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Medical Value of Metal Complexes and Plant-Derived Compounds: Biological Evaluation, Health Effects, Challenges, and Future Opportunities

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 October 2024 | Viewed by 270

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedicine and Environmental Research, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, 20-708 Lublin, Poland
Interests: mechanisms of toxicity of selected elements; mechanisms of metal interactions; seeking the most sensitive biomarkers to assess organism reactions to some metals; cytotoxicity of metals; bioelements; oxidative stress; antioxidants; in vivo/in vitro studies; experimental toxicology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT), Campus de Gambelas, Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2. CCMAR, Campus de Gambelas, Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Interests: metals in molecular sciences; decavanadate biochemistry; polyoxometalate (POM) interactions with proteins; metals and biomedical applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Heavy metals may cause both acute and chronic poisoning related to the pollution of the natural environment (water, soil, air) and/or work environments (occupational exposure). The entry into the human body of metals such as lead, mercury, or cadmium (one of the main environmental xenobiotics harmful to animals and humans, exposure to which is constantly increasing, constituting a significant public health problem in industrialized countries), even in small amounts, can pose a serious threat to human health and life. These metals are very toxic. They accumulate in the organism, especially in the liver and kidneys, causing damage. In addition, they may adversely affect the nervous, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems and also lead to the development of cancer.

Some elements, despite their multidirectional biological activity, can be toxic at high concentrations, generate free radicals, and lead to the intensification of lipid peroxidation, i.e., a free radical process that underlies one of the mechanisms of cell damage. One such element is vanadium, which is widely used in many industries, leading to constantly increasing environmental pollution from this metal. It should be emphasized that the results of certain studies into the role of vanadium in, for example, neurodegenerative processes, indicate that this element, contained in PM2.5 particles, may adversely affect the nervous system and contribute to the development of disorders such as Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases.

Biologically active compounds of plant origin constitute a very large group of substances that can have a beneficial effect on the human organism. They occur in leaves, fruits, and seeds, among other plant elements. It has been shown that biologically active compounds can play an important role in the prevention and treatment of some lifestyle diseases. Moreover, their antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects have been demonstrated. Some of them can also scavenge free radicals.

It should be highlighted that, for a long time, there has been high interest in biologically active compounds of plant origin in terms of their potential in preventing the toxic effects of metals. This is a very important and currently relevant trend associated with the search for effective strategies based on substances of natural origin to prevent the toxic effects of xenobiotics or mitigate the effects of their actions. Moreover, metal complexes, due to their pharmacological potential, have also been drawing interest. Their structures and properties make them therapeutically effective.

We invite authors to submit original research papers or review articles on the pharmacological activity of metal-containing complexes and compounds such as polyoxometalates and on links between metal coordination compounds and potential therapies for human pathologies with mechanistic analysis. We also invite authors to submit original research papers or review articles on biologically active compounds of plant origin in the treatment of modern-age diseases and the prevention of health risks related to metal exposure.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Plant-derived compounds/plant extracts;
  • Metal complexes (also complexed with plant-derived compounds) and polyoxometalates;
  • Metal toxicity;
  • Therapeutic bioactive molecules;
  • Pharmacological potential of metal complexes (including plant-derived compounds) and polyoxometalates;
  • Lifestyle disorders;
  • Mechanisms.

Dr. Agnieszka Scibior
Prof. Dr. Juan Llopis
Dr. Manuel Aureliano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • bioactive compounds
  • metals
  • metal complexes
  • polyoxometalates
  • modern-age diseases
  • toxicity
  • therapeutic importance
  • novel applications

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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