Affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Universita “G. D'Annunzio”, Via dei Vestini 31, 66013 Chieti Scalo (CH), Italy.
Oxyprenylated natural products (isopentenyloxy-, geranyloxy- and the less spread farnesyloxy- compounds and their biosynthetic derivatives) represent a family of secondary metabolites that have been considered for years just as biosynthetic intermediates of the most naturally widespread C-prenylated derivatives. Only in the last decade have these natural products been recognized as interesting and valuable biologically active phytochemicals. Up to now about 300 molecules were isolated from plants mainly belonging to the families of Rutaceae, Apiaceae, and Compositae, comprising common edible vegetables and fruits. A wide variety of compounds containing a prenyloxy side chain has been isolated and among these coumarins, cinnamic acids and aromatic ketones displayed the most efficient and promising biological activities as anti-inflammatory agents. The aim of this review is to examine in detail the anti-inflammatory properties of these novel class of natural products.