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Medicines, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Spearmint (Mentha spicata L.), an aromatic Mediterranean plant, has both antioxidant and [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Phytochemical Screening, Free Radical Scavenging and α-Amylase Inhibitory Activities of Selected Medicinal Plants from Western Nepal
Medicines 2019, 6(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6020070 (registering DOI)
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: More than 700 plants are reported to be used for medicinal purposes in Nepal; however, many of them are not studied for their scientific evidences. The aims of the present study were the estimation of the total phenolic and flavonoid contents, and [...] Read more.
Background: More than 700 plants are reported to be used for medicinal purposes in Nepal; however, many of them are not studied for their scientific evidences. The aims of the present study were the estimation of the total phenolic and flavonoid contents, and the evaluation of the free radical scavenging and α-amylase inhibitory activities of five selected medicinal plants from western Nepal: Aeschynanthus parviflorus Wall. (Gesneriaceae), Buddleja asiatica Lour. (Loganiaceae), Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae), Drepanostachyum falcatum (Nees) Keng f. (Gramineae) and Spondias pinnata (L. f.) Kurz (Anacardiaceae). Methods: The total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) were measured using Folin-Ciocalteu’s phenol reagent and aluminium chloride methods, respectively. A 1,1–diphenyl–2–picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay was used to evaluate the free radical scavenging activity and an α-amylase inhibitory assay was carried out to determine the in vitro antidiabetic activity. Results: The phytochemical screening of five hydroalcoholic plant extracts revealed the presence of various secondary metabolites, including alkaloids, flavonoids, reducing sugars, saponins, terpenoids and tannins. The amounts of total phenolics and flavonoids were found to be the highest in B. asiatica leaf extract, which also showed the most potent free radical scavenging activity. Extract of C. papaya fruits showed the highest α-amylase inhibitory activity, whereas the extracts of B. asiatica leaves and S. pinnata leaves exhibited moderate activity. Conclusions: Some of the medicinal plants selected in this study showed high TPC and TFC values and potent bioactivities. These results may provide the scientific evidences of the traditional uses of these plants. However, further detailed studies on bioactive compounds isolation and identification and evaluation of in vivo pharmacological activities should be performed in future. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Ethnomedicinal Uses of Plant Resources in the Machhapuchchhre Rural Municipality of Kaski District, Nepal
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 22 June 2019 / Published: 23 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: Medicinal plants are being used by the majority of the population throughout the world for their primary health care needs. The reliance is also prevalent in Nepal, aided by its ethnic and biological diversity. This study aimed to catalogue the ethnomedicinal knowledge [...] Read more.
Background: Medicinal plants are being used by the majority of the population throughout the world for their primary health care needs. The reliance is also prevalent in Nepal, aided by its ethnic and biological diversity. This study aimed to catalogue the ethnomedicinal knowledge of plants used by local people of Machhapuchchhre Rural Municipality of Kaski district. Methods: Data were collected between February 2017 and April 2018 from eight different villages of the Kaski district by using semi-structured interviews, guided field works, focus group discussions, and in-depth interviews. The reported traditional uses were supported by local assistants, cataloguing vernacular names and crosschecking with the earlier published and gray literature. Results: A total of 105 medicinal plants, belonging to 58 families and 99 genera were documented to treat 70 different diseases and ailments. The highest numbers of plants (37) were used for gastrointestinal disorders and the lowest (4) were used for female genital disorders. Commonly used parts were underground portions (28 species) followed by fruits and seeds (25 species each). The most preferred dosage form was juice, used for 50 ailments, and the oral route was the most favored route of administration (77 species). The medicinal properties of 22 plant species were found hitherto unreported in the district. Conclusions: The study area was found to be rich in plant resources and the people have ample knowledge on the use of medicinal plants. Due to a lack of proper documentation, conservation, and cultivation practices, valuable plant species are at risk of extinction. Thus, appropriate conservation measures and scientific assessment of plant-lore in the district is immediately required. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Liquiritin and Liquiritigenin Induce Melanogenesis via Enhancement of p38 and PKA Signaling Pathways
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: Liquiritin (LQ) and its aglycone, liquiritigenin (LQG), are major flavonoids in licorice root (Glycyrrhiza spp.). Our preliminary screening identified LQ and LQG, which promote melanin synthesis in the melanoma cells. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism of melanin synthesis [...] Read more.
Background: Liquiritin (LQ) and its aglycone, liquiritigenin (LQG), are major flavonoids in licorice root (Glycyrrhiza spp.). Our preliminary screening identified LQ and LQG, which promote melanin synthesis in the melanoma cells. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism of melanin synthesis activated by LQ and LQG. Methods: Murine (B16-F1) and human (HMVII) melanoma cell lines were treated with LQ or LQG. After incubation, melanin contents, intracellular tyrosinase activity, and cell viability were evaluated. Protein levels were determined using Western blotting. Results: LQ and LQG activated melanin synthesis and intracellular tyrosinase activity. The induction of melanin and intracellular tyrosinase activity by LQG was higher than that by LQ. LQ and LQG induced the expression of tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-1, and TRP-2. LQ and LQG also enhanced microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) expression, and cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation. The phosphorylation of p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), but not Akt, was significantly increased by LQ or LQG. Furthermore, LQ- or LQG-mediated melanin synthesis was partially blocked by p38 inhibitor (SB203580) and protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor (H-89); however, ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor (U0126) and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor (LY294002) had no effect. Conclusions: The results suggest that LQ and LQG enhance melanin synthesis by upregulating the expression of melanogenic enzymes, which were activated by p38 and PKA signaling pathways, leading to MITF expression and CREB phosphorylation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Medicines and Biological Activity Evaluation)
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Open AccessReview
Clinical and Basic Studies on Therapeutic Efficacy of Herbal Medicines against Mycobacterial Infections
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
The high incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in developing countries, the resurgence of TB in industrialized countries, and the worldwide increase in the prevalence of Mycobacterium avium complex infections are important global health concerns. However, the development of novel antimycobacterial drugs is currently making [...] Read more.
