Repurposing Dimethyl Fumarate for Cardiovascular Diseases: Pharmacological Effects, Molecular Mechanisms, and Therapeutic Promise

Shilu Deepa Thomas, Niraj Kumar Jha, Bassem Sadek, Shreesh Ojha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a small molecule that has been shown to assert potent in vivo immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory therapeutic actions. The drug has been approved and is currently in use for treating multiple sclerosis and psoriasis in the USA and Europe. Since inflammatory reactions have been significantly implicated in the etiology and progression of diverse disease states, the pharmacological actions of DMF are presently being explored and generalized to other diseases where inflammation needs to be suppressed and immunoregulation is desirable, either as a monotherapeutic agent or as an adjuvant. In this review, we focus on DMF, and present an overview of its mechanism of action while briefly discussing its pharmacokinetic profile. We further discuss in detail its pharmacological uses and highlight its potential applications in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. DMF, with its unique combination of anti-inflammatory and vasculoprotective effects, has the potential to be repurposed as a therapeutic agent in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The clinical studies mentioned in this review with respect to the beneficial effects of DMF in atherosclerosis involve observations in patients with multiple sclerosis and psoriasis in small cohorts and for short durations. The findings of these studies need to be assessed in larger prospective clinical trials, ideally with a double-blind randomized study design, investigating the effects on cardiovascular endpoints as well as morbidity and mortality. The long-term impact of DMF therapy on cardiovascular diseases also needs to be confirmed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number497
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • DMF
  • anti-inflammatory potential
  • antiox-idant
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • dimethyl fumarate
  • immunomodulatory actions
  • monomethyl fumarate (MMF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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