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Diverse Therapeutic Potential of Nitidine, A Comprehensive Review

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Background: Nitidine is a bioactive plant benzophenanthridine alkaloid isolated from the root of Zanthoxylum nitidum. Since its discovery in 1959, literature revealed marked anticancer, neuroprotective, antimalarial, anti-HIV, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antifungal activities. However, its clinical status is not defined yet.

Methods: Various scientific search engines were used for the available literature All the peer-reviewed journals were considered in this review. MOE (molecular operating environment) ligand-based pharmacophores features of nitidine were also studied to determine the various targeted sites in the molecule.

Results: The search revealed an outstanding therapeutic potential in terms of various pharmacological effects of the molecule. MOE (Molecular Operating Environment) ligand-based pharmacophores features of nitidine showed that it has got multiple bioactive functional sites that implicate its sensitivity towards several receptors protein and therefore could be a useful lead compound. Despite having an outstanding therapeutic potential, it is not subjected to clinical trial yet, probably, due to host toxicity and being a quaternary salt, charged at all body pH values, and therefore, absorption through the gastro-intestinal-tract could be an issue.

Conclusion: The issues can be resolved while applying latest pharmaceutical technologies, synthesizing its derivatives and subsequent clinical studies and thus could lead to the discovery of new clinically effective molecule(s).
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Keywords: MOE ligand based pharmacophores features; Nitidine; Zanthoxylum nitidum; alkaloid; benzophenanthridine; clinical trials

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: October 1, 2018

This article was made available online on July 19, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Diverse Therapeutic Potential of Nitidine, A Comprehensive Review".

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  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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