Open AccessArticle
Pectic Bee Pollen Polysaccharide from Rosa rugosa Alleviates Diet-Induced Hepatic Steatosis and Insulin Resistance via Induction of AMPK/mTOR-Mediated Autophagy
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 699; doi:10.3390/molecules22050699 -
Abstract
Despite it is used as a nutraceutical against diabetes and obesity, the mechanism of action of bee pollen is still unclear. Pectic bee pollen polysaccharide (RBPP-P) was isolated from Rosa rugosa, and its structure was characterized by 13C-NMR and Fourier transform-infrared
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Despite it is used as a nutraceutical against diabetes and obesity, the mechanism of action of bee pollen is still unclear. Pectic bee pollen polysaccharide (RBPP-P) was isolated from Rosa rugosa, and its structure was characterized by 13C-NMR and Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Using high glucose and fatty acids-treated HepG2 cells and high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity mice, we detected its effect on insulin function and lipid metabolism based on autophagy. RBPP-P contained arabinogalactan, rhamnogalacturonan I, and homogalacturonan domains. In vivo studies demonstrated that RBPP-P markedly ameliorated insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and liver steatosis in obese mice. The suppressive effects of RBPP-P on liver steatosis and triglyceride content were mediated by increased autophagy and lipase expression in liver. In AMPK knockdown cells (prkaa 1/2−/− MEF) and HFD-fed mice tissues (liver, gonadal white adipose, and inguinal white adipose), RBPP-P enhanced autophagy in AMPK/mTOR-dependent way in liver, but not in adipose tissue. These findings demonstrated that bee pollen polysaccharide alleviated liver steatosis and insulin resistance by promoting autophagy via an AMPK/mTOR-mediated signaling pathway, suggesting that RBPP-P could be a novel therapeutic agent used for the treatment of obesity and diabetes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Green Synthesis of Ag/Ag2O Nanoparticles Using Aqueous Leaf Extract of Eupatorium odoratum and Its Antimicrobial and Mosquito Larvicidal Activities
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 674; doi:10.3390/molecules22050674 -
Abstract
The health challenges associated with pathogens and ectoparasites highlight the need for effective control approaches. Metal nanoparticles have been proposed as highly effective tools towards combatting different microbial organisms and parasites. The present work reports the antimicrobial and larvicidal potential of biosynthesized Ag/Ag
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The health challenges associated with pathogens and ectoparasites highlight the need for effective control approaches. Metal nanoparticles have been proposed as highly effective tools towards combatting different microbial organisms and parasites. The present work reports the antimicrobial and larvicidal potential of biosynthesized Ag/Ag2O nanoparticles using aqueous leaf extract of Eupatorium odoratum (EO). The constituents of the leaf extract act as both reducing and stabilizing agents. The UV-VIS spectra of the nanoparticles showed surface plasmon resonance. The particle size and shape of the nanoparticles was analysed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The larvicidal study was carried out using third and fourth instar Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. The mosquito larvae were exposed to varying concentrations of plant extract (EO) and the synthesized nanoparticles, and their percentage of mortality was accounted for at different time intervals of 12 h and 24 h periods of exposure. The nanoparticles were more lethal against third and fourth instars of Culex quinquefasciatus larvae at the 24 h period of exposure with lower lethal concentration values (LC50 = 95.9 ppm; LC90 = 337.5 ppm) and (LC50 = 166.4 ppm; LC90 = 438.7 ppm) compared to the plant extract (LC50 = 396.8 ppm; LC90 = 716.8 ppm and LC50 = 448.3 ppm; LC90 = 803.9 ppm, respectively). The antimicrobial properties of the nanoparticles were established against different clinically-isolated microbial strains and compared to that of the plant extract (EO) and standard antimicrobial drugs. The nanoparticles were generally more active than the plant extract against the selected microbial organisms. The Gram-negative bacterial strains Escheerichua coli and Salmonella typhi were more susceptible towards the nanoparticles compared to the Gram-positive strains and the fungal organism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition, Antioxidant and α-Glucosidase-Inhibiting Activities of the Aqueous and Hydroethanolic Extracts of Vaccinium myrtillus Leaves
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 703; doi:10.3390/molecules22050703 -
Abstract
Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) leaf is traditionally used in southeastern Europe for the treatment of diabetes. In the present study, the ability of bilberry leaf extracts to inhibit carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzymes and restore glutathione concentration in Hep G2 cells subjected to glucose-induced oxidative stress was
