Bryophytes: a powerful source of biologically active compounds

Fiorenza Provenzano, Maria Giovanna Dia, Patrizia Campisi, Domenico Nuzzo, Marta Di Carlo, Pasquale Picone, Pier Luigi San Biagio

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


Bryophytes are generally considered the first plants appeared on the Earth. Taxonomically, they are placed between Algae and Pteridophytes. The medicinal traditional use of bryophytes has been documented for a long time in many countries. Bryophytes contain numerous potentially useful compounds and strong antioxidative enzymatic machinery, which help them to cope up with extreme climates and stresses, and, in several cases, the total antioxidant amount was found higher than in other antioxidant common sources even if not yet fully known. Thus, a positive correlation between the folklore use and the scientific evaluation could generate an alternative source of novel medicinal compounds, which might overcome the expensive production of synthetic drugs and their undesirable or long-term side effects. It is known that plant antioxidants may have beneficial health effects. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are formed as by-products of metabolic reactions in living organisms. If unbalanced, they initiate toxic oxidative reactions leading to oxidation of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, thus triggering pathological conditions such as neurodegeneration, inflammation, aging process, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Recent pharmacological investigations have demonstrated that the active principles present in bryophytes are quite unique for their potential therapeutic applications. The main purpose of the present work is to test the activity of these molecules on the oxidative cell processes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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