The high incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in developing countries, the resurgence of TB in industrialized countries, and the worldwide increase in the prevalence of Mycobacterium avium complex infections are important global health concerns. However, the development of novel antimycobacterial drugs is currently making very slow progress. Therefore, it is considered that devising improved administration protocols for clinical treatment against intractable mycobacteriosis using existing chemotherapeutics is more practical than awaiting the development of new antimycobacterial drugs. The regulation of host immune responses using immunoadjunctive agents may increase the efficacy of antimicrobial treatment against mycobacteriosis. In particular, the mild and long-term up-regulation of host immune reactions against mycobacterial pathogens using herbal medicines may be beneficial for such immunoadjunctive therapy. This review focuses on the current status regarding basic and clinical studies on protocols using herbal medicines, including medicinal plants, useful for the clinical treatment of intractable mycobacterial infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds as Potential Antibacterial Agents)
Open AccessEditorial
Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites
Received: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
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Abstract
This Medicines special issue focuses on the great potential of secondary metabolites for therapeutic applications. The special issue contains 16 articles reporting relevant experimental results and overviews of bioactive secondary metabolites. Their biological effects and new methodologies that improve the lead compounds’ synthesis [...] Read more.
This Medicines special issue focuses on the great potential of secondary metabolites for therapeutic applications. The special issue contains 16 articles reporting relevant experimental results and overviews of bioactive secondary metabolites. Their biological effects and new methodologies that improve the lead compounds’ synthesis were also discussed. We would like to thank all 83 authors, from all over the world, for their valuable contributions to this special issue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites)
Open AccessArticle
Reduction of Inflammation and Colon Injury by a Spearmint Phenolic Extract in Experimental Bowel Disease in Mice
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 6 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) encompasses both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, known to be connected to an enlarged risk for developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) is a Mediterranean plant used as an aromatic agent, and studies have [...] Read more.
Background: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) encompasses both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, known to be connected to an enlarged risk for developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) is a Mediterranean plant used as an aromatic agent, and studies have mainly focused on the essential oil suggesting an anti-inflammatory activity. This work aimed to perform a preliminary screening of the in vivo anti-inflammatory effects of a spearmint phenolic extract in an acute inflammation model, in a chronic inflammation model of colitis, and also study the effects in vitro on a colon cancer model. Methods: Spearmint extract was administered to rats of a paw oedema model (induced by carrageenan) and to mice from a TNBS-induced colitis model in parallel with studies using HT-29 CRC cells. Results: Administration of the extract led to reduced paw inflammation, reduction of colon injury and inflammation, with attenuation of histological markers, and reduction of iNOS expression. It repressed the in vitro movement of HT-29 cells in a wound healing assay. Conclusions: These findings suggest that spearmint extract exhibits acute and chronic anti-inflammatory activity and is able to inhibit migration of cancer cells, suggesting a potential role in the supplementary therapy of IBD patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comprehensive Fractionation of Antioxidants and GC-MS and ESI-MS Fingerprints of Celastrus hindsii Leaves
Received: 20 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: In this study, column chromatography was applied to separate active fractions from the ethyl acetate extract of Celastrus hindsii, a medicinal plant widely used in Southern China, Northern Vietnam, Myanmar, and Malaysia. Methods: Fourteen fractions from different dilutions of chloroform and [...] Read more.
Background: In this study, column chromatography was applied to separate active fractions from the ethyl acetate extract of Celastrus hindsii, a medicinal plant widely used in Southern China, Northern Vietnam, Myanmar, and Malaysia. Methods: Fourteen fractions from different dilutions of chloroform and methanol were separated by column chromatography and examined for biological activities. Results: It was found that a dilution of 50–70% methanol in chloroform yielded the highest total phenolics, flavonoids, and antioxidant activities (1,1-dipheny1-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2-azinobis (3-ehtylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), diammonium salt (ABTS) radical scavenging activity, and β-carotene bleaching method measured by lipid peroxidation inhibition). In addition, by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) analyses, fifteen principal compounds from bioactive fractions belonging to fatty acids, amides, flavonoids, sterols, terpenes, and phenols were identified. Of these compounds, α-amyrin, β-amyrin, hydrazine carboxamide, hexadecanoic acid, fucosterol, (3β)-D:C-friedours-7-en-3-ol, rutin, and 2-hydroxy-1-ethyl ester accounted for maximal quantities, whilst concentrations of other constituents were <5%. Conclusions: It is suggested that these identified compounds may greatly contribute to the antioxidant capacity of C. hindsii as well as its potential pharmaceutical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Natural Extracts)
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Open AccessArticle
Screening of Crude Drugs Used in Japanese Kampo Formulas for Autophagy-Mediated Cell Survival of the Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Line
Received: 5 May 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: Autophagy is a catabolic process through which dysfunctional proteins and organelles are degraded, and that is associated with the proliferation of cancer cells. The aim of this study was to screen approximately 130 kinds of crude drugs used in Japanese Kampo formulas [...] Read more.
