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Glucocorticoid-Like Activity of Escin: A New Mechanism for an Old Drug

Authors Gallelli L, Cione E, Wang T, Zhang L

Received 17 December 2020

Accepted for publication 5 February 2021

Published 24 February 2021 Volume 2021:15 Pages 699—704

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S297501

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anastasios Lymperopoulos


Luca Gallelli,1,2 Erika Cione,3 Tian Wang,4 Leiming Zhang4

1Department of Health Science, School of Medicine, Operative Unit of Clinical Pharmacology, Mater Domini University Hospital, Catanzaro, Italy; 2Research Center FAS@UMG, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy; 3Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Excellence 2018– 2022, University of Calabria, Rende, 87036, CS, Italy; 4Key Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology and Drug Evaluation (Yantai University), Ministry of Education, School of Pharmacy, Yantai University, Yantai, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Luca Gallelli
Department of Health Science, School of Medicine, Operative Unit of Clinical Pharmacology, Mater Domini University Hospital, Catanzaro, Italy
Tel +39 0961712322
Email gallelli@unicz.it
Leiming Zhang
Key Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology and Drug Evaluation (Yantai University), Ministry of Education, School of Pharmacy, Yantai University, Yantai, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 5356706066
Email zhangleiming2009@126.com

Abstract: Saponins are a group of compounds used in clinical practice in the management of several diseases. Escin is a natural mixture of triterpene saponins which mainly consist of several isoforms, in which the α- and β-escin are predominant. β-escin is the major active compound that exerts a therapeutic effect by relieving tissue edema, promoting venous drainage, and reducing inflammation. In this review, we describe the features of its glucocorticoid-like activity that could explain its clinical effects. Using PubMed, Embase Cochrane library and reference lists for articles published until October 01, 2020, we documented that escin is likely able to exert its anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effects through a glucocorticoid-like activity, but without the development of glucocorticoid-like adverse drug reactions.

Keywords: escin, mechanism of action, glucocorticoid-like activity, clinical efficacy

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