Topical Collection "Pharmacology of Medicinal Plants"

A topical collection in Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X). This collection belongs to the section "Natural and Bio-inspired Molecules".

Editor

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Capasso
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Department of Agricultiral Science, Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: pharmacology; natural products; neurotransmission; behavioral pharmacology; experimental pharmacology; preclinical pharmacology; CB1 receptor; PPARs; cannabinoids; endocannabinoids; CB2 receptor
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

The end of the last century witnessed a vigorous resurgence in the interest in, and use of, medicinal plant products. Medicinal plants play an important role in the discovery of new drugs and innovative mechanisms of action.

Medicinal plants contain multiple compounds that, either individually or together, are responsible for the biological effects of these natural products. Although many plant-derived natural products have already been isolated and characterized, the molecular mechanisms underlying their therapeutic effects remain unexplored. This Special Issue aims to comprehensively cover the newest discoveries in herbal medicinal products with an emphasis on their molecular targets and pharmacological activity. Therefore, I cordially invite authors to contribute original articles, as well as reviews, covering the most recent advances in the use of medicinal plants.

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Capasso
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • medicinal plants
  • biological activity
  • molecular mechanisms
  • medical use
  • plant side effects
  • pharmacological interactions

Published Papers (45 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020

Article
Involvement of Opioid System and TRPM8/TRPA1 Channels in the Antinociceptive Effect of Spirulina platensis
Biomolecules 2021, 11(4), 592; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom11040592 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 889
Abstract
Spirulina platensis is a “super-food” and has attracted researchers’ attention due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties. Herein, we investigated the antinociceptive effects of Spirulina in different rodent behavior models of inflammatory pain. Male Swiss mice were treated with Spirulina (3–300 mg/kg, [...] Read more.
Spirulina platensis is a “super-food” and has attracted researchers’ attention due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties. Herein, we investigated the antinociceptive effects of Spirulina in different rodent behavior models of inflammatory pain. Male Swiss mice were treated with Spirulina (3–300 mg/kg, p.o.), indomethacin (10 mg/kg, p.o.), or vehicle (0.9% NaCl 10 mL/kg). Behavioral tests were performed with administration of acetic acid (0.6%, i.p.), formalin 2.7% (formaldehyde 1%, i.pl.), menthol (1.2 µmol/paw, i.pl.), cinnamaldehyde (10 nmol/paw, i.pl.), capsaicin (1.6 µg/paw, i.pl.), glutamate (20 µmol/paw, i.pl.), or naloxone (1 mg/kg, i.p.). The animals were also exposed to the rotarod and open field test to determine possible effects of Spirulina on locomotion and motor coordination. The quantitative phytochemical assays exhibited that Spirulina contains significant concentrations of total phenols and flavonoid contents, as well as it showed a powerful antioxidant effect with the highest scavenging activity. Oral administration of Spirulina completely inhibited the abdominal contortions induced by acetic acid (ED50 = 20.51 mg/kg). Spirulina treatment showed significant inhibition of formalin-induced nociceptive behavior during the inflammatory phase, and the opioid-selective antagonist markedly blocked this effect. Furthermore, our data indicate that the mechanisms underlying Spirulina analgesia appear to be related to its ability to modulate TRMP8 and TRPA1, but not by TRPV1 or glutamatergic system. Spirulina represents an orally active and safe natural analgesic that exhibits great therapeutic potential for managing inflammatory pain disorders. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Herbal Medicinal Products on Psoriasis-Like Keratinocytes
Biomolecules 2021, 11(3), 371; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom11030371 - 02 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 930
Abstract
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by hyperproliferation of keratinocytes and expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the epidermis. New biological drugs were developed for the systemic treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. However, products for the topical treatment of mild psoriasis [...] Read more.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by hyperproliferation of keratinocytes and expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the epidermis. New biological drugs were developed for the systemic treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. However, products for the topical treatment of mild psoriasis are still required. Here, we examined the effect of natural compounds on psoriasis-like keratinocytes in vitro and ex vivo. Psoriasis-like keratinocytes were generated by treating human primary keratinocytes with the psoriasis-associated cytokines IL-17A, TNF-α and IL-22. Initially, 10 botanical extracts from Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Northern American traditional medicine and Occidental Monastic Medicine were investigated using BrdU assays and IL-6 and IL-8 ELISAs. Curcuma amada, Humulus lupulus and Hypericum perforatum turned out to be the most effective plant extracts. In vitro, the plant extracts inhibited the expression of anti-microbial peptides (β-defensin 2), the hyperproliferation marker keratin 17, the glucose transporter 1 and downregulated the nuclear translocation of NF-κB and pSTAT3. In an ex vivo psoriasis model, Humulus lupulus displayed the most prominent anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory effect. In conclusion, among the plant extracts investigated, Humulus lupulus showed the most promising anti-psoriatic effect. It is an interesting candidate for topical psoriasis treatment that should be further studied in clinical trials. Full article
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Editorial
Topical Collection “Pharmacology of Medicinal Plants”
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 101; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom11010101 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 978
Abstract
The use of remedies based on medicinal plants continues to expand rapidly around the world, with many people now resorting to this type of product for the treatment and prevention of several pathologies [...] Full article

2020

Jump to: 2021

Review
Potential Medicinal Plants for the Treatment of Dengue Fever and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom11010042 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1962
Abstract
While dengue virus (DENV) infection imposes a serious challenge to the survival of humans worldwide, severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) remains the most devastating pandemic in human history. A significant number of studies have shown that plant-derived substances could serve as potential candidates [...] Read more.
While dengue virus (DENV) infection imposes a serious challenge to the survival of humans worldwide, severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) remains the most devastating pandemic in human history. A significant number of studies have shown that plant-derived substances could serve as potential candidates for the development of safe and efficacious remedies for combating these diseases. Different scientific databases were used to source for literature on plants used against these infections. Thirty-five studies described the traditional use of 25 species from 20 families for treating DENV infection with Carica papaya and Euphorbia hirta were the most widely used across different regions. 13 in vivo studies, 32 in vitro studies, and eight clinical studies were conducted on 30 species from 25 families against different DENV serotypes, while plants from 13 families were reported to inhibit different forms of SARS-CoV, all of which were investigated through in vitro studies. Phytoconstituents belonging to various chemical classes were identified to show a wide range of antiviral activity against these infections. Extensive studies on the potentials of medicinal plants are needed to confirm their efficacy. This paper reveals the capabilities of medicinal plants and their phytochemicals in inhibiting DENV and SARS-CoV infections. Full article
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Review
Quercetin as a Natural Therapeutic Candidate for the Treatment of Influenza Virus
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom11010010 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1732
Abstract
The medical burden caused by respiratory manifestations of influenza virus (IV) outbreak as an infectious respiratory disease is so great that governments in both developed and developing countries have allocated significant national budget toward the development of strategies for prevention, control, and treatment [...] Read more.
The medical burden caused by respiratory manifestations of influenza virus (IV) outbreak as an infectious respiratory disease is so great that governments in both developed and developing countries have allocated significant national budget toward the development of strategies for prevention, control, and treatment of this infection, which is seemingly common and treatable, but can be deadly. Frequent mutations in its genome structure often result in resistance to standard medications. Thus, new generations of treatments are critical to combat this ever-evolving infection. Plant materials and active compounds have been tested for many years, including, more recently, active compounds like flavonoids. Quercetin is a compound belonging to the flavonols class and has shown therapeutic effects against influenza virus. The focus of this review includes viral pathogenesis as well as the application of quercetin and its derivatives as a complementary therapy in controlling influenza and its related symptoms based on the targets. We also touch on the potential of this class of compounds for treatment of SARS-COV-2, the cause of new pandemic. Full article
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Article
Large Scale Conversion of Trilobolide into the Payload of Mipsagargin: 8-O-(12-Aminododecanoyl)-8-O-Debutanoylthapsigargin
Biomolecules 2020, 10(12), 1640; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10121640 - 05 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1215
Abstract
In spite of the impressing cytotoxicity of thapsigargin (Tg), this compound cannot be used as a chemotherapeutic drug because of general toxicity, causing unacceptable side effects. Instead, a prodrug targeted towards tumors, mipsagargin, was brought into clinical trials. What substantially reduces [...] Read more.