Background: Autophagy is a catabolic process through which dysfunctional proteins and organelles are degraded, and that is associated with the proliferation of cancer cells. The aim of this study was to screen approximately 130 kinds of crude drugs used in Japanese Kampo formulas to identify crude drugs that would regulate the proliferation through autophagy of human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. Methods: Extracts of each crude drug were prepared using methanol. Protein levels were determined using Western blotting. Cell viability was measured by MTT assay. Results: Among the 130 crude extracts, 24 of them increased LC3-II expression. Among these, Goboshi (burdock fruit), Soboku (sappan wood), Mokko (saussurea root), Rengyo (forsythia fruit), and Hikai (dioscorea) notably suppressed the proliferation of HepG2 cells and increased p62 expression levels, which suggested that these five extracts downregulate the autophagic activity resulting in the accumulation of p62. On the other hand, Hishinomi (water chestnut), Biwayo (loquat leaf), and Binroji (areca) induced cell growth and decreased or were uninvolved with p62 expression levels, which implied that these three extracts might induce autophagy modulators for cell growth. Conclusions: The results suggest that the compounds contained in the crude drugs selected for this study could control cell viability by regulating autophagic activity in HepG2 cells. The isolation and identification of the active compounds in these drugs might lead to the development of agents for autophagy research and cancer chemoprevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Medicines and Biological Activity Evaluation)
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Open AccessCommunication
Abundance of Plant-Associated Gammaproteobacteria Correlates with Immunostimulatory Activity of Angelica sinensis
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
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Abstract
Background: Angelica sinensis is a medicinal plant known for a variety of biological effects, including its ability to stimulate innate immune cells in humans. Recent studies indicate that the immunostimulatory activity of A. sinensis arises from microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) of plant-associated bacteria. [...] Read more.
Background: Angelica sinensis is a medicinal plant known for a variety of biological effects, including its ability to stimulate innate immune cells in humans. Recent studies indicate that the immunostimulatory activity of A. sinensis arises from microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) of plant-associated bacteria. However, it is unknown which bacterial taxa in A. sinensis are responsible for the production of immunostimulatory MAMPs. Methods: Samples of A. sinensis were subjected to a cell-based assay to detect monocyte-stimulation and 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing, which revealed their immunostimulatory activity and microbial communities. The resulting data were analyzed by Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe), an online biostatistical tool for metagenomic biomarker discovery, to identify the bacterial taxonomical features correlated with the immunostimulatory activity. Results: A series of bacterial taxa under Gammaproteobacteria correlated positively with the immunostimulatory activity, whereas several Gram-positive taxa and Betaproteobacteria correlated negatively with the activity. Conclusions: The identified bacterial taxa set a new stage to characterize immunostimulatory MAMPs in plants. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Zebrafish as an Emerging Model for Bioassay-Guided Natural Product Drug Discovery for Neurological Disorders
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 26 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
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Abstract
Most neurodegenerative diseases are currently incurable, with large social and economic impacts. Recently, there has been renewed interest in investigating natural products in the modern drug discovery paradigm as novel, bioactive small molecules. Moreover, the discovery of potential therapies for neurological disorders is [...] Read more.
Most neurodegenerative diseases are currently incurable, with large social and economic impacts. Recently, there has been renewed interest in investigating natural products in the modern drug discovery paradigm as novel, bioactive small molecules. Moreover, the discovery of potential therapies for neurological disorders is challenging and involves developing optimized animal models for drug screening. In contemporary biomedicine, the growing need to develop experimental models to obtain a detailed understanding of malady conditions and to portray pioneering treatments has resulted in the application of zebrafish to close the gap between in vitro and in vivo assays. Zebrafish in pharmacogenetics and neuropharmacology are rapidly becoming a widely used organism. Brain function, dysfunction, genetic, and pharmacological modulation considerations are enhanced by both larval and adult zebrafish. Bioassay-guided identification of natural products using zebrafish presents as an attractive strategy for generating new lead compounds. Here, we see evidence that the zebrafish’s central nervous system is suitable for modeling human neurological disease and we review and evaluate natural product research using zebrafish as a vertebrate model platform to systematically identify bioactive natural products. Finally, we review recently developed zebrafish models of neurological disorders that have the potential to be applied in this field of research. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Leri-Weill Dyschondrosteosis Syndrome: Analysis via 3DCT Scan
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 23 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
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Abstract
Background: Leri-Weill dyschondrosteosis (LWD) is a pseudoautosomal form of skeletal dysplasia, characterized by abnormal craniofacial phenotype, short stature, and mesomelia of the upper and lower limbs. Methods: We describe two female patients with LWD. Their prime clinical complaints were severe bouts of migraine [...] Read more.
Background: Leri-Weill dyschondrosteosis (LWD) is a pseudoautosomal form of skeletal dysplasia, characterized by abnormal craniofacial phenotype, short stature, and mesomelia of the upper and lower limbs. Methods: We describe two female patients with LWD. Their prime clinical complaints were severe bouts of migraine and antalgic gait. Results: Interestingly, via a 3D reconstruction CT scan we encountered several major anomalies. Notable features of craniosynostosis through premature fusion of the squamosal sutures and partial closure of the coronal sutures were the reason behind the development of abnormal craniofacial contour. A 3D reconstruction CT scan showed apparent bulging of the clavarium through the partially synostosed coronal and totally synostosed squamosal sutures. Additional deformities include deficient number of ribs (10 ribs on both sides), defective ossification of the ischium and dysplasia of the iliac-ischial junction, and coxa valga have been noted. Conclusions: The constellation of observed deformities can be considered as a novel features associated with LWD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Quercetin-3-methoxy-4′-glucosyl-7-glucoside Isolated from Indian Medicinal Plant Melothria heterophylla
Received: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 27 May 2019
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Abstract
Background: Melothria heterophylla (family: Cucurbitaceae), commonly known as kudari, is used in the Indian traditional medicine to treat various inflammation-associated diseases, such as asthma, arthritis and pain. However, the anti-inflammatory active components of this plant have not been identified yet. The aim of [...] Read more.
