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Natural products and synthetic analogs have drawn much attention as potential therapeutical drugs to treat metabolic syndrome. We reviewed the underlying mechanisms of 32 natural products and analogs with potential pharmacological effects in vitro, and especially in rodent models and/or patients, that usually act on the PPAR pathway, along with other molecular targets. Recent outstanding total syntheses or semisyntheses of these lead compounds are stated. In general, they can activate the transcriptional activity of PPARα, PPARγ, PPARα/γ, PPARβ/δ, PPARα/δ, PPARγ/δ and panPPAR as weak, partial agonists or selective PPARγ modulators (SPPARγM), which may be useful for managing obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), dyslipidemia and non-fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Terpenoids is the largest group of compounds that act as potential modulators on PPARs and are comprised from small lipophilic cannabinoids to lipophilic pentacyclic triterpenes and polar saponins. Shikimates-phenylpropanoids include polar heterocyclic flavonoids and phenolic compounds containing at least one C3-C6 unit and usually a double bond on the propyl chain. Quercetin (19), resveratrol (24) and curcumin (27), stand out from this group for exhibiting beneficial effects on patients. Alkaloids, the minor group of potential modulators on PPARs, include berberine (30), which has been widely explored in preclinical and clinical studies for its potential beneficial effects on T2D and dyslipidemia. However, large-scale clinical trials may be warranted for the promising compounds. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Carlos Villarroel-Vicente, Sergio Gutiérrez-Palomo, Jordi Ferri, Diego Cortes, Nuria Cabedo. Natural products and analogs as preventive agents for metabolic syndrome via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors: An overview. European journal of medicinal chemistry. 2021 Oct 05;221:113535

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PMID: 33992930

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