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Special Issue "Plant-Derived Bioactive Molecules in Improving Health and Preventing Lifestyle Diseases"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Rosaria Acquaviva
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Drug and Health Sciences, Biochemistry Section, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
Interests: medicinal and edible plants; ethnobotany; secondary metabolites; biological activities; oxidative stress; inflammation; cytotoxicity
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Claudia Di Giacomo
Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Catania, Catania, Italy
Interests: plant extracts; natural compounds; oxidative stress; cancer; inflammation; metabolic disorders; diabetes; cardiovascular diseases

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In many plant-derived products and plant-based foods, regardless of their nutritional value, some bioactive molecules that show several beneficial effects due to their biological activity are present. It has been widely demonstrated that they play a key role in the prevention of various disorders, thus exerting protective effects on human health. Natural products, in fact, because of their several pharmacological and biological activities, are considered promising alternatives to the classical pharmacological approaches in preventing many harmful conditions linked to civilization. Lifestyle diseases, also known as diseases of civilization, include those pathological conditions associated with people’s habits and their life conditions and also the environment in which they live or operate. Respiratory problems, damage to the cardiovascular system, irritation of the eyes, mouth, and nose, reduced immunity, metabolic disorders, and chronic inflammation are only some of the consequences of everyday life. These harmful conditions may evolve in a more serious pathological condition, such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic syndrome, cancers, and many more. This Special Issue, “Plant-Derived Bioactive Molecules in Improving Health and Preventing Lifestyle Diseases”, aims to report the health effects of bioactive natural compounds in vitro, in vivo, and in clinical studies, including the characterization of source and bioactive constituents. Furthermore, it intends to focus on the variety of their protective action mechanisms in chronic inflammation, redox and metabolic homeostasis, cellular restoring pathway, and organ and tissue functionality related to lifestyle diseases. Original research articles, reviews, and short communications in this field would be welcome from experts.

Prof. Dr. Rosaria Acquaviva
Prof. Dr. Claudia Di Giacomo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • botanical compounds
  • oxidative stress
  • inflammation
  • metabolic syndrome
  • cancer
  • chronic disorders
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • aging-associated disorders
  • gastrointestinal dysfunction
  • integrative medicine

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Hydroxytyrosol Induces the Death for Apoptosis of Human Melanoma Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 8074; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21218074 - 29 Oct 2020
Abstract
Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and one of the most treatment-refractory malignancies. In metastatic melanoma cell lines, we analysed the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic potentials of a phenolic component of olive oil, the hydroxytyrosol. In particular, through MTS assay, DeadEnd™ [...] Read more.
Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and one of the most treatment-refractory malignancies. In metastatic melanoma cell lines, we analysed the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic potentials of a phenolic component of olive oil, the hydroxytyrosol. In particular, through MTS assay, DeadEnd™ Colorimetric TUNEL assay, Annexin V binding and PI uptake, western blot experiment, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) analysis, and the cell colony assay, we showed that the hydroxytyrosol treatment remarkably reduces the cell viability inducing the death for apoptosis of melanoma cells. Moreover, we showed that the hydroxytyrosol treatment of melanoma cells leads to a significant increase of p53 and γH2AX expression, a significant decrease of AKT expression and the inhibition of cell colony formation ability. Finally, we propose that the increased amount of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) that may be related to the regulation of the pathways involved in the activation of apoptosis and in the inhibition of melanoma growth could be the strategy used by hydroxytyrosol to exert its functions in melanoma. Therefore, for its role in melanoma growth inhibition, the hydroxytyrosol treatment could deeply interfere with melanoma progression as a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of this highly invasive tumour. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Neuroprotective Effects of Chronic Resveratrol Treatment and Exercise Training in the 3xTg-AD Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(19), 7337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197337 - 04 Oct 2020
Abstract
To date, there is no cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a chronic neurodegenerative condition that affects memory, language, and behavior. AD is characterized by neuroinflammation, accumulation of brain amyloid-beta (Aβ) oligomers and neurofibrillary tangles, increased neuronal apoptosis, and loss of [...] Read more.
