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Special Issue "Plants and Diabetes: Description, Role, Comprehension and Exploitation"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alessandra Durazzo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CREA-Research Centre for Food and Nutrition, Via Ardeatina 546, 00178 Rome, Italy
Interests: natural products; bioactive compounds; antioxidants; food quality; nutrition; food composition databases; dietary supplements; herbs; botanicals; natural substances databases; synthesis; bioavailability; metabolic pathways
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Antonello Santini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, University of Napoli Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy
Interests: food chemistry; safety; food safety; nutraceuticals; nanonutraceuticals; recovery from byproducts of the food industry; food contaminants; food supplements; contaminants; risk assessment; mycotoxins and secondary metabolites; chemistry and food education; food analysis; analytical chemistry; novel techniques for sustainable products; bioavailability; mechanism of action of nutraceuticals and nanonutraceuticals
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Many plants have been known to have medicinal values with potential beneficial effects on health for centuries. Phytoterapeutic compounds are well known to play a globally significant role, in particular in the management and treatment of various chronic diseases. The focus of the proposed Special Issue is the potential role of plants in the management and treatment of diabetes.

The main topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Description of plants used in the management and treatment of diabetes.
  • Use of plants for diabetes prevention/management.
  • Chemical composition and functional properties. The elucidation of the main components and their properties (hypoglicaemic, anti-hyperglycaemic, anti-infiammatory, apoptotic agents).
  • Delineation of the mechanisms of action; in vitro and in vivo studies.
  • From plants to natural active compounds and/or ingredients: formulation of nutraceuticals, botanicals and dietary supplements, functional foods towards anti-diabetic drug development; profile and study of mode of action of antidiabetic formulations.
  • The spectrum of multi-components of antidiabetic effects: description and therapeutic strategies.
  • Identification and validation of new targets.

Dr. Alessandra Durazzo
Dr. Massimo Lucarini
Prof. Dr. Antonello Santini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Plants and Diabetes: Description, Role, Comprehension and Exploitation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(8), 3938; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22083938 - 11 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 566
Abstract
Many plants have been known for centuries to have medicinal importance with potential beneficial effects on health. Phytotherapeutic compounds are well known to play a globally significant role, in particular in the management and treatment of various chronic diseases. Among these, diabetes can [...] Read more.
Many plants have been known for centuries to have medicinal importance with potential beneficial effects on health. Phytotherapeutic compounds are well known to play a globally significant role, in particular in the management and treatment of various chronic diseases. Among these, diabetes can cause long term damage to the body other than having a relevant economic burden on society being among the costliest chronic diseases. This motivated the focus of the proposed Special Issue, intended to develop and exploit the potential role of plants in the management and treatment of diabetes. The main topics included are: (i) description and use of medicinal plants for diabetes management; (ii) the elucidation and delineation of their main components, properties (anti-hyperglycaemic, hypoglicaemic, anti-infiammatory, apoptotic agents, etc.), (iii) the mechanism of action (in vitro and in vivo studies); (iv) formulation of nutraceuticals, botanicals, and dietary supplements useful as tools as an alternative or support to anti-diabetic pharmacological therapies; (v) development of new markers. Full article

Research

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Article
Metabolite Profiling of Manilkara zapota L. Leaves by High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry Coupled with ESI and APCI and In Vitro Antioxidant Activity, α-Glucosidase, and Elastase Inhibition Assays
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 132; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22010132 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
High-resolution mass spectrometry equipped with electrospray ionization (ESI) and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) sources was used to enhance the characterization of phytochemicals of ethanol extracts of Manilkara zapota L. leaves (ZLE). Sugar compounds, dicarboxylic acids, compounds of phenolic acids and flavonoids groups, [...] Read more.
