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Special Issue "New Biologically Active Substances from Plants and Animals of the Pacific Region"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Kirill Golokhvast
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Giancarlo Cravotto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Turin, Department of Drug Science and Technology, via P. Giuria 9, 10125 Turin, Italy
Interests: enabling technologies ind food extraction and processing; microwaves; ultrasound; hydrodinamic cavitation; SC-CO2; green solvents; bioactive natural products
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Seung Hwan Yang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biotechnology, Chonnam National University, Yeosu 59626, Korea
Interests: agriculture; cold/drought/water stress; plant physiology; plant hormone; sustainable agriculture; climate change; crop growth regulators; climate change impacts in agriculture; germplasm; plant-microbe interaction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Pacific Region is unique in its nature and living organisms.

It is the birthplace of Panax ginseng and Stichopus japonicus, as well as other plants.

In this Special Issue, we invite investigators to contribute original research articles, as well as review articles that are related to new biological activity substances from plants and animals of the Pacific Region.

Prof. Kirill Golokhvast
Prof. Cravotto Giancarlo
Prof. Yang Seung Hwan
Guest Editor

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. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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.

Keywords

  • biological activity substances
  • Pacific Region
  • extracts and derivates
  • biological activity
  • pharmacy
  • indigenous medicine
  • toxicity

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
Proximate Composition, Antioxidant Properties, and Hepatoprotective Activity of Three Species of Shellfish of the Pacific Coast of Russia
Molecules 2021, 26(11), 3397; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26113397 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 718
Abstract
The objective of the present study was to investigate the proximate composition, antiradical properties and hepatoprotective activity of three species of shellfish, Corbicula japonica, Spisula sachalinensis, and Anadara broughtonii, from the coastal areas of Far East Russia. Biologically active peptides [...] Read more.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the proximate composition, antiradical properties and hepatoprotective activity of three species of shellfish, Corbicula japonica, Spisula sachalinensis, and Anadara broughtonii, from the coastal areas of Far East Russia. Biologically active peptides such as taurine (3.74 g/100 g protein) and ornithine (2.12 g/100 g protein) have been found in the tissues of A. broughtonii. C. japonica contains a high amount of ornithine (5.57 g/100 g protein) and taurine (0.85 g/100 g protein). The maximum DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging activity (36.0 µg ascorbic acid/g protein and 0.68 µmol/Trolox equiv/g protein, respectively) was determined for the tissue of C. japonica. The protein and peptide molecular weight distribution of the shellfish tissue water extracts was investigated using HPLC. It was found that the amount of low molecular weight proteins and peptides were significantly and positively correlated with radical scavenging activity (Pearson’s correlation coefficient = 0.96), while the amount of high molecular weight proteins negatively correlated with radical scavenging activity (Pearson’s correlation coefficient = −0.86). Hepatoprotective activity, measured by the survival rate of HepG2 hepatocytes after cotreatment with t-BHP, was detected for C. japonica. The highest protection (95.3 ± 2.4%) was achieved by the cold water extract of C. japonica at the concentration of 200 mg/mL. Moreover, oral administration of hot water extract of C. japonica to rats before the treatment with CCl4 exhibited a markedly protective effect by lowering serum levels of ALT and AST, inhibiting the changes in biochemical parameters of functional state of rat liver, including MDA, SOD, GSH and GST. Full article
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Article
Improvement of Obesity and Dyslipidemic Activity of Amomum tsao-ko in C57BL/6 Mice Fed a High-Carbohydrate Diet
Molecules 2021, 26(6), 1638; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26061638 - 15 Mar 2021
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire (Zingiberaceae) is a medicinal herb found in Southeast Asia that is used for the treatment of malaria, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, etc. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of an ethanol extract of Amomum tsao-ko [...] Read more.
Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire (Zingiberaceae) is a medicinal herb found in Southeast Asia that is used for the treatment of malaria, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, etc. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of an ethanol extract of Amomum tsao-ko (EAT) on obesity and hyperlipidemia in C57BL/6 mice fed a high-carbohydrate diet (HCD). First, the mice were divided into five groups (n = 6/group) as follows: normal diet, HCD, and HCD+EAT (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg/day), which were orally administered with EAT daily for 84 days. Using microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) analysis, we found that EAT inhibited not only body-weight gain, but also visceral fat and subcutaneous fat accumulation. Histological analysis confirmed that EAT decreased the size of fat tissues. EAT consistently improved various indices, including plasma levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, atherogenic index, and cardiac risk factors, which are related to dyslipidemia—a major risk factor for heart disease. The contents of TC and TG, as well as the lipid droplets of HCD-induced hepatic accumulation in the liver tissue, were suppressed by EAT. Taken together, these findings suggest the possibility of developing EAT as a therapeutic agent for improving HCD-induced obesity and hyperlipidemia. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Screening and Evaluation of Antioxidant Properties and Antimicrobial Activity against Xanthomonas axonopodis of Euphorbia tirucalli Extracts in Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 941; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26040941 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 832
Abstract
Euphorbia tirucalli is a medicine plant possessing many bioactive properties. This paper focused on phytochemical screening (alkaloid, flavonoid, saponin, tannin, and anthraquinone), quantification of polyphenol and flavonoids, and activating evaluation of antioxidants and antimicrobial properties against Xanthomonas axonopodis of different extracts from Euphorbia [...] Read more.
Euphorbia tirucalli is a medicine plant possessing many bioactive properties. This paper focused on phytochemical screening (alkaloid, flavonoid, saponin, tannin, and anthraquinone), quantification of polyphenol and flavonoids, and activating evaluation of antioxidants and antimicrobial properties against Xanthomonas axonopodis of different extracts from Euphorbia tirucalli grown in Binh Thuan, Vietnam. The best activity fraction was used for purification and determining bioactive ingredients. The results showed that the phytochemical study revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, and terpenoids in the ethyl acetate fraction. Saponin and anthraquinone did not present in all extracts. The content of polyphenol and flavonoid of Euphorbia tirucalli stem was in the range of 16.65–106.32 mg EqAG/g and 97.97–450.83 μg QE/g. The ethyl acetate fraction showed higher amounts of polyphenol and flavonoids and antimicrobial activity against X. axonopodis than other fractions. The antioxidant (SC50) activity of Euphorbia tirucalli stem was in the range of 12.91 ± 0.70 and 528.33 ± 25.15 μg/mL. At concentrations of 5.0 and 7.5 mg/mL, the diameter of inhibition of the ethyl acetate fraction was 14.33 ± 0.76 mm and 17.87 ± 0.57 mm, respectively. The MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) was 0.156 mg/mL. Scopoletin, gallic acid, and piperic acid got MICs corresponding to 78, 312, and 312 μg/mL, respectively. Scopoletin, gallic acid, and piperic acid were found in the ethyl acetate fraction of Euphorbia tirucalli and exhibited the treatment of citrus bacteria canker and plant diseases. Full article
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Article
Herbal Composition LI73014F2 Alleviates Articular Cartilage Damage and Inflammatory Response in Monosodium Iodoacetate-Induced Osteoarthritis in Rats
Molecules 2020, 25(22), 5467; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25225467 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 801
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the anti-osteoarthritic effects of LI73014F2, which consists of Terminalia chebula fruit, Curcuma longa rhizome, and Boswellia serrata gum resin in a 2:1:2 ratio, in the monosodium iodoacetate (MIA)-induced osteoarthritis (OA) rat model. LI73014F2 was orally [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the anti-osteoarthritic effects of LI73014F2, which consists of Terminalia chebula fruit, Curcuma longa rhizome, and Boswellia serrata gum resin in a 2:1:2 ratio, in the monosodium iodoacetate (MIA)-induced osteoarthritis (OA) rat model. LI73014F2 was orally administered once per day for three weeks. Weight-bearing distribution and arthritis index (AI) were measured once per week to confirm the OA symptoms. Synovial membrane, proteoglycan layer, and cartilage damage were investigated by histological examination, while synovial fluid interleukin-1β level was analyzed using a commercial kit. Levels of pro-inflammatory mediators/cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the cartilage tissues were investigated to confirm the anti-osteoarthritic effects of LI73014F2. LI73014F2 significantly inhibited the MIA-induced increase in OA symptoms, synovial fluid cytokine, cartilage damage, and expression levels of pro-inflammatory mediators/cytokines and MMPs in the articular cartilage. These results suggest that LI73014F2 exerts anti-osteoarthritic effects by regulating inflammatory cytokines and MMPs in MIA-induced OA rats. Full article
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Article
Features and Advantages of Supercritical CO2 Extraction of Sea Cucumber Cucumaria frondosa japonica Semper, 1868
Molecules 2020, 25(18), 4088; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25184088 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 863
Abstract
Extraction process of Cucumaria frondosa japonica Semper, 1868, which are subspecies of Cucumaria frondosa (Gunnerus, 1767), were studied. It was shown that supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of holothuria was more effective than conventional solvent extraction. Step-by-step extraction with carbon dioxide followed by supercritical [...] Read more.
