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Special Issue "Natural Products and Chronic Diseases"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dong-Kug Choi

Department of Biotechnology, College of Biomedical and Health Science, Konkuk University 380-701, Republic of Korea
E-Mail
Interests: chronic disease; inflammation; natural bioactive compounds; drug discovery
Guest Editor
Dr. Palanivel Ganesan

Nanotechnology Research Center, Department of Applied Life Science, College of Biomedical and Health Science, Konkuk University, 380-701, Republic of Korea
E-Mail
Interests: phyto bioactive compounds; nano systems; functional foods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural products from various sources include plants, animal, microbes, and sponges, and play a critical role in prevention and treatment of various chronic diseases. Fundamental risk factors responsible for chronic diseases are mainly genetics and social inequalities, lesser physical activity, and lack of approach to preventive care. Currently, diverse treatment moieties exist in the market to prevent and alleviate the chronic diseases, though, long-term use of these moieties will lead the various secondary complications associated with chronic diseases. Biomedical researchers have to find effective therapeutic agents from natural products with minimal side effects. It has been proven that evidence-based interventions, which include plant extracts, and marine resources, are active in the changing of factors that can cause chronic diseases and successively prevent disease. Recently, development of nanosized natural bioactive compounds is in focus in order to enhance the delivery of the compounds to the target site without much change or loss in their activities and enhanced protection against various chronic diseases.

In this Special Issue, we are inviting leading authors and researchers to submit an original research article or review or short report manuscripts that deal with the outlooks of natural products derived compounds for chronic diseases.

Prof. Dong-Kug Choi
Dr. Palanivel Ganesan
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. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1800 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

  • natural products
  • phytomedicine
  • chronic diseases
  • bioactive compounds
  • drug discovery and development
  • functional food

Published Papers (32 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Lanosteryl Triterpene from Protorhus longifolia Improves Glucose Tolerance and Pancreatic Beta Cell Ultrastructure in Type 2 Diabetic Rats
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1252; doi:10.3390/molecules22081252
Received: 21 June 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
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Abstract
Type 2 diabetes remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Persistent hyperglycemia within a diabetic state is implicated in the generation of oxidative stress and aggravated inflammation that is responsible for accelerated modification of pancreatic beta cell structure. Here we investigated
[...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Persistent hyperglycemia within a diabetic state is implicated in the generation of oxidative stress and aggravated inflammation that is responsible for accelerated modification of pancreatic beta cell structure. Here we investigated whether a lanosteryl triterpene, methyl-3β-hydroxylanosta-9,24-dien-21-oate (RA-3), isolated from Protorhus longifolia can improve glucose tolerance and pancreatic beta cell ultrastructure by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in high fat diet and streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetes in rats. In addition to impaired glucose tolerance, the untreated diabetic rats showed increased fasting plasma glucose and C-peptide levels. These untreated diabetic rats further demonstrated raised cholesterol, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and lipid peroxidation levels as well as a destroyed beta cell ultrastructure. Treatment with RA-3 was as effective as metformin in improving glucose tolerance and antioxidant effect in the diabetic rats. Interestingly, RA-3 displayed a slightly more enhanced effect than metformin in reducing elevated IL-6 levels and in improving beta cell ultrastructure. Although the involved molecular mechanisms remain to be established, RA-3 demonstrates a strong potential to improve pancreatic beta cell ultrastructure by attenuating impaired glucose tolerance, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Protective Effect of Quercetin against Oxidative Stress-Induced Cytotoxicity in Rat Pheochromocytoma (PC-12) Cells
Molecules 2017, 22(7), 1122; doi:10.3390/molecules22071122
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Abstract
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many kinds of neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Parkinson’s disease. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found ubiquitously in fruits and vegetables, and has antioxidative activity. However, the underlying mechanism of the antioxidative effect of quercetin in neurodegenerative
[...] Read more.
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many kinds of neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Parkinson’s disease. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found ubiquitously in fruits and vegetables, and has antioxidative activity. However, the underlying mechanism of the antioxidative effect of quercetin in neurodegenerative diseases has not been well explored. Here, we investigated the antioxidative effect and underlying molecular mechanisms of quercetin on PC-12 cells. We found that PC-12 cells pretreated with quercetin exhibited an increased cell viability and reduced lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release when exposed to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The significantly-alleviated intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA), and lipoperoxidation of the cell membrane of PC-12 cells induced by H2O2 were observed in the quercetin pretreated group. Furthermore, quercetin pretreatment markedly reduced the apoptosis of PC-12 cells and hippocampal neurons. The inductions of antioxidant enzyme catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in PC-12 cells exposed to H2O2 were significantly reduced by preatment with quercetin. In addition, quercetin pretreatment significantly increased Bcl-2 expression, and reduced Bax, cleaved caspase-3 and p53 expressions. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that quercetin exhibited a protective effect against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in PC-12 cells. Our findings suggested that quercetin may be developed as a novel therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative diseases induced by oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Marine Microalga Diacronema vlkianum Biomass Fatty Acid Assimilation in Wistar Rats
Molecules 2017, 22(7), 1097; doi:10.3390/molecules22071097
Received: 19 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
Diacronema vlkianum is a marine microalgae for which supposed health promoting effects have been claimed based on its phytochemical composition. The potential use of its biomass as health ingredient, including detox-shakes, and the lack of bioavailability studies were the main concerns. In order
[...] Read more.
Diacronema vlkianum is a marine microalgae for which supposed health promoting effects have been claimed based on its phytochemical composition. The potential use of its biomass as health ingredient, including detox-shakes, and the lack of bioavailability studies were the main concerns. In order to evaluate the microalgae-biomass assimilation and its health-benefits, single-dose (CD1-mice) studies were followed by 66-days repeated-dose study in Wistar rats with the highest tested single-dose of microalgae equivalent to 101 mg/kg eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid (EPA+DHA). Microalgae-supplementation modulated EPA and docosapentaenoic acid enrichment at arachidonic acid content expenditure in erythrocytes and liver, while increasing EPA content of heart and adipose tissues of rats. Those fatty acid (FA) changes confirmed the D. vlkianum-biomass FA assimilation. The principal component analyses discriminated brain from other tissues, which formed two other groups (erythrocytes, liver, and heart separated from kidney and adipose tissues), pointing to a distinct signature of FA deposition for the brain and for the other organs. The improved serum lipid profile, omega-3 index and erythrocyte plasticity support the cardiovascular benefits of D. vlkianum. These results bolster the potential of D. vlkianum-biomass to become a “heart-healthy” food supplement providing a safe and renewable source of bioavailable omega-3 FA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Total Flavonoids of Drynariae Rhizoma Prevent Bone Loss Induced by Hindlimb Unloading in Rats
Molecules 2017, 22(7), 1033; doi:10.3390/molecules22071033
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
Drynariae Rhizoma is a kidney-tonifying herb that has a long history in clinical practice for the treatment of bone fractures and joint diseases in China. Flavonoids are considered to be its major active ingredients and are reported to ease bone loss in ovariectomized
[...] Read more.
