Naturally Derived Heme-Oxygenase 1 Inducers and Their Therapeutic Application to Immune-Mediated Diseases

Samanta C. Funes, Mariana Rios, Ayleen Fernández-Fierro, Camila Covián, Susan M. Bueno, Claudia A. Riedel, Juan Pablo Mackern-Oberti, Alexis M. Kalergis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Heme oxygenase (HO) is the primary antioxidant enzyme involved in heme group degradation. A variety of stimuli triggers the expression of the inducible HO-1 isoform, which is modulated by its substrate and cellular stressors. A major anti-inflammatory role has been assigned to the HO-1 activity. Therefore, in recent years HO-1 induction has been employed as an approach to treating several disorders displaying some immune alterations components, such as exacerbated inflammation or self-reactivity. Many natural compounds have shown to be effective inductors of HO-1 without cytotoxic effects; among them, most are chemicals present in plants used as food, flavoring, and medicine. Here we discuss some naturally derived compounds involved in HO-1 induction, their impact in the immune response modulation, and the beneficial effect in diverse autoimmune disorders. We conclude that the use of some compounds from natural sources able to induce HO-1 is an attractive lifestyle toward promoting human health. This review opens a new outlook on the investigation of naturally derived HO-1 inducers, mainly concerning autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1467
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020


  • autoimmunity
  • heme oxygenase 1
  • HO-1
  • inflammation
  • naturally derived compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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