Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

(Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Agents)

Bahar Tunctan
Department of Pharmacology
Faculty of Pharmacy
Mersin University
Mersin, 33169


Review of Antibiotic and Non-Antibiotic Properties of Beta-lactam Molecules

Author(s): Ochoa-Aguilar Abraham, Ventura-Martinez Rosa, Sotomayor-Sobrino Marco Antonio, Gómez Claudia, Morales-Espinosa María del Rosario.

Graphical Abstract:


Background: Beta-lactam molecules are a family of drugs commonly used for their antibiotic properties; however, recent research has shown that several members of this group present a large number of other effects such as neuroprotective, antioxidant, analgesic or immunomodulatory capabilities. These properties have been used in both preclinical and clinical studies in different diseases such as hypoxic neuronal damage or acute and chronic pain. The present work briefly reviews the antibiotic effect of these molecules, and will then focus specially on the non-antibiotic effects of three beta-lactam subfamilies: penicillins, cephalosporins and beta lactamase inhibitors, each of which have different molecular structure and pharmacokinetics and therefore have several potential clinical applications.

Methods: A thorough search of bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research was performed including only classic experiments or high quality reviews for the antibiotic mechanisms of beta-lactam molecules and only experimental research papers where included when the non-antibiotic properties of these molecules were searched. Only published articles from indexed journals were included. Quality of retrieved papers was assessed using standard tools. The characteristics of screened papers were described and findings of included studies were contextualized to either a mechanistic or a clinical framework.

Results: Seventy-eight papers were included in the review; the majority (56) were relative to the non-antibiotic properties of beta-lactam molecules. The non-antibiotic effects reviewed were divided accordingly to the amount of information available for each one. Twelve papers outlined the epileptogenic effects induced by beta-lactam molecules administration; these included both clinical and basic research as well as probable mechanistic explanations. Eighteen papers described a potential neuroprotective effect, mostly in basic in vitro and in vivo experiments. Analgesic properties where identified in twelve papers and basic research was described alongside with both experimental and serendipic clinical findings. Seven papers described a down-regulation effect exerted by beta-lactam molecules administration in different addiction animal models. Finally other effects such as penile erection, dopamine release facilitation and anti-neoplasic effects where described from seven papers.

Conclusion: The findings of this review show that beta-lactam molecules may induce several effects, which may be clinically relevant in a lot of different diseases. This paper is, to our knowledge, the first comprehensive review of the non-antibiotic effects shown by beta-lactam molecules and may help increase the interest in this field, which may result in a direct translation of this effects to a clinical context.

Keywords: Analgesia, beta-lactam molecules (BLMs), ceftriaxone (CFX), clavulanic acid (CA), GLT1, glutamate, neuroprotection.

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Article Details

Year: 2016
Page: [3 - 14]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/1871523015666160517114027