Drynariae Rhizoma is a kidney-tonifying herb that has a long history in clinical practice for the treatment of bone fractures and joint diseases in China. Flavonoids are considered to be its major active ingredients and are reported to ease bone loss in ovariectomized rats. However, the beneficial effects of the total flavonoids of Drynariae Rhizoma on osteoporosis caused by microgravity or mechanical inactivity remain unknown. This study assessed the effects of total Drynariae Rhizoma flavonoids (DRTF, Qihuang, Beijing, China, national medicine permit No. Z20030007, number of production: 04080081, content of DRTF ≥80%) against bone loss induced by simulated microgravity. A hindlimb unloading tail-suspended rat model was established to determine the effect of DRTF on bone mineral density (BMD), biomechanical strength and trabecular bone microarchitecture. Twenty-eight male Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into four groups: the baseline, control, hindlimb unloading with vehicle (HLU), and hindlimb unloading treated with DRTF (HLU–DRTF, 75 mg/kg/day) groups. Oral DRTF was administered for 4 weeks. The underlying mechanisms of the DRTF actions on disuse-induced osteoporosis are discussed. The results showed that DRTF treatment significantly increased the BMD and mechanical strength of tail-suspended rats. Enhanced bone turnover markers with HLU treatment were attenuated by DRTF administration. Deterioration of trabecular bone induced by HLU was prevented through elevated bone volume/tissue volume (BV/TV), trabecular number (Tb. N), trabecular thickness (Tb. Th) and decreased trabecular separation (Tb. Sp). The present study provides the first evidence that DRTF prevents bone loss induced by HLU treatment, indicating its potential application in the treatment of disuse-induced osteoporosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Dimensional Spectrum-Effect Relationship of the Impact of Chinese Herbal Formula Lichong Shengsui Yin on Ovarian Cancer
Molecules 2017, 22(6), 979; doi:10.3390/molecules22060979
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 3 June 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
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Abstract
Lichong Shengsui Yin (LCSSY) is an effective and classic compound prescription of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs) used for the treatment of ovarian cancer. To investigate its pharmacodynamic basis for treating ovarian cancer, the multi-dimensional spectrum-effect relationship was determined. Four compositions (I to IV)
[...] Read more.
Lichong Shengsui Yin (LCSSY) is an effective and classic compound prescription of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs) used for the treatment of ovarian cancer. To investigate its pharmacodynamic basis for treating ovarian cancer, the multi-dimensional spectrum-effect relationship was determined. Four compositions (I to IV) were obtained by extracting LCSSY successively with supercritical CO2 fluid extraction, 75% ethanol reflux extraction, and the water extraction-ethanol precipitation method. Nine samples for pharmacological evaluation and fingerprint analysis were prepared by changing the content of the four compositions. The specific proportions of the four compositions were designed according to a four-factor, three-level L9(34) orthogonal test. The pharmacological evaluation included in vitro tumor inhibition experiments and the survival extension rate in tumor-bearing nude mice. The fingerprint analyzed by chromatographic condition I (high-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detec tor,HPLC-PDA) identified 19 common peaks. High-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detector-Evaporative Light-scattering Detector (HPLC-PDA-ELSD )hyphenated techniques were used to compensate for the use of a single detector, and the fingerprint analyzed by chromatographic condition II identified 28 common peaks in PDA and 23 common peaks in ELSD. Furthermore, multiple statistical analyses were utilized to calculate the relationships between the peaks and the pharmacological results. The union of the regression and the correlation analysis results were the peaks of X5, X9, X11, X12, X16, X18, Y5, Y8, Y12, Y14, Y20, Z4, Z5, Z6, and Z8. The intersection of the regression and the correlation analysis results were the peaks of X11, X12, X16, X18, Y5, Y12, and Z5. The correlated peaks were assigned by comparing the fingerprints with the negative control samples and reference standard samples, and identifying the structure using high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry detector(HPLC-MS). The results suggested that the pharmacodynamic basis of LCSSY on anti-ovarian cancer activities were germacrone, furandiene, β-elemene, calycosin-7-glucoside, ononin, epimedin B, icariin, ginsenoside Rc, astragaloside, ginsenoside Rd, astragaloside II, and some unknown components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties of Peptides Released from β-Lactoglobulin by High Hydrostatic Pressure-Assisted Enzymatic Hydrolysis
Molecules 2017, 22(6), 949; doi:10.3390/molecules22060949
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
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Abstract
Background: β-lactoglobulin hydrolysates (BLGH) have shown antioxidant, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, and opioid activity. In the current study, an innovative combination of high hydrostatic pressure and enzymatic hydrolysis (HHP–EH) was used to increase the yield of short bioactive peptides, and evaluate the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
[...] Read more.
Background: β-lactoglobulin hydrolysates (BLGH) have shown antioxidant, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, and opioid activity. In the current study, an innovative combination of high hydrostatic pressure and enzymatic hydrolysis (HHP–EH) was used to increase the yield of short bioactive peptides, and evaluate the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the BLGH produced by the HHP–EH process. Method: BLG was enzymatically hydrolyzed by different proteases at an enzyme-to-substrate ratio of 1:100 under HHP (100 MPa) and compared with hydrolysates obtained under atmospheric pressure (AP-EH at 0.1 MPa). The degree of hydrolysis (DH), molecular weight distribution, and the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of hydrolysates in chemical and cellular models were evaluated. Results: BLGH obtained under HHP–EH showed higher DH than the hydrolysates obtained under AP-EH. Free radical scavenging and the reducing capacity were also significantly stronger in HHP-BLGH compared to AP-BLGH. The BLGH produced by alcalase (Alc) (BLG-Alc) showed significantly higher antioxidant properties among the six enzymes examined in this study. The anti-inflammatory properties of BLG-HHP-Alc were observed in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophage cells by a lower level of nitric oxide production and the suppression of the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Peptide sequencing revealed that 38% of the amino acids in BLG-HHP-Alc are hydrophobic and aromatic residues, which contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties. Conclusions: Enzymatic hydrolysis of BLG under HHP produces a higher yield of short bioactive peptides with potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Crude Ecklonia cava Flake Extracts Attenuate Inflammation through the Regulation of TLR4 Signaling Pathway in LPS-Induced RAW264.7 Cells
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 777; doi:10.3390/molecules22050777
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 10 May 2017
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Abstract
We investigated the beneficial effects of the crude Ecklonia cava flake (CEF), which is a residual product after polyphenol extraction from Ecklonia cava, on inflammation in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. A group of five different CEF extracts was obtained by a preparation process
[...] Read more.
