Phytoecdysteroids--from isolation to their effects on humans

Curr Med Chem. 2005;12(2):153-72. doi: 10.2174/0929867053363450.


An overview is given on both well-known and recently discovered phytoecdyteroids including a sophisticated isolation scheme and notable physiological and pharmacological effects of ecdysteroids on vertebrates. The isolation of pure ecdysteroids has been improved by the use of low-pressure reversed-phase chromatography. An optimized combination of preliminary purification and chromatographic separations results in pure ecdysteroids. Structural elucidation has been done using spectroscopic methods, however, the final proof of the steric structure is rendered using x-ray crystallography. Ecdysteroid containing preparations show a boom and both OTC products and numerous preparation techniques can be found using the Internet. This paper will give a review on the kaleidoscope of pharmacological effects attributed to the ecdysteroids, such as: An increase of protein synthesis (for body-building, AIDS, patients with neoplasm disease, etc.), and other body functions; Antidepressant effect; Shielding the body from stress, and improve the physical and sexual performance; Prevention from infections and certain diseases. A list of recent offers of ecdysteroid-containing products will also be given. The perspective use of ecdysteroids is promising in genetics. Steroid regulation of programmed cell death during development and differentiation has recently come to the limelight. Murine model of human diseases and its influencing with ecdysteroids are detailed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Ecdysteroids* / chemistry
  • Ecdysteroids* / isolation & purification
  • Ecdysteroids* / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control
  • Models, Animal
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Ecdysteroids
  • Proteins