To date, there is no cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a chronic neurodegenerative condition that affects memory, language, and behavior. AD is characterized by neuroinflammation, accumulation of brain amyloid-beta (Aβ) oligomers and neurofibrillary tangles, increased neuronal apoptosis, and loss of synaptic function. Promoting regular exercise and a diet containing polyphenols are effective non-pharmacological approaches that prevent the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we measured various conformational toxic species of Aβ and markers of inflammation, apoptosis, endolysosomal degradation, and neuroprotection after 5 months of exercise training (ET), resveratrol (Resv) treatment, or combination treatment in the 3xTg-AD mouse model of AD. Our main results indicate that Resv decreased neuroinflammation and accumulation of Aβ oligomers, increased levels of neurotrophins, synaptic markers, silent information regulator, and decreased markers of apoptosis, autophagy, endolysosomal degradation and ubiquitination in the brains of 3xTg-AD mice. ET improved some markers related to neuroprotection, but when combined with Resv treatment, the benefits achieved were as effective as Resv treatment alone. Our results show that the neuroprotective effects of Resv, ET or Resv and ET are associated with reduced toxicity of Aβ oligomers, suppression of neuronal autophagy, decreased apoptosis, and upregulation of key growth-related proteins. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Plant Natural Sources of the Endocannabinoid (E)-β-Caryophyllene: A Systematic Quantitative Analysis of Published Literature
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6540; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186540 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
(E)-β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a natural sesquiterpene hydrocarbon present in hundreds of plant species. BCP possesses several important pharmacological activities, ranging from pain treatment to neurological and metabolic disorders. These are mainly due to its ability to interact with the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) [...] Read more.
(E)-β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a natural sesquiterpene hydrocarbon present in hundreds of plant species. BCP possesses several important pharmacological activities, ranging from pain treatment to neurological and metabolic disorders. These are mainly due to its ability to interact with the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) and the complete lack of interaction with the brain CB1. A systematic analysis of plant species with essential oils containing a BCP percentage > 10% provided almost 300 entries with species belonging to 51 families. The essential oils were found to be extracted from 13 plant parts and samples originated from 56 countries worldwide. Statistical analyses included the evaluation of variability in BCP% and yield% as well as the statistical linkage between families, plant parts and countries of origin by cluster analysis. Identified species were also grouped according to their presence in the Belfrit list. The survey evidences the importance of essential oil yield evaluation in support of the chemical analysis. The results provide a comprehensive picture of the species with the highest BCP and yield percentages. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Oxyresveratrol Inhibits IL-1β-Induced Inflammation via Suppressing AKT and ERK1/2 Activation in Human Microglia, HMC3
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6054; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176054 - 22 Aug 2020
Abstract
Oxyresveratrol (OXY), a major phytochemical component derived from several plants, has been proved to have several pharmacological properties. However, the role of OXY in regulating neuroinflammation is still unclear. Here, we focused mainly on the anti-neuroinflammatory effects at the cellular level of OXY [...] Read more.
Oxyresveratrol (OXY), a major phytochemical component derived from several plants, has been proved to have several pharmacological properties. However, the role of OXY in regulating neuroinflammation is still unclear. Here, we focused mainly on the anti-neuroinflammatory effects at the cellular level of OXY in the interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β)-stimulated HMC3 human microglial cell line. We demonstrated that OXY strongly decreased the release of IL-6 and MCP-1 from HMC3 cells stimulated with IL-1β. Nevertheless, IL-1β could not induce the secretion of TNF-α and CXCL10 in this specific cell line, and that OXY did not have any effects on reducing the basal level of these cytokines in the sample culture supernatants. The densitometry analysis of immunoreactive bands from Western blot clearly indicated that IL-1β does not trigger the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling. We discovered that OXY exerted its anti-inflammatory role in IL-1β-induced HMC3 cells by suppressing IL-1β-induced activation of the PI3K/AKT/p70S6K pathway. Explicitly, the presence of OXY for only 4 h could strongly inhibit AKT phosphorylation. In addition, OXY had moderate effects on inhibiting the activation of ERK1/2. Results from immunofluorescence study further confirmed that OXY inhibited the phosphorylation of AKT and ERK1/2 MAPK upon IL-1β stimulation in individual cells. These findings suggest that the possible anti-inflammatory mechanisms of OXY in IL-1β-induced HMC3 cells are mainly through its ability to suppress the PI3K/AKT/p70S6K and ERK1/2 MAPK signal transduction cascades. In conclusion, our study provided accumulated data that OXY is able to suppress IL-1β stimulation signaling in human microglial cells, and we believe that OXY could be a probable pharmacologic agent for altering microglial function in the treatment of neuroinflammation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antitumor Efficacy of the Herbal Recipe Benja Amarit against Highly Invasive Cholangiocarcinoma by Inducing Apoptosis both In Vitro and In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(16), 5669; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21165669 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Thailand is the country with highest incidence and prevalence of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) in the world. Due to the frequently late diagnosis that is associated with this disease, most CCA patients are prescribed chemotherapy as a form of treatment. However, CCA is able to [...] Read more.
