Diterpenes: Advances in Neurobiological Drug Research

Islam MT, da Silva CB, de Alencar MV, Paz MF, Almeida FR, Melo-Cavalcante AA
Phytotherapy research, 2016


A significant number of studies have been performed with diterpene effect on the brain. Our study aims to make a systematic revision on them. The initial purpose of this review was to screen diterpenes with neurological activity, in particular those that have already been studied and published in different journals (databases until August 2015). The second purpose was to make an action-wise discussion as results viewed on them by taking into drug discovery and development account. Diterpenes considered in this review were selected on the basis of updated information on them and having sufficient information on their screenings. We identified several examples of diterpenes having an interest in further study. We have included the possible sources of them as observed in evidence, their known molecular neurobiological mechanisms, and the active constituents responsible for such activities with the doses and test systems. Results suggest diterpenes to have neurobiological activities like neuro-protection, anti-epileptic, anxiolytic, anti-Alzheimer’s disease, anti-Parkinson’s disease, anti-cerebral ischemia, anti-neuropathic pain, anti-neuro-inflammatory, and many more. In conclusion, diterpenes may be the prominent candidates in neurobiological drug research.


Islam MT, da Silva CB, de Alencar MV, et al. Diterpenes: Advances in Neurobiological Drug Research. Phytother Res. 2016;30(6):915-28.

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