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Special Issue "Bioactive Natural Products for Treatment of Obesity, Diabetes, and Aging"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2023 | Viewed by 10747

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ligen Lin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Taipa, Macau 999078, China
Interests: natural products; diabetes; lipid metabolism; mitochondria; thermogenesis; insulin sensitivity; sirtuin; fatty liver
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Lishe Gan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Biotechnology and Health Sciences, Wuyi University, Jiangmen 529020, China
Interests: natural products; structure elucidation; quantum chemical calculation; diabetes; neuroprotection; hepatoprotection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to their efficiency, safety, and structural diversity, natural products have attracted more and more interest from researchers aiming to identify drug candidates for metabolic disorders, including obesity, diabetes, and aging. Despite the availability of many pharmacotherapies, new small molecules that are capable of preventing or treating metabolic disorders are needed. In recent years, the identification of novel therapeutic targets and the application of various omics technologies have shed light on the vitality of natural products. This Special Issue aims to report and review the latest progress made in the use of natural products for preventing and treating obesity, diabetes, and aging, as well as their potential applications as health products or drug candidates.

Prof. Ligen Lin
Prof. Lishe Gan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • natural products
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • aging
  • mitochondria
  • lipid metabolism
  • metabolomics
  • insulin sensitivity

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Flavonoid Constituents and Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibition of Solanum stramonifolium Jacq. Inflorescence with In Vitro and In Silico Studies
Molecules 2022, 27(23), 8189; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27238189 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 265
Abstract
Solanum stramonifolium Jacq. (Solanaceae) is widely found in South East Asia. In Thailand, it is used as vegetable and as a component in traditional recipes. The results of an alpha-glucosidase inhibitory screening test found that the crude extract of S. stramonifolium inflorescence exhibited [...] Read more.
Solanum stramonifolium Jacq. (Solanaceae) is widely found in South East Asia. In Thailand, it is used as vegetable and as a component in traditional recipes. The results of an alpha-glucosidase inhibitory screening test found that the crude extract of S. stramonifolium inflorescence exhibited the potential effect with IC50 81.27 μg/mL. The separation was performed by the increasing solvent polarity method. The ethyl acetate, ethanol, and water extracts of S. stramonifolium inflorescence showed the synergistic effect together with acarbose standard. The phytochemical investigation of these extracts was conducted by chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques. Six flavonoid compounds, myricetin 3, 4′, 5′, 7-tetramethyl ether (1), combretol (2), kaempferol (3), kaempferol 7-O-glucopyranoside (4), 5-hydroxy 3-7-4′-5′-tetramethoxyflavone-3′-O-glucopyranoside (5), and a mixture (6) of isorhamnetin 3-O-glucopyranoside (6a) and astragalin (6b) were isolated. This discovery is the first report of flavonoid-glycoside 5. Moreover, the selected flavonoids, kaempferol and astragalin, were representatives to explore the mechanism of action. Both of them performed mixed-type inhibition. The molecular docking gave a better understanding of flavonoid compounds’ ability to inhibit the alpha-glucosidase enzyme. Full article
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Article
Inhibitory Effect of Isoliquiritigenin in Niemann-Pick C1-Like 1-Mediated Cholesterol Uptake
Molecules 2022, 27(21), 7494; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27217494 - 03 Nov 2022
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Isoliquiritigenin (ISL) is a flavonoid with a chalcone structure extracted from the natural herb Glycyrrhiza glabra. Its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anticancer activities have been extensively studied. Moreover, ISL also possess hypolipidemic and atherosclerosis-reducing effects. However, its cholesterol-lowering mechanisms have not been [...] Read more.
Isoliquiritigenin (ISL) is a flavonoid with a chalcone structure extracted from the natural herb Glycyrrhiza glabra. Its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anticancer activities have been extensively studied. Moreover, ISL also possess hypolipidemic and atherosclerosis-reducing effects. However, its cholesterol-lowering mechanisms have not been reported yet. Niemann Pick C1 Like 1 (NPC1L1) is a specific transporter of cholesterol uptake. In this study, we found for the first time that ISL downregulates NPC1L1 expression and competitively inhibits cellular cholesterol uptake by binding to NPC1L1 in a concentration-dependent manner in vitro. This study provides a theoretical basis for further investigation of the molecular mechanisms of its cholesterol-lowering effect in vivo and inspired emerging drug research for cholesterol-lowering purposes through NPC1L1 inhibition. Full article
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Article
Investigation of the Chemical Composition, Antihyperglycemic and Antilipidemic Effects of Bassia eriophora and Its Derived Constituent, Umbelliferone on High-Fat Diet and Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 6941; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27206941 - 16 Oct 2022
Viewed by 621
Abstract
This study was designed to investigate the chemical profile, antihyperglycemic and antilipidemic effect of total methanolic extract (TME) of Bassia eriophora and isolated pure compound umbelliferone (UFN) in high-fat diet (HFD)- and streptozotocin (STZ)- induced diabetic rats. TME was subjected to various techniques [...] Read more.