Thailand is the country with highest incidence and prevalence of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) in the world. Due to the frequently late diagnosis that is associated with this disease, most CCA patients are prescribed chemotherapy as a form of treatment. However, CCA is able to resist the presently available chemotherapy, so to the prognosis of this disease is still very poor. In this study, we investigated the anticancer potential of a Thai herbal recipe, Benja Amarit (BJA) against CCA and the relevant mechanisms of action that are involved. We found that BJA inhibited CCA cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, especially in highly invasive KKU-213 cells. The extract induced mitochondrial- and caspase-dependent apoptosis in CCA cells by regulating the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway. BJA also triggered autophagy in CCA cells. Nonetheless, the inhibition of autophagy enhanced BJA-induced CCA cell death via apoptosis. An in vivo xenograft model revealed the growth-inhibiting and death-inducing effects of BJA against CCA by targeting apoptosis. However, general toxicity to blood cells, kidneys and the liver, as well as changes in body weight, did not appear. Our findings suggest that the herbal recipe BJA might be used as a potentially new and effective treatment for cholangiocarcinoma patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Aquilariae Lignum Methylene Chloride Fraction Attenuates IL-1β-Driven Neuroinflammation in BV2 Microglial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5465; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155465 - 30 Jul 2020
Abstract
Microglial hyperactivation and neuroinflammation are known to induce neuronal death, which is one of the main causes of neurodegenerative disorders. We previously found that Aquilariae Lignum extract attenuated both neuronal excitotoxicity and neuroinflammation in vivo and in vitro. For further analysis, we extracted [...] Read more.
Microglial hyperactivation and neuroinflammation are known to induce neuronal death, which is one of the main causes of neurodegenerative disorders. We previously found that Aquilariae Lignum extract attenuated both neuronal excitotoxicity and neuroinflammation in vivo and in vitro. For further analysis, we extracted the methylene chloride fraction of Aquilariae Lignum to determine the bioactive compounds. In this study, we investigated the anti-neuroinflammatory effects and underlying mechanisms of the Aquilariae Lignum fraction (ALF) using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated BV2 microglial cells. BV2 cells were pretreated with ALF (0.5, 1, and 2.5 μg/mL) before treatment with LPS (1 μg/mL). Pretreatment with ALF significantly attenuated the LPS-induced overproductions of nitric oxide (NO), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and interleukin (IL)-1β. These anti-inflammatory effects were supported by ALF-mediated modulation of the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway. Furthermore, ALF exerted strong anti-inflammasome effects, as shown by IL-1β-specific inhibitory activity, but not activity against tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, along with inhibition of caspase-1 activity and NACHT, LRR, and PYD domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3)-related molecules. These results indicate the potent anti-neuroinflammatory activity of ALF and that its underlying mechanism may involve the regulation of NLRP3 inflammasome-derived neuroinflammation in microglial cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Berberine Derivatives Suppress Cellular Proliferation and Tumorigenesis In Vitro in Human Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124218 - 13 Jun 2020
Abstract
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in the world, and the most common type of lung cancer is non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), accounting for 85% of lung cancer. Patients with NSCLC, when detected, are mostly in a metastatic stage, and over [...] Read more.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in the world, and the most common type of lung cancer is non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), accounting for 85% of lung cancer. Patients with NSCLC, when detected, are mostly in a metastatic stage, and over half of patients diagnosed with NSCLC die within one year after diagnosis; the 5-year survival rate is 24%. However, in patients with metastatic NSCLC, the 5-year survival rate is 6%. Therefore, development of a new therapeutic agent or strategy is urgent for NSCLCs. Berberine has been illustrated to be a therapeutic agent of NSCLC. In the present study, we synthesized six derivatives of berberine, and the anti-NSCLC activity of these agents was examined. Some of them exert increasing proliferation inhibition comparing with berberine. Further studies demonstrated that two of the most effective agents, 9-O-decylberberrubine bromide (B6) and 9-O-dodecylberberrubine bromide (B7), performed cell cycle regulation, in-vitro tumorigenesis inhibition and autophagic flux blocking, but not induction of cellular apoptosis in NSCLC cells. Moreover, B6 and B7 were determined to be green fluorescent and could be penetrated and localized in cellular mitochondria. Herein, B6 and B7, the berberine derivatives we synthesized, revealed better anti-NSCLC activity with berberine and may be used as therapeutic candidates for the treatment of NSCLCs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Artocarpus lakoocha Extract Inhibits LPS-Induced Inflammatory Response in RAW 264.7 Macrophage Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(4), 1355; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041355 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb. (AL) has been known for its high content of stilbenoids, especially oxyresveratrol. AL has been used in Thai traditional medicine for centuries. However, the role of AL in regulating inflammation has not been elucidated. Here we investigated the molecular mechanisms [...] Read more.
Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb. (AL) has been known for its high content of stilbenoids, especially oxyresveratrol. AL has been used in Thai traditional medicine for centuries. However, the role of AL in regulating inflammation has not been elucidated. Here we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammation of AL ethanolic extract in RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cell line. The HPLC results revealed that this plant was rich in oxyresveratrol, and AL ethanolic extract exhibited anti-inflammatory properties. In particular, AL extract decreased lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated production and secretion of cytokines and chemokine, including IL-6, TNF-α, and MCP-1. Consistently, the extract inhibited the production of nitric oxide (NO) in the supernatants of LPS-stimulated cells. Data from the immunofluorescence study showed that AL extract suppressed nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) upon LPS induction. Results from Western blot analysis further confirmed that AL extract strongly prevented the LPS-induced degradation of IκB which is normally required for the activation of NF-κB. The protein expression of iNOS and COX-2 in response to LPS stimulation was significantly decreased with the presence of AL extract. AL extract was found to play an anti-inflammatory role, in part through inhibiting LPS-induced activation of Akt. The extract had negligible impact on the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. Specifically, incubation of cells with the extract for only 3 h demonstrated the rapid action of AL extract on inhibiting the phosphorylation of Akt, but not ERK1/2. Longer exposure (24 h) to AL extract was required to mildly reduce the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38, and JNK MAPKs. These results indicate that AL extract manipulates its anti-inflammatory effects mainly through blocking the PI3K/Akt and NF-κB signal transduction pathways. Collectively, we believe that AL could be a potential alternative agent for alleviating excessive inflammation in many inflammation-associated diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Neuroprotective Effects of Panax ginseng G115® and Ginkgo biloba GK501® Combinations In Vitro Models of Excitotoxicity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 5872; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20235872 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Neurological-related disorders are seen as an increasingly important aspect of welfare. While conventional medicine is still the mainstay for the treatment of these diseases, it is becoming apparent that patients are also seeking more natural and preventative interventions. Panax ginseng G115® and [...] Read more.
Neurological-related disorders are seen as an increasingly important aspect of welfare. While conventional medicine is still the mainstay for the treatment of these diseases, it is becoming apparent that patients are also seeking more natural and preventative interventions. Panax ginseng G115® and Ginkgo biloba GK501® extracts alone or in combination were used in two in vitro experimental models of primary cultures exposed to excitotoxicity: rat organotypic hippocampal slices exposed to either 5 µM kainic acid or 10 µM N-Methyl-d-aspartate for 24 hours, and mixed cortical cells exposed to 300 µM NMDA for 10 min. Cell death in the Cornu Ammonis areas CA3 or CA1 subregions of slices was quantified by measuring propidium iodide fluorescence, whereas in cortical cells, it was assessed by measuring the amount of lactate dehydrogenase. In slices, treatment with extracts alone or in combination significantly attenuated CA3 and CA1 damage induced by exposure to kainic acid or NMDA, respectively. A similar neuroprotective effect was observed in cortical cells exposed to NMDA. Analysis of cell signaling pathways found that the two extracts induced an increase of the phosphorylation and they reversed the decrease of phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and Akt induced by kainic acid and NMDA in organotypic hippocampal slices. These results suggest that P. ginseng G115® and G. biloba GK501® extracts may mediate their effects by activating phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and Akt signaling pathways, protecting against excitotoxicity-induced damage in in vitro models. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Protective Role of St. John’s Wort and Its Components Hyperforin and Hypericin against Diabetes through Inhibition of Inflammatory Signaling: Evidence from In Vitro and In Vivo Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 8108; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21218108 - 30 Oct 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus is a very common chronic disease with progressively increasing prevalence. Besides the well-known autoimmune and inflammatory pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, in many people, metabolic changes and inappropriate lifestyle favor a subtle chronic inflammatory state that contributes to development of insulin [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus is a very common chronic disease with progressively increasing prevalence. Besides the well-known autoimmune and inflammatory pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, in many people, metabolic changes and inappropriate lifestyle favor a subtle chronic inflammatory state that contributes to development of insulin resistance and progressive loss of β-cell function and mass, eventually resulting in metabolic syndrome or overt type 2 diabetes. In this paper, we review the anti-inflammatory effects of the extract of Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John’s wort, SJW) and its main active ingredients firstly in representative pathological situations on inflammatory basis and then in pancreatic β cells and in obese or diabetic animal models. The simultaneous and long-lasting inhibition