Antioxidant and antifungal activity of monoterpene alcohols

A paper was published in BioNanoScience.


Over the last few decades, the number of patients suffering from various forms of mycoses has noticeably increased. Currently, the more than 2.5 million people are suffering from superficial mycoses of the skin in the world annually, and their share in the struсture of dermatoses reaches 37–40%. It is well known that invasive fungal infections are less common than superficial ones; however, they are believed to be associated with high morbidity and mortality. In fact, invasive candidiasis affects more than 750,000 people annually and causes more than 350,000 deaths worldwide as reported by the Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections (GAFFI). Moreover, the latest data about infections caused by microscopic fungi indicate that they are increasingly becoming a serious problem in clinical practice.

Despite the existing significant arsenal of antifungal agents, the drugs available today do not fully meet the growing needs of clinical practice because of the appearance of new agents among microscopic fungi that previously belonged to saprophytes or phytopathogens (Aspergillus spp., Rhizomucor spp., Fusarium spp., Alternaria spp., etc.), capable of causing infectious diseases. The presence of a wide range of pathogenicity factors in fungi and phenotypic instability contribute to their adaptation to the conditions of the host organism, which leads to the growth of resistant strains. Consequently, developing new promising chemicals, taking into account the modern principles of mycosis treatment and which should be aimed at the rapid elimination of the pathogenic fungus from the affected area, becomes an urgent task. Notably, particular attention should be paid to the development of multifactorial chemical compounds capable of eliminating the effects that contribute to the reproduction of fungi (inflammation, microtrauma, colonization, etc.).

The paper aims to study the biological properties of a series of bicyclic monoterpene alcohols. Firstly, the team tested the obtained compounds for fungicidal activity against clinical and reference strains of microscopic fungi. Next, they determined the minimum inhibitory concentration of these compounds comparing to other drugs widely used in practical medicine (fluconazole and terbinafine). At this stage, the authors found that myrtenol exhibits the most promising activity against filamentous and yeast fungi, respectively. Then, the researchers studied the membrane-protective and antioxidant activities of the obtained compounds and found out that (−)-cis-verbenol and ( −)-myrtenol exhibit the highest activity on the model of erythrocytes oxidative hemolysis. Interestingly, among all the studied bicyclic monoterpene alcohols, the alcohols of the pinane series were found to be the most promising. The obtained results from the present study suggest that (−)-myrtenol would be a leading compound for further studies in terms of possible practical applications.


Biological Activity of Bicyclic Monoterpene Alcohols


Source text: Liliya Nikitina

Editing: Yury Nurmeev

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