In spite of the impressing cytotoxicity of thapsigargin (Tg), this compound cannot be used as a chemotherapeutic drug because of general toxicity, causing unacceptable side effects. Instead, a prodrug targeted towards tumors, mipsagargin, was brought into clinical trials. What substantially reduces the clinical potential is the limited access to Tg and its derivatives and cost-inefficient syntheses with unacceptably low yields. Laser trilobum, which contains a structurally related sesquiterpene lactone, trilobolide (Tb), is successfully cultivated. Here, we report scalable isolation of Tb from L. trilobum and a transformation of Tb to 8-O-(12-aminododecanoyl)-8-O-debutanoylthapsigargin in seven steps. The use of cultivated L. trilobum offers an unlimited source of the active principle in mipsagargin. Full article
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Article
Tackling Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence by Mulinane-Like Diterpenoids from Azorella atacamensis
Biomolecules 2020, 10(12), 1626; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10121626 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1150
Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important multidrug-resistant human pathogen by dint of its high intrinsic, acquired, and adaptive resistance mechanisms, causing great concern for immune-compromised individuals and public health. Additionally, P. aeruginosa resilience lies in the production of a myriad of virulence factors, which [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important multidrug-resistant human pathogen by dint of its high intrinsic, acquired, and adaptive resistance mechanisms, causing great concern for immune-compromised individuals and public health. Additionally, P. aeruginosa resilience lies in the production of a myriad of virulence factors, which are known to be tightly regulated by the quorum sensing (QS) system. Anti-virulence therapy has been adopted as an innovative alternative approach to circumvent bacterial antibiotic resistance. Since plants are known repositories of natural phytochemicals, herein, we explored the anti-virulence potential of Azorella atacamensis, a medicinal plant from the Taira Atacama community (Calama, Chile), against P. aeruginosa. Interestingly, A. atacamensis extract (AaE) conferred a significant protection for human lung cells and Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes towards P. aeruginosa pathogenicity. The production of key virulence factors was decreased upon AaE exposure without affecting P. aeruginosa growth. In addition, AaE was able to decrease QS-molecules production. Furthermore, metabolite profiling of AaE and its derived fractions achieved by combination of a molecular network and in silico annotation allowed the putative identification of fourteen diterpenoids bearing a mulinane-like skeleton. Remarkably, this unique interesting group of diterpenoids seems to be responsible for the interference with virulence factors as well as on the perturbation of membrane homeostasis of P. aeruginosa. Hence, there was a significant increase in membrane stiffness, which appears to be modulated by the cell wall stress response ECFσ SigX, an extracytoplasmic function sigma factor involved in membrane homeostasis as well as P. aeruginosa virulence. Full article
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Review
Solidago virgaurea L.: A Review of Its Ethnomedicinal Uses, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacological Activities
Biomolecules 2020, 10(12), 1619; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10121619 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1087
Abstract
Solidago virgaurea L. (European goldenrod, Woundwort), Asteraceae, is a familiar medicinal plant in Europe and other parts of the world, widely used and among the most researched species from its genus. The aerial parts of European goldenrod have long been used for urinary [...] Read more.
Solidago virgaurea L. (European goldenrod, Woundwort), Asteraceae, is a familiar medicinal plant in Europe and other parts of the world, widely used and among the most researched species from its genus. The aerial parts of European goldenrod have long been used for urinary tract conditions and as an anti-inflammatory agent in the traditional medicine of different peoples. Its main chemical constituents are flavonoids (mainly derived from quercetin and kaempferol), C6-C1 and C6-C3 compounds, terpenes (mostly from the essential oil), and a large number of saponin molecules (mainly virgaureasaponins and solidagosaponins). Published research on its potential activities is critically reviewed here: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, spasmolitic, antihypertensive, diuretic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasite, cytotoxic and antitumor, antimutagenic, antiadipogenic, antidiabetic, cardioprotective, and antisenescence. The evidence concerning its potential benefits is mainly derived from non-clinical studies, some effects are rather modest, whereas others are more promising, but need more confirmation in both non-clinical models and clinical trials. Full article
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Article
4-Benzyloxylonchocarpin and Muracatanes A-C from Ranunculus muricatus L. and Their Biological Effects
Biomolecules 2020, 10(11), 1562; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10111562 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1021
Abstract
Ranunculus muricatus L. is a spiny fruit buttercup that is used in various traditional medicinal systems. In the current investigation of R. muricatus, the new chalcone 4-benzyloxylonchocarpin (1), the new anthraquinone muracatanes A (2), the new-to-nature anthraquinone muracatanes [...] Read more.
Ranunculus muricatus L. is a spiny fruit buttercup that is used in various traditional medicinal systems. In the current investigation of R. muricatus, the new chalcone 4-benzyloxylonchocarpin (1), the new anthraquinone muracatanes A (2), the new-to-nature anthraquinone muracatanes B (3), and the new naphthalene analog muracatanes C (4) were isolated, in addition to the three previously reported compounds, 4-methoxylonchocarpin (5), β-sitosterol (6), and β-sitosterol β-D-glucopyranoside (7). Their structures were elucidated using 1D (1H and 13C) and 2D (COSY, HSQC, and HMBC) NMR spectroscopy and HR-ESI-MS. Chalcone 1 showed potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitory effects with Ki of 5.39 µM and Ki′ of 3.54 µM, but none of the isolated compounds showed inhibitory activity towards butyrylcholinesterase. Anthraquinone 3 illustrated α-glucosidase inhibitory effects with IC50-values of 164.46 ± 83.04 µM. Compound 5 displayed moderate cytotoxic activity towards ovarian carcinoma (A2780, IC50 = 25.4 µM), colorectal adenocarcinoma (HT29, IC50 = 20.2 µM), breast cancer (MCF7, IC50 = 23.7 µM), and thyroid carcinoma (SW1736, IC50 = 26.2 µM) while it was inactive towards pharynx carcinoma (FaDu: IC50 > 30 µM). Full article
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Article
Magnoflorine—Isolation and the Anticancer Potential against NCI-H1299 Lung, MDA-MB-468 Breast, T98G Glioma, and TE671 Rhabdomyosarcoma Cancer Cells
Biomolecules 2020, 10(11), 1532; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10111532 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
Magnoflorine (MGN) is a quaternary aporphine alkaloid that exhibits numerous therapeutic properties, including neuropsychopharmacological, anti-anxiety, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, or antifungal activities. The aim of the present study was an investigation of the influence of MGN on viability, proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and cell [...] Read more.
Magnoflorine (MGN) is a quaternary aporphine alkaloid that exhibits numerous therapeutic properties, including neuropsychopharmacological, anti-anxiety, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, or antifungal activities. The aim of the present study was an investigation of the influence of MGN on viability, proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest in NCI-H1299 lung, MDA-MB-468 breast, T98G glioma, and TE671 rhabdomyosarcoma cancer cells. MGN was isolated from the roots of Berberis cretica L. by counter-current partition chromatography (CPC). Cell viability and proliferation assessments were performed by means of MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) and 5-bromo-2ʹ-deoxyuridine (BrDU) assays, respectively. The induction of apoptosis and cell cycle progression was measured using fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis. MGN in high doses inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis, and inhibits cell cycle in S/G2 phases in a dose-dependent manner. MGN seems to be a promising anti-cancer compound in therapy of some types of lung, breast, glioma, and rhabdomyosarcoma cancers, for which current standard therapies are limited or have severe strong side effects. Full article
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Article
Ameliorative Effect of Linalool in Cisplatin-Induced Nephrotoxicity: The Role of HMGB1/TLR4/NF-κB and Nrf2/HO1 Pathways
Biomolecules 2020, 10(11), 1488; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10111488 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1084
Abstract
Background: The monoterpene linalool is a well-known essential oil component produced by several aromatic plants. Cisplatin is a widely used anticancer drug that produces many side effects, particularly nephrotoxicity. Here, we aimed to inspect linalool’s protective activity against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity and explore part [...] Read more.
Background: The monoterpene linalool is a well-known essential oil component produced by several aromatic plants. Cisplatin is a widely used anticancer drug that produces many side effects, particularly nephrotoxicity. Here, we aimed to inspect linalool’s protective activity against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity and explore part of the underlying mechanisms. Methods: Male Wistar rats were given linalool (50 and 100 mg/kg/day orally) for 15 days; then challenged with cisplatin (8 mg/kg) on the 12th day. Renal function parameters, oxidative stress, inflammatory and apoptotic markers, and toll-like receptor pathway gene, and protein expressions were investigated. Histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and cell-line mediated cytotoxicity assays were conducted. Results: Linalool ameliorated kidney function after cisplatin challenge and managed all oxidation system parameters including GSH, SOD, CAT, MDA, NADPH, and particularly the Nrf2-mediated pathway markers. Linalool decreased TLR4, MYD88 and TRIF gene and protein expressions; diminished related inflammatory mediators such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and NF-κB; and down-regulated HMBG1. Linalool mitigated cisplatin-induced apoptotic markers such as caspase 3, caspase 9, and Bax expression, and boosted the anti-apoptotic Bcl2 expression. Linalool potentiated the cytotoxic effect of cisplatin when investigated on HeLa and PC3 human cancer cell lines. Conclusion: Linalool could protect against cisplatin-induced kidney function and tissue damage. Full article
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Review
Molecular Action of Hydroxytyrosol in Wound Healing: An In Vitro Evidence-Based Review
Biomolecules 2020, 10(10), 1397; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10101397 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 767
Abstract
Hydroxytyrosol (HT) is an essential molecule isolated from the phenolic fraction of olive (Olea europaea). HT has been implicated for its health-stimulating effect mainly due to its antioxidative capacity. The current review summarises and discusses the available evidence, related to HT [...] Read more.
Hydroxytyrosol (HT) is an essential molecule isolated from the phenolic fraction of olive (Olea europaea). HT has been implicated for its health-stimulating effect mainly due to its antioxidative capacity. The current review summarises and discusses the available evidence, related to HT activities in wound healing enhancement. The literature search of related articles published within the year 2010 to 2020 was conducted using Medline via Ebscohost, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases. Studies were limited to in vitro research regarding the role of HT in wound closure, including anti-inflammation, antimicrobial, antioxidative, and its direct effect to the cells involved in wound healing. The literature search revealed 7136 potentially relevant records were obtained from the database search. Through the screening process, 13 relevant in vitro studies investigating the role of HT in wound repair were included. The included studies reported a proangiogenic, antioxidative, antiaging, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect of HT. The current in vitro evidence-based review highlights the cellular and molecular action of HT in influencing positive outcomes toward wound healing. Based on this evidence, HT is a highly recommended bioactive compound to be used as a pharmaceutical product for wound care applications. Full article
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Article
Anti-Obesity Effects of Soybean Embryo Extract and Enzymatically-Modified Isoquercitrin
Biomolecules 2020, 10(10), 1394; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10101394 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Soy isoflavones are bioactive phytoestrogens with known health benefits. Soybean embryo extract (SEE) has been consumed as a source of isoflavones, mainly daidzein, glycitein, and genistein. While previous studies have reported the anti-obesity effects of SEE, this study investigates their molecular mechanisms and [...] Read more.
