The development and progression of many diseases is related with an inflammatory process, which could affect different organs or tissues. Currently, many drugs are used to treat inflammation. However, some of these compounds induce severe side effects. For this reason, the search of new therapeutic options for the treatment of inflammation is very desirable. Medicinal plants have been an interesting source for obtaining new active compounds, including several terpenes and terpenoids with anti-inflammatory activity. This book chapter includes 62 sesquiterpenes, 34 diterpenes, and 22 triterpenes with anti-inflammatory activity. The anti-inflammatory effect was evaluated using in vitro, in vivo, and both models. These terpenes were obtained from 44 plant species belonging to 25 botanical families. Eight of theses species belong to the Asteraceae family and four to Lamiaceae family, respectively, and the other species belong to 13 different botanical families, one sesquiterpene was obtained from a sponge and two diterpenes were isolated from corals.
Part of the book: Terpenes and Terpenoids
Cancer is a group of related diseases in which there is uncontrolled cell growth that spreads to the surrounding tissues and damages them. Cancer remains the disease with the leading cause of death worldwide, and incidence and mortality are increasing rapidly. The main cancer treatment is chemotherapy; however, the compounds used in this treatment have serious side effects for this reason, is necessary to develop new therapeutic strategies. Natural products are an excellent pharmacological alternative for the treatment of cancer and infections. In search of new compounds with cytotoxic and antimicrobial activity, we have found quinones that have a high pharmacological potency in the treatment of these health problems. Quinones are an aromatic system of one or diketone and are mainly isolated from plants, fungi, bacteria, and other organisms. These compounds are secondary metabolites derived from the oxidation of hydroquinones; they include benzoquinones, naphthoquinones, anthraquinones, and polyquinones. This review summarizes the activity of 152 anticancer and 30 antimicrobial quinones.
Part of the book: Cytotoxicity
Lignans and neolignans are plant’s secondary metabolites, widely distributed in the plant kingdom, and have been identified in more than 70 plant families. These compounds are mainly localized in lignified tissues, seeds, and roots. Lignans and neolignans present a great variety of biological activities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antineurodegenerative, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antitumor. By 2040, it is estimated that the number of new cancer cases per year will rise to 29.5 million; therefore, the development of new anticancer agents and adjuvants is essential. Lignans and neolignans have also indicated a reduction in the risk of cancer at different stages. The objective of this review is to search and analyze the cytotoxic and antitumor activity of lignans and neolignans that can be an important source of new antitumor drugs. We have made a comprehensive summary of 113 lignans and neolignans, obtained from 44 plants and divided between 34 families, which demonstrated cytotoxic activity in several human cancer cell lines evaluated through various in vitro studies and other in vivo models, by inducing mitochondrial apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, inhibiting NF-κβ activity and activation of metalloproteinases (MMPs), among other processes. Overall, 13 compounds, methoxypinoresinol, arctigenin, trachelogenin, 4-O-methylhonokiol, honokiol, bifidenone, (−)-trachelogeninit, deoxypodophyllotoxin, matairesinol, bejolghotin G, H, and I, and hedyotol-B, showed the best anticancer activity.
Part of the book: Secondary Metabolites