We investigated the beneficial effects of the crude Ecklonia cava flake (CEF), which is a residual product after polyphenol extraction from Ecklonia cava, on inflammation in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. A group of five different CEF extracts was obtained by a preparation process using water, hydrochloric acid or temperature. We observed that large-size (>19 kDa) CEF extract, which was extracted with water at 95 °C (CEF-W, 95 °C), suppressed the production of inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting its mRNA expression in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells. TLR4 signaling involvements were negatively regulated by CEF-W, 95 °C. CEF-W, 95 °C repressed the translocation of NF-κB from cytoplasm into nucleus in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells. CEF-W, 95 °C attenuated the phosphorylation of TBK1 and IRF3 by inhibiting the phosphorylation of ERK. Taken together, we demonstrated that large-size CEF-W, 95 °C may act as a negative regulator of inflammation through the suppression of TLR4 signaling constituents in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Modulation of HO-1 by Ferulic Acid Attenuates Adipocyte Differentiation in 3T3-L1 Cells
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 745; doi:10.3390/molecules22050745
Received: 11 March 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
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Abstract
Ferulic acid (FA) is phenolic compound found in fruits. Many studies have reported that FA has diverse therapeutic effects against metabolic diseases. However, the mechanism by which FA modulates adipogenesis via the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) implicated in suppression of adipocyte differentiation
[...] Read more.
Ferulic acid (FA) is phenolic compound found in fruits. Many studies have reported that FA has diverse therapeutic effects against metabolic diseases. However, the mechanism by which FA modulates adipogenesis via the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) implicated in suppression of adipocyte differentiation is not fully understood. We investigated whether HO-1 can be activated by FA and suppress adipogenic factors in 3T3-L1. Our results showed that FA suppresses triglyceride-synthesizing enzymes, fatty acid synthase (FASN) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). We observed that the expression of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) were suppressed by FA. In addition, HO-1 inhibitor stimulated lipid accumulation, while FA attenuated lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 treated with HO-1 inhibitor. We also observed that the expression of HO-1 had the same tendency as C/EBP homologous protein 10 (CHOP10) during the mitotic clonal expansion (MCE) of adipogenesis. We next employed siRNA against HO-1 to clarify whether HO-1 regulates CHOP10. The results indicated that CHOP10 is downstream of HO-1. Furthermore, FA-mediated HO-1/CHOP10 axis activation prevented the initiation of MCE. Therefore, we demonstrated that FA is a positive regulator of HO-1 in 3T3-L1, and may be an effective bioactive compound to reduce adipocyte tissue mass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Immune-Stimulatory Effects of Althaea rosea Flower Extracts through the MAPK Signaling Pathway in RAW264.7 Cells
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 679; doi:10.3390/molecules22050679
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
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Abstract
Althaea rosea (Linn.) is a medicinal plant from China and Korea that has been traditionally used to control inflammation, to stop bedwetting and as a mouthwash in cases of bleeding gums. Its flowers are employed medicinally for their emollient, demulcent and diuretic properties,
[...] Read more.
Althaea rosea (Linn.) is a medicinal plant from China and Korea that has been traditionally used to control inflammation, to stop bedwetting and as a mouthwash in cases of bleeding gums. Its flowers are employed medicinally for their emollient, demulcent and diuretic properties, which make them useful in chest complaints. Furthermore, a flower extract decoction is used to improve blood circulation, for the treatment of constipation, dysmenorrhoea, haemorrhages, etc. However, the possible mechanisms of the immune-stimulatory effect remains to be elucidated. Therefore, we investigated the role of Althaea rosea flower (ARF) extracts in the immune-stimulatory effect of macrophages and the underlying mechanisms of action. ARF water extract (ARFW) could dose-dependently increase NO production and cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α). We also found that ARFW significantly increased the expression of iNOS and COX-2 proteins in RAW264.7 cells. Consistent with these results, MAPK protein (JNK, ERK, p38) expression levels were induced after treatment with ARFW. Additionally, ARFW showed a marked increase in the phosphorylation level of IκBα and subsequent IκBα degradation allowing NF-κB nuclear translocation. These results suggest that the immune-stimulatory effect of A. rosea flower extracts is mediated through the translocation of NF-κB p65 subunit into the nucleus from the cytoplasm and subsequent activation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) and other mediators (iNOS and COX-2), which occurs mainly through MAPK signalling pathway. Thus, we suggest that ARFW could be considered as a potential therapeutic agent useful in the development of immune-stimulatory compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Fraxin Prevents Chemically Induced Hepatotoxicity by Reducing Oxidative Stress
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 587; doi:10.3390/molecules22040587
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
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Abstract
Fraxin isolated from Acer tegmentosum is reported to exert potent anti-oxidative stress action. However, pharmacological activities of fraxin remain to be elucidated. This study investigated the potential hepatoprotective effects of fraxin and the underlying signaling mechanism involved. Treatment with fraxin significantly lowered the
[...] Read more.
Fraxin isolated from Acer tegmentosum is reported to exert potent anti-oxidative stress action. However, pharmacological activities of fraxin remain to be elucidated. This study investigated the potential hepatoprotective effects of fraxin and the underlying signaling mechanism involved. Treatment with fraxin significantly lowered the serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in a CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity rat model. In the fraxin-treated group, glutathione (GSH) significantly increased, while the malondialdehyde (MDA) in the liver significantly decreased. Fraxin also showed radical-scavenging activity. Furthermore, it significantly reduced the t-BHP-induced cytotoxicity and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in Hep G2. Fraxin protected Hep G2 cells through Nrf2 pathway-dependent HO-1 expression. The results of this study indicate that fraxin shows potent hepatoprotective effects in vitro and in vivo, presumably through direct antioxidant activity and the Nrf2-mediated antioxidant enzyme system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Zerumbone Alleviates Neuropathic Pain through the Involvement of l-Arginine-Nitric Oxide-cGMP-K+ ATP Channel Pathways in Chronic Constriction Injury in Mice Model
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 555; doi:10.3390/molecules22040555
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
The present study investigates the involvement of the l-arginine-Nitric Oxide-cGMP-K+ ATP pathways responsible for the action of anti-allodynic and antihyperalgesic activities of zerumbone in chronic constriction injury (CCI) induced neuropathic pain in mice. The role of l-arginine-NO-cGMP-K+ was assessed
[...] Read more.