Soy isoflavones are bioactive phytoestrogens with known health benefits. Soybean embryo extract (SEE) has been consumed as a source of isoflavones, mainly daidzein, glycitein, and genistein. While previous studies have reported the anti-obesity effects of SEE, this study investigates their molecular mechanisms and the synergistic effects of co-treatment with SEE and enzymatically modified isoquercitrin (EMIQ). SEE upregulated genes involved in lipolysis and brown adipocyte markers and increased mitochondrial content in differentiated C3H10T1/2 adipocytes in vitro. Next, we use a high-fat diet-induced obesity mouse model to determine the anti-obesity effect of SEE. Two weeks of single or combined treatment with SEE and EMIQ significantly reduced body weight gain and improved glucose tolerance. Mechanistically, SEE treatment increased mitochondrial content and upregulated genes involved in lipolysis in adipose tissue through the cAMP/PKA-dependent signaling pathway. These effects required a cytosolic lipase adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) expression, confirmed by an adipocyte-specific ATGL knockout mouse study. Collectively, this study demonstrates that SEE exerts anti-obesity effects through the activation of adipose tissue metabolism and exhibits a synergistic effect of co-treatment with EMIQ. These results improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the anti-obesity effects of SEE related to adipose tissue metabolism. Full article
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Article
Identification and Accumulation of Phenolic Compounds in the Leaves and Bark of Salix alba (L.) and Their Biological Potential
Biomolecules 2020, 10(10), 1391; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10101391 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
The study examines the phenolic compounds in hydromethanolic extracts of Salix alba (L.) leaves and bark as well as their antioxidant activity and cytotoxic potential. UPLC-PDA-Q/TOF-MS analysis showed a total of 29 phenolic compounds in leaves and 34 in bark. Total phenolic compound [...] Read more.
The study examines the phenolic compounds in hydromethanolic extracts of Salix alba (L.) leaves and bark as well as their antioxidant activity and cytotoxic potential. UPLC-PDA-Q/TOF-MS analysis showed a total of 29 phenolic compounds in leaves and 34 in bark. Total phenolic compound content was 5575.96 mg/100 g of dry weight (DW) in leaves and 2330.31 mg/100 g DW in bark. The compounds were identified as derivatives of phenolic acids (seven in leaves and five in bark), flavanols and procyanidins (eight in leaves and 26 in bark) and flavonols (14 in leaves and three in bark). Both extracts exhibited strong antioxidant potential, assessed by radical scavenging activity against 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS), but the bark extract was even stronger than the ascorbic acid used as a standard. The cytotoxicity of both extracts was evaluated against human skin fibroblasts and human epidermal keratinocytes cell lines using the Presto Blue cell viability assay. The keratinocytes were more resistant to tested extracts than fibroblasts. The leaf and bark extracts at concentrations which exhibited antioxidant activity were also not toxic against the keratinocyte cell line. Thus, S. alba extracts, especially the leaf extract, offer promise as a nontoxic natural antioxidant, in cosmetic products or herbal medicines, and as a source of bioactive secondary metabolites. Full article
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Review
Metabolic Diversity and Therapeutic Potential of Holarrhena pubescens: An Important Ethnomedicinal Plant
Biomolecules 2020, 10(9), 1341; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10091341 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1179
Abstract
Holarrhena pubescens is an important medicinal plant of the Apocynaceae family that is widely distributed over the Indian subcontinent. The plant is extensively used in Ayurveda and other traditional medicinal systems without obvious adverse effects. Beside notable progress in the biological and phytochemical [...] Read more.
Holarrhena pubescens is an important medicinal plant of the Apocynaceae family that is widely distributed over the Indian subcontinent. The plant is extensively used in Ayurveda and other traditional medicinal systems without obvious adverse effects. Beside notable progress in the biological and phytochemical evaluation of this plant over the past few years, comprehensive reviews of H. pubescens are limited in scope. It has economic importance due to the extensive use of seeds as an antidiabetic. Furthermore, the plant is extensively reported in traditional uses among the natives of Asia and Africa, while scientifical validation for various ailments has not been studied either in vitro or in vivo. This review aims to summarize information on the pharmacology, traditional uses, active constituents, safety and toxicity of H. pubescens. Chemical analysis of H. pubescens extracts revealed the presence of several bioactive compounds, such as conessine, isoconnessine, conessimine, conimine, conessidine, conkurchicine, holarrhimine, conarrhimine, mokluangin A-D and antidysentericine. Overall, this review covers the ethnopharmacology, phytochemical composition, and pharmacological potential of H. pubescens, with a critical discussion of its toxicity, biological activities (in vitro and in vivo), the mechanism of action, as well as suggestions for further basic and clinical research. Full article
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Article
Peucedanum ostruthium Inhibits E-Selectin and VCAM-1 Expression in Endothelial Cells through Interference with NF-κB Signaling
Biomolecules 2020, 10(9), 1215; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10091215 - 21 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
Twenty natural remedies traditionally used against different inflammatory diseases were probed for their potential to suppress the expression of the inflammatory markers E-selectin and VCAM-1 in a model system of IL-1 stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). One third of the tested [...] Read more.
Twenty natural remedies traditionally used against different inflammatory diseases were probed for their potential to suppress the expression of the inflammatory markers E-selectin and VCAM-1 in a model system of IL-1 stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). One third of the tested extracts showed in vitro inhibitory effects comparable to the positive control oxozeaenol, an inhibitor of TAK1. Among them, the extract derived from the roots and rhizomes of Peucedanum ostruthium (i.e., Radix Imperatoriae), also known as masterwort, showed a pronounced and dose-dependent inhibitory effect. Reporter gene analysis demonstrated that inhibition takes place on the transcriptional level and involves the transcription factor NF-κB. A more detailed analysis revealed that the P. ostruthium extract (PO) affected the phosphorylation, degradation, and resynthesis of IκBα, the activation of IKKs, and the nuclear translocation of the NF-κB subunit RelA. Strikingly, early effects on this pathway were less affected as compared to later ones, suggesting that PO may act on mechanism(s) that are downstream of nuclear translocation. As the majority of cognate NF-κB inhibitors affect upstream events such as IKK2, these findings could indicate the existence of targetable signaling events at later stages of NF-κB activation. Full article
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Article
Baru Pulp (Dipteryx alata Vogel): Fruit from the Brazilian Savanna Protects against Oxidative Stress and Increases the Life Expectancy of Caenorhabditis elegans via SOD-3 and DAF-16
Biomolecules 2020, 10(8), 1106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10081106 - 25 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1250
Abstract
Fruits are sources of bioactive compounds that are responsible for several biological activities. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the chemical composition of the pulp of the Brazilian Savanna fruit Dipteryx alata; evaluate its toxic effects, influence on the life expectancy of [...] Read more.
Fruits are sources of bioactive compounds that are responsible for several biological activities. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the chemical composition of the pulp of the Brazilian Savanna fruit Dipteryx alata; evaluate its toxic effects, influence on the life expectancy of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and its antioxidant activities in vitro and in vivo; and describe the mechanisms involved. The chemical compounds identified include phenols, terpenes, fatty acid derivatives, vitamins, and a carboxylic acid. The in vitro antioxidant activity was demonstrated by radical scavenging methods. in vivo, the D. alata fruit pulp was not toxic and promoted resistance to oxidative stress in nematodes exposed to a chemical oxidizing agent. Furthermore, it promoted an increased life expectancy in wild-type nematodes and increased the expression of superoxide dismutase and the nuclear translocation of DAF-16. These results suggest that the beneficial effects identified are related to these two genes, which are involved in the regulation of metabolic activities, the control of oxidative stress, and the lifespan of C. elegans. These beneficial effects, which may be related to its chemical constituents, demonstrate its potential use as a functional and/or nutraceutical food. Full article
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Article
Coumarin Ameliorates Impaired Bone Turnover by Inhibiting the Formation of Advanced Glycation End Products in Diabetic Osteoblasts and Osteoclasts
Biomolecules 2020, 10(7), 1052; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10071052 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 913
Abstract
Accumulating evidence demonstrates that the risk of osteoporotic fractures increases in patients with diabetes mellitus. Thus, diabetes-induced bone fragility has recently been recognized as a diabetic complication. As the fracture risk is independent of the reduction in bone mineral density, deterioration in bone [...] Read more.
Accumulating evidence demonstrates that the risk of osteoporotic fractures increases in patients with diabetes mellitus. Thus, diabetes-induced bone fragility has recently been recognized as a diabetic complication. As the fracture risk is independent of the reduction in bone mineral density, deterioration in bone quality may be the main cause of bone fragility. Coumarin exists naturally in many plants as phenylpropanoids and is present in tonka beans in significantly high concentrations. This study investigated whether coumarin ameliorated the impaired bone turnover and remodeling under diabetic condition. The in vitro study employed murine macrophage Raw 264.7 cells differentiated to multinucleated osteoclasts with receptor activator of nuclear factor-κΒ ligand (RANKL) in the presence of 33 mM glucose and 1–20 μM coumarin for five days. In addition, osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells were exposed to 33 mM glucose for up to 21 days in the presence of 1–20 μM coumarin. High glucose diminished tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity and bone resorption in RANKL-differentiated osteoclasts, accompanying a reduction of cathepsin K induction and actin ring formation. In contrast, coumarin reversed the defective osteoclastogenesis in diabetic osteoclasts. Furthermore, high glucose diminished alkaline phosphatase activity and collagen type 1 induction of osteoblasts, which was strongly enhanced by submicromolar levels of coumarin to diabetic cells. Furthermore, coumarin restored the induction of RANK and osteoprotegerin in osteoclasts and osteoblasts under glucotoxic condition, indicating a tight coupling of osteoclastogenesis and osteoblastogenesis. Coumarin ameliorated the impaired bone turnover and remodeling in diabetic osteoblasts and osteoclasts by suppressing the interaction between advanced glycation end product (AGE) and its receptor (RAGE). Therefore, coumarin may restore optimal bone turnover of osteoclasts and osteoblasts by disrupting the hyperglycemia-mediated AGE–RAGE interaction. Full article
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Article
The Gintonin-Enriched Fraction of Ginseng Regulates Lipid Metabolism and Browning via the cAMP-Protein Kinase a Signaling Pathway in Mice White Adipocytes
Biomolecules 2020, 10(7), 1048; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10071048 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 955
Abstract
Obesity is a major health concern and is becoming an increasingly serious societal problem worldwide. The browning of white adipocytes has received considerable attention because of its potential protective effect against obesity-related metabolic disease. The gintonin-enriched fraction (GEF) is a non-saponin, glycolipoprotein component [...] Read more.