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Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) leaf is traditionally used in southeastern Europe for the treatment of diabetes. In the present study, the ability of bilberry leaf extracts to inhibit carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzymes and restore glutathione concentration in Hep G2 cells subjected to glucose-induced oxidative stress was investigated. A comprehensive analysis of the antioxidant activity of two bilberry leaf extracts was performed. The aqueous extract showed excellent total antioxidant and chelating activity. Its antioxidant activity in the β-carotene-linoleic acid assay was very good, reaching the activity of the antioxidant standard BHA (93.4 ± 2.3% vs. 95.1 ± 2.4%, respectively). The hydroethanolic extract (ethanol/H2O, 8:2, v/v), on the other hand, was a better radical scavenger and Fe2+ reducing agent. Furthermore, the aqueous extract was able to efficiently increase glutathione concentration in Hep G2 cells subjected to glucose-induced oxidative stress and restore it to the levels observed in non-hyperglycaemic cells. The hydroethanolic extract strongly inhibited α-glucosidase, with the IC50 statistically equal to the antidiabetic drug acarbose (0.29 ± 0.02 mg/mL vs. 0.50 ± 0.01 mg/mL, respectively). Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of quercetin and kaemferol derivatives, as well as chlorogenic and p-coumaric acid. The study results indicate that V. myrtillus leaf may have promising properties as a supporting therapy for diabetes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Generation and Applications of a DNA Aptamer against Gremlin-1
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 706; doi:10.3390/molecules22050706 -
Abstract
Gremlin-1, a highly conserved glycosylated and phosphorylated secretory protein, plays important roles in diverse biological processes including early embryonic development, fibrosis, tumorigenesis, and renal pathophysiology. Aptamers, which are RNA or DNA single-stranded oligonucleotides capable of binding specifically to different targets ranging from small
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Gremlin-1, a highly conserved glycosylated and phosphorylated secretory protein, plays important roles in diverse biological processes including early embryonic development, fibrosis, tumorigenesis, and renal pathophysiology. Aptamers, which are RNA or DNA single-stranded oligonucleotides capable of binding specifically to different targets ranging from small organics to whole cells, have potential applications in targeted imaging, diagnosis and therapy. In this study, we obtained a DNA aptamer against Gremlin-1 (G-ap49) using in vitro Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment (SELEX). Binding assay and dot-blot showed that G-ap49 had high affinity for Gremlin-1. Further experiments indicated that G-ap49 was quite stable in a cell culture system and could be used in South-Western blot analysis, enzyme-linked aptamer sorbent assay (ELASA), and aptamer-based cytochemistry and histochemistry staining to detect Gremlin-1. Moreover, our study demonstrated that G-ap49 is capable of revealing the subcellular localization of Gremlin-1. These data indicate that G-ap49 can be used as an alternative to antibodies in detecting Gremlin-1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Protective Effect of Caffeic Acid Derivatives on tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide-Induced Oxidative Hepato-Toxicity and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in HepG2 Cells
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 702; doi:10.3390/molecules22050702 -
Abstract
Oxidative stress results in structural and functional abnormalities in the liver and is thought to be a crucial factor in liver diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the cytoprotective and antioxidant effects of caffeic acid (CA) derivatives on tert-butyl
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Oxidative stress results in structural and functional abnormalities in the liver and is thought to be a crucial factor in liver diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the cytoprotective and antioxidant effects of caffeic acid (CA) derivatives on tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP)-induced oxidative stress in HepG2 cells. Nine CA derivatives were synthesized, including N-phenylethyl caffeamide (PECA), N-(3-florophen)methyl caffeamide (FMCA), N-(4-methoxy-phen)methyl caffeamide (MPMCA), N-heptyl caffeamide (HCA), N-octyl caffeamide (OCA), octyl caffeate (CAOE), phenpropyl caffeate (CAPPE), phenethyl caffeate (CAPE), and phenmethyl caffeate (CAPME). The results showed that CA and its derivatives significantly inhibited t-BHP-induced cell death of HepG2 cells. The rank order of potency of the CA derivatives for cytoprotection was CAOE > HCA > OCA > FMCA > CAPPE > CAPME > CAPE > PECA > MPMCA > CA. Their cytoprotective