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Journal of Integrative Medicine


Peperomia pellucida (L.) Kunth and eye diseases: A review on phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology

Keat Lam Hoa, Phaik Har Yongb, Chee Woon Wangc, Umah Rani Kuppusamyd, Chek Tung Ngoe, Festo Massawea, Zhi Xiang Nga   

  1. a. School of Biosciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia, 43500 Selangor, Malaysia
    b. School of Biosciences, Faculty of Medicine, Bioscience and Nursing, MAHSA University, 42610 Selangor, Malaysia
    c. Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Bioscience and Nursing, MAHSA University, 42610 Selangor, Malaysia
    d. Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    e. Optimax Sunway Eye Specialist Centre, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Selangor, Malaysia
  • Received:2021-06-10 Accepted:2022-01-19 Published:2022-02-21
  • Contact: Zhi Xiang Ng

Peperomia pellucida (L.) Kunth is a medicinal plant used to manage inflammatory illnesses such as conjunctivitis, and gastrointestinal and respiratory tract disorders in tropical and subtropical regions. However, little is known about its pharmacological mechanism of action against eye diseases. This review aims to critically discuss the phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of P. pellucida as well as its roles in the treatment of cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Recent developments in the uses of P. pellucida for healthcare and nutraceutical products by the pharmaceutical industry are also covered in this review. For this review, a literature search was performed with PubMed, ScienceDirect, SciFinder Scholar and Scopus databases, using relevant keywords. Among the various phytochemicals identified from P. pellucida, β-caryophyllene, carotol, dillapiole, ellagic acid, pellucidin A, phytol and vitexin exhibit strong pharmacological activities within the mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-κB signalling pathways in inflammatory eye diseases. The antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihyperglycemic and anti-angiogenic activities displayed by P. pellucida extracts in many in vitroin vivo and clinical studies suggest its potential role in the management of inflammatory eye diseases. P. pellucida extract was non-toxic against normal cell lines but displayed mild toxicity in animal models. The growing public interest in P. pellucida has inspired the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries to process the plant into health products. Although the potential pharmacological mechanisms against eye diseases have been summarized, further studies of the interactions among constituent phytochemicals from P. pellucida within various signalling pathways shall support the use of the plant as an alternative therapeutic source.

Key words: Anti-glycation, Anti-inflammation, Antihyperglycaemia, Cataract, Diabetic retinopathy, Glaucoma

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