Obesity is a major health concern and is becoming an increasingly serious societal problem worldwide. The browning of white adipocytes has received considerable attention because of its potential protective effect against obesity-related metabolic disease. The gintonin-enriched fraction (GEF) is a non-saponin, glycolipoprotein component of ginseng that is known to have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the anti-obesity and browning effects of GEF have not been explored to date. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether GEF has a preventive effect against obesity. We differentiated 3T3-L1 cells and mouse primary subcutaneous adipocytes for 8 days in the presence or absence of GEF, and then measured the expression of intermediates in signaling pathways that regulate triglyceride (TG) synthesis and browning by Western blotting and immunofluorescence analysis. We found that GEF reduced lipid accumulation by reducing the expression of pro-adipogenic and lipogenic factors, and increased lipolysis and thermogenesis, which may be mediated by an increase in the phosphorylation of protein kinase A. These findings suggest that GEF may induce fat metabolism and energy expenditure in white adipocytes and therefore may represent a potential treatment for obesity. Full article
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Article
Nematicidal Activity of Holigarna caustica (Dennst.) Oken Fruit Is Due to Linoleic Acid
Biomolecules 2020, 10(7), 1043; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10071043 - 14 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
Holigarna caustica (Dennst.) Oken is used by the tribes of Northeast India for the treatment of intestinal problems. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to investigate the active principles of this plant responsible for its anthelmintic activity, using bioassay-guided fractionation. An ethanol extract [...] Read more.
Holigarna caustica (Dennst.) Oken is used by the tribes of Northeast India for the treatment of intestinal problems. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to investigate the active principles of this plant responsible for its anthelmintic activity, using bioassay-guided fractionation. An ethanol extract of H. caustica fruit was fractionated on a silica gel column, followed by HPLC, while nematicidal activity was followed throughout on Caenorhabditis (C.) elegans as a model organism. Our study constitutes the first nematicidal report for this plant. Bioassay-guided purification led to the isolation of one compound (IC50 = 0.4 µM) as the only active constituent in the most active fraction. The compound was identified as linoleic acid based on spectroscopic data (1H and 13C NMR and ESI-MS). No cytotoxicity was observed in the crude extract or in linoleic acid (up to 356 µM). The results support the use of H. caustica for the treatment of intestinal problems by traditional healers in India. Full article
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Article
Anti-Inflammatory and Barrier-Stabilising Effects of Myrrh, Coffee Charcoal and Chamomile Flower Extract in a Co-Culture Cell Model of the Intestinal Mucosa
Biomolecules 2020, 10(7), 1033; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10071033 - 11 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1828
Abstract
Recent clinical evidence suggests the efficacy of a traditional herbal medicinal product containing myrrh (Commiphora molmol Engl.), coffee charcoal (Coffea arabica L.) and chamomile flower dry extract (Matricaria chamomilla L.) in the therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). However, the [...] Read more.
Recent clinical evidence suggests the efficacy of a traditional herbal medicinal product containing myrrh (Commiphora molmol Engl.), coffee charcoal (Coffea arabica L.) and chamomile flower dry extract (Matricaria chamomilla L.) in the therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). However, the mechanisms of action in this context have not been entirely elucidated. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of myrrh, coffee charcoal and chamomile flower extract on the inflammatory cross talk between immune and intestinal epithelial cells together with the resulting intestinal barrier disorders. A complex co-culture cell model consisting of intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) monolayers (Caco-2, HT29-MTX-E12) and macrophages (THP-1) was established for the simultaneous investigation of these two IBD characteristics. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activation of the macrophages led to a pro-inflammatory mediator release and thereby an inflammatory stimulation of IECs with chemokine release and reduced barrier function. The effects of the individual plant extracts and a ternary combination on inflammatory mediator release (IL-6, TNF, IL-8, MCP-1, PGE2) was quantified by ELISA. The transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) of IEC monolayers was measured to evaluate the effects on the barrier function. Budesonide served as a positive control. All three plant extracts exhibited anti-inflammatory properties via the inhibition of the inflammatory mediator release to a varying extent. An intestinal barrier stabilising effect was observed for myrrh and coffee charcoal. Myrrh exerted the most distinct pharmacological activity. Dose reducing and synergistic interactions emerged within the threefold combination. Thus, our results provide a mechanistic basis for the use of the herbal combination of myrrh, coffee charcoal and chamomile flower extract in IBD treatment and underline the potential benefits of the phytotherapeutic multi-component/multi-target approach in this complex pathogenesis. Full article
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Review
Natural Ergot Alkaloids in Ocular Pharmacotherapy: Known Molecules for Novel Nanoparticle-Based Delivery Systems
Biomolecules 2020, 10(7), 980; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10070980 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1101
Abstract
Several pharmacological properties are attributed to ergot alkaloids as a result of their antibacterial, antiproliferative, and antioxidant effects. Although known for their biomedical applications (e.g., for the treatment of glaucoma), most ergot alkaloids exhibit high toxicological risk and may even be lethal to [...] Read more.
Several pharmacological properties are attributed to ergot alkaloids as a result of their antibacterial, antiproliferative, and antioxidant effects. Although known for their biomedical applications (e.g., for the treatment of glaucoma), most ergot alkaloids exhibit high toxicological risk and may even be lethal to humans and animals. Their pharmacological profile results from the structural similarity between lysergic acid-derived compounds and noradrenalin, dopamine, and serotonin neurotransmitters. To reduce their toxicological risk, while increasing their bioavailability, improved delivery systems were proposed. This review discusses the safety aspects of using ergot alkaloids in ocular pharmacology and proposes the development of lipid and polymeric nanoparticles for the topical administration of these drugs to enhance their therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of glaucoma. Full article
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Article
The Citrus Flavonoid Hesperetin Has an Inadequate Anti-Arrhythmic Profile in the ΔKPQ NaV1.5 Mutant of the Long QT Type 3 Syndrome
Biomolecules 2020, 10(6), 952; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10060952 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 763
Abstract
Type 3 long QT syndromes (LQT3) are associated with arrhythmogenic gain-of-function mutations in the cardiac voltage-gated Na+ channel (hNaV1.5). The citrus flavanone hesperetin (HSP) was previously suggested as a template molecule to develop new anti-arrhythmic drugs, as it blocks slowly-inactivating [...] Read more.
Type 3 long QT syndromes (LQT3) are associated with arrhythmogenic gain-of-function mutations in the cardiac voltage-gated Na+ channel (hNaV1.5). The citrus flavanone hesperetin (HSP) was previously suggested as a template molecule to develop new anti-arrhythmic drugs, as it blocks slowly-inactivating currents carried by the LQT3-associated hNaV1.5 channel mutant R1623Q. Here we investigated whether HSP also has potentially beneficial effects on another LQT3 hNaV1.5 channel variant, the ΔKPQ, which is associated to lethal ventricular arrhythmias. We used whole-cell patch-clamp to record Na+ currents (INa) in HEK293T cells transiently expressing hNaV1.5 wild type or ΔKPQ mutant channels. HSP blocked peak INa and the late INa carried by ΔKPQ mutant channels with an effective concentration of ≈300 μM. This inhibition was largely voltage-independent and tonic. HSP decreased the rate of inactivation of ΔKPQ channels and, consequently, was relatively weak in reducing the intracellular Na+ load in this mutation. We conclude that, although HSP has potential value for the treatment of the R1623Q LQT3 variant, this compound is inadequate to treat the LQT3 associated to the ΔKPQ genetic variant. Our results underscore the precision medicine rationale of better understanding the basic pathophysiological and pharmacological mechanisms to provide phenotype- genotype-directed individualization of treatment. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical and Biological Screening of Oenothera biennis L. Hydroalcoholic Extract
Biomolecules 2020, 10(6), 818; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10060818 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
Oenothera biennis L. (OB), also commonly known as evening primrose, belongs to the Onagraceae family and has the best studied biological activity of all the members in the family. In therapy, the most frequently used type of extracts are from the aerial part, [...] Read more.