activity was associated with lipophilicity. The antioxidant effect of these compounds was supported by the reduction in the levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substrates, a biomarker of lipid peroxidation, in HepG2 cells. Pre-treatment of CA derivatives significantly prevented the depletion of glutathione, the most important water-soluble antioxidant in hepatocytes. Pre-treatment of CA derivatives before t-BHP exposure maintained mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate and ATP content in the injured HepG2 cells. CA derivatives except OCA and HCA significantly suppressed t-BHP-induced hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) protein level. In addition, all of these CA derivatives markedly increased the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) accumulation in the nucleus, indicating that their cytoprotection may be mediated by the activation of Nrf2. Our results suggest that CA derivatives might be a hepatoprotective agent against oxidative stress. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Enhancement of Photocatalytic Disinfection on Aligned TiO2 and Nitrogen Doped TiO2 Nanotubes
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 704; doi:10.3390/molecules22050704 -
Abstract
TiO2 photocatalysis is considered as an alternative to conventional disinfection processes for the inactivation of waterborne microorganisms. The efficiency of photocatalysis is limited by charge carrier recombination rates. When the photocatalyst is immobilized on an electrically conducting support, one may assist charge
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TiO2 photocatalysis is considered as an alternative to conventional disinfection processes for the inactivation of waterborne microorganisms. The efficiency of photocatalysis is limited by charge carrier recombination rates. When the photocatalyst is immobilized on an electrically conducting support, one may assist charge separation by the application of an external electrical bias. The aim of this work was to study electrochemically assisted photocatalysis with nitrogen doped titania photoanodes under visible and UV-visible irradiation for the inactivation of Escherichia coli. Aligned TiO2 nanotubes were synthesized (TiO2-NT) by anodizing Ti foil. Nanoparticulate titania films were made on Ti foil by electrophoretic coating (P25 TiO2). N-doped titania nanotubes and N,F co-doped titania films were also prepared with the aim of extending the active spectrum into the visible. Electrochemically assisted photocatalysis gave higher disinfection efficiency in comparison to photocatalysis (electrode at open circuit) for all materials tested. It is proposed that electrostatic attraction of negatively charged bacteria to the positively biased photoanodes leads to the enhancement observed. The N-doped TiO2 nanotube electrode gave the most efficient electrochemically assisted photocatalytic inactivation of bacteria under UV-Vis irradiation but no inactivation of bacteria was observed under visible only irradiation. The visible light photocurrent was only a fraction (2%) of the UV response. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Base-Promoted Synthesis of β-Substituted-Tryptophans via a Simple and Convenient Three-Component Condensation of Nickel(II) Glycinate
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 695; doi:10.3390/molecules22050695 -
Abstract A three-component reaction of nickel(II) glycinate was conducted for the convenient synthesis of β-substituted-tryptophans. The reaction worked smoothly under mild conditions and the procedure was simple and easy to handle. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Compounds with Tumor–Cell Proliferation Inhibition Activity from Mushroom (Phellinus baumii) Mycelia Produced by Solid-State Fermentation
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 698; doi:10.3390/molecules22050698 -
Abstract
The inhibition of tumor-cell proliferationbyan organicsolvent extract from the solid-state fermentation of Phellinus baumii mycelia inoculated in rice medium was investigated in vitro. The active compounds inhibiting tumor-cell proliferation were characterized. Results revealed that all (petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and butanol) fractions
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The inhibition of tumor-cell proliferationbyan organicsolvent extract from the solid-state fermentation of Phellinus baumii mycelia inoculated in rice medium was investigated in vitro. The active compounds inhibiting tumor-cell proliferation were characterized. Results revealed that all (petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and butanol) fractions inhibited tumor-cell proliferation in a dose-dependent fashion. The ethyl acetate extract had the highest inhibitory effecton tumor-cell proliferation, and the butanol fraction had the lowest. Six compounds were isolated and purified from the ethyl acetate extract of P. baumii mycelia by the tandem application of silica-gel column chromatography (SGCC), high-speed countercurrent chromatography (HSCCC), and preparative HPLC. These compounds were identified by NMR and electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) spectroscopic methods as ergosterol (RF1), ergosta-7,22-dien-3β-yl pentadecanoate (RF3), 3,4-dihydroxy benzaldehyde(RF6), inoscavinA (RF7), baicalein(RF10), and 24-ethylcholesta-5,22-dien-3β-ol (RF13). To further clarify the activity of these compounds, the cell-proliferation-inhibition tests of these compounds on various tumor cells were carried out and evaluatedin vitro. Results suggested that compounds RF6, RF7, and RF10 had potent inhibition effects on the proliferation of a series of tumor cell lines, including K562, L1210, SW620, HepG2, LNCaP, and MCF-7cells. These findings indicated that P. baumii mycelia produced by solid-state fermentation in rice canbe used to obtain active compounds with the ability to inhibittumor-cell proliferation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Increased Understanding of Enolate Additions under Mechanochemical Conditions
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 696; doi:10.3390/molecules22050696 -
Abstract
Very little is known about enolate addition chemistry under solver-free mechanochemical conditions. In this report, we investigated the ability to selectively form products arising from the primary, secondary, and tertiary enolates under solvent-free conditions. Using potassium tert-butoxide as the base and primary,
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Very little is known about enolate addition chemistry under solver-free mechanochemical conditions. In this report, we investigated the ability to selectively form products arising from the primary, secondary, and tertiary enolates under solvent-free conditions. Using potassium tert-butoxide as the base and primary, secondary, and tertiary electrophiles, we were able to generate various enolate addition products including, 1,3,3,3-tetraphenyl-2,2-dimethyl-1-propanone; a molecule we did not observe under traditional solution-based conditions. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Innovative “Green” and Novel Strategies for the Extraction of Bioactive Added Value Compounds from Citrus Wastes—A Review
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 680; doi:10.3390/molecules22050680 -
Abstract
Citrus is a major processed crop that results in large quantities of wastes and by-products rich in various bioactive compounds such as pectins, water soluble and insoluble antioxidants and essential oils. While some of those wastes are currently valorised by various technologies (yet
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Citrus is a major processed crop that results in large quantities of wastes and by-products rich in various bioactive compounds such as pectins, water soluble and insoluble antioxidants and essential oils. While some of those wastes are currently valorised by various technologies (yet most are discarded or used for feed), effective, non-toxic and profitable extraction strategies could further significantly promote the valorisation and provide both increased profits and high quality bioactives. The present review will describe and summarize the latest works concerning novel and greener methods for valorisation of citrus by-products. The outcomes and effectiveness of those technologies such as microwaves, ultrasound, pulsed electric fields and high pressure is compared both to conventional valorisation technologies and between the novel technologies themselves in order to highlight the advantages and potential scalability of these so-called “enabling technologies”. In many cases the reported novel technologies can enable a valorisation extraction process that is “greener” compared to the conventional technique due to a lower energy consumption and reduced utilization of toxic solvents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Formulation, Characterization and Properties of Hemp Seed Oil and Its Emulsions
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 700; doi:10.3390/molecules22050700 -
Abstract
The formulation, characterization, and anticipated antibacterial properties of hemp seed oil and its emulsions were investigated. The oil obtained from the seeds of Cannabis sativa L. in refined and unrefined form was characterized using iodine, saponification, acid values, and gas chromatography, and was
