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Special Issue "Biochemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Plants"

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 April 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Armando Zarrelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: disinfection by-products; disinfection treatments; environmental fate of drugs; natural products; flavonolignans; Silibinin; phosphoramidite chemistry; isolation and structural determination of natural and/or biological active molecules
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

In plants there are naturally some bioactive compounds, i.e. substance with or without nutritional value, which have biological activity in preventing the development of various chronic diseases, thus protecting human health (and not only). In this group there are antioxidants, molecules that although present at low concentrations can delay or prevent oxidative processes. The importance of antioxidants in plants can be linked both to the protection of food shelf life, to the delay of oxidation, for example of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and to the delay of chronic-degenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress and age. Mainly antioxidants include polyphenols, vitamins, carotenoids, etc, the content of which in plant products can be influenced by various factors such as varieties, soil and climatic conditions and technological processes. Interest of this issue is the evaluation of bioactive compounds and antioxidants, in products derived from plants, in relation to the methods used to obtain them and to the preparation of foods and functional foods and therapeutic and prophylactic purposes, for humans and animals.

Dr. Armando Zarrelli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • natural biologically active components
  • polyphenols
  • volatile compounds
  • minor natural components
  • extraction methods
  • antioxidant activity
  • human health

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Biocomposites of Epoxidized Natural Rubber/Poly(lactic acid) Modified with Natural Fillers (Part I)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(6), 3150; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22063150 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 336
Abstract
The study aimed to prepare sustainable and degradable elastic blends of epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) that were reinforced with flax fiber (FF) and montmorillonite (MMT), simultaneously filling the gap in the literature regarding the PLA-containing polymer blends filled with [...] Read more.
The study aimed to prepare sustainable and degradable elastic blends of epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) that were reinforced with flax fiber (FF) and montmorillonite (MMT), simultaneously filling the gap in the literature regarding the PLA-containing polymer blends filled with natural additives. The performed study reveals that FF incorporation into ENR/PLA blend may cause a significant improvement in tensile strength from (10 ± 1) MPa for the reference material to (19 ± 2) MPa for the fibers-filled blend. Additionally, it was found that MMT employment in the role of the filler might contribute to ENR/PLA plasticization and considerably promote the blend elongation up to 600%. This proves the successful creation of the unique and eco-friendly PLA-containing polymer blend exhibiting high elasticity. Moreover, thanks to the performed accelerated thermo-oxidative and ultraviolet (UV) aging, it was established that MMT incorporation may delay the degradation of ENR/PLA blends under the abovementioned conditions. Additionally, mold tests revealed that plant-derived fiber addition might highly enhance the ENR/PLA blend’s biodeterioration potential enabling faster and more efficient growth of microorganisms. Therefore, materials presented in this research may become competitive and eco-friendly alternatives to commonly utilized petro-based polymeric products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
A Micellar Formulation of Quercetin Prevents Cisplatin Nephrotoxicity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 729; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22020729 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 498
Abstract
The antioxidant flavonoid quercetin has been shown to prevent nephrotoxicity in animal models and in a clinical study and is thus a very promising prophylactic candidate under development. Quercetin solubility is very low, which handicaps clinical application. The aim of this work was [...] Read more.