Oenothera biennis L. (OB), also commonly known as evening primrose, belongs to the Onagraceae family and has the best studied biological activity of all the members in the family. In therapy, the most frequently used type of extracts are from the aerial part, which are the fatty oils obtained from the seeds and have a wide range of medicinal properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the phytochemical composition and biological activity of OB hydroalcoholic extract and to provide directions for the antimicrobial effect, antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic potential against A375 melanoma cell line, and anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory capacity. The main polyphenols and flavonoids identified were gallic acid, caffeic acid, epicatechin, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, rutin and rosmarinic acid. The total phenolic content was 631.496 µgGAE/mL of extract and the antioxidant activity was 7258.67 μmolTrolox/g of extract. The tested extract had a mild bacteriostatic effect on the tested bacterial strains. It was bactericidal only against Candida spp. and S. aureus. In the set of experimental conditions, the OB extract only manifested significant antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic activity against the A375 human melanoma cell line at the highest tested concentration, namely 60 μg/mL. The migration potential of A375 cells was hampered by the OB extract in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, at the highest tested concentration, the OB extract altered the mitochondrial function in vitro, while reducing the angiogenic reaction, hindering compact tumor formation in the chorioallantoic membrane assay. Moreover, the OB extract elicited an anti-inflammatory effect on the experimental animal model of ear inflammation. Full article
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Review
The Use of Euterpe oleracea Mart. As a New Perspective for Disease Treatment and Prevention
Biomolecules 2020, 10(6), 813; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10060813 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1364
Abstract
Euterpe oleracea Mart. (EO), popularly known as açaí, belongs to the Arecaceae family and grows abundantly in Brazil. The fruit of this palm tree is widely used because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In this review, a search for literature and patent [...] Read more.
Euterpe oleracea Mart. (EO), popularly known as açaí, belongs to the Arecaceae family and grows abundantly in Brazil. The fruit of this palm tree is widely used because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In this review, a search for literature and patent technological prospecting has been performed on the use of EO to treat and prevent diseases as well as to prepare pharmaceutical formulations. EO leaves, fruits, and oil stand out for their large number of pharmacological activities such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antinociceptive, anticancer, anti-atherogenic, and healing activities, protection against metabolic syndromes such as diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, and protection of organs such as lung, kidney, liver, heart, and nervous system. While the phytochemical composition is intrinsically linked to identified biological activities, discoveries of the past decade concerning the use of this species have shown pharmacological alternatives mainly in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer and metabolic syndromes. Although studies and inventions on the use of EO though are believed to have been important in light of the pharmacological activities found, few clinical and toxicity tests have been performed. Nevertheless, with the increase of interest in EO, this species is believed to be only at the beginning of the breakthroughs in the development of promising products for the pharmaceutical industry. Full article
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Article
Effects of Chronic Cannabidiol Treatment in the Rat Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress Model of Depression
Biomolecules 2020, 10(5), 801; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10050801 - 22 May 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
Several neuropharmacological actions of cannabidiol (CBD) due to the modulation of the endocannabinoid system as well as direct serotonergic and gamma-aminobutyric acidergic actions have recently been identified. The current study aimed to reveal the effect of a long-term CBD treatment in the chronic [...] Read more.
Several neuropharmacological actions of cannabidiol (CBD) due to the modulation of the endocannabinoid system as well as direct serotonergic and gamma-aminobutyric acidergic actions have recently been identified. The current study aimed to reveal the effect of a long-term CBD treatment in the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) model of depression. Adult male Wistar rats (n = 24) were exposed to various stressors on a daily basis in order to induce anhedonia and anxiety-like behaviors. CBD (10 mg/kg body weight) was administered by daily intraperitoneal injections for 28 days (n = 12). The effects of the treatment were assessed on body weight, sucrose preference, and exploratory and anxiety-related behavior in the open field (OF) and elevated plus maze (EPM) tests. Hair corticosterone was also assayed by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. At the end of the experiment, CBD-treated rats showed a higher rate of body weight gain (5.94% vs. 0.67%) and sucrose preference compared to controls. A significant increase in vertical exploration and a trend of increase in distance traveled in the OF test were observed in the CBD-treated group compared to the vehicle-treated group. The EPM test did not reveal any differences between the groups. Hair corticosterone levels increased in the CBD-treated group, while they decreased in controls compared to baseline (+36.01% vs. −45.91%). In conclusion, CBD exerted a prohedonic effect in rats subjected to CUMS, demonstrated by the increased sucrose preference after three weeks of treatment. The reversal of the effect of CUMS on hair corticosterone concentrations might also point toward an anxiolytic or antidepressant-like effect of CBD, but this needs further confirmation. Full article
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Article
Antidepressant-Like Effect of Terpineol in an Inflammatory Model of Depression: Involvement of the Cannabinoid System and D2 Dopamine Receptor
Biomolecules 2020, 10(5), 792; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10050792 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2027
Abstract
Depression has a multifactorial etiology that arises from environmental, psychological, genetic, and biological factors. Environmental stress and genetic factors acting through immunological and endocrine responses generate structural and functional changes in the brain, inducing neurogenesis and neurotransmission dysfunction. Terpineol, monoterpenoid alcohol, has shown [...] Read more.
Depression has a multifactorial etiology that arises from environmental, psychological, genetic, and biological factors. Environmental stress and genetic factors acting through immunological and endocrine responses generate structural and functional changes in the brain, inducing neurogenesis and neurotransmission dysfunction. Terpineol, monoterpenoid alcohol, has shown immunomodulatory and neuroprotective effects, but there is no report about its antidepressant potential. Herein, we used a single lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection to induce a depressive-like effect in the tail suspension test (TST) and the splash test (ST) for a preventive and therapeutic experimental schedule. Furthermore, we investigated the antidepressant-like mechanism of action of terpineol while using molecular and pharmacological approaches. Terpineol showed a coherent predicted binding mode mainly against CB1 and CB2 receptors and also against the D2 receptor during docking modeling analyses. The acute administration of terpineol produced the antidepressant-like effect, since it significantly reduced the immobility time in TST (100–200 mg/kg, p.o.) as compared to the control group. Moreover, terpineol showed an antidepressant-like effect in the preventive treatment that was blocked by a nonselective dopaminergic receptor antagonist (haloperidol), a selective dopamine D2 receptor antagonist (sulpiride), a selective CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist/inverse agonist (AM281), and a potent and selective CB2 cannabinoid receptor inverse agonist (AM630), but it was not blocked by a nonselective adenosine receptor antagonist (caffeine) or a β-adrenoceptor antagonist (propranolol). In summary, molecular docking suggests that CB1 and CB2 receptors are the most promising targets of terpineol action. Our data showed terpineol antidepressant-like modulation by CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and D2-dopaminergic receptors to further corroborate our molecular evidence. Full article
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Article
Ameliorative Effect of Gum Acacia on Hookah Smoke-Induced Testicular Impairment in Mice
Biomolecules 2020, 10(5), 762; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10050762 - 13 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
We investigated some reproductive actions of hookah smoke (HS) exposure (30 min/day, for 30 days) in male mice, and the possible mitigative effect of the prebiotic agent gum acacia (GA) thereon. Control mice were air-exposed (AE). Twenty-four hours after the last exposure, the [...] Read more.
We investigated some reproductive actions of hookah smoke (HS) exposure (30 min/day, for 30 days) in male mice, and the possible mitigative effect of the prebiotic agent gum acacia (GA) thereon. Control mice were air-exposed (AE). Twenty-four hours after the last exposure, the levels of some plasma reproductive hormones, biochemical markers of inflammation, oxidative and nitrosative stress and testicular histopathology were assessed. The urinary level of cotinine, a major nicotine metabolite, was also measured. HS exposure induced significant decreases in testosterone, estradiol, luteinizing hormone, and androgen binding protein, as well as glutathione reductase activity and levels of nitrite and total nitrite. Plasma inhibin B, alkaline phosphatase, lipopolysaccharide binding protein, uric acid, lactate dehydrogenase, lipid peroxidation, 8-oxo-2’-deoxyguanosine, and cytochrome C were significantly increased following HS exposure. In testicular homogenate, nuclear factor-κB (NF-ĸB), nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2), interleukin- 6 (IL-6), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), transforming growth factor-β1(TGF- β1), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF- α) were all significantly elevated, and the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) significantly decreased. Histopathologically, there was slight impairment and disorganization of spermatogenesis. Urinary cotinine concentration was elevated significantly in the HS-exposed group compared with the air-exposed group. GA co-administration mitigated the adverse actions of HS measured. In conclusion, daily exposure to HS at the above dose induced adverse actions on the reproductive system of male mice. GA co-administration significantly mitigated these effects by reducing the inflammation, oxidative and nitrosative stress, via a mechanism involving Nrf2, and reduction of StAR expression. Full article
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Article
Brazilian Red Propolis: Extracts Production, Physicochemical Characterization, and Cytotoxicity Profile for Antitumor Activity
Biomolecules 2020, 10(5), 726; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10050726 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
Brazilian red propolis has been proposed as a new source of compounds with cytotoxic activity. Red propolis is a resinous material of vegetal origin, synthesized from the bees of the Appis mellifera family, with recognized biological properties. To obtain actives of low polarity [...] Read more.
Brazilian red propolis has been proposed as a new source of compounds with cytotoxic activity. Red propolis is a resinous material of vegetal origin, synthesized from the bees of the Appis mellifera family, with recognized biological properties. To obtain actives of low polarity and high cytotoxic profile from red propolis, in this work, we proposed a new solvent accelerated extraction method. A complete 23 factorial design was carried out to evaluate the influence of the independent variables or factors (e.g., temperature, number of cycles, and extraction time) on the dependent variable or response (i.e., yield of production). The extracts were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry for the identification of chemical compounds. Gas chromatography analysis revealed the presence of hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones, ethers, and terpenes, such as lupeol, lupenone, and lupeol acetate, in most of the obtained extracts. To evaluate the cytotoxicity profile of the obtained bioactives, the 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazole)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide colorimetric assay was performed in different tumor cell lines (HCT116 and PC3). The results show that the extract obtained from 70 °C and one cycle of extraction of 10 min exhibited the highest cytotoxic activity against the tested cell lines. The highest yield, however, did not indicate the highest cytotoxic activity, but the optimal extraction conditions were indeed dependent on the temperature (i.e., 70 °C). Full article
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Article
Machaerium hirtum (Vell.) Stellfeld Alleviates Acute Pain and Inflammation: Potential Mechanisms of Action
Biomolecules 2020, 10(4), 590; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10040590 - 11 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Machaerium hirtum (Vell.) Stellfeld (Fabaceae) known in Brazil as “jacaranda de espinho” or “espinheira santa nativa” is a medicinal plant commonly used in folk medicine to treat ulcers, cough and diarrhea. This study aimed to investigate the anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects of hydroalcoholic [...] Read more.
