Arjunolic acid: a new multifunctional therapeutic promise of alternative medicine.

PMID 23402784


In recent years, a number of studies describing the effective therapeutic strategies of medicinal plants and their active constituents in traditional medicine have been reported. Indeed, tremendous demand for the development and implementation of these plant derived biomolecules in complementary and alternative medicine is increasing and appear to be promising candidates for pharmaceutical industrial research. These new molecules, especially those from natural resources, are considered as potential therapeutic targets, because they are derived from commonly consumed foodstuff and are considered to be safe for humans. This review highlights the beneficial role of arjunolic acid, a naturally occurring chiral triterpenoid saponin, in various organ pathophysiology and the underlying mechanism of its protective action. Studies on the biochemistry and pharmacology suggest the potential use of arjunolic acid as a novel promising therapeutic strategy. The multifunctional therapeutic application of arjunolic acid has already been documented by its various biological functions including antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anticholinesterase, antitumor, antiasthmatic, wound healing and insect growth inhibitor activities. The scientific basis behind its therapeutic application as a cardioprotective agent in traditional medicine is justified by its ability to prevent myocardial necrosis and apoptosis, platelet aggregation, coagulation and lowering of blood pressure, heart rate, as well as cholesterol levels. Its antioxidant property coupled with metal chelating property (by its two hydroxyl groups) protects different organs from metal and drug-induced organ pathophysiology. Arjunolic acid also plays a beneficial role in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its associated complications. The mechanism of cytoprotection of arjunolic acid, at least in part, results from the detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced in the respective pathophysiology. In addition to its other biological functions, it also possesses vibrant insecticidal properties and it has the potential to be used as a structural molecular framework for the design of molecular receptors in the general area of supramolecular chemistry and nanochemistry. Esters of arjunolic acid function as organogelators which has wide application in designing thermochromic switches and sensor devices. Arjunolic acid derived crown ether is an attractive candidate for the design of molecular receptors, biomimetics and supramolecular systems capable of performing some biological functions. This review would provide useful information about the recent progress of natural product research in the domain of clinical science. This review also aims to untie the multifunctional therapeutic application of arjunolic acid, a nanometer-long naturally occurring chiral triterpenoid biomolecule.

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Arjunolic acid, ≥95% (LC/MS-ELSD)