from Coleus forskohlii, ≥98% (HPLC), powder

Colforsin, 7β-Acetoxy-8,13-epoxy-1α,6β,9α-trihydroxylabd-14-en-11-one, Coleonol
Empirical Formula (Hill Notation):
CAS Number:
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Quality Level

biological source

Coleus forskohlii


≥98% (HPLC)




white to off-white


ethanol: soluble 50 mg/mL

SMILES string




InChI key


Gene Information

human ... OPRK1(4986), SLC2A10(81031), TNF(7124)

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General description

Forskolin, present predominantly in the root of Coleus forskohlii plant, is a potential pharmacological compound. It is used for treating hypertension, respiratory disorders and obesity. Forskolin is a diterpenoid capable of modulating adenylate cyclase enzyme and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels. Engineering forskolin biosynthetic pathway caters its commercial production for pharmacological use. Forskolin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property and reduces hyperglycemia by stimulating insulin release. Forskolin promotes differentiation of hepatoma HepaRG cells and activates farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and pregnane X receptor(PXR).


Forskolin has been used:
  • for inducing mRNA expression in primary hepatocytes.
  • as a defatting drug in primary human hepatocytes.
  • as a medium supplement to induce differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs).
  • in the activation of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene.


10, 25, 50 mg in poly bottle

Biochem/physiol Actions

Cell-permeable diterpenoid that possesses anti-hypertensive, positive inotropic, and adenylyl cyclase activating properties. Many of its biological effects are due to its activation of adenylyl cyclase and the resulting increase in intracellular cAMP concentration. Forskolin effects calcium currents and inhibits MAP kinase.

Features and Benefits

This compound is also offered as part of Sigma′s Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds (LOPAC®1280), a biologically annotated collection of high-quality, ready-to-screen compounds. Click here to learn more.

Preparation Note

Forskolin is soluble in organic solvents such as ethanol, chloroform, and DMSO.

Legal Information

LOPAC is a registered trademark of Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC


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Hazard Statements

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US),Eyeshields,Gloves


NONH for all modes of transport

WGK Germany


Certificate of Analysis
Certificate of Origin
Use of a high-throughput phenotypic screening strategy to identify amplifiers, a novel pharmacological class of small molecules that exhibit functional synergy with potentiators and correctors
Giuliano KA, et al.
SLAS discovery, 23(2), 111-121 (2018)
Functional polarization of human hepatoma HepaRG cells in response to forskolin
Mayati A, et al.
Scientific Reports, 8(1), 16115-16115 (2018)
Differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells into Schwann cell-like cells through intermittent induction: potential advantage of cellular transient memory function
Sun X, et al.
Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 9(1), 133-133 (2018)
Total biosynthesis of the cyclic AMP booster forskolin from Coleus forskohlii
Pateraki I, et al.
eLife, 6, e23001-e23001 (2017)
Establishment of pharmacokinetic parameters for the herbal drug containing forskolin
Sangeetha S, et al.
Journal of Pharmacy Research, 4(7), 2303-2306 (2011)
Naive pluripotent stem cells are located within the epiblast of mature blastocysts. These primitive “ground-state” cells may be cultured in vitro using specialized media and small molecule inhibitors.
Read More
A rapid in vitro assay for CFTR function, the forskolin-induced swelling protocol uses human colon organoids, which can be derived from cystic fibrosis patient tissue.
Read More
Related Content
Cyclic nucleotides, including cyclic AMP (cAMP), cyclic GMP (cGMP) and cyclic ADP-ribose, have been extensively studied as second messengers of intracellular events initiated by activation of GPCRs. cAMP modifies cell function in all eukaryotic cells, principally through the activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), but also through cAMP-gated ion channels and guanine nucleotide exchange factors directly activated by cAMP.
Read More

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