feedback control of hormones via induction of corticotropin-releasing factor gene transcription. Cyclic AMP acts by activating cAMP-sensitive pathways such as protein kinase A and EPAC1.

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