Recent Insights into the Protective Mechanisms of Paeoniflorin in Neurological, Cardiovascular, and Renal Diseases

Feng Jiao, Kevin Varghese, Shaoxun Wang, Yedan Liu, Hongwei Yu, George W. Booz, Richard J. Roman, Ruen Liu, Fan Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The monoterpene glycoside paeoniflorin (PF) is the principal active constituent of the traditional Chinese herbal medicines, Radix Paeoniae Alba and Radix Paeoniae Rubra, which have been used for millennia to treat cardiovascular diseases (eg, hypertension, bleeding, and atherosclerosis) and neurological ailments (eg, headaches, vertigo, dementia, and pain). Recent evidence has revealed that PF exerts inhibitory effects on inflammation, fibrosis, and apoptosis by targeting several intracellular signaling cascades. In this review, we address the current knowledge about the pharmacokinetic properties of PF and its molecular mechanisms of action. We also present results from recent preclinical studies supporting the utility of PF for the treatment of pain, cerebral ischemic injury, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Moreover, new evidence suggests a general protective role of PF in heart attack, diabetic kidney, and atherosclerosis. Mechanistically, PF exerts multiple anti-inflammatory actions by targeting toll-like receptor-mediated signaling in both parenchymal and immune cells (in particular, macrophages and dendritic cells). A better understanding of the molecular actions of PF may lead to the expansion of its therapeutic uses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-734
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 19 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac remodeling
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetic nephropathy
  • inflammation
  • traditional Chinese medicines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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