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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 01

Antioxidants (Basel)



Improvement of Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Dysfunction by -Caryophyllene: A Focus on the Nervous System.


Ullah H, Di Minno A, Santarcangelo C, Khan H, Daglia M
Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Apr 01; 10(4).
PMID: 33915950.


Mitochondrial dysfunction results in a series of defective cellular events, including decreased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) output, and altered proteastasis and cellular quality control. An enhanced output of ROS may damage mitochondrial components, such as mitochondrial DNA and elements of the electron transport chain, resulting in the loss of proper electrochemical gradient across the mitochondrial inner membrane and an ensuing shutdown of mitochondrial energy production. Neurons have an increased demand for ATP and oxygen, and thus are more prone to damage induced by mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction, damaged electron transport chains, altered membrane permeability and Ca homeostasis, and impaired mitochondrial defense systems induced by oxidative stress, are pathological changes involved in neurodegenerative disorders. A growing body of evidence suggests that the use of antioxidants could stabilize mitochondria and thus may be suitable for preventing neuronal loss. Numerous natural products exhibit the potential to counter oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction; however, science is still looking for a breakthrough in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. -caryophyllene is a bicyclic sesquiterpene, and an active principle of essential oils derived from a large number of spices and food plants. As a selective cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonist, several studies have reported it as possessing numerous pharmacological activities such as antibacterial (e.g., ), antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic (e.g., neuropathic pain), anti-neurodegenerative and anticancer properties. The present review mainly focuses on the potential of -caryophyllene in reducing oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, and its possible links with neuroprotection.