Effects of Natural Products on Neuromuscular Junction

Esra Küpeli Akkol, Gökçe Şeker Karatoprak, Elif Carpar, Yaseen Hussain, Haroon Khan, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Neuromuscular junction (NMJ) disorders result from damage, malfunction or absence of one or more key proteins involved in neuromuscular transmission, comprising a wide range of disor-ders. The most common pathology is antibody-mediated or downregulation of ion channels or recep-tors, resulting in Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, myasthenia gravis, and acquired neuromyoto-nia (Isaac’s syndrome), and rarely congenital myasthenic syndromes caused by mutations in NMJ pro-teins. A wide range of symptomatic treatments, immunomodulating therapies, or immunosuppressive drugs have been used to treat NMJ diseases. Future research must be directed at a better understanding of the pathogenesis of these diseases, and developing novel disease-specific treatments. Numerous sec-ondary metabolites, especially alkaloids isolated from plants, have been used to treat NMJ diseases in traditional and clinical practices. An ethnopharmacological approach has provided leads for identifying new treatments for NMJ diseases. In this review, we performed a literature survey in Pubmed, Science Direct, and Google Scholar to gather information on drug discovery from plant sources for NMJ disease treatments. To date, most research has focused on the effects of herbal remedies on cholinesterase inhibitory and antioxidant activities. This review provides leads for identifying potential new drugs from plant sources for the treatment of NMJ diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-610
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Lambert-eaton myasthenic syndrome
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • NMJ diseases
  • Natural product
  • Neuromuscular junction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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