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Special Issue "Selected Papers from the 6th International Mediterranean Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MESMAP-6)"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Nazim Sekeroglu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Kilis 7 Aralık University, 79000 Kilis, Turkey
Interests: from nature to fields; cultivation and processing of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs); good collection and agricultural practices of MAPs; from plant raw material to final products; good manufacturing practices and quality aspects; bioactivities of plant secondary metabolites
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Anake Kijjoa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Química, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar and CIIMAR, Universidade do Porto, Rua Jorge de Viterbo Ferreira, nº228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
Interests: isolation, structure elucidation of bioactive compounds from terrestrial and marine organisms; secondary metabolites
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Sevgi Gezici
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Faculty of Science & Art, Kilis 7 Aralık University, 79000 Kilis, Turkey
Interests: human genetics; molecular biology of cancer; cancer genetics; apoptosis and signaling pathways; cancer proteomics; medical biology; medicinal and aromatic plants; bioactivities of plant secondary metabolites; in vivo and in vitro anticancer and antitumor research
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Increasing health concerns and limited medication treatments for incurable diseases in the modern medical system have led health professionals, and especially desperate patients, to turn to traditional medicinal formulas, especially medicinal plants and herbal medicines. Thus, the phytochemical aspects of medicinal and aromatic plants and their uses in  traditional medicine have aroused considerable interest among the scientists working in this field. Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) and, to some extent, non-wood forest products (NWFPs) are important in many sectors such as food, beverage, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, perfumery, food additives, and self-care products. Recently, novel herbal products, super foods, herbal coffees, natural cosmetics, and many other herbal products have been rediscovered and their market size has increased considerably. Conservation of plant diversity, sustainable wild harvesting of medicinal and aromatic plants, good agricultural production, post-harvest technologies, good manufacturing processing of herbal products, their quality control under good laboratory practices, and legal issues surrounding these products for public health are the main priorities of governments around the world. Besides official efforts, non-governmental/non-profit organizations (NGOs/NPOs) are also working for these targets.

Following a very successful MESMAP-5, which was jointly organized with the 4th International Symposium on Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences (ISPBS-5), in Cappadocia, Turkey, in April 2019, we are now organizing the Sixth International Mediterranean Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MESMAP-6), which will be held at Richmond Ephesus Resort Hotel in Selcuk (Ephesus), Izmir, TURKEY, during 15-17 October 2020. The MESMAP-6 scientific program covers all the aspects of MAPs and NWFPs including phytochemistry, phytopharmacology, pharmacognosy, herbal medicines, ethnobotany, plant biotechnology, agriculture, and forestry. Detailed topics for the conference can be found on the conference website: http://www.mesmap.com/.

This Special Issue of Molecules on “Selected Papers from the 6th International Mediterranean Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MESMAP-6)” welcomes submissions of previously unpublished manuscripts from original work on all the above aspects, including isolation, structure elucidation, and biological activity of plant secondary metabolites; pharmacological study of medicinal plants and traditional medicine formulae; efficacy of natural products; safety and regulations on natural products; and natural products used in cosmeceuticals, nutraceuticals, and veterinary medicine.

Please note that reports of known compounds from new plant sources will not generally be accepted unless they have relevant biological and pharmacological activities. Plant extracts used for in vitro and/or in vivo pharmacological studies must be characterized by analysis of their major constituents (e.g., HPLC fingerprints, HPLC-MS, GC-MS, or NMR analyses).

Finally, the organizing committee wishes to welcome participants from all continents to this important scientific gathering in Ephesus, Turkey, “A world cultural heritage in the extraordinary natural and historical setting of the world". Like the previous editions of MESMAP, we are sure that all participants will have the opportunity to share their knowledge, experience, and expertise at this scientific gathering. We also hope that no one will resist the beauty of the spring in Ephesus. The Editorial of this Special Issue plans to receive full paper submissions from 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021. We wish you all the best, and we look forward to meeting you in Ephesus in October.

Prof. Dr. Nazim Sekeroglu
Prof. Dr. Anake Kijjoa
Prof. Dr. Sevgi Gezici
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Identification of Phenolic Compounds by LC-MS/MS and Evaluation of Bioactive Properties of Two Edible Halophytes: Limonium effusum and L. sinuatum
Molecules 2021, 26(13), 4040; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26134040 - 01 Jul 2021
Viewed by 666
Abstract
This work aimed to evaluate the phenolic content and in vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial and enzyme inhibitory activities of the methanol extracts and their fractions of two edible halophytic Limonium species, L. effusum (LE) and L. sinuatum (LS). The total phenolic content resulted about [...] Read more.