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The formulation, characterization, and anticipated antibacterial properties of hemp seed oil and its emulsions were investigated. The oil obtained from the seeds of Cannabis sativa L. in refined and unrefined form was characterized using iodine, saponification, acid values, and gas chromatography, and was employed for the preparation of stable oil-in-water emulsions. The emulsions were prepared using pairs of non-ionic surfactants (Tween, Span). The effects of the emulsification method (spontaneous emulsification vs. high-intensity stirring), hydrophilic lipophilic balance (HLB), type and concentration of surfactant, and oil type on the size and distribution of the emulsion particles were investigated. It was found that the ability to form stable emulsions with small, initial particle sizes is primarily dependent on the given method of preparation and the HLB value. The most efficient method of emulsification that afforded the best emulsions with the smallest particles (151 ± 1 nm) comprised the high-energy method, and emulsions stable over the long-term were observed at HBL 9 with 10 wt % concentration of surfactants. Under high-intensity emulsification, refined and unrefined oils performed similarly. The oils as well as their emulsions were tested against the growth of selected bacteria using the disk diffusion and broth microdilution methods. The antibacterial effect of hemp seed oil was documented against Micrococcus luteus and Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus. The formulated emulsions did not exhibit the antibacterial activity that had been anticipated. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue “Structure–Activity Relationship of Natural Products”
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 697; doi:10.3390/molecules22050697 -
Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of Gibberellic Acid Derivatives and Their Effects on Plant Growth
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 694; doi:10.3390/molecules22050694 -
Abstract
A series of novel C-3-OH substituted gibberellin derivatives bearing an amide group were designed and synthesized from the natural product gibberellic acid (GA3). Their activities on the plant growth regulation of rice and Arabidopsis were evaluated in vivo. Among these compounds,
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A series of novel C-3-OH substituted gibberellin derivatives bearing an amide group were designed and synthesized from the natural product gibberellic acid (GA3). Their activities on the plant growth regulation of rice and Arabidopsis were evaluated in vivo. Among these compounds, 10d and 10f exhibited appreciable inhibitory activities on rice (48.6% at 100 μmol/L) and Arabidopsis (41.4% at 100 μmol/L), respectively. These results provide new insights into the design and synthesis of potential plant growth regulators. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of UHPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS to Identify Multiple Constituents in Processed Products of the Herbal Medicine Ligustri Lucidi Fructus
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 689; doi:10.3390/molecules22050689 -
Abstract
Ligustri Lucidi Fructus (LLF), the fruit of Ligustrum lucidum Ait. (Oleaceae), has been used as a common herbal medicine in clinical practice in China for nearly 2000 years. In most cases, LLF is prescribed in decoctions in the form of processed products rather
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Ligustri Lucidi Fructus (LLF), the fruit of Ligustrum lucidum Ait. (Oleaceae), has been used as a common herbal medicine in clinical practice in China for nearly 2000 years. In most cases, LLF is prescribed in decoctions in the form of processed products rather than crude drugs. In this study, an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization-quadrupole-time of flight-mass spectrometry (UHPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS) method was established for rapid separation and identification of multiple constituents in the 80% methanol extract of processed-LLF. A total of 50 compounds (one phenylethanoid, seven phenylethanoid glycosides, seven flavonoids, 25 iridoids, nine triterpenoids and one cyclohexanecarboxylic acid) were either unambiguously identified or tentatively characterized with the aid of authentic standards or published data. Luteolin-7-O-rutinoside, oleoside and secologanoside were detected in LLF for the first time. This study enriches the chemical profiling of processed-LLF and could provide valuable information for the quality control and further investigation of processed-LLF and crude LLF. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantification of a Novel Photosensitizer of Chlorin e6-C15-Monomethyl Ester in Beagle Dog Plasma Using HPLC: Application to Pharmacokinetic Studies
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 693; doi:10.3390/molecules22050693 -
Abstract
Chlorin e6-C15-monomethyl ester (CMME) is a novel photosensitizer, which is synthetized from the degradation products of silkworm excrement. Preclinical studies on the promising photosensitizer CMME are necessary to determine its therapeutic efficacy and druglikeness. A high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection (HPLC–UV) method