The present study investigates the involvement of the l-arginine-Nitric Oxide-cGMP-K+ ATP pathways responsible for the action of anti-allodynic and antihyperalgesic activities of zerumbone in chronic constriction injury (CCI) induced neuropathic pain in mice. The role of l-arginine-NO-cGMP-K+ was assessed by the von Frey and the Randall-Selitto tests. Both allodynia and hyperalgesia assessments were carried out on the 14th day post CCI, 30 min after treatments were given for each respective pathway. Anti-allodynic and antihyperalgesic effects of zerumbone (10 mg/kg, i.p) were significantly reversed by the pre-treatment of l-arginine (10 mg/kg), 1H [1,2,4]Oxadiazole[4,3a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ), a soluble guanosyl cyclase blocker (2 mg/kg i.p.) and glibenclamide (ATP-sensitive potassium channel blocker) (10 mg/kg i.p.) (p < 0.05). Taken together, these results indicate that systemic administration of zerumbone produces significant anti-allodynic and antihyperalgesic activities in neuropathic pain in mice possibly due to involvement of the l-arginine-NO-cGMP-PKG-K+ ATP channel pathways in CCI model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Bioassay-Guided Isolation of Anti-Inflammatory Components from the Bulbs of Lilium brownii var. viridulum and Identifying the Underlying Mechanism through Acting on the NF-κB/MAPKs Pathway
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 506; doi:10.3390/molecules22040506
Received: 11 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6049 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The bulbs of Lilium brownii var. viridulum (LB) are commonly used as both traditional Chinese medicines and popular functional food for many centuries in China. Previous studies reported that the extract of lily bulbs exhibited anti-inflammatory activity both in vivo and in vitro,
[...] Read more.
The bulbs of Lilium brownii var. viridulum (LB) are commonly used as both traditional Chinese medicines and popular functional food for many centuries in China. Previous studies reported that the extract of lily bulbs exhibited anti-inflammatory activity both in vivo and in vitro, but its active components and associated molecular mechanisms remain elusive. In the present study, using bioassay-guided isolation method, two phenylpropenoid acylglycerols, 1-O-feruloyl-2-O-p-coumaroylglycerol (1) and 1,3-O-diferuloylglycerol (2), were obtained and identified from the chloroform fraction of LB. Both compounds 1 and 2 significantly decreased the production of nitrite oxide (NO) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated mouse macrophage RAW264.7 cells in a dose-dependent manner with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 9.12 ± 0.72 μM and 12.01 ± 1.07 μM, respectively. They also inhibited the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and several other pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Furthermore, compounds 1 and 2 downregulated the protein levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). They also inhibited the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65 subunit and suppressed mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) pathway. Taken these data together, compounds 1 and 2 exhibited anti-inflammatory activities through acting on the NF-κB and MAPKs pathway. This research provides the first evidence on the major bioactive constituents and related molecular mechanisms of LB as an anti-inflammatory agent. Our findings also advanced the understanding of LB as a traditional herbal medicine for the prevention and treatment of inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Ginkgolic Acid C 17:1, Derived from Ginkgo biloba Leaves, Suppresses Constitutive and Inducible STAT3 Activation through Induction of PTEN and SHP-1 Tyrosine Phosphatase
Molecules 2017, 22(2), 276; doi:10.3390/molecules22020276
Received: 8 November 2016 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
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Abstract
Ginkgolic acid C 17:1 (GAC 17:1) extracted from Ginkgo biloba leaves, has been previously reported to exhibit diverse antitumor effect(s) through modulation of several molecular targets in tumor cells, however the detailed mechanism(s) of its actions still remains to be elucidated. Signal transducer
[...] Read more.
Ginkgolic acid C 17:1 (GAC 17:1) extracted from Ginkgo biloba leaves, has been previously reported to exhibit diverse antitumor effect(s) through modulation of several molecular targets in tumor cells, however the detailed mechanism(s) of its actions still remains to be elucidated. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is an oncogenic transcription factor that regulates various critical functions involved in progression of diverse hematological malignancies, including multiple myeloma, therefore attenuating STAT3 activation may have a potential in cancer therapy. We determined the anti-tumor mechanism of GAC 17:1 with respect to its effect on STAT3 signaling pathway in multiple myeloma cell lines. We found that GAC 17:1 can inhibit constitutive activation of STAT3 through the abrogation of upstream JAK2, Src but not of JAK1 kinases in U266 cells and also found that GAC can suppress IL-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation in MM.1S cells. Treatment of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) inhibitor blocked suppression of STAT3 phosphorylation by GAC 17:1, thereby indicating a critical role for a PTP. We also demonstrate that GAC 17:1 can induce the substantial expression of PTEN and SHP-1 at both protein and mRNA level. Further, deletion of PTEN and SHP-1 genes by siRNA can repress the induction of PTEN and SHP-1, as well as abolished the inhibitory effect of drug on STAT3 phosphorylation. GAC 17:1 down-regulated the expression of STAT3 regulated gene products and induced apoptosis of tumor cells. Overall, GAC 17:1 was found to abrogate STAT3 signaling pathway and thus exert its anticancer effects against multiple myeloma cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle The Transcription Profile Unveils the Cardioprotective Effect of Aspalathin against Lipid Toxicity in an In Vitro H9c2 Model
Molecules 2017, 22(2), 219; doi:10.3390/molecules22020219
Received: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 31 January 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aspalathin, a C-glucosyl dihydrochalcone, has previously been shown to protect cardiomyocytes against hyperglycemia-induced shifts in substrate preference and subsequent apoptosis. However, the precise gene regulatory network remains to be elucidated. To unravel the mechanism and provide insight into this supposition, the direct effect
[...] Read more.