This study was designed to investigate the chemical profile, antihyperglycemic and antilipidemic effect of total methanolic extract (TME) of Bassia eriophora and isolated pure compound umbelliferone (UFN) in high-fat diet (HFD)- and streptozotocin (STZ)- induced diabetic rats. TME was subjected to various techniques of chromatography to yield UFN. Diabetes was induced after eight weeks of HFD by administration of STZ (40 mg/kg) intraperitoneally, and experimental subjects were divided into five groups. The diabetic control showed an increase in levels of blood glucose throughout the experiment. Treatments were initiated in the other four groups with glibenclamide (GLB) (6 mg/kg), TME (200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg) and isolated UFN (50 mg/kg) orally. The effect on blood glucose, lipid profile and histology of the pancreatic and adipose tissues was assessed. Both 200 and 400 mg/kg of TME produced a comparably significant decrease in blood glucose levels and an increase in insulin levels with GLB. UFN began to show a better blood sugar-lowering effect after 14 days of treatment, comparatively. However, both 400 mg/kg TME and UFN significantly returned blood glucose levels in diabetic rats compared to normal rats. Analysis of the lipid profile showed that while HFD + STZ increased all lipid profile parameters, TME administration produced a significant decrease in their levels. Histopathological examinations showed that treatment with TME and UFN revealed an improved cellular architecture, with the healthy islets of Langerhans and compact glandular cells for pancreatic cells distinct from damaged cells in non-treated groups. Conversely, the adipose tissue displayed apparently normal polygonal fat cells. Therefore, these results suggest that TME has the potential to ameliorate hyperglycemia conditions and control lipid profiles in HFD + STZ-induced diabetic rats. Full article
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Article
Tocotrienols Attenuate White Adipose Tissue Accumulation and Improve Serum Cholesterol Concentration in High-Fat Diet-Treated Mice
Molecules 2022, 27(7), 2188; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27072188 - 28 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1985
Abstract
Tocotrienols (T3s), which are vitamin E homologs, have not only antioxidant function but also inhibitory effects on body weight gain and hepatic lipid droplet accumulation. However, the mechanisms of the anti-obesity effects of T3s are not yet understood. In this study, C57BL/6 mice [...] Read more.
Tocotrienols (T3s), which are vitamin E homologs, have not only antioxidant function but also inhibitory effects on body weight gain and hepatic lipid droplet accumulation. However, the mechanisms of the anti-obesity effects of T3s are not yet understood. In this study, C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat diet in the presence or absence of T3s. Treatment with T3s inhibited white adipose tissue accumulation and elevation of serum cholesterol concentrations. Additionally, to clarify the relationship between obesity-induced cognitive dysfunction and the neuroprotective effect of T3s, cognitive function, brain oxidation, and protein expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is strongly involved in neuronal growth and differentiation, were measured. Although mice behaviors were improved by oral T3 intake, there were no significant differences in brain oxidation levels and BDNF expression. These results suggest that T3s attenuate obesity via inhibition of body fat and serum cholesterol increase. Full article
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Article
Carnosic Acid Protects INS-1 β-Cells against Streptozotocin-Induced Damage by Inhibiting Apoptosis and Improving Insulin Secretion and Glucose Uptake
Molecules 2022, 27(7), 2102; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27072102 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Carnosic acid (CA), a natural polyphenolic diterpene derived from Rosmarinus officinalis, has been proven to possess a broad spectrum of medicinal properties. Nevertheless, no studies on its impact on pancreatic β-cells have been conducted to date. Herein, clonal rat INS-1 (832/13) cells [...] Read more.
Carnosic acid (CA), a natural polyphenolic diterpene derived from Rosmarinus officinalis, has been proven to possess a broad spectrum of medicinal properties. Nevertheless, no studies on its impact on pancreatic β-cells have been conducted to date. Herein, clonal rat INS-1 (832/13) cells were pretreated with CA for 24 h and then incubated with streptozotocin (STZ) for 3 h. Several functional experiments were performed to determine the effect of CA on STZ-induced pancreatic β-cell damage, including cell viability assay, apoptosis analysis, and measurement of the level of insulin secretion, glucose uptake, malondialdehyde (MDA), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and proteins expression. STZ treatment decreased cell survival, insulin secretion, glucose uptake, and increased apoptosis, MDA, and ROS production in INS-1 cells. Furthermore, protein expression/phosphorylation analysis showed significant down-regulation in insulin, PDX-1, PI3K, AKT/p-AKT, and Bcl2. On the other hand, expression of BAX and BAD and cleaved PARP were significantly increased. Interestingly, preincubation with CA reversed the adverse impact of STZ at the cellular and protein expression levels. In conclusion, the data indicate that CA protects β-cells against STZ-induced damage, presumably through its modulatory effect on the different pathways, including the Pi3K/AKT/PDX-1/insulin pathway and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. Full article
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Article
Ribes fasciculatum Ameliorates High-Fat-Diet-Induced Obesity by Elevating Peripheral Thermogenic Signaling
Molecules 2022, 27(5), 1649; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27051649 - 02 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1503
Abstract
Ribes fasciculatum has been consumed as a food and as a traditional medicine for treating autoimmune diseases and aging in diverse countries. A previous study showed that a mixture of Ribes fasciculatum and Cornus officinalis prohibited adipocyte differentiation and lipid accumulation in preadipocytes [...] Read more.
