American Chemical Society
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Description of Druglike Properties of Safranal and Its Chemistry behind Low Oral Exposure

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-04-23, 20:43 authored by Ashish Dogra, Pankul Kotwal, Abhishek Gour, Shipra Bhatt, Gurdarshan Singh, Debaraj Mukherjee, Utpal Nandi
Safranal, a plant secondary metabolite isolated from saffron, has been reported for several promising pharmacological properties toward the management of Alzheimer’s disease. In the present study, we observe and report for the first time about several druglike attributes of safranal, such as adherence to Lipinski’s rule of five; optimum lipophilicity; high permeability; low blood-to-plasma ratio; less to moderate propensity to interact with P-glycoprotein (P-gp) or breast cancer-resistant protein (BCRP) transporters; and high plasma protein binding as common to most of the marketed drugs using in vitro and ex vivo models. In spite of the above attributes, in vivo oral absorption was found to be very poor, which is linked to the structural integrity of safranal in simulated gastric fluid, simulated intestinal fluid, plasma, and liver microsomes. Moreover, the presence of unsaturated aldehyde moiety in safranal remains in equilibrium with its hydroxylated acetal form. Further research work is required to find out the stable oral absorbable form of safranal by derivatization of its aldehyde group without losing its potency.