The antioxidant flavonoid quercetin has been shown to prevent nephrotoxicity in animal models and in a clinical study and is thus a very promising prophylactic candidate under development. Quercetin solubility is very low, which handicaps clinical application. The aim of this work was to study, in rats, the bioavailability and nephroprotective efficacy of a micellar formulation of Pluronic F127-encapsulated quercetin (P-quercetin), with improved hydrosolubility. Intraperitoneal administration of P-quercetin leads to an increased plasma concentration and bioavailability of quercetin compared to the equimolar administration of natural quercetin. Moreover, P-quercetin retains overall nephroprotective properties, and even slightly improves some renal function parameters, when compared to natural quercetin. Specifically, P-quercetin reduced the increment in plasma creatinine (from 3.4 ± 0.5 to 1.2 ± 0.3 mg/dL) and urea (from 490.9 ± 43.8 to 184.1 ± 50.1 mg/dL) and the decrease in creatinine clearance (from 0.08 ± 0.02 to 0.58 ± 0.19 mL/min) induced by the nephrotoxic chemotherapeutic drug cisplatin, and it ameliorated histological evidence of tubular damage. This new formulation with enhanced kinetic and biopharmaceutical properties will allow for further exploration of quercetin as a candidate nephroprotector at lower dosages and by administration routes oriented towards its clinical use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Hepatoprotective Potency of Chrysophanol 8-O-Glucoside from Rheum palmatum L. against Hepatic Fibrosis via Regulation of the STAT3 Signaling Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 9044; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21239044 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 709
Abstract
Rhubarb is a well-known herb worldwide and includes approximately 60 species of the Rheum genus. One of the representative plants is Rheum palmatum, which is prescribed as official rhubarb due to its pharmacological potential in the Korean and Chinese pharmacopoeia. In our [...] Read more.
Rhubarb is a well-known herb worldwide and includes approximately 60 species of the Rheum genus. One of the representative plants is Rheum palmatum, which is prescribed as official rhubarb due to its pharmacological potential in the Korean and Chinese pharmacopoeia. In our bioactive screening, we found out that the EtOH extract of R. palmatum inhibited hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation by transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1). Chemical investigation of the EtOH extract led to the isolation of chrysophanol 8-O-glucoside, which was determined by structural analysis using NMR spectroscopic techniques and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESIMS). To elucidate the effects of chrysophanol 8-O-glucoside on HSC activation, activated LX-2 cells were treated for 48 h with chrysophanol 8-O-glucoside, and α-SMA and collagen, HSC activation markers, were measured by comparative quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and western blotting analysis. Chrysophanol 8-O-glucoside significantly inhibited the protein and mRNA expression of α-SMA and collagen compared with that in TGF-β1-treated LX-2 cells. Next, the expression of phosphorylated SMAD2 (p-SMAD2) and p-STAT3 was measured and the translocation of p-STAT3 to the nucleus was analyzed by western blotting analysis. The expression of p-SMAD2 and p-STAT3 showed that chrysophanol 8-O-glucoside strongly downregulated STAT3 phosphorylation by inhibiting the nuclear translocation of p-STAT3, which is an important mechanism in HSC activation. Moreover, chrysophanol 8-O-glucoside suppressed the expression of p-p38, not that of p-JNK or p-Erk, which can activate STAT3 phosphorylation and inhibit MMP2 expression, the downstream target of STAT3 signaling. These findings provided experimental evidence concerning the hepatoprotective effects of chrysophanol 8-O-glucoside against liver damage and revealed the molecular basis underlying its anti-fibrotic effects through the blocking of HSC activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Plants)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Antioxidant Activity and Healthy Benefits of Natural Pigments in Fruits: A Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 4945; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22094945 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 250
Abstract
Natural pigments, including carotenoids, flavonoids and anthocyanidins, determine the attractive color of fruits. These natural pigments are essential secondary metabolites, which play multiple roles in the whole life cycle of plants and are characterized by powerful antioxidant activity. After decades of research and [...] Read more.
Natural pigments, including carotenoids, flavonoids and anthocyanidins, determine the attractive color of fruits. These natural pigments are essential secondary metabolites, which play multiple roles in the whole life cycle of plants and are characterized by powerful antioxidant activity. After decades of research and development, multiple benefits of these natural pigments to human health have been explored and recognized and have shown bright application prospects in food, medicine, cosmetics and other industries. In this paper, the research progress of natural fruit pigments in recent years was reviewed, including the structural characteristics and classification, distribution in fruits and analysis methods, biosynthetic process, antioxidant capacity and mechanism, bioaccessibility and bioavailability, and health benefits. Overall, this paper summarizes the recent advances in antioxidant activity and other biological functions of natural fruit pigments, which aims to provide guidance for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Plants)
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