Aspalathin, a C-glucosyl dihydrochalcone, has previously been shown to protect cardiomyocytes against hyperglycemia-induced shifts in substrate preference and subsequent apoptosis. However, the precise gene regulatory network remains to be elucidated. To unravel the mechanism and provide insight into this supposition, the direct effect of aspalathin in an isolated cell-based system, without the influence of any variables, was tested using an H9c2 cardiomyocyte model. Cardiomyocytes were exposed to high glucose (33 mM) for 48 h before post-treatment with or without aspalathin. Thereafter, RNA was extracted and RT2 PCR Profiler Arrays were used to profile the expression of 336 genes. Results showed that, 57 genes were differentially regulated in the high glucose or high glucose and aspalathin treated groups. Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes/Proteins (STRING) analysis revealed lipid metabolism and molecular transport as the biological processes altered after high glucose treatment, followed by inflammation and apoptosis. Aspalathin was able to modulate key regulators associated with lipid metabolism (Adipoq, Apob, CD36, Cpt1, Pparγ, Srebf1/2, Scd1 and Vldlr), insulin resistance (Igf1, Akt1, Pde3 and Map2k1), inflammation (Il3, Il6, Jak2, Lepr, Socs3, and Tnf13) and apoptosis (Bcl2 and Chuk). Collectively, our results suggest that aspalathin could reverse metabolic abnormalities by activating Adipoq while modulating the expression of Pparγ and Srebf1/2, decreasing inflammation via Il6/Jak2 pathway, which together with an observed increased expression of Bcl2 prevents myocardium apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Therapeutic Effect of Cistanoside A on Bone Metabolism of Ovariectomized Mice
Molecules 2017, 22(2), 197; doi:10.3390/molecules22020197
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
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Abstract
Cistanoside A (Cis A), an active phenylethanoid glycoside isolated from Cistanche deserticola Y. C. Ma, has received our attention because of its possible role in the treatment of osteoporosis. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of Cis A on an ovariectomized
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Cistanoside A (Cis A), an active phenylethanoid glycoside isolated from Cistanche deserticola Y. C. Ma, has received our attention because of its possible role in the treatment of osteoporosis. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of Cis A on an ovariectomized (OVX) mice model and investigated its underlying molecular mechanisms of action. After 12 weeks of orally-administrated intervention, Cis A (20, 40 and 80 mg/kg body weight/day) exhibited significant antiosteoporotic effects on OVX mice, evidenced by enhanced bone strength, bone mineral density and improved trabecular bone microarchitecture. Meanwhile, the activities of bone resorption markers, including tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), deoxypyridinoline (DPD) and cathepsin K, were decreased, and the bioactivity of bone formation marker alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was increased. Mechanistically, Cis A inhibited the expression of TNF-receptor associated factor 6 (TRAF6), an upstream molecule that is shared by both nuclear factor kappa-light chain enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathways and subsequently suppressed the levels of receptor activators of nuclear factor kappaB ligand (RANKL), downregulated the expression of NF-κB and upregulated osteoprotegerin (OPG), PI3K and Akt, which means Cis A possessed antiosteoporotic activity in ovariectomized mice via TRAF6-mediated NF-kappaB inactivation and PI3K/Akt activation. Put together, we present novel findings that Cis A, by downregulating TRAF6, coordinates the inhibition of NF-κB and stimulation of PI3K/Akt pathways to promote bone formation and prevent bone resorption. These data demonstrated the potential of Cis A as a promising agent for the treatment of osteoporosis disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Chitosan Cross-linking on the Properties of Alginate Microparticles with Metformin Hydrochloride—In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 182; doi:10.3390/molecules22010182
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
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Abstract
Sodium alginate is a polymer with unique ability to gel with different cross-linking agents in result of ionic and electrostatic interactions. Chitosan cross-linked alginate provides improvement of swelling and mucoadhesive properties and might be used to design sustained release dosage forms. Therefore, the
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Sodium alginate is a polymer with unique ability to gel with different cross-linking agents in result of ionic and electrostatic interactions. Chitosan cross-linked alginate provides improvement of swelling and mucoadhesive properties and might be used to design sustained release dosage forms. Therefore, the aim of this research was to develop and evaluate possibility of preparing chitosan cross-linked alginate microparticles containing metformin hydrochloride by the spray-drying method. In addition, influence of cross-linking agent on the properties of microparticles was evaluated. Formulation of microparticles prepared by the spray drying of 2% alginate solution cross-linked by 0.1% chitosan was characterized by good mucoadhesive properties, high drug loading and prolonged metformin hydrochloride release. It was shown that designed microparticles reduced rat glucose blood level, delayed absorption of metformin hydrochloride and provided stable plasma drug concentration. Additionally, histopathological studies of pancreas, liver and kidneys indicated that all prepared microparticles improved degenerative changes in organs of diabetic rats. Moreover, no toxicity effect and no changes in rats behavior after oral administration of chitosan cross-linked alginate microparticles were noted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Aspalathin Protects the Heart against Hyperglycemia-Induced Oxidative Damage by Up-Regulating Nrf2 Expression
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 129; doi:10.3390/molecules22010129
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 26 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 14 January 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1890 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aspalathin (ASP) can protect H9c2 cardiomyocytes against high glucose (HG)-induced shifts in myocardial substrate preference, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. The protective mechanism of ASP remains unknown. However, as one of possible, it is well known that phytochemical flavonoids reduce oxidative stress via nuclear
[...] Read more.
Aspalathin (ASP) can protect H9c2 cardiomyocytes against high glucose (HG)-induced shifts in myocardial substrate preference, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. The protective mechanism of ASP remains unknown. However, as one of possible, it is well known that phytochemical flavonoids reduce oxidative stress via nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) activation resulting in up-regulation of antioxidant genes and enzymes. Therefore, we hypothesized that ASP protects the myocardium against HG- and hyperglycemia-induced oxidative damage by up-regulating Nrf2 expression in H9c2 cardiomyocytes and diabetic (db/db) mice, respectively. Using an oxidative stress RT2 Profiler PCR array, ASP at a dose of 1 µM was demonstrated to protect H9c2 cardiomyocytes against HG-induced oxidative stress, but silencing of Nrf2 abolished this protective response of ASP and exacerbated cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Db/db mice and their non-diabetic (db/+) littermate controls were subsequently treated daily for six weeks with either a low (13 mg/kg) or high (130 mg/kg) ASP dose. Compared to nondiabetic mice the db/db mice presented increased cardiac remodeling and enlarged left ventricular wall that occurred concomitant to enhanced oxidative stress. Daily treatment of mice with ASP at a dose of 130 mg/kg for six weeks was more effective at reversing complications than both a low dose ASP or metformin, eliciting enhanced expression of Nrf2 and its downstream antioxidant genes. These results indicate that ASP maintains cellular homeostasis and protects the myocardium against hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress through activation of Nrf2 and its downstream target genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Agrimoniin, an Active Ellagitannin from Comarum palustre Herb with Anti-α-Glucosidase and Antidiabetic Potential in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 73; doi:10.3390/molecules22010073
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 2 January 2017
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Abstract
Naturally existing α-glucosidase inhibitors from traditional herbal medicines have attracted considerable interest to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). The present study aimed to evaluate the anti-α-glucosidase activity of extracts from marsh cinquefoil (Comarum palustre L.), their hypoglycaemic action and detection of the
[...] Read more.