of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-1, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs)/c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathways involved in pro-inflammatory cytokine-induced β-cell dysfunction/death and insulin resistance make SJW particularly suitable for both preventive and therapeutic use in metabolic diseases. Hindrance of inflammatory cytokine signaling is likely dependent on the hyperforin content of SJW extract, but recent data reveal that hypericin can also exert relevant protective effects, mediated by activation of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase cAMP-dependent (PKA)/adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway, against high-fat-diet-induced metabolic abnormalities. Actually, the mechanisms of action of the two main components of SJW appear complementary, strengthening the efficacy of the plant extract. Careful quantitative analysis of SJW components and suitable dosage, with monitoring of possible drug–drug interaction in a context of remarkable tolerability, are easily achievable pre-requisites for forthcoming clinical applications. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Factors Affecting the Formation and Treatment of Thrombosis by Natural and Synthetic Compounds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 7975; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21217975 - 27 Oct 2020
Abstract
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) refers to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), whose consequence may be a pulmonary embolism (PE). Thrombosis is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and is the third most common cardiovascular disease after myocardial infarction and stroke. DVT is associated with the [...] Read more.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) refers to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), whose consequence may be a pulmonary embolism (PE). Thrombosis is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and is the third most common cardiovascular disease after myocardial infarction and stroke. DVT is associated with the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein in the body. Thrombosis promotes slowed blood flow, hypoxia, cell activation, and the associated release of many active substances involved in blood clot formation. All thrombi which adhere to endothelium consist of fibrin, platelets, and trapped red and white blood cells. In this review, we summarise the impact of various factors affecting haemostatic disorders leading to blood clot formation. The paper discusses the causes of thrombosis, the mechanism of blood clot formation, and factors such as hypoxia, the involvement of endothelial cells (ECs), and the activation of platelets and neutrophils along with the effects of bacteria and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Mechanisms related to the action of anticoagulants affecting coagulation factors including antiplatelet drugs have also been discussed. However, many aspects related to the pathogenesis of thrombosis still need to be clarified. A review of the drugs used to treat and prevent thrombosis and natural anticoagulants that occur in the plant world and are traditionally used in Far Eastern medicine has also been carried out. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Critical Review of the Abilities, Determinants, and Possible Molecular Mechanisms of Seaweed Polysaccharides Antioxidants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(20), 7774; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21207774 - 21 Oct 2020
Abstract
Oxidative stress induces various cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and cancer diseases, caused by excess reactive oxygen species (ROS). It is attributed to the lack of sufficient antioxidant defense capacity to eliminate unnecessary ROS. Seaweeds are largely cultivated for their edible and commercial purposes. Excessive proliferation [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress induces various cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and cancer diseases, caused by excess reactive oxygen species (ROS). It is attributed to the lack of sufficient antioxidant defense capacity to eliminate unnecessary ROS. Seaweeds are largely cultivated for their edible and commercial purposes. Excessive proliferation of some seaweeds has occurred in coastal areas, causing environmental and economic disasters, and even threating human health. Removing and disposing of the excess seaweeds are costly and labor-intensive with few rewards. Therefore, improving the value of seaweeds utilizes this resource, but also deals with the accumulated biomass in the environment. Seaweed has been demonstrated to be a great source of polysaccharides antioxidants, which are effective in enhancing the antioxidant system in humans and animals. They have been reported to be a healthful method to prevent and/or reduce oxidative damage. Current studies indicate that they have a good potential for treating various diseases. Polysaccharides, the main components in seaweeds, are commonly used as industrial feedstock. They are readily extracted by aqueous and acetone solutions. This study attempts to review the current researches related to seaweed polysaccharides as an antioxidant. We discuss the main categories, their antioxidant abilities, their determinants, and their possible molecular mechanisms of action. This review proposes possible high-value ways to utilize seaweed resources. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Potential Synergistic Action of Bioactive Compounds from Plant Extracts against Skin Infecting Microorganisms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(14), 5105; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21145105 - 19 Jul 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The skin is an important organ that acts as a physical barrier to the outer environment. It is rich in immune cells such as keratinocytes, Langerhans cells, mast cells, and T cells, which provide the first line of defense mechanisms against numerous pathogens [...] Read more.