This work aimed to evaluate the phenolic content and in vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial and enzyme inhibitory activities of the methanol extracts and their fractions of two edible halophytic Limonium species, L. effusum (LE) and L. sinuatum (LS). The total phenolic content resulted about two-fold higher in the ethyl acetate fraction of LE (522.82 ± 5.67 mg GAE/g extract) than in that of LS (274.87 ± 1.87 mg GAE/g extract). LC-MS/MS analysis indicated that tannic acid was the most abundant phenolic acid in both species (71,439.56 ± 3643.3 µg/g extract in LE and 105,453.5 ± 5328.1 µg/g extract in LS), whereas hyperoside was the most abundant flavonoid (14,006.90 ± 686.1 µg/g extract in LE and 1708.51 ± 83.6 µg/g extract in LS). The antioxidant capacity was evaluated by DPPH and TAC assays, and the stronger antioxidant activity in ethyl acetate fractions was highlighted. Both species were more active against Gram-positive bacteria than Gram negatives and showed considerable growth inhibitions against tested fungi. Interestingly, selective acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity was observed with LE and LS. Particularly, the water fraction of LS strongly inhibited AChE (IC50 = 0.199 ± 0.009 µg/mL). The ethyl acetate fractions of LE and LS, as well as the n-hexane fraction of LE, exhibited significant antityrosinase activity (IC50 = 245.56 ± 3.6, 295.18 ± 10.57 and 148.27 ± 3.33 µg/mL, respectively). The ethyl acetate fraction and methanol extract of LS also significantly inhibited pancreatic lipase (IC50 = 83.76 ± 4.19 and 162.2 ± 7.29 µg/mL, respectively). Taken together, these findings warrant further investigations to assess the potential of LE and LS as a bioactive source that can be exploited in pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries. Full article
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Article
Effects of Pueraria candollei var mirifica (Airy Shaw and Suvat.) Niyomdham on Ovariectomy-Induced Cognitive Impairment and Oxidative Stress in the Mouse Brain
Molecules 2021, 26(11), 3442; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113442 - 05 Jun 2021
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Abstract
The effects of the phytoestrogen-enriched plant Pueraria mirifica (PM) extract on ovari-ectomy (OVX)-induced cognitive impairment and hippocampal oxidative stress in mice were investigated. Daily treatment with PM and 17β-estradiol (E2) significantly elevated cognitive behavior as evaluated by using the Y maze test, the [...] Read more.
The effects of the phytoestrogen-enriched plant Pueraria mirifica (PM) extract on ovari-ectomy (OVX)-induced cognitive impairment and hippocampal oxidative stress in mice were investigated. Daily treatment with PM and 17β-estradiol (E2) significantly elevated cognitive behavior as evaluated by using the Y maze test, the novel object recognition test (NORT), and the Morris water maze test (MWM), attenuated atrophic changes in the uterus and decreased serum 17β-estradiol levels. The treatments significantly ameliorated ovariectomy-induced oxidative stress in the hippocampus and serum by a decrease in malondialdehyde (MDA), an enhancement of superoxide dismutase, and catalase activity, including significantly down-regulated expression of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α proinflammatory cytokines, while up-regulating expression of PI3K. The present results suggest that PM extract suppresses oxidative brain damage and dysfunctions in the hippocampal antioxidant system, including the neuroinflammatory system in OVX animals, thereby preventing OVX-induced cognitive impairment. The present results indicate that PM exerts beneficial effects on cognitive deficits for which menopause/ovariectomy have been implicated as risk factors. Full article
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Article
Chemical Profile, Cytotoxic Activity and Oxidative Stress Reduction of Different Syringa vulgaris L. Extracts
Molecules 2021, 26(11), 3104; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113104 - 22 May 2021
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Abstract
Syringa vulgaris L. (common lilac) is one of the most popular ornamental species, but also a promising not comprehensively studied source of bioactive compounds with important therapeutic potential. Our study was designed to characterize the chemical composition and to assess the antioxidant and [...] Read more.