Extraction process of Cucumaria frondosa japonica Semper, 1868, which are subspecies of Cucumaria frondosa (Gunnerus, 1767), were studied. It was shown that supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of holothuria was more effective than conventional solvent extraction. Step-by-step extraction with carbon dioxide followed by supercritical extraction with the addition of a co-solvent of ethanol can almost double the yields of extracts of triterpene glycosides, styrenes and carotenoids. Moreover, the fraction of triterpene glycosides practically does not contain colored impurities, in contrast to traditional ethanol extraction. The obtained extracts by HPLC in combination with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) identified 15 triterpene glycosides, 18 styrene compounds and 14 carotenoids. Supercritical extraction made it possible to obtain extracts with yields superior to conventional hexane and alcohol extracts. Moreover, such an approach with the use of supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and subsequent profiling of metabolites can help with the study of holothuria species that are not as well studied. Full article
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Article
Wheat Bran Extract Regulates Mast Cell-Mediated Allergic Responses In Vitro and In Vivo
Molecules 2020, 25(17), 3997; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25173997 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 829
Abstract
In the present study the effects and molecular mechanisms of wheat bran (WB), the hard outer layer of the wheat kernel used in food ingredients, on mast cell-mediated allergic responses in vitro and in vivo were investigated. The water extract of WB inhibited [...] Read more.
In the present study the effects and molecular mechanisms of wheat bran (WB), the hard outer layer of the wheat kernel used in food ingredients, on mast cell-mediated allergic responses in vitro and in vivo were investigated. The water extract of WB inhibited degranulation and expression of allergic and inflammatory mediators such as tumor necrosis factor-α, cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase in antigen-stimulated RBL-2H3 cells. These anti-allergic activities of WB were mediated by the inactivation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, which play important roles in degranulation and expression of various allergic and inflammatory molecules. In agreement with its in vitro effects, WB inhibited immunoglobulin E (IgE)/antigen-induced and compound 48/80-induced anaphylactic reactions in vivo. Taken together, these findings suggest the pharmacological potential of WB in the regulation of allergic diseases, including allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, asthma and anaphylaxis. Full article
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Article
Composition of Primary and Secondary Metabolite Compounds in Seeds and Pods of Asparagus Bean (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) from China
Molecules 2020, 25(17), 3778; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25173778 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 881
Abstract
Asparagus bean immature pods and seeds are popular as food products for healthy and functional nutrition. Gas chromatography with mass spectrometry was used to compare metabolomic profiles of seeds and pods yielded by old Chinese landraces and the modern cultivars ‘Yunanskaya’ and ‘Sibirskiy [...] Read more.
