A comprehensive insight into potential roles of Nigella sativa on diseases by targeting AMP-activated protein kinase: a review

Abstract

Objectives

Nigella sativa (NS) is a known medicinal herb with numerous therapeutic effects such as antidiabetic, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer activities. It has been indicated that NS can regulate cellular metabolism by adjusting transduction signaling pathways. Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is one of the main physiological processes, such as energy hemostasis, cellular metabolism, and autophagy regulators. Herb-derived medicines have always been considered as one of the main AMPK activators, and surprisingly recent data has demonstrated that it can be a target for NS and its derivatives.

Evidence acquisition

The literature search was conducted in PubMed, SCOPUS, Embase, ProQuest, and Google Scholar electronic resources. Published articles up to September 2020 were considered, and those of which investigated Nigella sativa effects on the AMPK pathway after meeting the inclusion criteria were included.

Results

The search was performed on several online databases such as PubMed, Scopus, Embase, ProQuest, and Google Scholar from inception until January 2020. Among the initial search, 245 studies were found. After removing duplicated data and meeting the inclusion criteria, only 14 studies were selected. They included the effects of NS and its bioactive compounds as anti-hyperglycemic (n = 5), on liver function (n = 4), cancers (n = 3), and on Neuroinflammation and Atherosclerosis (n = 2). Most of the included studies are animals or in-vitro investigations.

Conclusion

In this review, we discuss the latest findings on the molecular mechanism of NS effecting the AMPK signaling pathway. We also focus on the therapeutic effects of NS, including the prevention and treatment of metabolic and pro-inflammatory disease by targeting the AMPK pathway.

Graphical abstract

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Fig. 1
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Abbreviations

ACC :

Acetyl-CoA carboxylase

AKT :

protein kinase B

ALD :

alcoholic liver disease

AMPK :

AMP-activated protein kinase

EMT :

epithelial-mesenchymal transition

ERK :

extracellular signal-regulated kinases

FOXO :

Forkhead box protein O1

GLUT-4 :

Glucose transporter type 4

HSCs :

Hepatic stellate cells

LKB1 :

Liver kinase B1

mTOR :

mammalian target of rapamycin

NF-kB :

nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B

NS :

Nigella sativa

PGC-1 :

Proliferator-Activated Receptor-Gamma Coactivator-1

PPAR :

Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor

RCC :

Renal carcinoma cells

ROS :

Reactive oxygen species

SIRT1 :

Sirtuin1

TGF-B :

Transforming growth factor-beta

TLR4 :

Toll-like receptor 4

TQ :

Thymoquinone

VSMCs :

Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the Nutrition Research Center of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences for their support.

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All data generated or analyzed are included in the results of the manuscript.

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OT and VM contributed to search and data extraction. VM and JM contributed to data interpretation. MS, MA and ET contributed to manuscript drafting and data interpretation. All authors approved the final manuscript for submission.

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Correspondence to Vahid Maleki or Mohammad Alizadeh.

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All of the authors declared no personal or financial conflicts of interest.

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Tavakoli-Rouzbehani, O.M., Maleki, V., Shadnoush, M. et al. A comprehensive insight into potential roles of Nigella sativa on diseases by targeting AMP-activated protein kinase: a review. DARU J Pharm Sci 28, 779–787 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40199-020-00376-3

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Keywords

  • Nigella sativa
  • AMP-activated protein kinase