Chronic inflammatory diseases are considered to be one of the biggest threats to human health. Most prescribed pharmaceutical drugs aiming to treat these diseases are characterized by side-effects and negatively affect therapy adherence. Finding alternative treatment strategies to tackle chronic inflammation has therefore been gaining interest over the last few decades. In this context, Withaferin A (WA), a natural bioactive compound isolated from Withania somnifera, has been identified as a promising anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory compound. Although the majority of studies focus on the molecular mechanisms of WA in cancer models, recent evidence demonstrates that WA also holds promise as a new phytotherapeutic agent against chronic inflammatory diseases. By targeting crucial inflammatory pathways, including nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) and nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling, WA suppresses the inflammatory disease state in several in vitro and preclinical in vivo models of diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative disorders, cystic fibrosis and osteoarthritis. This review provides a concise overview of the molecular mechanisms by which WA orchestrates its anti-inflammatory effects to restore immune homeostasis.
Keywords: chronic diseases; inflammation; natural product; therapy; withaferin a.