Asparagus bean immature pods and seeds are popular as food products for healthy and functional nutrition. Gas chromatography with mass spectrometry was used to compare metabolomic profiles of seeds and pods yielded by old Chinese landraces and the modern cultivars ‘Yunanskaya’ and ‘Sibirskiy razmer’. About 120 compounds were identified. The content of a majority among groups of compounds was higher in pods than in seeds. The amount of free amino acids in pods was 47 times higher, polyols and phytosterols 5 times higher, phenolics 4 times higher, and organic acids and saponins 3 times higher than in seeds. Differences were found in the relative content of compounds. Among phenolic compounds, the dominant one for seeds was protocatechuic acid, and for pods 4-hydroxycinnamic acid. Only polyols were identified in seeds, but pods additionally contained ethanolamine, phytol, and phytosphingosine. The ratio for nonsaturated/saturated fatty acids was 2.2 in seeds and 1.4 in pods. Seeds contained more stigmasterol, and pods more β-sitosterol. Aglycones of saponins were identified: cycloartenol in seeds, α- and β-amyrins in pods. Oligosaccharides dominated in both seeds and pods. Landraces manifested higher protein content in pods, while modern cultivars had pods with higher contents of organic acids, polyols, monosaccharides, and fatty acids. The results obtained confirm the high nutritional value of asparagus bean seeds and pods, and the prospects of their use in various diets. Full article
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Article
Comparative Analysis of Far East Sikhotinsky Rhododendron (Rh. sichotense) and East Siberian Rhododendron (Rh. adamsii) Using Supercritical CO2-Extraction and HPLC-ESI-MS/MS Spectrometry
Molecules 2020, 25(17), 3774; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25173774 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 963
Abstract
Rhododendron sichotense Pojark. and Rhododendron adamsii Rheder have been actively used in ethnomedicine in Mongolia, China and Buryatia (Russia) for centuries, as an antioxidant, immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, vitality-restoring agent. These plants contain various phenolic compounds and fatty acids with valuable biological activity. Among green [...] Read more.
Rhododendron sichotense Pojark. and Rhododendron adamsii Rheder have been actively used in ethnomedicine in Mongolia, China and Buryatia (Russia) for centuries, as an antioxidant, immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, vitality-restoring agent. These plants contain various phenolic compounds and fatty acids with valuable biological activity. Among green and selective extraction methods, supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) extraction has been shown to be the method of choice for the recovery of these naturally occurring compounds. Operative parameters and working conditions have been optimized by experimenting with different pressures (300–400 bar), temperatures (50–60 °C) and CO2 flow rates (50 mL/min) with 1% ethanol as co-solvent. The extraction time varied from 60 to 70 min. A HPLC-UV-VIS-ESI-MS/MS technique was applied to detect target analytes. A total of 48 different biologically active components have been identified in the Rh. adamsii SC-CO2 extracts. A total of 31 different biologically active components have been identified in the Rh. sichotense SC-CO2 extracts. Full article
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Article
Rapid Mass Spectrometric Study of a Supercritical CO2-extract from Woody Liana Schisandra chinensis by HPLC-SPD-ESI-MS/MS
Molecules 2020, 25(11), 2689; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25112689 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 880
Abstract
Woody liana Schisandra chinensis contains valuable lignans, which are phenylpropanoids with valuable biological activity. Among green and selective extraction methods, supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) was shown to be the method of choice for the recovery of these naturally occurring compounds. Carbon [...] Read more.