Machaerium hirtum (Vell.) Stellfeld (Fabaceae) known in Brazil as “jacaranda de espinho” or “espinheira santa nativa” is a medicinal plant commonly used in folk medicine to treat ulcers, cough and diarrhea. This study aimed to investigate the anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects of hydroalcoholic extracts from M. hirtum twig (HEMh) using in vivo experimental models of nociception through the involvement of transient receptor potential channels, acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC), nitrergic, opioidergic, glutamatergic, and supraspinal pathways. Our results revealed an antinociceptive effect of HEMh mediated by the opioidergic, l-arginine-nitric oxide and glutamate systems, as well as by interactions with TRPA1/ASIC channels. The anti-inflammatory effect of HEMh evaluated with a xylene-induced ear edema and by the involvement of arachidonic acid and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) showed involvement of the COX pathway, based on observed decreases in PGE2 levels. A phytochemical investigation of the HEMh led to the isolation of α-amyrin, β-amyrin, allantoin, apigenin-7-methoxy-6-C-β-d-glucopyranoside, and apigenin-6-C-β-d-glucopyranosyl-8-C-β-d-xylopyranoside. In conclusion, the acute oral administration of HEMh inhibits the nociceptive behavioral response in animals through the nitrergic, opioid, glutamatergic pathways, and by inhibition of the TRPA1 and ASIC channels, without causing locomotor dysfunction. In addition, its anti-inflammatory effect is associated with the COX pathway and decreased PGE2 levels. Full article
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Review
Therapeutic Potential of Brassinosteroids in Biomedical and Clinical Research
Biomolecules 2020, 10(4), 572; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10040572 - 09 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Steroids are a pivotal class of hormones with a key role in growth modulation and signal transduction in multicellular organisms. Synthetic steroids are widely used to cure large array of viral, fungal, bacterial, and cancerous infections. Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a natural collection of [...] Read more.
Steroids are a pivotal class of hormones with a key role in growth modulation and signal transduction in multicellular organisms. Synthetic steroids are widely used to cure large array of viral, fungal, bacterial, and cancerous infections. Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a natural collection of phytosterols, which have structural similarity with animal steroids. BRs are dispersed universally throughout the plant kingdom. These plant steroids are well known to modulate a plethora of physiological responses in plants leading to improvement in quality as well as yield of food crops. Moreover, they have been found to play imperative role in stress-fortification against various stresses in plants. Over a decade, BRs have conquered worldwide interest due to their diverse biological activities in animal systems. Recent studies have indicated anticancerous, antiangiogenic, antiviral, antigenotoxic, antifungal, and antibacterial bioactivities of BRs in the animal test systems. BRs inhibit replication of viruses and induce cytotoxic effects on cancerous cell lines. Keeping in view the biological activities of BRs, this review is an attempt to update the information about prospects of BRs in biomedical and clinical application. Full article
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Article
Phytoestrogen Agathisflavone Ameliorates Neuroinflammation-Induced by LPS and IL-1β and Protects Neurons in Cocultures of Glia/Neurons
Biomolecules 2020, 10(4), 562; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10040562 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
Inflammation and oxidative stress are common aspects of most neurodegenerative diseases in the central nervous system. In this context, microglia and astrocytes are central to mediating the balance between neuroprotective and neurodestructive mechanisms. Flavonoids have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Here, we have [...] Read more.
Inflammation and oxidative stress are common aspects of most neurodegenerative diseases in the central nervous system. In this context, microglia and astrocytes are central to mediating the balance between neuroprotective and neurodestructive mechanisms. Flavonoids have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Here, we have examined the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective potential of the flavonoid agathisflavone (FAB), which is derived from the Brazilian plant Poincianella pyramidalis, in in vitro models of neuroinflammation. Cocultures of neurons/glial cells were exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 1 µg/mL) or interleukin (IL)-1β (10 ng/mL) for 24 h and treated with FAB (0.1 and 1 µM, 24 h). FAB displayed a significant neuroprotective effect, as measured by nitric oxide (NO) production, Fluoro-Jade B (FJ-B) staining, and immunocytochemistry (ICC) for the neuronal marker β-tubulin and the cell death marker caspase-3, preserving neuronal soma and increasing neurite outgrowth. FAB significantly decreased the LPS-induced microglial proliferation, identified by ICC for Iba-1/bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and CD68 (microglia M1 profile marker). In contrast, FAB had no apparent effect on astrocytes, as determined by ICC for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Furthermore, FAB protected against the cytodestructive and proinflammatory effects of IL-1β, a key cytokine that is released by activated microglia and astrocytes, and ICC showed that combined treatment of FAB with α and β estrogen receptor antagonists did not affect NF-κB expression. In addition, qPCR analysis demonstrated that FAB decreased the expression of proinflammatory molecules TNF-α, IL-1β, and connexins CCL5 and CCL2, as well as increased the expression of the regulatory molecule IL-10. Together, these findings indicate that FAB has a significant neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effect in vitro, which may be considered as an adjuvant for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
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Article
Intervention in Neuropsychiatric Disorders by Suppressing Inflammatory and Oxidative Stress Signal and Exploration of In Silico Studies for Potential Lead Compounds from Holigarna caustica (Dennst.) Oken leaves
Biomolecules 2020, 10(4), 561; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10040561 - 06 Apr 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2416
Abstract
Holigarna caustica (Dennst.), a popular plant used in folk medicine in Bangladesh, is often used by the local folk practitioner to treat a variety of chronic diseases. The present research is an attempt to find out an innovative therapeutic prospect for the management [...] Read more.
Holigarna caustica (Dennst.), a popular plant used in folk medicine in Bangladesh, is often used by the local folk practitioner to treat a variety of chronic diseases. The present research is an attempt to find out an innovative therapeutic prospect for the management of neuropsychiatric disorders. The methanol extract of H. caustica leaves (MEHC) were utilized on various behavioral tests for assessing anxiolytic, anti-depressant, and anti-inflammatory activities. The antioxidant potentials and quantitative phytochemicals were evaluated through spectrophotometric methods. Results revealed that treatment of MEHC (200 and 400 mg/kg) significantly reduced anxiety like behaviors in mice, particularly, 400 mg/kg efficiently improved % of entries and time spent (p < 0.05) in the open arms in elevated plus maze test, whereas, superior head dipping tendency (p < 0.05) was observed in hole-board test. In contrast, mice treated with 200 mg/kg revealed better anxiolytic effect in both open field and hole-cross tests. During antidepressant evaluation, mice administrated with MEHC exhibited active behaviors (swimming and struggling) in forced swimming and tail suspension tests. In parallel, MEHC manifested a noteworthy (p < 0.001) suppression of inflammatory response induced by histamine. The MEHC also showed strong antioxidant activities in 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) (IC50: 57.64 μg/mL) scavenging, H2O2 (IC50: 51.60 μg/mL) scavenging, and ferric reducing power assay. The levels of total phenol, flavonoid, flavonol, condensed tannin, and antioxidant were estimated as higher in MEHC. Moreover, 11 compounds were documented as bioactive, displayed good binding affinities to potassium channel receptor, human serotonin receptor, cyclooxygenase (COX-1 and 2), and xanthine oxidoreductase enzyme targets in molecular docking experiments. Furthermore, ADME/T and Prediction of Activity Spectra for Substances (PASS) analyses exposed their drug-likeness, nontoxic upon consumption, and likely pharmacological actions. Overall, the H. caustica is potentially bioactive as evident by in vivo, in vitro, and computational analysis. Our findings support the folkloric value of this plant, which may provide a potential source towards developing drug leads. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Pharmacological and Phytochemical Profiles of Piptadeniastrum africanum (Hook.f.) Brenan Stem Bark Extracts
Biomolecules 2020, 10(4), 516; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10040516 - 28 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
The stem bark (SB) of Piptadeniastrum africanum (PA) has been extensively used in African traditional medicinal systems. However, there is a dearth of scientific information regarding its possible activity in the management of type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and skin hyperpigmentation disorders. This [...] Read more.
The stem bark (SB) of Piptadeniastrum africanum (PA) has been extensively used in African traditional medicinal systems. However, there is a dearth of scientific information regarding its possible activity in the management of type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and skin hyperpigmentation disorders. This study therefore attempted to elucidate the in vitro inhibitory action of ethyl acetate, methanol, and water extracts of P. africanum stem bark (PA-SB) on α-amylase, α-glucosidase, acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase, and tyrosinase. Cell viability, catecholamine, and 3-hydroxykynurenine levels of hypothalamic HypoE22 cells exposed to PA-SB extracts were also investigated. The phytochemical profiles of the extracts were determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and antioxidant properties were investigated. Saponin (867.42 mg quillaja equivalent/g) and tannin (33.81 mg catechin equivalent/g) contents were higher in the methanol extract. Multiple dihydroxy-trimethoxy(iso)flavone isomers, loliolide, eriodictyol, naringenin, luteolin, chrysoeriol, apigenin, and liquiritigenin, were characterized from PA-SB extracts using HPLC. The methanol extract of PA-SB showed highest inhibitory activity against acetylcholinesterase (4.88 mg galantamine equivalent (GALAE)/g extract), butyrylcholinesterase (5.37 mg GALAE/g extract), and tyrosinase (154.86 mg kojic acid equivalent/g extract) while α-glucosidase was effectively inhibited by the ethyl acetate extract (15.22 mmol acarbose equivalent/g extract). The methanol extract of PA-SB also showed potent antioxidant properties (493.87, 818.12, 953.07, and 732.19 mg Trolox equivalent/g extract, for 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS), cupric reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC), and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays, respectively). PA-SB extracts exhibited antioxidant activity and promising inhibition against key enzymes related to type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and skin hyperpigmentation disorders. Additionally, all extracts were able to contrast hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress, in HypoE22 cells, thus restoring basal catecholamine and 3-hydroxykinurenine levels, whereas only methanol and water extracts stimulated basal dopamine release. Overall, data from the present study contribute to the biological assessment of P. africanum that appears to be a promising source of natural compounds with protective and neuromodulatory effects. Full article
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Review
Plant-Based Natural Products for the Discovery and Development of Novel Anthelmintics against Nematodes
Biomolecules 2020, 10(3), 426; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10030426 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2317
Abstract
Intestinal parasitic nematodes infect approximately two billion people worldwide. In the absence of vaccines for human intestinal nematodes, control of infections currently relies mainly on chemotherapy, but resistance is an increasing problem. Thus, there is an urgent need for the discovery and development [...] Read more.