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Chlorin e6-C15-monomethyl ester (CMME) is a novel photosensitizer, which is synthetized from the degradation products of silkworm excrement. Preclinical studies on the promising photosensitizer CMME are necessary to determine its therapeutic efficacy and druglikeness. A high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection (HPLC–UV) method was established for the determination of CMME in beagle dog plasma. The sample preparation involved a protein-precipitation method with acetonitrile after the addition of tanshinone IIA as an internal standard (IS). CMME and the IS were separated on a Diamonsil C18 (2) column (100 mm × 4.6 mm, 5 μm) with a isocratic system of methanol–water containing 20 mM ammonium acetate with 0.3% glacial acetic acid (85:15, v/v). The flow rate was 1.0 mL/min with UV detection using a wavelength of 400 nm. The method was sensitive enough with a lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ) of 0.05 μg/mL and had a good linearity (r2 > 0.999) over the linear range of 0.05–5.00 μg/mL. The intra-day and inter-day accuracies ranged from 98.5% to 102.8% and precisions (RSD) were within 6.8%. The validated method was successfully applied to the pharmacokinetic study of CMME after intravenous administration of single and multiple doses in beagle dogs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
C-C Coupling Reactions between Benzofurazan Derivatives and 1,3-Diaminobenzenes
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 684; doi:10.3390/molecules22050684 -
Abstract
Aromatic substitution reactions between 1,3-diaminobenzene and chloronitrobenzofurazan derivatives have never been reported so far. The aim of the current study was to synthesize novel electron-donor and -acceptor architectures of interest in applied fields and to provide new insights on the nucleophilic behavior of
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Aromatic substitution reactions between 1,3-diaminobenzene and chloronitrobenzofurazan derivatives have never been reported so far. The aim of the current study was to synthesize novel electron-donor and -acceptor architectures of interest in applied fields and to provide new insights on the nucleophilic behavior of 1,3-diaminobenzenes. The reaction of 1,3-dipiperidinyl-, 1,3-dimorpholinyl-, 1,3-dipyrrolidinyl-, or 1,3-dimethylamino-benzene with 7-chloro-4,6-dinitrobenzofuroxan or with a series of chloro-nitrobenzofurazans has been carried out in mild conditions. The partners reactivity has been investigated by monitoring the reaction course through 1H-NMR spectroscopy. The reaction occurred in a regioselective way, providing in good yields the novel C-C coupling compounds. Indications on the reactivity behavior for the studied nucleophiles have been relieved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Discovery of Farnesoid X Receptor Antagonists Based on a Library of Oleanolic Acid 3-O-Esters through Diverse Substituent Design and Molecular Docking Methods
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 690; doi:10.3390/molecules22050690 -
Abstract
The pentacyclic triterpene oleanolic acid (OA, 1) with known farnesoid X receptor (FXR) modulatory activity was modified at its C-3 position to find new FXR-interacting agents. A diverse substitution library of OA derivatives was constructed in silico through a 2D fingerprint similarity
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The pentacyclic triterpene oleanolic acid (OA, 1) with known farnesoid X receptor (FXR) modulatory activity was modified at its C-3 position to find new FXR-interacting agents. A diverse substitution library of OA derivatives was constructed in silico through a 2D fingerprint similarity cluster strategy. With further docking analysis, four top-scored OA 3-O-ester derivatives were selected for synthesis. The bioassay results indicated that all four compounds 3 inhibited chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA)-induced FXR transactivation in a concentration-dependent mode. Among them 3b and 3d are more active than the parent compound OA. A molecular simulation study was performed to attempt to explain the structure-activity relationship (SAR) and the antagonistic action. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on semi-synthetic pentacyclic triterpenoids with FXR-modulatory activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bioactive Components from Qingwen Baidu Decoction against LPS-Induced Acute Lung Injury in Rats
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 692; doi:10.3390/molecules22050692 -
Abstract
Qingwen Baidu Decoction (QBD) is an extraordinarily “cold” formula. It was traditionally used to cure epidemic hemorrhagic fever, intestinal typhoid fever, influenza, sepsis and so on. The purpose of this study was to discover relationships between the change of the constituents in different
