In vitro and in vivo antidiabetic potential of monoterpenoids: An update

Lina T. Al Kury, Aya Abdoh, Kamel Ikbariah, Bassem Sadek, Mohamed Mahgoub

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic condition characterized by persistent hyper-glycemia due to insufficient insulin levels or insulin resistance. Despite the availability of several oral and injectable hypoglycemic agents, their use is associated with a wide range of side effects. Monoterpenes are compounds extracted from different plants including herbs, vegetables, and fruits and they contribute to their aroma and flavor. Based on their chemical structure, monoterpenes are classified into acyclic, monocyclic, and bicyclic monoterpenes. They have been found to exhibit numerous biological and medicinal effects such as antipruritic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic activities. Therefore, monoterpenes emerged as promising molecules that can be used therapeutically to treat a vast range of diseases. Additionally, monoterpenes were found to modulate enzymes and proteins that contribute to insulin resistance and other pathological events caused by DM. In this review, we highlight the different mechanisms by which monoterpenes can be used in the pharmacological intervention of DM via the alteration of certain enzymes, proteins, and pathways involved in the pathophysiology of DM. Based on the fact that monoterpenes have multiple mechanisms of action on different targets in in vitro and in vivo studies, they can be considered as lead compounds for developing effective hypoglycemic agents. Incorporating these compounds in clinical trials is needed to investigate their actions in diabetic patients in order to confirm their ability in controlling hyperglycemia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number182
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Anti-diabetic drugs
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Monoterpenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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