Intestinal parasitic nematodes infect approximately two billion people worldwide. In the absence of vaccines for human intestinal nematodes, control of infections currently relies mainly on chemotherapy, but resistance is an increasing problem. Thus, there is an urgent need for the discovery and development of new anthelmintic drugs, especially ones with novel mechanisms of action. Medicinal plants hold great promise as a source of effective treatments, including anthelmintic therapy. They have been used traditionally for centuries and are mostly safe (if not, their toxicity is well-known). However, in most medicinal plants the compounds active against nematodes have not been identified thus far. The free-living nematode C. elegans was demonstrated to be an excellent model system for the discovery of new anthelmintics and for characterizing their mechanism of action or resistance. The compounds discussed in this review are of botanical origin and were published since 2002. Most of them need further studies of their toxicity, mechanisms and structure-activity relationship to assess more fully their potential as drugs. Full article
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Article
Origanum majorana Essential Oil Triggers p38 MAPK-Mediated Protective Autophagy, Apoptosis, and Caspase-Dependent Cleavage of P70S6K in Colorectal Cancer Cells
Biomolecules 2020, 10(3), 412; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10030412 - 06 Mar 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1459
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer in terms of incidence and mortality worldwide. Here we have investigated the anti-colon cancer potential of Origanum majorana essential oil (OMEO) and its underlying mechanisms of action. We showed that OMEO significantly [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer in terms of incidence and mortality worldwide. Here we have investigated the anti-colon cancer potential of Origanum majorana essential oil (OMEO) and its underlying mechanisms of action. We showed that OMEO significantly inhibited the cellular viability and colony growth of human HT-29 colorectal cancer cells. OMEO induced protective autophagy, associated with downregulation of the mTOR/p70S6K pathway, and activated caspase-8 and caspase-9-dependent apoptosis. Blockade of autophagy with 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and chloroquine (CQ), two autophagy inhibitors, potentiated the OMEO-induced apoptotic cell death. Inversely, inhibition of apoptosis with the pan-caspase inhibitor, Z-VAD-FMK, significantly reduced cell death, suggesting that apoptosis represents the main mechanism of OMEO-induced cell death. Mechanistically, we found that OMEO induces protective autophagy and apoptotic cells death via the activation of the p38 MAPK signaling pathway. Pharmacological inhibition of p38 MAPK by the p38 inhibitors SB 202190 and SB 203580 not only significantly decreased apoptotic cell death, but also reduced the autophagy level in OMEO treated HT-29 cells. Strikingly, we found that OMEO also induces p38 MAPK-mediated caspase-dependent cleavage of p70S6K, a protein reported to be overexpressed in colon cancer and associated with drug resistance. Our findings suggest that OMEO inhibits colon cancer through p38 MAPK-mediated protective autophagy and apoptosis associated with caspase-dependent cleavage of p70S6K. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report on the implications of the p38 MAPK signaling pathway in targeting p70S6K to caspase cleavage. Full article
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Article
Ginseng Gintonin Attenuates Lead-Induced Rat Cerebellar Impairments during Gestation and Lactation
Biomolecules 2020, 10(3), 385; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10030385 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1281
Abstract
Gintonin, a novel ginseng-derived lysophosphatidic acid receptor ligand, improves brain functions and protects neurons from oxidative stress. However, little is known about the effects of gintonin against Pb-induced brain maldevelopment. We investigated the protective effects of gintonin on the developing cerebellum after prenatal [...] Read more.
Gintonin, a novel ginseng-derived lysophosphatidic acid receptor ligand, improves brain functions and protects neurons from oxidative stress. However, little is known about the effects of gintonin against Pb-induced brain maldevelopment. We investigated the protective effects of gintonin on the developing cerebellum after prenatal and postnatal Pb exposure. Pregnant female rats were randomly divided into three groups: control, Pb (0.3% Pb acetate in drinking water), and Pb plus gintonin (100 mg/kg, p.o.). Blood Pb was increased in dams and pups; gintonin treatment significantly decreased blood Pb. On postnatal day 21, the number of degenerating Purkinje cells was remarkably increased while the number of calbindin-, GAD67-, NMDAR1-, LPAR1-immunoreactive intact Purkinje cells, and GABA transporter 1-immunoreactive pinceau structures were significantly reduced in Pb-exposed offspring. Following Pb exposure, gintonin ameliorated cerebellar degenerative effects, restored increased pro-apoptotic Bax, and decreased anti-apoptotic Bcl2. Gintonin treatment attenuated Pb-induced accumulation of oxidative stress (Nrf2 and Mn-SOD) and inflammation (IL-1β and TNFα,), restoring the decreased cerebellar BDNF and Sirt1. Gintonin ameliorated Pb-induced impairment of myelin basic protein-immunoreactive myelinated fibers of Purkinje cells. Gintonin attenuated Pb-induced locomotor dysfunctions. The present study revealed the ameliorating effects of gintonin against Pb, suggesting the potential use of gintonin as a preventive agent in Pb poisoning during pregnancy and lactation. Full article
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Review
Traditional Uses, Bioactive Chemical Constituents, and Pharmacological and Toxicological Activities of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Fabaceae)
Biomolecules 2020, 10(3), 352; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10030352 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 3447
Abstract
Traditional herbal remedies have been attracting attention as prospective alternative resources of therapy for diverse diseases across many nations. In recent decades, medicinal plants have been gaining wider acceptance due to the perception that these plants, as natural products, have fewer side effects [...] Read more.
Traditional herbal remedies have been attracting attention as prospective alternative resources of therapy for diverse diseases across many nations. In recent decades, medicinal plants have been gaining wider acceptance due to the perception that these plants, as natural products, have fewer side effects and improved efficacy compared to their synthetic counterparts. Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Licorice) is a small perennial herb that has been traditionally used to treat many diseases, such as respiratory disorders, hyperdipsia, epilepsy, fever, sexual debility, paralysis, stomach ulcers, rheumatism, skin diseases, hemorrhagic diseases, and jaundice. Moreover, chemical analysis of the G. glabra extracts revealed the presence of several organic acids, liquirtin, rhamnoliquirilin, liquiritigenin, prenyllicoflavone A, glucoliquiritin apioside, 1-metho-xyphaseolin, shinpterocarpin, shinflavanone, licopyranocoumarin, glisoflavone, licoarylcoumarin, glycyrrhizin, isoangustone A, semilicoisoflavone B, licoriphenone, and 1-methoxyficifolinol, kanzonol R and several volatile components. Pharmacological activities of G. glabra have been evaluated against various microorganisms and parasites, including pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and Plasmodium falciparum, and completely eradicated P. yoelii parasites. Additionally, it shows antioxidant, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and cytotoxic activities. The current review examined the phytochemical composition, pharmacological activities, pharmacokinetics, and toxic activities of G. glabra extracts as well as its phytoconstituents. Full article
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Review
Systematic Analysis of Monoterpenes: Advances and Challenges in the Treatment of Peptic Ulcer Diseases
Biomolecules 2020, 10(2), 265; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10020265 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1672
Abstract
Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) is a multifactorial and complex disease caused by an imbalance of protective and aggressive factors (endogenous and exogenous). Despite advances in recent years, it is still responsible for substantial mortality and triggering clinical problems. Over the last decades, the [...] Read more.
Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) is a multifactorial and complex disease caused by an imbalance of protective and aggressive factors (endogenous and exogenous). Despite advances in recent years, it is still responsible for substantial mortality and triggering clinical problems. Over the last decades, the understanding of PUD has changed a lot with the discovery of Helicobacter pylori infection. However, this disease continues to be a challenge due to side-effects, incidence of relapse from use of various anti-ulcer medicines, and the rapid appearance of antimicrobial resistance with current H. pylori therapies. Consequently, there is the need to identify more effective and safe anti-ulcer agents. The search for new therapies with natural products is a viable alternative and has been encouraged. The literature reports the importance of monoterpenes based on the extensive pharmacological action of this class, including wound healing and anti-ulcerogenic agents. In the present study, 20 monoterpenes with anti-ulcerogenic properties were evaluated by assessing recent in vitro and in vivo studies. Here, we review the anti-ulcer effects of monoterpenes against ulcerogenic factors such as ethanol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and Helicobacter pylori, highlighting challenges in the field. Full article
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Article
Dried Leaf Artemisia Annua Improves Bioavailability of Artemisinin via Cytochrome P450 Inhibition and Enhances Artemisinin Efficacy Downstream
Biomolecules 2020, 10(2), 254; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10020254 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2166
Abstract
Artemisia annua L. and artemisinin, have been used for millennia to treat malaria. We used human liver microsomes (HLM) and rats to compare hepatic metabolism, tissue distribution, and inflammation attenuation by dried leaves of A. annua (DLA) and pure artemisinin. For HLM assays, [...] Read more.
