Fermented Citrus reticulata (ponkan) fruit squeezed draff that contains a large amount of 4′-demethylnobiletin prevents MK801-induced memory impairment

Ichiro Kawahata, Tatsuya Suzuki, Evelyn Gutiérrez Rico, Shuichi Kusano, Hiroshi Tamura, Yoshihiro Mimaki, Tohru Yamakuni

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6 Citations (Scopus)


A previous study reported biotransformation of a citrus peel polymethoxyflavone, nobiletin, by Aspergillus enabling production of 4′-demethylnobiletin, and the product’s antimutagenic activity. However, the effects of fermented citrus peel on the basal forebrain–hippocampal system remain unidentified. Citrus reticulata (ponkan) fruit squeezed draffs are generated as mass waste in beverage factories. In this study using PC12D cells and cultured central nervous system neurons, we therefore examined whether Aspergillus kawachii-fermented citrus fruit squeezed draff could affect cAMP response element (CRE)- and choline acetyltransferase gene (ChAT) promoter region-mediated transcriptional activities relevant to memory formation and cholinergic function. Our current fermentation yielded approximately 80% nobiletin bioconversion, and a sample of hot-water extract of the fermented fruit squeezed draff was stronger than that of the unfermented one in facilitating CRE-mediated transcription in cultured hippocampal neurons as well as in PC12D cells. A sample of 0–80% ethanol-eluted fraction of Diaion HP-20 column-adsorbed components of the preparation obtained by the fermentation concentration-dependently and more strongly facilitated CRE-mediated transcription than did the fraction of the unfermented one in both cell culture systems. In a separate study, this polymethoxyflavone-rich fraction of the fermented fruit squeezed draff showed a potent ability to facilitate CRE-mediated and ChAT transcription in a co-culture of hippocampal neurons and basal forebrain neurons. Repeated oral gavage of mice with the fermented fraction sample prevented MK801-impaired memory formation in mice. These findings suggest that the 4′-demethylnobiletin-rich fraction prepared from the Aspergillus-fermented ponkan squeezed draff has a potential anti-dementia effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-631
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Natural Medicines
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1


  • 4′-demethylnobiletin
  • Aspergillus kawachii-fermented Citrus reticulata fruit squeezed draff
  • ChAT transcription
  • CNS neurons
  • CRE-mediated transcription
  • Dementia


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