The ethanol extract of Angelica gigas Nakai (AGN) root has promising anti-cancer and other bioactivities in rodent models. It is currently believed that the pyranocoumarin isomers decursin (D) and decursinol angelate (DA) contribute to these activities. We and others have documented that D and DA were rapidly converted to decursinol (DOH) in rodents. However, our in vitro metabolism studies suggested that D and DA might be metabolized differently in humans. To test this hypothesis and address a key question for human translatability of animal model studies of D and DA or AGN extract, we conducted a single oral dose human pharmacokinetic study of D and DA delivered through an AGN-based dietary supplement Cogni.Q (purchased from Quality of Life Labs, Purchase, NY) in twenty healthy subjects, i.e., 10 men and 10 women, each consuming 119 mg D and 77 mg DA from 4 vegicaps. Analyses of plasma samples using UHPLC-MS/MS showed mean time to peak concentration (Tmax) of 2.1, 2.4 and 3.3 h and mean peak concentration (Cmax) of 5.3, 48.1 and 2,480 nmol/L for D, DA and DOH, respectively. The terminal elimination half-life (t1/2) for D and DA was similar (17.4 and 19.3 h) and each was much longer than that of DOH (7.4 h). The mean area under the curve (AUC0-48h) for D, DA and DOH was estimated as 37, 335 and 27,579 h nmol/L, respectively. Gender-wise, men absorbed the parent compounds faster and took shorter time to reach DOH peak concentration. The human data supported an extensive conversion of D and DA to DOH, even though they metabolized DA slightly slower than rodents. Therefore, the data generated in rodent models concerning anti-cancer efficacy, safety, tissue distribution and pharmacodynamic biomarkers will likely be relevant for human translation.
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© 2015 Zhang et al.