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Qingwen Baidu Decoction (QBD) is an extraordinarily “cold” formula. It was traditionally used to cure epidemic hemorrhagic fever, intestinal typhoid fever, influenza, sepsis and so on. The purpose of this study was to discover relationships between the change of the constituents in different extracts of QBD and the pharmacological effect in a rat model of acute lung injury (ALI) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The study aimed to discover the changes in constituents of different QBD extracts and the pharmacological effects on acute lung injury (ALI) induced by LPS. The results demonstrated that high dose and middle dose of QBD had significantly potent anti-inflammatory effects and reduced pulmonary edema caused by ALI in rats (p < 0.05). To explore the underlying constituents of QBD, we assessed its influence of six different QBD extracts on ALI and analyzed the different constituents in the corresponding HPLC chromatograms by a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) method. The results showed that the pharmacological effect of QBD was related to the polarity of its extracts, and the medium polarity extracts E2 and E5 in particular displayed much better protective effects against ALI than other groups. Moreover, HPLC-DAD-ESI-MSn and PCA analysis showed that verbascoside and angoroside C played a key role in reducing pulmonary edema. In addition, the current study revealed that ethyl gallate, pentagalloylglucose, galloyl paeoniflorin, mudanpioside C and harpagoside can treat ALI mainly by reducing the total cells and infiltration of activated polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anthocyanin Profiles in Flowers of Grape Hyacinth
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 688; doi:10.3390/molecules22050688 -
Abstract
Grape hyacinth (Muscari spp.) is a popular ornamental bulbous perennial famous for its blue flowers. To understand the chemical basis of the rich blue colors in this plant, anthocyanin profiles of six blue flowering grape hyacinths as well as one pink and
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Grape hyacinth (Muscari spp.) is a popular ornamental bulbous perennial famous for its blue flowers. To understand the chemical basis of the rich blue colors in this plant, anthocyanin profiles of six blue flowering grape hyacinths as well as one pink and one white cultivar were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Along with two known compounds, eight putative anthocyanins were identified in the tepals of grape hyacinth for the first time. The accumulation and distribution of anthocyanins in the plant showed significant cultivar and flower development specificity. Violet-blue flowers mainly contained simple delphinidin-type anthocyanins bearing one or two methyl-groups but no acyl groups, whereas white and pink flowers synthesised more complex pelargonidin/cyanidin-derivatives with acyl-moieties but no methyl-groups. The results partially reveal why solid blue, orange or red flowers are rare in this plant in nature. In addition, pelargonidin-type anthocyanins were found for the first time in the genus, bringing more opportunities in terms of breeding of flower color in grape hyacinth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Deoxynivalenol on Selected Populations of Immunocompetent Cells in Porcine Blood—A Preliminary Study
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 691; doi:10.3390/molecules22050691 -
Abstract
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most prevalent mycotoxins in Europe. Pigs are an animal species that is most susceptible to this mycotoxin. Deoxynivalenol causes significant losses in pig production by lowering feed intake, decreasing daily weight gains, disrupting immune responses, and increasing
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Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most prevalent mycotoxins in Europe. Pigs are an animal species that is most susceptible to this mycotoxin. Deoxynivalenol causes significant losses in pig production by lowering feed intake, decreasing daily weight gains, disrupting immune responses, and increasing susceptibility to diseases. The aim of this experiment was to determine the influence of feed contaminated with DON at concentrations insignificantly higher than recommended by the European Commission (900 µg/kg). The experimental feed contained 1008 μg DON/kg. The experiment was performed on eight weaners from the same litter. The animals were randomly divided into two groups: an experimental group (M, n = 4) fed contaminated feed and a control group (C, n = 4) administered feed free of mycotoxins. The experiment lasted for six weeks, and peripheral blood samples were collected from the animals for analyses of selected morphological parameters and changes in the percentages of CD4+8, CD48+, and CD4+8+ lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells (APC) with CD14+172+ (monocytes), CD172ahigh414 (conventional dendritic cells, cDC), and CD172adim4+14 (plasmacytoid dendritic cells, pDC) phenotypes. The morphological parameters of porcine blood samples were determined by flow cytometry with non-fluorescent particle-size calibration standards, and no differences were observed between groups M and C. An immunophenotyping analysis of lymphocytes and dendritic cells (DC) revealed an increase in the percentage of CD4+8, CD172ahigh414, and CD172adim4+14 cells, and a decrease in the number of CD48+ cells in group M. The results of this experiment suggest that prolonged exposure to low doses of DON can change the proportions of immunocompetent cells (a shift towards humoral immunity), without affecting their overall counts. Full article
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