Naturally existing α-glucosidase inhibitors from traditional herbal medicines have attracted considerable interest to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). The present study aimed to evaluate the anti-α-glucosidase activity of extracts from marsh cinquefoil (Comarum palustre L.), their hypoglycaemic action and detection of the responsible compounds. A 60% ethanol extract from C. palustre herb revealed the highest inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase (IC50 52.0 μg/mL). The HPLC analysis of the major compounds resulted in detection of 15 compounds, including ellagitannins, flavonoids, catechin and other compounds. Using HPLC activity-based profiling a good inhibitory activity of agrimoniin-containing eluates against α-glucosidase was demonstrated. The removal of ellagitannins from the C. palustre extract significantly decreased α-glucosidase inhibition (IC50 204.7 μg/mL) due to the high enzyme-inhibiting activity of the dominant agrimoniin (IC50 21.8 μg/mL). The hypoglycaemic effect of C. palustre extracts before and after ellagitannin removal, agrimoniin and insulin was evaluated on streptozotocin-induced experimental model. Diabetic rats treated with agrimoniin and C. palustre extract before ellagitannin removal showed significant increases in the levels of plasma glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin and significant decreases in the levels of plasma insulin and hemoglobin. The data obtained confirm the leading role of agrimoniin in the antidiabetic activity of the herb C. palustre and allows us to suggest the use of this plant as a possible dietary adjunct in the treatment of DM and a source of new oral hypoglycaemic agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Inhibitory Effects of Viscum coloratum Extract on IgE/Antigen-Activated Mast Cells and Mast Cell-Derived Inflammatory Mediator-Activated Chondrocytes
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 37; doi:10.3390/molecules22010037
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 28 December 2016
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Abstract
The accumulation and infiltration of mast cells are found in osteoarthritic lesions in humans and rodents. Nonetheless, the roles of mast cells in osteoarthritis are almost unknown. Although Viscum coloratum has various beneficial actions, its effect on allergic and osteoarthritic responses is unknown.
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The accumulation and infiltration of mast cells are found in osteoarthritic lesions in humans and rodents. Nonetheless, the roles of mast cells in osteoarthritis are almost unknown. Although Viscum coloratum has various beneficial actions, its effect on allergic and osteoarthritic responses is unknown. In this study, we established an in vitro model of mast cell-mediated osteoarthritis and investigated the effect of the ethanol extract of Viscum coloratum (VEE) on IgE/antigen (IgE/Ag)-activated mast cells and mast cell-derived inflammatory mediator (MDIM)-stimulated chondrocytes. The anti-allergic effect of VEE was evaluated by degranulation, inflammatory mediators, and the FcεRI signaling cascade in IgE/Ag-activated RBL-2H3 cells. The anti-osteoarthritic action of VEE was evaluated by cell migration, and the expression, secretion, and activity of MMPs in MDIM-stimulated SW1353 cells. VEE significantly inhibited degranulation (IC50: 93.04 μg/mL), the production of IL-4 (IC50: 73.28 μg/mL), TNF-α (IC50: 50.59 μg/mL), PGD2 and LTC4, and activation of the FcεRI signaling cascade in IgE/Ag-activated RBL-2H3 cells. Moreover, VEE not only reduced cell migration but also inhibited the expression, secretion, and/or activity of MMP-1, MMP-3, or MMP-13 in MDIM-stimulated SW1353 cells. In conclusion, VEE possesses both anti-allergic and anti-osteoarthritic properties. Therefore, VEE could possibly be considered a new herbal drug for anti-allergic and anti-osteoarthritic therapy. Moreover, the in vitro model may be useful for the development of anti-osteoarthritic drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Zerumbone, a Bioactive Sesquiterpene, Ameliorates Diabetes-Induced Retinal Microvascular Damage through Inhibition of Phospho-p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase and Nuclear Factor-κB Pathways
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1708; doi:10.3390/molecules21121708
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 9 December 2016 / Published: 11 December 2016
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Abstract
Zerumbone ameliorates retinal damage by blocking advanced glycation end products and their receptor system in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Because of the multiple factors involved in diabetic retinopathy (DR) etiology, the mechanisms of zerumbone that are mainly responsible for its ameliorative effect on DR need
[...] Read more.
Zerumbone ameliorates retinal damage by blocking advanced glycation end products and their receptor system in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Because of the multiple factors involved in diabetic retinopathy (DR) etiology, the mechanisms of zerumbone that are mainly responsible for its ameliorative effect on DR need to be further clarified. In the present study, zerumbone (20 mg or 40 mg/kg) or fenofibric acid (100 mg/kg) was orally administered to diabetic rats by intragastric gavage once daily for three consecutive months. Zerumbone displayed similar characteristics to fenofibric acid in reducing retinal vascular permeability and leukostasis in diabetic rats. Fundus photographs showed that large retinal vessel diameters were decreased in zerumbone-treated diabetic rats. Zerumbone not only down-regulated the gene expression of retinal angiogenic parameters, but also reduced the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the retina of diabetic rats. Moreover, zerumbone reduced the p38 MAPK phosphorylation and abrogated the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 in the retina of diabetic rats. In conclusion, treatment of diabetic rats with zerumbone attenuates the severity of retinal inflammation and angiogenesis, via inhibition of p38 MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways. These benefits of zerumbone for DR appear to be linked to its antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Extract of Monascus purpureus CWT715 Fermented from Sorghum Liquor Biowaste Inhibits Migration and Invasion of SK-Hep-1 Human Hepatocarcinoma Cells
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1691; doi:10.3390/molecules21121691
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
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Abstract
Liver cancer is the most endemic cancer in a large region of the world. This study investigated the anti-metastatic effects of an extract of Monascus purpureus CWT715 (MP) fermented from sorghum liquor biowaste and its mechanisms of action in highly metastatic human hepatocarcinoma
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Liver cancer is the most endemic cancer in a large region of the world. This study investigated the anti-metastatic effects of an extract of Monascus purpureus CWT715 (MP) fermented from sorghum liquor biowaste and its mechanisms of action in highly metastatic human hepatocarcinoma SK-Hep-1 cells. Kinmen sorghum liquor waste was used as the primary nutrient source to produce metabolites (including pigments) of MP. In the presence of 10 µg/mL MP-fermented broth (MFB), the anti-invasive activity increased with increasing fermentation time reaching a maximum at six days of fermentation. Interestingly, MFB also produced maximal pigment content at six days. Treatment for 24 h with MFB (10–100 µg/mL) obtained from fermentation for six days significantly inhibited cell migration and invasion, and these effects were concentration-dependent. MFB also significantly enhanced nm23-H1 protein expression in a concentration-dependent manner, which was highly correlated with migration and invasion. These results suggest that MFB has significant anti-migration and anti-invasion activities and that these effects are associated with the induction of nm23-H1 protein expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Kuwanon G Preserves LPS-Induced Disruption of Gut Epithelial Barrier In Vitro
Molecules 2016, 21(11), 1597; doi:10.3390/molecules21111597
Received: 6 October 2016 / Revised: 13 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Defects in the gut epithelial barrier have now been recognized to be responsible for diabetic endotoxemia. In everyday life, Mulberry leaf tea is widely used in Asian nations due to its proposed benefits to health and control of diabetes. Evidence indicates the potential
[...] Read more.