Woody liana Schisandra chinensis contains valuable lignans, which are phenylpropanoids with valuable biological activity. Among green and selective extraction methods, supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) was shown to be the method of choice for the recovery of these naturally occurring compounds. Carbon dioxide (CO2) was the solvent with the flow rate (10−25 g/min) with 2% ethanol as co-solvent. In this piece of work operative parameters and working conditions were optimized by experimenting with different pressures (200–400 bars) and temperatures (40–60 °C). The extraction time varied from 60 to 120 min. HPLC-SPD-ESI -MS/MS techniques were applied to detect target analytes. Twenty-six different lignans were identified in the S. chinensis SC-CO2 extracts. Full article
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Article
Combretum quadrangulare Extract Attenuates Atopic Dermatitis-Like Skin Lesions through Modulation of MAPK Signaling in BALB/c Mice
Molecules 2020, 25(8), 2003; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25082003 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1209
Abstract
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory disease. Combretum quadrangulare (C. quadrangulare) is used as a traditional medicine to improve various pathologies in Southeast Asia. In this study, we investigated the effects of C. quadrangulare ethanol extract (CQ) on 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB)-induced [...] Read more.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory disease. Combretum quadrangulare (C. quadrangulare) is used as a traditional medicine to improve various pathologies in Southeast Asia. In this study, we investigated the effects of C. quadrangulare ethanol extract (CQ) on 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB)-induced AD like skin lesions in BALB/c mice. After administration with CQ (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg) for 6 weeks, AD symptoms, protein expression, immunoglobulin E (IgE), thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), and ceramidase level were measured in skin lesions of DNCB-induced BALB/c mice. CQ group improved the dermatitis score, skin pH, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and skin hydration. Furthermore, histological analysis revealed that CQ attenuated the increased epidermal thickness and infiltration of mast cells caused by DNCB. CQ also increased the expression of filaggrin, and reduced the expression of ceramidase, serum IgE level, and the number of eosinophils. CQ effectively inhibited cytokines and chemokines such as interleukin (IL)-6, IL-13, TARC, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) at the mRNA levels, as well as the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), including extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 in the skin lesions. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that CQ may be an effective treatment of AD-like skin lesions by inhibiting the expression of inflammatory mediators via the MAPK signaling pathways. Full article
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Article
Supercritical CO2 Extraction and Identification of Ginsenosides in Russian and North Korean Ginseng by HPLC with Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Molecules 2020, 25(6), 1407; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25061407 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1034
Abstract
Ginseng roots, Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer, obtained from cultivated ginseng grown in the Kaesong province (North Korea) and Primorye (Russia) were extracted using the supercritical CO2 extraction method. The extracts were subsequently analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry identification. [...] Read more.
Ginseng roots, Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer, obtained from cultivated ginseng grown in the Kaesong province (North Korea) and Primorye (Russia) were extracted using the supercritical CO2 extraction method. The extracts were subsequently analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry identification. The results showed the spectral peaks of typical ginsenosides with some other minor groups, and major differences were observed between the spectra of the two ginseng samples. The use of a pressure of 400 bar and higher allowed an increase in the yield of ginsenosides in comparison with similar previous studies Full article
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Review

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Review
Valorisation of By-Products from Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) Processing
Molecules 2020, 25(9), 2129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25092129 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2092
Abstract
In recent years, increased awareness of the health benefits associated with consuming soy-based foods, knowledge of milk-related allergies and a move towards more sustainable food production have led to an increase in the number of available soy-based products. The biggest producers in the [...] Read more.
In recent years, increased awareness of the health benefits associated with consuming soy-based foods, knowledge of milk-related allergies and a move towards more sustainable food production have led to an increase in the number of available soy-based products. The biggest producers in the world, the USA, South America and China, are from the Pacific region. This enormous production is accompanied by the accumulation of related by-products, in particular, a substance that is known as okara. Okara is a paste that is rich in fibre (50%), protein (25%), fat (10%), vitamins and trace elements. Its proper use would lead to economic advantages and a reduction in the potential for polluting the environment. Its high fibre content and low production costs mean that it could also be used as a dietary supplement to prevent diabetes, obesity and hyperlipidaemia. Chemical or enzymatic treatment, fermentation, extrusion, high pressure and micronisation can all increase the soluble fibre content, and thus improve nutritional quality and processing properties. However, the product also degrades rapidly due to its high moisture content (70–80%), which makes it difficult to handle and expensive to dry by conventional means. The aim of this paper is therefore to thoroughly study the existing literature on this subject in order to develop a general protocol for okara exploitation and valorisation. A cost/benefit analysis could drive the design of eco-friendly, sustainable protocols for the preparation of high-value nutritional products. Full article
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