High-resolution mass spectrometry equipped with electrospray ionization (ESI) and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) sources was used to enhance the characterization of phytochemicals of ethanol extracts of Manilkara zapota L. leaves (ZLE). Sugar compounds, dicarboxylic acids, compounds of phenolic acids and flavonoids groups, and other phytochemicals were detected from the leaves. Antioxidant activity and inhibition potentiality of ZLE against α-glucosidase enzyme, and elastase enzyme activities were evaluated in in vitro analysis. ZLE significantly inhibited activities of α-glucosidase enzyme at a lower concentration (IC50 2.51 ± 0.15 µg/mL). Glucose uptake in C2C12 cells was significantly enhanced by 42.13 ± 0.15% following the treatment with ZLE at 30 µg/mL. It also exhibited potential antioxidant activities and elastase enzyme inhibition activity (IC50 27.51 ± 1.70 µg/mL). Atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry (APCI–MS) detected more m/z peaks than electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI–MS), and both ionization techniques illustrated the biological activities of the detected compounds more thoroughly compared to single-mode analysis. Our findings suggest that APCI along with ESI is a potential ionization technique for metabolite profiling, and ZLE has the potential in managing diabetes by inhibiting α-glucosidase activity and enhancing glucose uptake. Full article
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Communication
Garlic Derived Diallyl Trisulfide in Experimental Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolic Effects and Cardioprotective Role
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 9100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21239100 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 716
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the effects of diallyl trisulfide (DATS), the most potent polysulfide derived from garlic, on metabolic syndrome and myocardial function in rats with metabolic syndrome (MetS). For that purpose, we used 36 male Wistar albino rats divided into control [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the effects of diallyl trisulfide (DATS), the most potent polysulfide derived from garlic, on metabolic syndrome and myocardial function in rats with metabolic syndrome (MetS). For that purpose, we used 36 male Wistar albino rats divided into control rats, rats with MetS and MetS rats treated with 40 mg/kg of DATS every second day for 3 weeks. In the first part, we studied the impact of DATS on MetS control and found that DATS significantly raised H2S, decreased homocysteine and glucose levels and enhanced lipid and antioxidative, while reducing prooxidative parameters. Additionally, this polysulfide improved cardiac function. In the second part, we investigated the impact of DATS on ex vivo induced ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) heart injury and found that DATS consumption significantly improved cardiodynamic parameters and prevented oxidative and histo-architectural variation in the heart. In addition, DATS significantly increased relative gene expression of eNOS, SOD-1 and -2, Bcl-2 and decreased relative gene expression of NF-κB, IL-17A, Bax, and caspases-3 and -9. Taken together, the data show that DATS can effectively mitigate MetS and have protective effects against ex vivo induced myocardial I/R injury in MetS rat. Full article
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Article
Olive Leaf Polyphenols (OLPs) Stimulate GLUT4 Expression and Translocation in the Skeletal Muscle of Diabetic Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 8981; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21238981 - 26 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 874
Abstract
Skeletal muscles are high-insulin tissues responsible for disposing of glucose via the highly regulated process of facilitated glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4). Impaired insulin action in diabetes, as well as disorders of GLUT4 vesicle trafficking in the muscle, are involved in defects in insulin-stimulated [...] Read more.
Skeletal muscles are high-insulin tissues responsible for disposing of glucose via the highly regulated process of facilitated glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4). Impaired insulin action in diabetes, as well as disorders of GLUT4 vesicle trafficking in the muscle, are involved in defects in insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation. Since the Rab GTPases are the main regulators of vesicular membrane transport in exo- and endo-cytosis, in the present work, we studied the effect of olive leaf polyphenols (OLPs) on Rab8A, Rab13, and Rab14 proteins of the rat soleus muscle in a model of streptozotocin (SZT)-induced diabetes (DM) in a dose-dependent manner. Glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were determined in the blood, morphological changes of the muscle tissue were captured by hematoxylin and eosin histological staining, and expression of GLUT4, Rab8A, Rab13, and Rab14 proteins were analyzed in the rat soleus muscle by the immunofluorescence staining and immunoblotting. OLPs significantly reduced blood glucose level in all treated groups. Furthermore, significantly reduced blood triglycerides were found in the groups with the lowest and highest OLPs treatment. The dynamics of activation of Rab8A, Rab13, and Rab14 was OLPs dose-dependent and more effective at higher OLP doses. Thus, these results indicate a beneficial role of phenolic compounds from the olive leaf in the regulation of glucose homeostasis in the skeletal muscle. Full article
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Article
A Novel Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV Inhibitory Tea Peptide Improves Pancreatic β-Cell Function and Reduces α-Cell Proliferation in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(2), 322; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20020322 - 14 Jan 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2106
Abstract
Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inhibitors occupy a growing place in the drugs used for the management of type 2 diabetes. Recently, food components, including food-derived bioactive peptides, have been suggested as sources of DPP-IV inhibitors without side effects. Chinese black tea is a [...] Read more.
Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inhibitors occupy a growing place in the drugs used for the management of type 2 diabetes. Recently, food components, including food-derived bioactive peptides, have been suggested as sources of DPP-IV inhibitors without side effects. Chinese black tea is a traditional health beverage, and it was used for finding DPP-IV inhibitory peptides in this study. The ultra-filtrated fractions isolated from the aqueous extracts of black tea revealed DPP-IV inhibitory activity in vitro. Four peptides under 1 kDa were identified by SDS-PAGE and LC-MS/MS (Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry-Mass Spectrometry) from the ultra-filtrate. The peptide II (sequence: AGFAGDDAPR), with a molecular mass of 976 Da, showed the greatest DPP-IV inhibitory activity (in vitro) among the four peptides. After administration of peptide II (400 mg/day) for 57 days to streptozotocin (STZ)-induced hyperglycemic mice, the concentration of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in the blood increased from 9.85 ± 1.96 pmol/L to 19.22 ± 6.79 pmol/L, and the insulin level was increased 4.3-fold compared to that in STZ control mice. Immunohistochemistry revealed the improved function of pancreatic beta-cells and suppressed proliferation of pancreatic alpha-cells. This study provides new insight into the use of black tea as a potential resource of food-derived DPP-IV inhibitory peptides for the management of type 2 diabetes. Full article
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Review

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Review
Whole Alga, Algal Extracts, and Compounds as Ingredients of Functional Foods: Composition and Action Mechanism Relationships in the Prevention and Treatment of Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(8), 3816; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22083816 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1132
Abstract
Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major systemic disease which involves impaired pancreatic function and currently affects half a billion people worldwide. Diet is considered the cornerstone to reduce incidence and prevalence of this disease. Algae contains fiber, polyphenols, ω-3 PUFAs, and bioactive [...] Read more.
Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major systemic disease which involves impaired pancreatic function and currently affects half a billion people worldwide. Diet is considered the cornerstone to reduce incidence and prevalence of this disease. Algae contains fiber, polyphenols, ω-3 PUFAs, and bioactive molecules with potential antidiabetic activity. This review delves into the applications of algae and their components in T2DM, as well as to ascertain the mechanism involved (e.g., glucose absorption, lipids metabolism, antioxidant properties, etc.). PubMed, and Google Scholar databases were used. Papers in which whole alga, algal extracts, or their isolated compounds were studied in in vitro conditions, T2DM experimental models, and humans were selected and discussed. This review also focuses on meat matrices or protein concentrate-based products in which different types of alga were included, aimed to modulate carbohydrate digestion and absorption, blood glucose, gastrointestinal neurohormones secretion, glycosylation products, and insulin resistance. As microbiota dysbiosis in T2DM and metabolic alterations in different organs are related, the review also delves on the effects of several bioactive algal compounds on the colon/microbiota-liver-pancreas-brain axis. As the responses to therapeutic diets vary dramatically among individuals due to genetic components, it seems a priority to identify major gene polymorphisms affecting potential positive effects of algal compounds on T2DM treatment. Full article
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Review
The Role of Isoflavones in Type 2 Diabetes Prevention and Treatment—A Narrative Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 218; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22010218 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1153
Abstract
Given the growing number of type 2 diabetic individuals and the substantial social and financial costs associated with diabetes management, every effort should be made to improve its prevention and treatment methods. There is an ongoing search for natural dietary compounds that could [...] Read more.