Defects in the gut epithelial barrier have now been recognized to be responsible for diabetic endotoxemia. In everyday life, Mulberry leaf tea is widely used in Asian nations due to its proposed benefits to health and control of diabetes. Evidence indicates the potential role of Kuwanon G (KWG), a component from Morus alba L., on blocking the gut epithelial barrier. In lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-damaged Caco-2 cells, it was found that KWG increased the viability of cells in a concentration-dependent manner. KWG administration significantly elevated the anti-oxidant abilities via increasing ratio of superoxidase dismutase (SOD)/malondialdehyde (MDA) and decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the cells. During KWG incubation, pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were significantly reduced, tight junction proteins including zonula occludens (ZO)-1, intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and Occludin were dramatically increased as detected by immunofluorescence assay, trans-epithelial electrical resistance was significantly increased and the transmission of albumin-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) across the barrier was decreased. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that KWG could ameliorate LPS-induced disruption of the gut epithelial barrier by increasing cell viability and tight junction between cells, and decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Heat-Killed Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactobacillus johnsonii Reduce Liver Injury Induced by Alcohol In Vitro and In Vivo
Molecules 2016, 21(11), 1456; doi:10.3390/molecules21111456
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 27 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
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Abstract
The aim of the present study was to determine whether Lactobacillus salivarius (LS) and Lactobacillus johnsonii (LJ) prevent alcoholic liver damage in HepG2 cells and rat models of acute alcohol exposure. In this study, heat-killed LS and LJ were screened from 50 Lactobacillus
[...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to determine whether Lactobacillus salivarius (LS) and Lactobacillus johnsonii (LJ) prevent alcoholic liver damage in HepG2 cells and rat models of acute alcohol exposure. In this study, heat-killed LS and LJ were screened from 50 Lactobacillus strains induced by 100 mM alcohol in HepG2 cells. The severity of alcoholic liver injury was determined by measuring the levels of aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl transferase (γ-GT), lipid peroxidation, triglyceride (TG) and total cholesterol. Our results indicated that heat-killed LS and LJ reduced AST, ALT, γ-GT and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and outperformed other bacterial strains in cell line studies. We further evaluated these findings by administering these strains to rats. Only LS was able to reduce serum AST levels, which it did by 26.2%. In addition LS significantly inhibited serum TG levels by 39.2%. However, both strains were unable to inhibit ALT levels. In summary, we demonstrated that heat-killed LS and LJ possess hepatoprotective properties induced by alcohol both in vitro and in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Inflammatory Potential of Ethyl Acetate Fraction of Moringa oleifera in Downregulating the NF-κB Signaling Pathway in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Macrophages
Molecules 2016, 21(11), 1452; doi:10.3390/molecules21111452
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 22 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
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Abstract
In the present investigation, we prepared four different solvent fractions (chloroform, hexane, butanol, and ethyl acetate) of Moringa oleifera extract to evaluate its anti-inflammatory potential and cellular mechanism of action in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW264.7 cells. Cell cytotoxicity assay suggested that the solvent fractions
[...] Read more.
In the present investigation, we prepared four different solvent fractions (chloroform, hexane, butanol, and ethyl acetate) of Moringa oleifera extract to evaluate its anti-inflammatory potential and cellular mechanism of action in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW264.7 cells. Cell cytotoxicity assay suggested that the solvent fractions were not cytotoxic to macrophages at concentrations up to 200 µg/mL. The ethyl acetate fraction suppressed LPS-induced production of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines in macrophages in a concentration-dependent manner and was more effective than the other fractions. Immunoblot observations revealed that the ethyl acetate fraction effectively inhibited the expression of inflammatory mediators including cyclooxygenase-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and nuclear factor (NF)-κB p65 through suppression of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Furthermore, it upregulated the expression of the inhibitor of κB (IκBα) and blocked the nuclear translocation of NF-κB. These findings indicated that the ethyl acetate fraction of M. oleifera exhibited potent anti-inflammatory activity in LPS-stimulated macrophages via suppression of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Xanthium strumarium as an Inhibitor of α-Glucosidase, Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1β, Protein Glycation and ABTS+ for Diabetic and Its Complication
Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1241; doi:10.3390/molecules21091241
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 6 September 2016 / Accepted: 12 September 2016 / Published: 16 September 2016
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Abstract
Phytochemical investigation of the natural products from Xanthium strumarium led to the isolation of fourteen compounds including seven caffeoylquinic acid (CQA) derivatives. The individual compounds were screened for inhibition of α-glucosidase, protein tyrosine phosphatase 1β (PTP1β), advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and ABTS
[...] Read more.
Phytochemical investigation of the natural products from Xanthium strumarium led to the isolation of fourteen compounds including seven caffeoylquinic acid (CQA) derivatives. The individual compounds were screened for inhibition of α-glucosidase, protein tyrosine phosphatase 1β (PTP1β), advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and ABTS+ radical scavenging activity using in vitro assays. Among the isolated compounds, methyl-3,5-di-caffeoyquinic acid exhibited significant inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase (18.42 μM), PTP1β (1.88 μM), AGEs (82.79 μM), and ABTS+ (6.03 μM). This effect was marked compared to that of the positive controls (acarbose 584.79 μM, sumarin 5.51 μM, aminoguanidine 1410.00 μM, and trolox 29.72 μM respectively). In addition, 3,5-di-O-CQA (88.14 μM) and protocatechuic acid (32.93 μM) had a considerable inhibitory effect against α-glucosidase and ABTS+. Based on these findings, methyl-3,5-di-caffeoyquinic acid was assumed to be potentially responsible for the anti-diabetic actions of X. strumarium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Five New Biphenanthrenes from Cremastra appendiculata
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 1089; doi:10.3390/molecules21081089
Received: 3 July 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Five new biphenanthrenes, cremaphenanthrenes A–E (15), along with six known ones, were isolated from the ethanolic extract of the tubers of Cremastra appendiculata (D. Don) Makino (Orchidaceae). Their structures were elucidated on the basis of extensive spectroscopic analyses. All
[...] Read more.