Background: Melothria heterophylla (family: Cucurbitaceae), commonly known as kudari, is used in the Indian traditional medicine to treat various inflammation-associated diseases, such as asthma, arthritis and pain. However, the anti-inflammatory active components of this plant have not been identified yet. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of a compound, quercetin-3-methoxy-4′-glucosyl-7-glucoside, isolated from M. heterophylla. Methods: The anti-inflammatory activity was determined using carrageenan- and dextran-induced rat paw edema as well as cotton pellet-induced granuloma in rats, whereas the analgesic activity was analyzed using acetic acid-induced writhing, hot plate and tail flick response in mice. The test compound was orally administered at a dose of 5, 10 or 15 mg/kg. The cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1)- and COX-2-inhibitory capacity of the test compound was studied by enzyme immunosorbent assay. Results: Quercetin-3-methoxy-4′-glucosyl-7-glucoglucoside at 15 mg/kg exhibited a maximum inhibition of carrageenan-induced inflammation (50.3%, p < 0.05), dextran (52.8%, p < 0.05), and cotton pellets (41.4%, p < 0.05) compared to control animals. At the same dose, it showed a 73.1% inhibition (p < 0.05) of the pain threshold in acetic acid-induced writhing model. It also exhibited a considerable analgesic activity by prolonging the reaction time of the animals based on hot plate as well as tail flick response. The test compound was found to inhibit COX-1 (IC50 2.76 µg/mL) and more efficiently, COX-2 (IC50 1.99 µg/mL). Conclusions: Quercetin-3-methoxy-4′-glucosyl-7-glucoside possessed substantial analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities possibly due to inhibition of prostaglandin production, supporting the ethnomedicinal application of M. heterophylla to treat various inflammatory disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Medicines and Biological Activity Evaluation)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Effect of the Traditional Medicine Hainosan (Painongsan) on Porphyromonas gingivalis
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 5 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
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Abstract
Background: Hainosan (Painongsan) is a traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine that is used to treat several purulent diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis. This formulation contains three crude drug components: The dried immature fruit of Citrus aurantium (Aurantii Fructus Immaturus), the dried root [...] Read more.
Background: Hainosan (Painongsan) is a traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine that is used to treat several purulent diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis. This formulation contains three crude drug components: The dried immature fruit of Citrus aurantium (Aurantii Fructus Immaturus), the dried root of Paeonia lactiflora (Paeoniae Radix), and the dried root of Platycodon grandiflorum (Platycodi Radix). Here we evaluated the in vitro antibacterial effects of hainosan extract (HNS) and extracts of its three components against Porphyromonas gingivalis, one of the pathogenic bacteria that causes periodontitis. Methods: The antibacterial activities of HNS and its components were examined by counting the number of colony-forming units (CFUs) and through transmission electron microscopy. Results: We found that HNS had direct antibacterial activity against three P. gingivalis isolates (JCM12257, JCM8525, and JCM19600), with HNS-treated cells being significantly smaller than those of untreated bacteria. Extracts of Platycodi Radix and Paeoniae Radix significantly suppressed the growth of P. gingivalis in a dose-dependent manner, with Platycodi Radix extract having the greatest antibacterial effect. In addition, P. gingivalis that were treated with Platycodi Radix extract were significantly larger than those treated with Aurantii Fructus Immaturus or Paeoniae Radix extracts. Further analysis showed that platycodin D, which is one of the ingredients of Platycodi Radix, reduced bacterial growth. Conclusions: Platycodi Radix is the active component in Hainosan and may represent a useful agent for the treatment of P. gingivalis-induced gingivitis and periodontitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds as Potential Antibacterial Agents)
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Open AccessArticle
Greater Height Is Associated with a Larger Carotid Lumen Diameter
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
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Abstract
Background: Previous studies link tall stature with a reduced ischemic stroke risk. One theory posits that tall people have larger cerebral artery lumens and therefore have a lower plaque occlusion risk than those who are short. Previous studies have not critically evaluated the [...] Read more.
Background: Previous studies link tall stature with a reduced ischemic stroke risk. One theory posits that tall people have larger cerebral artery lumens and therefore have a lower plaque occlusion risk than those who are short. Previous studies have not critically evaluated the associations between height and cerebral artery structure independent of confounding factors. Methods: The hypothesis linking stature with cerebral artery lumen size was tested in 231 adults by measuring the associations between height and common carotid artery diameter (CCAD) and intima–media thickness (IMT) after controlling for recognized vascular influencing factors (e.g., adiposity, blood pressure, plasma lipids, etc.). Results: Height remained a significant CCAD predictor across all developed multiple regression models. These models predict a ~0.03 mm increase in CCAD for each 1-cm increase in height in this sample. This magnitude of CCAD increase with height represents over a 60% enlargement of the artery’s lumen area across adults varying in stature from short (150 cm) to tall (200 cm). By contrast, IMT was non-significantly correlated with height across all developed regression models. Conclusions: People who are tall have a larger absolute CCAD than people who are short, while IMT is independent of stature. These observations potentially add to the growing cardiovascular literature aimed at explaining the lower risk of ischemic strokes in tall people. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Immunomodulatory Changes Following Isolated RF Ablation in Colorectal Liver Metastases: A Case Report
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in developed countries. The liver is the most prevalent site of metastasis from CRC. Currently, the gold-standard treatment for colorectal liver metastases (CLMs) is [...] Read more.
Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in developed countries. The liver is the most prevalent site of metastasis from CRC. Currently, the gold-standard treatment for colorectal liver metastases (CLMs) is surgical resection. However, depending on the pattern of the disease, a significant number of patients may require different approaches alone or in combination with surgery, including thermal ablation (radiofrequency (RFA) or microwave (MWA) ablation) or transarterial liver-directed therapies, although the latter is not yet part of the standard treatment for CRC liver metastases. Methods and Results: We present the case of a 63-yearold man with bilobar CLM who was treated with transarterial embolization (TAE) and RFA followed by chemotherapy. A post-RFA study of immune parameters revealed the downregulation of CD39 expression in the circulating CD4+ T cell population and a reduction of the serum levels of cytokines IL-10, TGF-β, IFN-gamma and IL-17, which positively correlated with the diminished serum level of gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and the subdued inflammatory markers: the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet/lymphocyte ratio (PLR). Later, the patient underwent chemotherapy. Liver failure developed within two years and nine months following tumour ablation, leading to the death of the patient. Conclusions: However, the denial of adjuvant chemotherapy by the patient gave us the opportunity to assess the immunomodulatory changes following RFA in the absence of any other therapeutic modalities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evidence for Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Isoliquiritigenin, 18β Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Ursolic Acid, and the Traditional Chinese Medicine Plants Glycyrrhiza glabra and Eriobotrya japonica, at the Molecular Level
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 5 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
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Abstract
Background: We investigated the effect of root extracts from the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) plants Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Paeonia lactiflora Pall., and the leaf extract of Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl., and their six major secondary metabolites, glycyrrhizic acid, 18β glycyrrhetinic acid, liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, [...] Read more.
Background: We investigated the effect of root extracts from the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) plants Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Paeonia lactiflora Pall., and the leaf extract of Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl., and their six major secondary metabolites, glycyrrhizic acid, 18β glycyrrhetinic acid, liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, paeoniflorin, and ursolic acid, on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced NF-κB expression and NF-κB-regulated pro-inflammatory factors in murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells. Methods: The cytotoxicity of the substances was determined using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) method. RAW 264.7 cells were treated with LPS (1 μg/mL) or LPS plus single substances; the gene expression levels of NF-κB subunits (RelA, RelB, c-Rel, NF-κB1, and NF-κB2), and of ICAM-1, TNF-α, iNOS, and COX-2 were measured employing real-time PCR; nitric oxide (NO) production by the cells was quantified with the Griess assay; nuclear translocation of NF-κB was visualized by immunofluorescence microscopy with NF-κB (p65) staining. Results: All the substances showed moderate cytotoxicity against RAW 264.7 cells except paeoniflorin with an IC50 above 1000 μM. Glycyrrhiza glabra extract and Eriobotrya japonica extract, as well as 18β glycyrrhetinic acid and isoliquiritigenin at low concentrations, inhibited NO production in a dose-dependent manner. LPS upregulated gene expressions of NF-κB subunits and of ICAM-1, TNF-α, iNOS, and COX-2 within 8 h, which could be decreased by 18β glycyrrhetinic acid, isoliquiritigenin and ursolic acid similarly to the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone. NF-κB translocation from cytoplasm to nucleus was observed after LPS stimulation for 2 h and was attenuated by extracts of Glycyrrhiza glabra and Eriobotrya japonica, as well as by 18β glycyrrhetinic acid, isoliquiritigenin, and ursolic acid. Conclusions: 18β glycyrrhetinic acid, isoliquiritigenin, and ursolic acid inhibited the gene expressions of ICAM-1, TNF-α, COX-2, and iNOS, partly through inhibiting NF-κB expression and attenuating NF-κB nuclear translocation. These substances showed anti-inflammatory activity. Further studies are needed to elucidate the exact mechanisms and to assess their usefulness in therapy. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Massive Axial and Appendicular Skeletal Deformities in Connection with Gorham-Stout Syndrome
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
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Abstract
Background: Etiological understanding is the corner stone in the management of skeletal deformities. Methods: Multi-centre study of patients with deformities in connection with diverse etiological backgrounds. We aimed to study four patients (one boy and three girls) with variable axial and [...] Read more.
Background: Etiological understanding is the corner stone in the management of skeletal deformities. Methods: Multi-centre study of patients with deformities in connection with diverse etiological backgrounds. We aimed to study four patients (one boy and three girls) with variable axial and appendicular deformities in connection with a vanishing bone disorder. Results: Axial deformities such as scoliosis, kyphoscoliosis, compressed fused vertebrae, appendicular fractures, dislocations, and vicious disorganization deformities of the joints were in connection with the vanishing bone disorder, namely Gorham-Stout syndrome. Conclusions: It is mandatory to establish proper clinical and radiological phenotypic characterization in children and adults presented with unusual skeletal deformities. Identifying the reason behind these deformities is the key factor to draw a comprehensive management plan. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phytochemical Composition and Biological Activities of Wild Scolymus maculatus L.
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 27 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: The wild population of spotted golden thistle, Scolymus maculatus, which belongs to the Compositae family, is believed to be one of the multi-curative wild plants mentioned in Flora Palaestina. This study aims to disclose the phytochemical composition, antioxidant potential, and [...] Read more.