Artemisia annua L. and artemisinin, have been used for millennia to treat malaria. We used human liver microsomes (HLM) and rats to compare hepatic metabolism, tissue distribution, and inflammation attenuation by dried leaves of A. annua (DLA) and pure artemisinin. For HLM assays, extracts, teas, and phytochemicals from DLA were tested and IC50 values for CYP2B6 and CYP3A4 were measured. For tissue distribution studies, artemisinin or DLA was orally delivered to rats, tissues harvested at 1 h, and blood, urine and feces over 8 h; all were analyzed for artemisinin and deoxyartemisinin by GC-MS. For inflammation, rats received an intraperitoneal injection of water or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and 70 mg/kg oral artemisinin as pure drug or DLA. Serum was collected over 8 h and analyzed by ELISA for TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-10. DLA-delivered artemisinin distributed to tissues in higher concentrations in vivo, but elimination remained mostly unchanged. This seemed to be due to inhibition of first-pass metabolism by DLA phytochemicals, as demonstrated by HLM assays of DLA extracts, teas and phytochemicals. DLA was more effective than artemisinin in males at attenuating proinflammatory cytokine production; the data were less conclusive in females. These results suggest that the oral consumption of artemisinin as DLA enhances the bioavailability and anti-inflammatory potency of artemisinin. Full article
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Review
Syzygium aromaticum L. (Myrtaceae): Traditional Uses, Bioactive Chemical Constituents, Pharmacological and Toxicological Activities
Biomolecules 2020, 10(2), 202; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10020202 - 30 Jan 2020
Cited by 67 | Viewed by 7041
Abstract
Herbal medicinal products have been documented as a significant source for discovering new pharmaceutical molecules that have been used to treat serious diseases. Many plant species have been reported to have pharmacological activities attributable to their phytoconstituents such are glycosides, saponins, flavonoids, steroids, [...] Read more.
Herbal medicinal products have been documented as a significant source for discovering new pharmaceutical molecules that have been used to treat serious diseases. Many plant species have been reported to have pharmacological activities attributable to their phytoconstituents such are glycosides, saponins, flavonoids, steroids, tannins, alkaloids, terpenes, etc. Syzygium aromaticum (clove) is a traditional spice that has been used for food preservation and possesses various pharmacological activities. S. aromaticum is rich in many phytochemicals as follows: sesquiterpenes, monoterpenes, hydrocarbon, and phenolic compounds. Eugenyl acetate, eugenol, and β-caryophyllene are the most significant phytochemicals in clove oil. Pharmacologically, S. aromaticum has been examined toward various pathogenic parasites and microorganisms, including pathogenic bacteria, Plasmodium, Babesia, Theileria parasites, Herpes simplex, and hepatitis C viruses. Several reports documented the analgesic, antioxidant, anticancer, antiseptic, anti-depressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial activity of eugenol against several pathogenic bacteria including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis and S. aureus. Moreover, eugenol was found to protect against CCl4−induced hepatotoxicity and showed a potential lethal efficacy against the multiplication of various parasites including Giardia lamblia, Fasciola gigantica, Haemonchus contortus, and Schistosoma mansoni. This review examines the phytochemical composition and biological activities of clove extracts along with clove essential oil and the main active compound, eugenol, and implicates new findings from gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) analysis. Full article
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Article
Potential Antidiabetic Activity of Extracts and Isolated Compound from Adenosma bracteosum (Bonati)
Biomolecules 2020, 10(2), 201; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10020201 - 29 Jan 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1791
Abstract
Adenosma bracteosum Bonati. (A. bracteosum) has been used in traditional and modern medicine in Vietnam for curing hepatitis. In this study, ethanol and aqueous extracts of A. bracteosum were evaluated for their α-glucosidase inhibitory activities and anti-hyperglycemic effects on glucose loaded [...] Read more.
Adenosma bracteosum Bonati. (A. bracteosum) has been used in traditional and modern medicine in Vietnam for curing hepatitis. In this study, ethanol and aqueous extracts of A. bracteosum were evaluated for their α-glucosidase inhibitory activities and anti-hyperglycemic effects on glucose loaded hyperglycemic and streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic mice. The α-glucosidase inhibition of the extracts was evaluated by colorimetric assays, and the anti-diabetic activity was tested on a STZ-induced diabetic mice model. The ethanol and aqueous extracts showed a significant α-glucosidase inhibitory activity, which was more effective than acarbose at the same concentration. In the STZ-induced diabetic mice, both extracts showed a strong anti-hyperglycemic activity, with the group receiving 50 mg/kg of ethanol extract and the group receiving 50 mg/kg of aqueous extract presenting 64.42% and 57.69% reductions, respectively, in the blood glucose levels when compared with the diabetic control group, on day 21 (p > 0.05). Isoscutellarein-8-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (IG) was identified from the ethanol extract, which showed a strong inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase, with a ten times higher potency compared with the positive control acarbose. The anti-hyperglycemic effect of IG was effectively similar to the standard drug, glibenclamide, at the same dose of 10 mg/kg (p > 0.05). These results indicated that A. bracteosum has a great antidiabetic potential. Full article
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Article
Super Critical Fluid Extracted Fatty Acids from Withania somnifera Seeds Repair Psoriasis-Like Skin Lesions and Attenuate Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6) Release
Biomolecules 2020, 10(2), 185; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10020185 - 25 Jan 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 6747
Abstract
(1) Background: Withania somnifera Dunal (Ashwagandha) is a widely used medicinal herb in traditional medicinal systems with extensive research on various plant parts. Surprisingly, seeds of W. somnifera have never been investigated for their therapeutic potential. (2) Methods: W. somnifera seeds were extracted [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Withania somnifera Dunal (Ashwagandha) is a widely used medicinal herb in traditional medicinal systems with extensive research on various plant parts. Surprisingly, seeds of W. somnifera have never been investigated for their therapeutic potential. (2) Methods: W. somnifera seeds were extracted for fatty acids (WSSO) using super critical fluid extraction, and was analyzed by gas chromatography. Its therapeutic potential in psoriasis-like skin etiologies was investigated using a 12-O tetradecanoyl phorbol 13-acetate (TPA)-induced psoriatic mouse model. Psoriatic inflammation along with psoriatic lesions and histopathological scores were recorded. WSSO was also tested on murine macrophage (RAW264.7), human epidermoid (A431), and monocytic (THP-1) cells, stimulated with TPA or lipo poly-saccharide (LPS) to induce pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-6 and TNF-α) release. NFκB promoter activity was also measured by luciferase reporter assay. (3) Results: Topical application of WSSO with concurrent oral doses significantly reduced inflammation-induced edema, and repaired psoriatic lesions and associated histopathological scores. Inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines release was observed in WSSO-treated A431 and THP-1 cells, along with reduced NFκB expression. WSSO also inhibited reactive nitrogen species (RNS) in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. (4) Conclusion: Here we show that the fatty acids from W. somnifera seeds have strong anti-inflammatory properties, along with remarkable therapeutic potential on psoriasis-like skin etiologies. Full article
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Review
Vascular Epiphytic Medicinal Plants as Sources of Therapeutic Agents: Their Ethnopharmacological Uses, Chemical Composition, and Biological Activities
Biomolecules 2020, 10(2), 181; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10020181 - 24 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1882
Abstract
This is an extensive review on epiphytic plants that have been used traditionally as medicines. It provides information on 185 epiphytes and their traditional medicinal uses, regions where Indigenous people use the plants, parts of the plants used as medicines and their preparation, [...] Read more.
This is an extensive review on epiphytic plants that have been used traditionally as medicines. It provides information on 185 epiphytes and their traditional medicinal uses, regions where Indigenous people use the plants, parts of the plants used as medicines and their preparation, and their reported phytochemical properties and pharmacological properties aligned with their traditional uses. These epiphytic medicinal plants are able to produce a range of secondary metabolites, including alkaloids, and a total of 842 phytochemicals have been identified to date. As many as 71 epiphytic medicinal plants were studied for their biological activities, showing promising pharmacological activities, including as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer agents. There are several species that were not investigated for their activities and are worthy of exploration. These epipythes have the potential to furnish drug lead compounds, especially for treating cancers, and thus warrant indepth investigations. Full article
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Review
Avocado–Soybean Unsaponifiables: A Panoply of Potentialities to Be Exploited
Biomolecules 2020, 10(1), 130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom10010130 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 2990
Abstract
Avocado and soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) constitute vegetable extracts made from fruits and seeds of avocado and soybean oil. Characterized by its potent anti-inflammatory effects, this ASU mixture is recommended to act as an adjuvant treatment for osteoarthritic pain and slow-acting symptomatic treatment of [...] Read more.
Avocado and soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) constitute vegetable extracts made from fruits and seeds of avocado and soybean oil. Characterized by its potent anti-inflammatory effects, this ASU mixture is recommended to act as an adjuvant treatment for osteoarthritic pain and slow-acting symptomatic treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis; autoimmune diseases; diffuse scleroderma and scleroderma-like states (e.g., morphea, sclerodactyly, scleroderma in bands). Besides, it was reported that it can improve the mood and quality of life of postmenopausal women in reducing menopause-related symptoms. This article aims to summarize the studies on biological effects of the avocado–soybean unsaponifiable, its chemical composition, pharmacotherapy as well as applications in autoimmune, osteoarticular and menopausal disorders. Finally, we will also discuss on its safety, toxicological and regulatory practices. Full article
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