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Iran J Pharm Res. 2012 Spring;11(2):385-400.

A Comprehensive Review of Punica granatum (Pomegranate) Properties in Toxicological, Pharmacological, Cellular and Molecular Biology Researches.

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Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Punica granatum (Pg), commonly known as pomegranate (Pg), is a member of the monogeneric family, Punicaceae, and is mainly found in Iran which is considered to be its primary centre of origin. Pg and its chemical components possess various pharmacological and toxicological properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory (by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines), anti-cancer and anti-angiogenesis activities. They also show inhibitory effects on invasion/motility, cell cycle, apoptosis, and vital enzymes such as cyclooxygenase (COX), lipooxygenase (LOX), cytochrome P450 (CYP450), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), carbonic anhydrase (CA), 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17β-HSDs) and serine protease (SP). Furthermore, they can stimulate cell differentiation and possess anti-mutagenic effects. Pg can also interfere with several signaling pathways including PI3K/AKT, mTOR, PI3K, Bcl-X, Bax, Bad, MAPK, ERK1/2, P38, JNK, and caspase. However, the exact mechanisms for its pharmacological and toxicological properties remain to be unclear and need further evaluation. These properties strongly suggest a wide range use of Pg for clinical applications. This review will discuss the areas for which Pg has shown therapeutic properties in different mechanisms.


Chemical components; Clinical applications; Punica granatum; Signaling pathway; Toxicological properties


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