Background: The wild population of spotted golden thistle, Scolymus maculatus, which belongs to the Compositae family, is believed to be one of the multi-curative wild plants mentioned in Flora Palaestina. This study aims to disclose the phytochemical composition, antioxidant potential, and antimicrobial activity of wild S. maculatus collected from the farms of Kabul, a village in northwest Galilee, for the first time. Methods: The phytochemical components of crude S. maculatus extracts from methanol, ethyl acetate, and n-hexane solvents were separated and identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in the electron impact (EI) mode. The free radical scavenging of the plant extracts was measured by DPPH assay. The microdilution test was used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of different S. maculatus extracts and to evaluate their antimicrobial activities. Results: Thirty-two phytochemicals were found in S. maculatus extracts including stigmasterol, γ-sitosterol, lupeol, lupeol acetate, and β-amyrin. Phytochemicals, such as 2-linoleoylglycerol, γ-sitosterol, β-amyrin, lupeol, (3α)-12-oleanen-3-yl acetate, and lupenyl acetate, were found to dominate the methanol extract. Most of these compounds were also observed in ethyl acetate and n-hexane extracts, but at different levels, in addition to some other minor compounds. The various extracts were investigated for their antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. The ethanolic and the methanolic extracts were shown to exhibit the highest free radical scavenging by DPPH assay with a half-maximally effective concentration (EC50) of 0.37 and 0.65 mg/mL respectively, while the other three extracts (aqueous, ethyl acetate and n-hexane) were less active and their EC50 (effective concentration at which DPPH radical was scavenged by 50%) were above 1.0 mg/mL. Moreover, MICs were determined to be effective against Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, and Candida albicans microorganisms. Ethyl acetate and the ethanolic extracts are active against the three types of microorganisms at a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 0.5 mg/mL, while aqueous and the n-hexane extracts are inactive against Salmonella typhimurium. Conclusions: The results show that S. maculatus extracts are a rich source of compounds that can play an important role in human health, and in a broader context, in the treatment of various diseases, such antimicrobial and antioxidant-related ailments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds as Potential Antibacterial Agents)
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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to the Special Issue “Biological Efficacy of Natural and Chemically Modified Products against Oral Inflammatory Lesions”
Received: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 28 April 2019
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Abstract
This editorial is a brief introduction to the Special Issue of “Biological Efficacy of Natural and Chemically Modified Products against Oral Inflammatory Lesions”. From the natural resources and chemical modifications of the backbone structures of natural products, various attractive substances with new biological [...] Read more.
This editorial is a brief introduction to the Special Issue of “Biological Efficacy of Natural and Chemically Modified Products against Oral Inflammatory Lesions”. From the natural resources and chemical modifications of the backbone structures of natural products, various attractive substances with new biological functions were excavated. Best fit combination of these materials may contribute in the treatment of oral diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Camptothecin Induces PD-L1 and Immunomodulatory Cytokines in Colon Cancer Cells
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Immunotherapy has changed the options for the treatment of various cancer types, but not colon cancer. Current checkpoint blockade approaches are ineffective in a large proportion of colon cancer cases, necessitating studies to elucidate its mechanisms and to identify new targets and [...] Read more.
Background: Immunotherapy has changed the options for the treatment of various cancer types, but not colon cancer. Current checkpoint blockade approaches are ineffective in a large proportion of colon cancer cases, necessitating studies to elucidate its mechanisms and to identify new targets and strategies against it. Methods: Here, we examined Programmed Death-Ligand 1(PD-L1), cytokine and receptor responses of colon cancer cells exposed to camptothecin (CPT), a clinically used topoisomerase inhibitor. Colon cancer cells were treated with CPT at concentrations of up to 10 µM, and the expressions of PD-L1 and immunoregulatory cytokine genes and receptors were analyzed. Results: PD-L1, a current immunotherapy target for various cancers, was shown to be upregulated in colon cancer cells independent of the cellular p53 status. In metastasis-derived SW620 cells, CPT most extensively upregulated cytokines with T-cell attraction or growth factor functions. Of those modulated genes, SPP1, IL1RN, IL1A, TNFSF13B, OSM, and CSF3 had the most clinical relevance, as their high expression was associated with poor cancer patient overall survival. Conclusions: These findings highlight the need to examine, in preclinical and clinical situations, the potential benefits of combining topoisomerase inhibitors with immune-checkpoint inhibitors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Increased Functional Foods’ Consumption and Mediterranean Diet Adherence May Have a Protective Effect in the Appearance of Gastrointestinal Diseases: A Case–Control Study
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Epidemiological studies have suggested a possible correlation between nutritional factors and gastrointestinal diseases. Methods: A case–control study was designed in order to investigate if functional foods consumption and Mediterranean diet adherence have a positive effect in ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel [...] Read more.
Background: Epidemiological studies have suggested a possible correlation between nutritional factors and gastrointestinal diseases. Methods: A case–control study was designed in order to investigate if functional foods consumption and Mediterranean diet adherence have a positive effect in ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. In total, 142 patients (cases) and 147 gender-matched healthy people (controls) participated in the study. Functional food consumption was screened by using a Food Frequency Questionnaire based on the NHANES study, while Mediterranean diet adoption was evaluated by a 14-item Med Diet Assessment tool based on the PREDIMED study. The statistical analysis was performed with SPSS-22. Results: In the previous 2–3 years, the controls had more frequently consumed some categories (probiotics, prebiotics-enriched, and low-fat foods) and some kinds of functional foods (mountain tea, berries, pomegranate, oats, mastics, turmeric, soybeans, and raisins) compared to the cases (p < 0.05). Healthy people were more adherent to the Mediterranean diet than patients (p < 0.05). A multifactor analysis showed that the augmented score of the Mediterranean diet and the augmented consumption of categories and kinds of functional foods were protective factors in the appearance of gastrointestinal diseases. Conclusions: More studies should be conducted in order to further investigate the possible association between specific food components and gastrointestinal diseases’ pathophysiology. Full article
Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Evaluation of the Phytopharmacological Potential of Sargassum incisifolium for the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 6 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Comprised of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract, which often results in severe damage to the intestinal mucosa. This study investigated metabolites from the South African endemic alga, Sargassum incisifolium [...] Read more.