Five new biphenanthrenes, cremaphenanthrenes A–E (15), along with six known ones, were isolated from the ethanolic extract of the tubers of Cremastra appendiculata (D. Don) Makino (Orchidaceae). Their structures were elucidated on the basis of extensive spectroscopic analyses. All the compounds obtained were tested in vitro for cytotoxic activities against colon (HCT-116), cervix (Hela), and breast (MDA-MB-231) cancer cell lines. They all showed moderate or weak cytotoxicities to the above cancer cell lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview A Review of the Antiviral Role of Green Tea Catechins
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1337; doi:10.3390/molecules22081337
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 12 August 2017
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Abstract
Over the centuries, infectious diseases caused by viruses have seriously threatened human health globally. Viruses are responsible not only for acute infections but also many chronic infectious diseases. To prevent diseases caused by viruses, the discovery of effective antiviral drugs, in addition to
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Over the centuries, infectious diseases caused by viruses have seriously threatened human health globally. Viruses are responsible not only for acute infections but also many chronic infectious diseases. To prevent diseases caused by viruses, the discovery of effective antiviral drugs, in addition to vaccine development, is important. Green tea catechins (GTCs) are polyphenolic compounds from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. In recent decades, GTCs have been reported to provide various health benefits against numerous diseases. Studies have shown that GTCs, especially epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have antiviral effects against diverse viruses. The aim of this review is to summarize the developments regarding the antiviral activities of GTCs, to discuss the mechanisms underlying these effects and to offer suggestions for future research directions and perspectives on the antiviral effects of EGCG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Fruits of Black Chokeberry Aronia melanocarpa in the Prevention of Chronic Diseases
Molecules 2017, 22(6), 944; doi:10.3390/molecules22060944
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, growing attention has been focused on the utilization of natural sources of antioxidants in the prevention of chronic diseases. Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) represents a lesser known fruit species utilized mainly as juices, purees, jams, jellies and wine,
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In recent years, growing attention has been focused on the utilization of natural sources of antioxidants in the prevention of chronic diseases. Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) represents a lesser known fruit species utilized mainly as juices, purees, jams, jellies and wine, as important food colorants or nutritional supplements. The fruit is valued as a great source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols, such as phenolic acids (neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids) and flavonoids (anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, flavanols and flavonols), particularly cyanidin-3-galactoside and cyanidin-3-arabinoside, as well as (−)-epicatechin units. The berries of A. melanocarpa, due to the presence and the high content of these bioactive components, exhibit a wide range of positive effects, such as strong antioxidant activity and potential medicinal and therapeutic benefits (gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, antiproliferative or anti-inflammatory activities). They could be also contributory toward the prevention of chronic diseases including metabolic disorders, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, because of supportive impacts on lipid profiles, fasting plasma glucose and blood pressure levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Pharmacological Activities and Synthesis of Esculetin and Its Derivatives: A Mini-Review
Molecules 2017, 22(3), 387; doi:10.3390/molecules22030387
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
Esculetin, synonymous with 6,7-dihydroxycoumarin, is the main active ingredient of the traditional Chinese medicine Cortex Fraxini. The twig skin or trunk bark of Cortex Fraxini are used by herb doctors as a mild, bitter liver and gallbladder meridians’ nontoxic drug as well
[...] Read more.
Esculetin, synonymous with 6,7-dihydroxycoumarin, is the main active ingredient of the traditional Chinese medicine Cortex Fraxini. The twig skin or trunk bark of Cortex Fraxini are used by herb doctors as a mild, bitter liver and gallbladder meridians’ nontoxic drug as well as dietary supplement. Recently, with a variety of novel esculetin derivatives being reported, the molecular mechanism research as well as clinical application of Cortex Fraxini and esculetin are becoming more attractive. This mini-review will consolidate what is known about the biological activities, the mechanism of esculetin and its synthetic derivatives over the past decade in addition to providing a brief synopsis of the properties of esculetin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessReview The Therapeutic Potential of Migrastatin-Core Analogs for the Treatment of Metastatic Cancer
Molecules 2017, 22(2), 198; doi:10.3390/molecules22020198
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 2 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
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Abstract
Tumor metastasis is a complex process in which cells detach from the primary tumor and colonize a distant organ. Metastasis is also the main process responsible for cancer-related death. Despite the enormous efforts made to unravel the metastatic process, there is no effective
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Tumor metastasis is a complex process in which cells detach from the primary tumor and colonize a distant organ. Metastasis is also the main process responsible for cancer-related death. Despite the enormous efforts made to unravel the metastatic process, there is no effective therapy, and patients with metastatic tumors have poor prognosis. In this regard, there is an urgent need for new therapeutic tools for the treatment of this disease. Small molecules with the capacity to reduce cell migration could be used to treat metastasis. Migrastatin-core analogs are naturally inspired macrocycles that inhibit pathological cell migration and are able to reduce metastasis in animal models. Migrastatin analogs can be synthesized from a common advanced intermediate. Herein we present a review of the synthetic approaches that can be used to prepare this key intermediate, together with a review of the biological activity of migrastatin-core analogs and current hypotheses concerning their mechanism of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Recent Update on the Role of Chinese Material Medica and Formulations in Diabetic Retinopathy
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 76; doi:10.3390/molecules22010076
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 27 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most frequent endocrine disorders, affecting populations worldwide. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most frequent microvascular complication of diabetes in patients aged 20 and over. Major complications of DR include intraocular neovascularization, inter-retinal edema, hemorrhage, exudates and microaneurysms.
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Diabetes mellitus is one of the most frequent endocrine disorders, affecting populations worldwide. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most frequent microvascular complication of diabetes in patients aged 20 and over. Major complications of DR include intraocular neovascularization, inter-retinal edema, hemorrhage, exudates and microaneurysms. Therefore, timely medical attention and prevention are required. At present, laser-assisted therapy and other operational procedures are the most common treatment for DR. However, these treatments can cause retinal damage and scarring. Also, use of the majority of traditional medicines is not supported by clinical evidence. However, due to accumulating scientific evidence, traditional natural medications may assist in delaying or preventing the progression of DR. This review focuses on evidence for the role of traditional natural medicines and their mechanisms of action and pharmacological test results in relation to the progression of DR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessReview The Potential Mechanisms of Berberine in the Treatment of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1336; doi:10.3390/molecules21101336
Received: 8 August 2016 / Revised: 26 September 2016 / Accepted: 29 September 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1707 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a globally observed metabolic disease with high prevalence both in adults and children. However, there is no efficient medication available yet. Increased evidence indicates that berberine (BBR), a natural plant product, has beneficial effects on NAFLD, though
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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a globally observed metabolic disease with high prevalence both in adults and children. However, there is no efficient medication available yet. Increased evidence indicates that berberine (BBR), a natural plant product, has beneficial effects on NAFLD, though the mechanisms are not completely known. In this review, we briefly summarize the pathogenesis of NAFLD and factors that influence the progression of NAFLD, and focus on the potential mechanisms of BBR in the treatment of NAFLD. Increase of insulin sensitivity, regulation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway, improvement of mitochondrial function, alleviation of oxidative stress, LDLR mRNA stabilization, and regulation of gut microenvironment are the major targets of BBR in the treatment of NAFLD. Additionally, reduction of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9) expression and DNA methylation are also involved in pharmacological mechanisms of berberine in the treatment of NAFLD. The immunologic mechanism of BBR in the treatment of NAFLD, development of berberine derivative, drug combinations, delivery routes, and drug dose can be considered in the future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Chronic Diseases)
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