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Anti-inflammatory activities of arthropod peptides: a systematic review

Ariane Teixeira dos Santos1, Gabriela Silva Cruz1, Gandhi Rádis Baptista1,2 [ + show more ]

J Venom Anim Toxins incl Trop Dis, 2021, 27:e20200152
Received: 02 November 2020 | Accepted: 09 April 2021 | Published online: 22 October 2021
Collection: Arthropods: venoms and biology


Peptides obtained from different animal species have gained importance recently due to research that aims to develop biopharmaceuticals with therapeutic potential. In this sense, arthropod venoms have drawn attention, not only because of their toxicity but mainly for the search for molecules with various bioactivities, including anti-inflammatory activity. The purpose of the present study is to gather data available in the literature on new peptides derived from arthropod species with anti-inflammatory potential. This systematic review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Studies on peptides from arthropods that display anti-inflammatory activity were retrieved from PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases. The bibliographic research started in 2020 and searched papers without a limit on the publication date. The articles were analyzed using a search string containing the following terms: “Peptides” and “Anti-inflammatory”, in combinations such as “Ant”, “Bee”, “Wasp”, “Crab”, “Shrimp”, “Scorpion”, “Spider”, “Tick” and “Centipedes”. Besides, a search was carried out in the databases with the terms: “Peptides”, “Antitumor”, or “Anticancer”, and “Arthropods”. Articles that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria totalized 171, and these served for data extraction. Additionally, the present review included anti-inflammatory peptides with anticancer properties. Peptides with confirmed anti-inflammatory activity were from insects (ants, bees, and wasps), crustaceans (shrimp and crabs), arachnids (scorpions, spiders, and ticks), and centipedes. These arthropod peptides act mainly by decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines as analyzed in vitro and in vivo. Some showed significant antineoplastic activity, working in essential cellular pathways against malignant neoplasms.


Keywords: Venom; Peptides; Anti-inflammatory; Arthropods.

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