Syringa vulgaris L. (common lilac) is one of the most popular ornamental species, but also a promising not comprehensively studied source of bioactive compounds with important therapeutic potential. Our study was designed to characterize the chemical composition and to assess the antioxidant and cytotoxic properties of ethanolic extracts obtained from S. vulgaris L. flowers, leaves, bark, and fruit. The chemical profile of the ethanolic extracts was investigated using chromatographic (HPLC-DAD-ESI+, GC-MS) and spectral (UV-Vis, FT-IR) methods, while the protective effect against free radicals was evaluated in vitro by different chemical assays (DPPH, FRAP, CUPRAC). The cytotoxic activity was tested on two tumoral cell lines, HeLa, B16F10, using the MTT assay. Significant amounts of free or glycosylated chemical components belonging to various therapeutically important structural classes, such as phenyl-propanoids (syringin, acteoside, echinacoside), flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol derivatives) and secoiridoids (secologanoside, oleuropein, 10-hydroxy oleuropein, demethyloleuropein, syringalactone A, nuzhenide, lingstroside) were obtained for the flowers, leaves and bark extracts, respectively. Furthermore, MTT tests pointed out a significant cytotoxic potential expressed in a non-dose-dependent manner toward the tumoral lines. The performed methods underlined that S. vulgaris extracts, in particular belonging to flowers and leaves, represent valuable sources of compounds with antioxidant and antitumoral potential. Full article
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Article
Antidementia Effects of Alternanthera philoxeroides in Ovariectomized Mice Supported by NMR-Based Metabolomic Analysis
Molecules 2021, 26(9), 2789; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26092789 - 09 May 2021
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Abstract
The crude ethanol extract of the whole plant of Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb was investigated for its potential as antidementia, induced by estrogen deprivation, based on in vitro antioxidant activity, β-amyloid aggregation inhibition and cholinesterase inhibitory activity, as well as in vivo Morris [...] Read more.
The crude ethanol extract of the whole plant of Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb was investigated for its potential as antidementia, induced by estrogen deprivation, based on in vitro antioxidant activity, β-amyloid aggregation inhibition and cholinesterase inhibitory activity, as well as in vivo Morris water maze task (MWMT), novel object recognition task (NORT), and Y-maze task. To better understand the effect of the extract, oxidative stress-induced brain membrane damage through lipid peroxidation in the whole brain was also investigated. Additionally, expressions of neuroinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α) and estrogen receptor-mediated facilitation genes such as PI3K and AKT mRNA in the hippocampus and frontal cortex were also evaluated. These effects were confirmed by the determination of its serum metabolites by NMR metabolomic analysis. Both the crude extract of A. philoxeroides and its flavone constituents were found to inhibit β-amyloid (Aβ) aggregation. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Analysis, Antioxidant and Anticancer Potential of Sideritis niveotomentosa: Endemic Wild Species of Turkey
Molecules 2021, 26(9), 2420; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26092420 - 21 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Sideritis niveotomentosa Hub. -Mor. is a local endemic species belonging to the Lamiaceae family. In this study, GC/MS analysis, total antioxidant capacity and anticancer effects of different extracts obtained from S. niveotomentosa were investigated comparatively. Total phenolic contents of extracts were determined by [...] Read more.
Sideritis niveotomentosa Hub. -Mor. is a local endemic species belonging to the Lamiaceae family. In this study, GC/MS analysis, total antioxidant capacity and anticancer effects of different extracts obtained from S. niveotomentosa were investigated comparatively. Total phenolic contents of extracts were determined by the Folin–Ciocalteu method, total flavonoid contents by aluminum chloride method, and also the free radical scavenging activities of the extracts by DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl-hydrate) assay. The cytotoxic effect of the extracts was studied via MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-Diphenyltetrazolium Bromide) assay on DLD1, HL60 and ARH77 cell lines. Pro-apoptotic gene expression levels were also tested in the most sensitive cell line ARH77 by Real-Time PCR. The expression levels of 4 pro-apoptotic genes, APAF, BAX, CASP3, and HRK were found to be upregulated in ARH77 cells that were treated extracts. Results showed that methanolic extracts contain more phenolic content than acetone extracts, consistent with DPPH results. As a result, Sideritis niveotomentosa extracts, especially methanolic extracts, are rich in phenolic content and have a strong radical scavenging effect. In addition, the extracts showed selective effects on cell lines. This study is pioneering in terms of future studies, and the findings provide hope for future experimentation. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Profile, Antioxidant Activity, and Cytotoxicity Assessment of Tagetes erecta L. Flowers
Molecules 2021, 26(5), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26051201 - 24 Feb 2021
Viewed by 716
Abstract
Tagetes erecta L. is a popular ornamental plant of the Asteraceae family, which is widely cultivated not only for its decorative use, but also for the extraction of lutein. Besides carotenoid representatives, which have been extensively studied, other important classes of secondary metabolites [...] Read more.
