Mar. Drugs2014, 12(12), 6236-6253; doi:10.3390/md12126236 (registering DOI) - published 19 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Chitosan, the cationic polysaccharide derived from the natural polysaccharide chitin, has been studied as a biomaterial for more than two decades. As a polycationic polymer with favorable properties, it has been widely used to form polyelectrolyte complexes with polyanions for various applications in drug delivery fields. In recent years, a growing number of studies have been focused on the preparation of polyelectrolyte complexes based on chitosan and its water soluble derivatives. They have been considered well-suited as biomaterials for a number of vital drug carriers with targeted/controlled release profiles, e.g., films, capsules, microcapsules. In this work, an overview highlights not only the favorable properties of chitosan and its water soluble derivatives but also the good performance of the polyelectrolyte complexes produced based on chitosan. Their various types of applications as drug carriers are reviewed in detail.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(12), 6213-6235; doi:10.3390/md12126213 (registering DOI) - published 19 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: 2,5-Diketopiperazines (2,5-DKPs) are an important category of structurally diverse cyclic dipeptides with prominent biological properties. These 2,5-DKPs have been obtained from a variety of natural resources, including marine organisms. Because of the increasing numbers and biological importance of these compounds, this review covers 90 marine originated 2,5-DKPs that were reported from 2009 to the first half-year of 2014. The review will focus on the structure characterizations, biological properties and proposed biosynthetic processes of these compounds.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(12), 6190-6212; doi:10.3390/md12126190 - published 18 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) are important mediators in improving and maintaining human health over the total lifespan. One topic we especially focus on in this review is omega-3 LC-PUFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Adequate DHA levels are essential during neurodevelopment and, in addition, beneficial in cognitive processes throughout life. We review the impact of DHA on societal relevant metabolic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes mellitus type 2 (T2DM). All of these are risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia in later life. DHA supplementation is associated with a reduced incidence of both stroke and atherosclerosis, lower bodyweight and decreased T2DM prevalence. These findings are discussed in the light of different stages in the human life cycle: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and in later life. From this review, it can be concluded that DHA supplementation is able to inhibit pathologies like obesity and cardiovascular disease. DHA could be a dietary protector against these metabolic diseases during a person’s entire lifespan. However, supplementation of DHA in combination with other dietary factors is also effective. The efficacy of DHA depends on its dose as well as on the duration of supplementation, sex, and age.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(12), 6178-6189; doi:10.3390/md12126178 - published 18 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Seven new briarane diterpenoids, gemmacolides AS-AY (1–7), were isolated together with ten known analogues (8–17) from the South China Sea gorgonian Dichotella gemmacea. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated by the detailed analysis of spectroscopic data and comparison with reported data. The absolute configuration of compounds was determined based on electronic circular dichroism (ECD) experiments and genetic correlations as well. Compounds 15 and 16 were reported for the first time for the gorgonian. In the preliminary in vitro bioassays, compound 5 showed potential growth inhibitory activity against MG63 cells.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(12), 6142-6177; doi:10.3390/md12126142 - published 18 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The present review discusses the known synthetic routes to the lamellarin alkaloids published until 2014. It begins with syntheses of the structurally simpler type-II lamellarins and then focuses on the larger class of the 5,6-saturated and -unsaturated type-I lamellarins. The syntheses are grouped by the strategy employed for the assembly of the central pyrrole ring.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(12), 6125-6141; doi:10.3390/md12126125 - published 18 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Astaxanthin (ATX) has been proven to ameliorate early brain injury (EBI) after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) by modulating cerebral oxidative stress. This study was performed to assess the effect of ATX on the Nrf2-ARE pathway and to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms of antioxidant properties of ATX in EBI after SAH. A total of 96 male SD rats were randomly divided into four groups. Autologous blood was injected into the prechiasmatic cistern of the rat to induce an experimental SAH model. Rats in each group were sacrificed at 24 h after SAH. Expressions of Nrf2 and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) were measured by Western blot and immunohistochemistry analysis. The mRNA levels of HO-1, NAD (P) H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO-1), and glutathione S-transferase-α1 (GST-α1) were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). It was observed that administration of ATX post-SAH could up-regulate the cortical expression of these agents, mediated in the Nrf2-ARE pathway at both pretranscriptional and posttranscriptional levels. Meanwhile, oxidative damage was reduced. Furthermore, ATX treatment significantly attenuated brain edema, blood–brain barrier (BBB) disruption, cellular apoptosis, and neurological dysfunction in SAH models. This study demonstrated that ATX treatment alleviated EBI in SAH model, possibly through activating the Nrf2-ARE pathway by inducing antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes.