Natural product derived phytochemicals in managing acute lung injury by multiple mechanisms

Pharmacol Res. 2021 Jan;163:105224. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105224. Epub 2020 Sep 29.


Acute lung injury (ALI) and its more severe form, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) as common life-threatening lung diseases with high mortality rates are mostly associated with acute and severe inflammation in lungs. With increasing in-depth studies of ALI/ARDS, significant breakthroughs have been made, however, there are still no effective pharmacological therapies for treatment of ALI/ARDS. Especially, the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) is ravaging the globe, and causes severe respiratory distress syndrome. Therefore, developing new drugs for therapy of ALI/ARDS is in great demand, which might also be helpful for treatment of COVID-19. Natural compounds have always inspired drug development, and numerous natural products have shown potential therapeutic effects on ALI/ARDS. Therefore, this review focuses on the potential therapeutic effects of natural compounds on ALI and the underlying mechanisms. Overall, the review discusses 159 compounds and summarizes more than 400 references to present the protective effects of natural compounds against ALI and the underlying mechanism.

Keywords: Acute lung injury; Acute respiratory distress syndrome; Baicalin (PubChem CID: 64982); Chemical structures; Curcumin (PubChem CID: 969516); Emodin (PubChem CID: 3220); Hydroxysafflor yellow A (PubChem CID: 6443665); Kaempferol (PubChem CID: 5280863); Luteolin (PubChem CID: 5280445); Mechanisms; Natural compounds; Osthole (PubChem CID: 10228); Quercetin (PubChem CID: 5280343); Resveratrol (PubChem CID: 445154); Tanshinone IIA (PubChem CID: 164676).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Lung Injury / drug therapy*
  • Acute Lung Injury / etiology
  • Acute Lung Injury / metabolism
  • Acute Lung Injury / pathology
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Phytochemicals / isolation & purification
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / etiology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / metabolism
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / pathology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Phytochemicals