Tagetes erecta L. is a popular ornamental plant of the Asteraceae family, which is widely cultivated not only for its decorative use, but also for the extraction of lutein. Besides carotenoid representatives, which have been extensively studied, other important classes of secondary metabolites present in the plant, such as polyphenols, could exhibit important biological activities. The phytochemical analysis of a methanolic extract obtained from T. erecta inflorescences was achieved using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) techniques. The extract was further subjected to a multistep purification process, which allowed the separation of different fractions. The total extract and its fractions contain several polyphenolic compounds, such as hydroxybenzoic and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, flavonols (especially quercetagetin glycosides), and several aglycons (e.g., quercetin, patuletin). One of the fractions, containing mostly quercetagitrin, was subjected to two different antioxidant assays (metal chelating activity and lipoxygenase inhibition) and to in vitro cytotoxicity assessment. Generally, the biological assays showed promising results for the investigated fraction compared to the initial extract. Given the encouraging outcome of the in vitro assays, further purification and structural analysis of compounds from T. erecta extracts, as well as further in vivo investigations are justified. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Analysis and Habitat Suitability Mapping of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. Collected in the Hatay Region of Turkey
Molecules 2020, 25(23), 5529; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25235529 - 25 Nov 2020
Viewed by 640
Abstract
The growth and quality of licorice depend on various environmental factors, including the local climate and soil properties; therefore, its cultivation is often unsuccessful. The current study investigated the key factors that affect the contents of bioactive compounds of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. root [...] Read more.
The growth and quality of licorice depend on various environmental factors, including the local climate and soil properties; therefore, its cultivation is often unsuccessful. The current study investigated the key factors that affect the contents of bioactive compounds of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. root and estimated suitable growth zones from collection sites in the Hatay region of Turkey. The contents of three bioactive compounds (glycyrrhizic acid, glabridin, and liquiritin), soil factors (pH, soil bearing capacity, and moisture content), and geographical information (slope, aspect, curvature, elevation, and hillshade) were measured. Meteorological data (temperature and precipitation) were also obtained. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) were performed on the data. The soil bearing capacity, moisture content, slope, aspect, curvature, and elevation of the study area showed statistically significant effects on the glycyrrhizic acid and liquiritin contents. A habitat suitability zone map was generated using a GIS-based frequency ratio (FR) model with spatial correlations to the soil, topographical, and meteorological data. The final map categorized the study area into four zones: very high (15.14%), high (31.50%), moderate (40.25%), and low suitability (13.11%). High suitability zones are recommended for further investigation and future cultivation of G. glabra. Full article
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Review

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Review
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Molecules 2021, 26(12), 3526; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26123526 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 864
Abstract
Since December 2019, humanity has faced an important global threat. Many studies have been published on the origin, structure, and mechanism of action of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the treatment of its disease. The priority of scientists all over the world has been [...] Read more.
Since December 2019, humanity has faced an important global threat. Many studies have been published on the origin, structure, and mechanism of action of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the treatment of its disease. The priority of scientists all over the world has been to direct their time to research this subject. In this review, we highlight chemical studies and therapeutic approaches to overcome COVID-19 with seven different sections. These sections are the structure and mechanism of action of SARS-CoV-2, immunotherapy and vaccine, computer-aided drug design, repurposing therapeutics for COVID-19, synthesis of new molecular structures against COVID-19, food safety/security and functional food components, and potential natural products against COVID-19. In this work, we aimed to screen all the newly synthesized compounds, repurposing chemicals covering antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiparasitic, anticancer, antipsychotic, and antihistamine compounds against COVID-19. We also highlight computer-aided approaches to develop an anti-COVID-19 molecule. We explain that some phytochemicals and dietary supplements have been identified as antiviral bioproducts, which have almost been successfully tested against COVID-19. In addition, we present immunotherapy types, targets, immunotherapy and inflammation/mutations of the virus, immune response, and vaccine issues. Full article
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Review
Natural Products from Medicinal Plants with Anti-Human Coronavirus Activities
Molecules 2021, 26(6), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26061754 - 21 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Since the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019, COVID-19 has spread to all the continents at an unprecedented pace. This pandemic has caused not only hundreds of thousands of mortalities [...] Read more.
Since the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019, COVID-19 has spread to all the continents at an unprecedented pace. This pandemic has caused not only hundreds of thousands of mortalities but also a huge economic setback throughout the world. Therefore, the scientific communities around the world have focused on finding antiviral therapeutic agents to either fight or halt the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Since certain medicinal plants and herbal formulae have proved to be effective in treatment of similar viral infections such as those caused by SARS and Ebola, scientists have paid more attention to natural products for effective treatment of this devastating pandemic. This review summarizes studies and ethnobotanical information on plants and their constituents used for treatment of infections caused by viruses related to the coronavirus family. Herein, we provide a critical analysis of previous reports and how to exploit published data for the discovery of novel therapeutic leads to fight against COVID-19. Full article
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