Molecular mechanisms regulating the pharmacological actions of icariin with special focus on PI3K-AKT and Nrf-2 signaling pathways

pubmed: wnt1 2022-11-24

Mol Biol Rep. 2022 Sep;49(9):9023-9032. doi: 10.1007/s11033-022-07778-3. Epub 2022 Aug 8.


Icariin is a primary active component of the traditional Chinese medicinal plant Epimedium grandiflorum. A range of pharmacological effects of icariin has been researched by modern science to explain its traditional medicinal uses. Attributing to the wide range of pharmacological properties like anti-osteoporosis, anti-inflammation, anti-oxidative stress, anti-depression, and anti-tumor property possessed by icariin, it is now being considered a potential therapeutic agent for a wide variety of disorders ranging from neoplasm, neurodegenerative disorders, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases. Various signaling pathways including NFκB/NALP3, IGF-1, MiR-223-3p/ NALP3, TLR4/ NFκB, and WNT1/β-catenin are involved in the different biological actions exerted by icariin. Apart from these pathways, PI3K-AKT (Phosphoinositide 3 kinase-Protein kinase B) and Nrf-2 (nuclear erythroid 2-related factor 2) signaling pathways are two important pathways that form the fundamental basis for the pharmaceutical efficacy of icariin. This review gives an overview of previous in vitro and in vivo studies that investigated the potential role of icariin via PI3K-AKT and Nrf-2 signaling pathways to provide greater insights into its potential clinical use in a variety of disorders.

PMID:35941411 | DOI:10.1007/s11033-022-07778-3