Adv Pharm Bull. 2024;14(1): 105-119.
doi: 10.34172/apb.2024.001
  Abstract View: 505
  PDF Download: 379

Review Article

Immunomodulating Phytochemicals: An Insight Into Their Potential Use in Cytokine Storm Situations

Abdusalam Abdullah Alarabei 1 ORCID logo, Nur Aimi Liyana Abd Aziz 1, Nur Izah AB Razak 1 ORCID logo, Razif Abas 1 ORCID logo, Hasnah Bahari 1 ORCID logo, Maizaton Atmadini Abdullah 2 ORCID logo, Mohd Khairi Hussain 3 ORCID logo, Amin Malik Shah Abdul Majid 4 ORCID logo, Rusliza Basir 1* ORCID logo

1 Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
2 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
3 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
4 Natureceuticals Sdn Bhd, Kedah Halal Park, Kawasan Perindustrian Sg. Petani, 08000 Sg. Petani, Kedah, Malaysia.
*Corresponding Author: Rusliza Basir, Email: rusliza@upm.edu.my


Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants that possess a variety of bioactive properties, including antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties. Recent studies have highlighted the potential of phytochemicals in targeting specific signalling pathways involved in cytokine storm, a life-threatening clinical condition resulting from excessive immune cell activation and oversupply of proinflammatory cytokines. Several studies have documented the immunomodulatory effects of phytochemicals on immune function, including their ability to regulate essential cellular and molecular interactions of immune system cells. This makes them a promising alternative for cytokine storm management, especially when combined with existing chemotherapies. Furthermore, phytochemicals have been found to target multiple signalling pathways, including the TNF-α/NF-κB, IL-1/NF-κB, IFN-γ/JAK/STAT, and IL-6/JAK-STAT. These pathways play critical roles in the development and progression of cytokine storm, and targeting them with phytochemicals represents a promising strategy for controlling cytokine release and the subsequent inflammation. Studies have also investigated certain families of plant-related constituents and their potential immunomodulatory actions. In vivo and in vitro studies have reported the immunomodulatory effects of phytochemicals, which provide viable alternatives in the management of cytokine storm syndrome. The collective data from previous studies suggest that phytochemicals represent a potentially functional source of cytokine storm treatment and promote further exploration of these compounds as immunomodulatory agents for suppressing specific signalling cascade responses. Overall, the previous research findings support the use of phytochemicals as a complementary approach in managing cytokine storm and improving patient outcomes.
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Submitted: 18 Feb 2023
Revision: 17 May 2023
Accepted: 14 Jul 2023
ePublished: 19 Jul 2023
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