Terpenes: substances useful in human healthcare

Abstract

Terpenes are naturally occurring substances produced by a wide variety of plants and animals. A broad range of the biological properties of terpenoids is described, including cancer chemopreventive effects, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, antihyperglycemic, anti-inflammatory, and antiparasitic activities. Terpenes are also presented as skin penetration enhancers and agents involved in the prevention and therapy of several inflammatory diseases. Moreover, a potential mechanism of their action against pathogens and their influence on skin permeability are discussed. The major conclusion is that larger-scale use of terpenoids in modern medicine should be taken into consideration.

Abbreviations

5-FU:

5-fluorouracil

AKBA:

acetyl-11-keto-α-boswellic acid

AZT:

zidovudine

CoQ:

coenzyme Q

COX-2:

cyclooxygenase 2

DMAPP:

dimethylallyl pyrophosphate

HIV:

human immunodeficiency virus

HSV:

herpes simplex virus

iNOS:

inducible nitric oxide synthetase

IPP:

isopentenyl pyrophosphate

LPS:

lipopolysaccharide

NF-κB:

nuclear factor κB

NO:

nitric oxide

PGE2 :

prostaglandin E2

PLA2 :

phospholipase A2

TGF-β:

transforming growth factor β

TNF-α:

tumor necrosis factor α

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Correspondence to Roman Paduch.

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Paduch, R., Kandefer-Szerszeń, M., Trytek, M. et al. Terpenes: substances useful in human healthcare. Arch. Immunol. Ther. Exp. 55, 315 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00005-007-0039-1

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Keywords:

  • terpenes
  • terpene activity
  • antitumor
  • antimicrobial
  • antifungal
  • antiviral
  • antihyperglycemic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antiparasitic