Ribes fasciculatum has been consumed as a food and as a traditional medicine for treating autoimmune diseases and aging in diverse countries. A previous study showed that a mixture of Ribes fasciculatum and Cornus officinalis prohibited adipocyte differentiation and lipid accumulation in preadipocytes and suppressed diet-induced obesity. Nevertheless, the mechanism of R. fasciculatum to regulate energy homeostasis solely through thermogenic signaling remains unclear. Thus, we investigated its effects on energy homeostasis using R. fasciculatum fed to C57BL/6 mice with a 45% high-fat diet. Chronic consumption of R. fasciculatum decreased the body weight of obese mice with increasing food intakes and improved metabolic-syndrome-related phenotypes. Therefore, we further tested its thermogenic effects. Cold chamber experiments and qPCR studies indicated that R. fasciculatum elevated thermogenic signaling pathways, demonstrated by increased body temperature and uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) signaling in the white and brown adipose tissues. Afzelin is one major known compound derived from R. fasciculatum. Hence, the isolated compound afzelin was treated with preadipocytes and brown adipocytes for cell viability and luciferase assay, respectively, to further examine its thermogenic effect. The studies showed that the response of afzelin was responsible for cell viability and the increased UCP1. In conclusion, our data indicated that R. fasciculatum elevated peripheral thermogenic signaling through increased UCP1 via afzelin activation and ameliorated diet-induced obesity. Full article
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Article
Carpachromene Ameliorates Insulin Resistance in HepG2 Cells via Modulating IR/IRS1/PI3k/Akt/GSK3/FoxO1 Pathway
Molecules 2021, 26(24), 7629; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26247629 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2169
Abstract
Insulin resistance contributes to several disorders including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Carpachromene is a natural active compound that inhibits α-glucosidase enzyme. The aim of the present study is to investigate the potential activity of carpachromene on glucose consumption, metabolism and insulin [...] Read more.
Insulin resistance contributes to several disorders including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Carpachromene is a natural active compound that inhibits α-glucosidase enzyme. The aim of the present study is to investigate the potential activity of carpachromene on glucose consumption, metabolism and insulin signalling in a HepG2 cells insulin resistant model. A HepG2 insulin resistant cell model (HepG2/IRM) was established. Cell viability assay of HepG2/IRM cells was performed after carpachromene/metformin treatment. Glucose concentration and glycogen content were determined. Western blot analysis of insulin receptor, IRS1, IRS2, PI3k, Akt, GSK3, FoxO1 proteins after carpachromene treatment was performed. Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and hexokinase (HK) enzymes activity was also estimated. Viability of HepG2/IRM cells was over 90% after carpachromene treatment at concentrations 6.3, 10, and 20 µg/mL. Treatment of HepG2/IRM cells with carpachromene decreased glucose concentration in a concentration- and time-dependant manner. In addition, carpachromene increased glycogen content of HepG2/IRM cells. Moreover, carpachromene treatment of HepG2/IRM cells significantly increased the expression of phosphorylated/total ratios of IR, IRS1, PI3K, Akt, GSK3, and FoxO1 proteins. Furthermore, PEPCK enzyme activity was significantly decreased, and HK enzyme activity was significantly increased after carpachromene treatment. The present study examined, for the first time, the potential antidiabetic activity of carpachromene on a biochemical and molecular basis. It increased the expression ratio of insulin receptor and IRS1 which further phosphorylated/activated PI3K/Akt pathway and phosphorylated/inhibited GSK3 and FoxO1 proteins. Our findings revealed that carpachromene showed central molecular regulation of glucose metabolism and insulin signalling via IR/IRS1/ PI3K/Akt/GSK3/FoxO1 pathway. Full article
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Article
18:0 Lyso PC Derived by Bioactivity-Based Molecular Networking from Lentil Mutant Lines and Its Effects on High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice
Molecules 2021, 26(24), 7547; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26247547 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1399
Abstract
Lentil (Lens culinaris; Fabaceae), one of the major pulse crops in the world, is an important source of proteins, prebiotics, lipids, and essential minerals as well as functional components such as flavonoids, polyphenols, and phenolic acids. To improve crop nutritional and [...] