Neuroprotective potential of limonene and limonene containing natural products

Lujain Bader Eddin, Niraj Kumar Jha, M. F.Nagoor Meeran, Kavindra Kumar Kesari, Rami Beiram, Shreesh Ojha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Limonene is a monoterpene confined to the family of Rutaceae, showing several biological properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antinociceptive and gastroprotective characteristics. Recently, there is notable interest in investigating the pharmacological effects of limonene in various chronic diseases due to its mitigating effect on oxidative stress and inflammation and regulating apoptotic cell death. There are several available studies demonstrating the neuroprotective role of limonene in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, anxiety, and stroke. The high abundance of limonene in nature, its safety profile, and various mechanisms of action make this monoterpene a favorable molecule to be developed as a nutraceutical for preventive purposes and as an alternative agent or adjuvant to modern therapeutic drugs in curbing the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. This manuscript presents a comprehensive review of the available scientific literature discussing the pharmacological activities of limonene or plant products containing limonene which attribute to the protective and therapeutic ability in neurodegenerative disorders. This review has been compiled based on the existing published articles confined to limonene or limonene-containing natural products investigated for their neurotherapeutic or neuroprotective potential. All the articles available in English or the abstract in English were extracted from different databases that offer an access to diverse journals. These databases are PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Science Direct. Collectively, this review emphasizes the neuroprotective potential of limonene against neurodegenerative and other neuroinflammatory diseases. The available data are indicative of the nutritional use of products containing limonene and the pharmacological actions and mechanisms of limonene and may direct future preclinical and clinical studies for the development of limonene as an alternative or complementary phytomedicine. The pharmacophore can also provide a blueprint for further drug discovery using numerous drug discovery tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4535
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2021


  • Citrus terpenes
  • Limonene
  • Neurodegeneration, neurotherapeutics
  • Neuroprotection
  • Neuroprotective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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