Therapeutic potential of alkaloids in autoimmune diseases: Promising candidates for clinical trials

Haroon Khan, Hammad Ullah, Sumaira Khattak, Michael Aschner, Cristobal N. Aguilar, Syed M.A. Halimi, Omar Cauli, Syed M.M. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Clinical investigations have characterized numerous disorders like autoimmune diseases, affecting the population at a rate of approximately 8–10%. These disorders are characterized by T-cell and auto-antibodies responses to self-molecules by immune system reactivity. Several therapeutic options have been adopted in clinics to combat such diseases, however, most of them are recurring. Thus, the discovery of new effective agents for the treatment of autoimmune diseases is paramount. In this context, natural products might be a useful alternative to the current therapies. Plant alkaloids with their substantial therapeutic history can be particularly interesting candidates for the alleviation of autoimmune ailments. This review encompasses various alkaloids with significant effects against autoimmune diseases in preclinical trials. These results suggest further clinical assessment with respect to autoimmune illnesses. Furthermore, the application of modern technologies such as nanoformulation could be also helpful in the design of more effective therapies and thus further studies are needed to decipher their therapeutic efficacy as well as potential limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-62
Number of pages13
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • alkaloids
  • autoimmune diseases
  • preclinical trials, clinical perspective
  • therapeutic limitations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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