Background: Comprised of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract, which often results in severe damage to the intestinal mucosa. This study investigated metabolites from the South African endemic alga, Sargassum incisifolium, as potential treatments for IBD. Phytochemical evaluation of S. incisifolium yielded prenylated toluhydroquinones and toluquinones, from which semi-synthetic analogs were derived, and a carotenoid metabolite. The bioactivities of S. incisifolium fractions, natural products, and semi-synthetic derivatives were evaluated using various in vitro assays. Methods: Sargahydroquinoic acid isolated from S. incisifolium was converted to several structural derivatives by semi-synthetic modification. Potential modulation of IBD by S. incisifolium crude fractions, natural compounds, and sargahydroquinoic acid analogs was evaluated through in vitro anti-inflammatory activity, anti-oxidant activity, cytotoxicity against HT-29 and Caco-2 colorectal cancer cells, and PPAR-γ activation. Results: Sargahydroquinoic acid acts on various therapeutic targets relevant to IBD treatment. Conclusions: Conversion of sargahydroquinoic acid to sarganaphthoquinoic acid increases peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) activity, compromises anti-oxidant activity, and has no effect on cytotoxicity against the tested cell lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites)
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Open AccessReview
Phytochemical Modulation of MiRNAs in Colorectal Cancer
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
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Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are some of the most commonly used treatments, but are often associated with severe side effects, and are not entirely curative. It is therefore important [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are some of the most commonly used treatments, but are often associated with severe side effects, and are not entirely curative. It is therefore important to consider other preventative treatment options. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring bioactive compounds which have been shown to play a role in cancer prevention and treatment, especially in regards to a person’s lifestyle and diet. Recent evidence has shown that phytochemicals may exert their chemopreventative effects by targeting micro RNAs (miRNAs), which regulate the downstream expression of tumor suppressors and oncogenes. MiRNAs are small, endogenous, noncoding RNAs that regulate several biological processes through post-translational regulation. The dysregulation of miRNA expression has been shown to be associated with colorectal cancer. In this review, we will summarize and discuss several phytochemicals, which have been shown to exert chemopreventative effects in colorectal cancer by the modulation of miRNA expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Medicines and Biological Activity Evaluation)
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Open AccessArticle
Semi-Synthesis and Evaluation of Sargahydroquinoic Acid Derivatives as Potential Antimalarial Agents
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Malaria continues to present a major health problem, especially in developing countries. The development of new antimalarial drugs to counter drug resistance and ensure a steady supply of new treatment options is therefore an important area of research. Meroditerpenes have previously been [...] Read more.
Background: Malaria continues to present a major health problem, especially in developing countries. The development of new antimalarial drugs to counter drug resistance and ensure a steady supply of new treatment options is therefore an important area of research. Meroditerpenes have previously been shown to exhibit antiplasmodial activity against a chloroquinone sensitive strain of Plasmodium falciparum (D10). In this study we explored the antiplasmodial activity of several semi-synthetic analogs of sargahydroquinoic acid. Methods: Sargahydroquinoic acid was isolated from the marine brown alga, Sargassum incisifolium and converted, semi-synthetically, to several analogs. The natural products, together with their synthetic derivatives were evaluated for their activity against the FCR-3 strain of Plasmodium falciparum as well as MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Results: Sarganaphthoquinoic acid and sargaquinoic acid showed the most promising antiplasmodial activity and low cytotoxicity. Conclusions: Synthetic modification of the natural product, sargahydroquinoic acid, resulted in the discovery of a highly selective antiplasmodial compound, sarganaphthoquinoic acid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites)
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Open AccessProtocol
Music Therapy as Treatment of Negative Symptoms for Adult Patients Diagnosed with Schizophrenia—Study Protocol for a Randomized, Controlled and Blinded Study
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Three Cochrane reviews show that music therapy has a positive effect on schizophrenia concerning general functioning and positive/negative symptoms. This study aims to replicate these results in the Danish health system, a requirement for recommendation in guidelines from the Danish National Board [...] Read more.
Background: Three Cochrane reviews show that music therapy has a positive effect on schizophrenia concerning general functioning and positive/negative symptoms. This study aims to replicate these results in the Danish health system, a requirement for recommendation in guidelines from the Danish National Board of Health. Methods: The study is a randomized, controlled multi-site study, with a blinded design, aiming to include 90 participants who are 18–65 years in age, diagnosed according to ICD-10 with a schizophrenia diagnosis. The participants are randomized to one of two different music therapy activities for 25 weekly sessions. The study interventions are added to standard care. Outcome measures are rated at baseline, after 15 sessions and post therapy. A qualitative interview is performed as a one month follow up at the end of study. The primary intended outcome is a reduction in negative symptoms. The secondary intended outcome is progression in quality of life, alliance and psychosocial functioning. Results: As this study is still running, the results are not yet available. Conclusion: The study will investigate the direct effects of music therapy on negative symptoms as part of schizophrenia in a blinded, randomized trial. If proven effective, music therapy can be added to the small treatment armamentarium of effective therapies for negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle
QSAR Prediction Model to Search for Compounds with Selective Cytotoxicity Against Oral Cell Cancer
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Anticancer drugs often have strong toxicity against tumours and normal cells. Some natural products demonstrate high tumour specificity. We have previously reported the cytotoxic activity and tumour specificity of various chemical compounds. In this study, we constructed a database of previously [...] Read more.