Given the growing number of type 2 diabetic individuals and the substantial social and financial costs associated with diabetes management, every effort should be made to improve its prevention and treatment methods. There is an ongoing search for natural dietary compounds that could be used for this purpose. This narrative review focuses on the therapeutic potential of isoflavones in diabetes prevention and treatment. This review summarizes (i) the molecular mechanisms of isoflavones action that are critical to their anti-diabetic properties; (ii) preclinical (in vitro and in vivo) studies evaluating the influence of isoflavones on the function of key organs involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes; and (iii) epidemiological studies and clinical trials that assessed the effectiveness of isoflavones in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes in humans. Apart from discussing the effects of isoflavones on the function of organs “classically” associated with the pathogenesis of diabetes (pancreas, liver, muscles, and adipose tissue), the impact of these compounds on other organs that contribute to the glucose homeostasis (gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and brain) is also reviewed. Full article
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Review
Multiple Cell Signalling Pathways of Human Proinsulin C-Peptide in Vasculopathy Protection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 645; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21020645 - 18 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1432
Abstract
A major hallmark of diabetes is a constant high blood glucose level (hyperglycaemia), resulting in endothelial dysfunction. Transient or prolonged hyperglycemia can cause diabetic vasculopathy, a secondary systemic damage. C-Peptide is a product of cleavage of proinsulin by a serine protease that occurs [...] Read more.
A major hallmark of diabetes is a constant high blood glucose level (hyperglycaemia), resulting in endothelial dysfunction. Transient or prolonged hyperglycemia can cause diabetic vasculopathy, a secondary systemic damage. C-Peptide is a product of cleavage of proinsulin by a serine protease that occurs within the pancreatic β-cells, being secreted in similar amounts as insulin. The biological activity of human C-peptide is instrumental in the prevention of diabetic neuropathy, nephropathy and other vascular complications. The main feature of type 1 diabetes mellitus is the lack of insulin and of C-peptide, but the progressive β-cell loss is also observed in later stage of type 2 diabetes mellitus. C-peptide has multifaceted effects in animals and diabetic patients due to the activation of multiple cell signalling pathways, highlighting p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and extracellular signal–regulated kinase ½, Akt, as well as endothelial nitric oxide production. Recent works highlight the role of C-peptide in the prevention and amelioration of diabetes and also in organ-specific complications. Benefits of C-peptide in microangiopathy and vasculopathy have been shown through conservation of vascular function, and also in the prevention of endothelial cell death, microvascular permeability, neointima formation, and in vascular inflammation. Improvement of microvascular blood flow by replacing a physiological amount of C-peptide, in several tissues of diabetic animals and humans, mainly in nerve tissue, myocardium, skeletal muscle, and kidney has been described. A review of the multiple cell signalling pathways of human proinsulin C-peptide in vasculopathy protection is proposed, where the approaches to move beyond the state of the art in the development of innovative and effective therapeutic options of diabetic neuropathy and nephropathy are discussed. Full article
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Review
The Therapeutic Potential of Apigenin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(6), 1305; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20061305 - 15 Mar 2019
Cited by 208 | Viewed by 7126
Abstract
Several plant bioactive compounds have exhibited functional activities that suggest they could play a remarkable role in preventing a wide range of chronic diseases. The largest group of naturally-occurring polyphenols are the flavonoids, including apigenin. The present work is an updated overview of [...] Read more.
Several plant bioactive compounds have exhibited functional activities that suggest they could play a remarkable role in preventing a wide range of chronic diseases. The largest group of naturally-occurring polyphenols are the flavonoids, including apigenin. The present work is an updated overview of apigenin, focusing on its health-promoting effects/therapeutic functions and, in particular, results of in vivo research. In addition to an introduction to its chemistry, nutraceutical features have also been described. The main key findings from in vivo research, including animal models and human studies, are summarized. The beneficial indications are reported and discussed in detail, including effects in diabetes, amnesia and Alzheimer’s disease, depression and insomnia, cancer, etc. Finally, data on flavonoids from the main public databases are gathered to highlight the apigenin’s key role in dietary assessment and in the evaluation of a formulated diet, to determine exposure and to investigate its health effects in vivo. Full article
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