The skin is an important organ that acts as a physical barrier to the outer environment. It is rich in immune cells such as keratinocytes, Langerhans cells, mast cells, and T cells, which provide the first line of defense mechanisms against numerous pathogens by activating both the innate and adaptive response. Cutaneous immunological processes may be stimulated or suppressed by numerous plant extracts via their immunomodulatory properties. Several plants are rich in bioactive molecules; many of these exert antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal effects. The present study describes the impact of plant extracts on the modulation of skin immunity, and their antimicrobial effects against selected skin invaders. Plant products remain valuable counterparts to modern pharmaceuticals and may be used to alleviate numerous skin disorders, including infected wounds, herpes, and tineas. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Health Functions and Related Molecular Mechanisms of Tea Components: An Update Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(24), 6196; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20246196 - 08 Dec 2019
Cited by 23
Abstract
Tea is widely consumed all over the world. Generally, tea is divided into six categories: White, green, yellow, oolong, black, and dark teas, based on the fermentation degree. Tea contains abundant phytochemicals, such as polyphenols, pigments, polysaccharides, alkaloids, free amino acids, and saponins. [...] Read more.
Tea is widely consumed all over the world. Generally, tea is divided into six categories: White, green, yellow, oolong, black, and dark teas, based on the fermentation degree. Tea contains abundant phytochemicals, such as polyphenols, pigments, polysaccharides, alkaloids, free amino acids, and saponins. However, the bioavailability of tea phytochemicals is relatively low. Thus, some novel technologies like nanotechnology have been developed to improve the bioavailability of tea bioactive components and consequently enhance the bioactivity. So far, many studies have demonstrated that tea shows various health functions, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immuno-regulatory, anticancer, cardiovascular-protective, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, and hepato-protective effects. Moreover, it is also considered that drinking tea is safe to humans, since reports about the severe adverse effects of tea consumption are rare. In order to provide a better understanding of tea and its health potential, this review summarizes and discusses recent literature on the bioactive components, bioavailability, health functions, and safety issues of tea, with special attention paid to the related molecular mechanisms of tea health functions. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Nutraceutical Compounds as Sensitizers for Cancer Treatment in Radiation Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(21), 5267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20215267 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The improvement of diagnostic techniques and the efficacy of new therapies in clinical practice have allowed cancer patients to reach a higher chance to be cured together with a better quality of life. However, tumors still represent the second leading cause of death [...] Read more.
The improvement of diagnostic techniques and the efficacy of new therapies in clinical practice have allowed cancer patients to reach a higher chance to be cured together with a better quality of life. However, tumors still represent the second leading cause of death worldwide. On the contrary, chemotherapy and radiotherapy (RT) still lack treatment plans which take into account the biological features of tumors and depend on this for their response to treatment. Tumor cells’ response to RT is strictly-connected to their radiosensitivity, namely, their ability to resist and to overcome cell damage induced by ionizing radiation (IR). For this reason, radiobiological research is focusing on the ability of chemical compounds to radiosensitize cancer cells so to make them more responsive to IR. In recent years, the interests of researchers have been focused on natural compounds that show antitumoral effects with limited collateral issues. Moreover, nutraceuticals are easy to recover and are thus less expensive. On these bases, several scientific projects have aimed to test also their ability to induce tumor radiosensitization both in vitro and in vivo. The goal of this review is to describe what is known about the role of nutraceuticals in radiotherapy, their use and their potential application. Full article
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