Nutraceuticals as potential therapeutics for vesicant-induced pulmonary fibrosis

Rita Businaro, Elisa Maggi, Federica Armeli, Alexa Murray, Debra L. Laskin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Exposure to vesicants, including sulfur mustard and nitrogen mustard, causes damage to the epithelia of the respiratory tract and the lung. With time, this progresses to chronic disease, most notably, pulmonary fibrosis. The pathogenic process involves persistent inflammation and the release of cytotoxic oxidants, cytokines, chemokines, and profibrotic growth factors, which leads to the collapse of lung architecture, with fibrotic involution of the lung parenchyma. At present, there are no effective treatments available to combat this pathological process. Recently, much interest has focused on nutraceuticals, substances derived from plants, herbs, and fruits, that exert pleiotropic effects on inflammatory cells and parenchymal cells that may be useful in reducing fibrogenesis. Some promising results have been obtained with nutraceuticals in experimental animal models of inflammation-driven fibrosis. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the putative preventive/therapeutic efficacy of nutraceuticals in progressive pulmonary fibrosis, with a focus on their activity against inflammatory reactions and profibrotic cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 17 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


  • epithelial–mesenchymal transition
  • inflammation
  • mustards
  • nutraceuticals
  • oxidative stress
  • pulmonary fibrosis


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