Background: Anticancer drugs often have strong toxicity against tumours and normal cells. Some natural products demonstrate high tumour specificity. We have previously reported the cytotoxic activity and tumour specificity of various chemical compounds. In this study, we constructed a database of previously reported compound data and predictive models to screen a new anticancer drug. Methods: We collected compound data from our previous studies and built a database for analysis. Using this database, we constructed models that could predict cytotoxicity and tumour specificity using random forest method. The prediction performance was evaluated using an external validation set. Results: A total of 494 compounds were collected, and these activities and chemical structure data were merged as database for analysis. The structure-toxicity relationship prediction model showed higher prediction accuracy than the tumour selectivity prediction model. Descriptors with high contribution differed for tumour and normal cells. Conclusions: Further study is required to construct a tumour selective toxicity prediction model with higher predictive accuracy. Such a model is expected to contribute to the screening of candidate compounds for new anticancer drugs. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Ear Acupuncture according to the NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association)
Received: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 31 March 2019
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Abstract
This editorial is a brief report on the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) ear acupuncture and is intended to briefly summarize the main scientific work. The complementary addiction-detoxification auricular acupuncture method has not been sufficiently experimentally explored in many areas. There have been [...] Read more.
This editorial is a brief report on the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) ear acupuncture and is intended to briefly summarize the main scientific work. The complementary addiction-detoxification auricular acupuncture method has not been sufficiently experimentally explored in many areas. There have been clinical studies, some of which contradict the success. A total of 27 referenced publications were found that refer to the method that has existed for many decades and should be briefly listed here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auricular Medicine: Gateway to the Brain in Healing)
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Open AccessArticle
Antioxidant, Cytotoxic, and Antimicrobial Activities of Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Paeonia lactiflora Pall., and Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl. Extracts
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 30 March 2019
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Abstract
Background: The phytochemical composition, antioxidant, cytotoxic, and antimicrobial activities of a methanol extract from Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Ge), a 50% ethanol (in water) extract from Paeonia lactiflora Pall. (Pe), and a 96% ethanol extract from Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl. (Ue) were investigated. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: The phytochemical composition, antioxidant, cytotoxic, and antimicrobial activities of a methanol extract from Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Ge), a 50% ethanol (in water) extract from Paeonia lactiflora Pall. (Pe), and a 96% ethanol extract from Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl. (Ue) were investigated. Methods: The phytochemical profiles of the extracts were analyzed by LC-MS/MS. Antioxidant activity was evaluated by scavenging 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) radicals and reducing ferric complexes, and the total phenolic content was tested with the Folin–Ciocalteu method. Cytotoxicity was determined with a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay in murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells. Antimicrobial activity of the three plant extracts was investigated against six bacterial strains with the broth microdilution method. Results: Only Pe showed high antioxidant activities compared to the positive controls ascorbic acid and (−)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in DPPH assay; and generally the antioxidant activity order was ascorbic acid or EGCG > Pe > Ue > Ge. The three plant extracts did not show strong cytotoxicity against RAW 264.7 cells after 24 h treatment with IC50 values above 60.53 ± 4.03 μg/mL. Ue was not toxic against the six tested bacterial strains, with minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values above 5 mg/mL. Ge showed medium antibacterial activity against Acinetobacter bohemicus, Kocuria kristinae, Micrococcus luteus, Staphylococcus auricularis, and Bacillus megaterium with MICs between 0.31 and 1.25 mg/mL. Pe inhibited the growth of Acinetobacter bohemicus, Micrococcus luteus, and Bacillus megaterium at a MIC of 0.08 mg/mL. Conclusions: The three extracts were low-cytotoxic, but Pe exhibited effective DPPH radical scavenging ability and good antibacterial activity; Ue did not show antioxidant or antibacterial activity; Ge had no antioxidant potential, but medium antibacterial ability against five bacteria strains. Pe and Ge could be further studied for their potential to be developed as antioxidant or antibacterial candidates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites)
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Open AccessReview
Nanoemulsions of Essential Oils: New Tool for Control of Vector-Borne Diseases and In Vitro Effects on Some Parasitic Agents
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
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Abstract
The control of infectious/parasitic diseases is a continuing challenge for global health, which in turn requires new methods of action and the development of innovative agents to be used in its prevention and/or treatment. In this context, the control of vectors and intermediate [...] Read more.
The control of infectious/parasitic diseases is a continuing challenge for global health, which in turn requires new methods of action and the development of innovative agents to be used in its prevention and/or treatment. In this context, the control of vectors and intermediate hosts of etiological agents is an efficient method in the prevention of human and veterinary diseases. In later stages, it is necessary to have bioactive compounds that act efficiently on the agents that produce the disease. However, several synthetic agents have strong residual effects in humans and other animals and cause environmental toxicity, affecting fauna, flora and unbalancing the local ecosystem. Many studies have reported the dual activity of the essential oils (EOs): (i) control of vectors that are important in the cycle of disease transmission, and (ii) relevant activity against pathogens. In general, EOs have an easier degradation and cause less extension of environmental contamination. However, problems related to solubility and stability lead to the development of efficient vehicles for formulations containing EOs, such as nanoemulsions. Therefore, this systematic review describes several studies performed with nanoemulsions as carriers of EOs that have larvicidal, insecticidal, repellent, acaricidal and antiparasitic activities, and thus can be considered as alternatives in the vector control of infectious and parasitic diseases, as well as in the combat against etiological agents of parasitic origin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites)
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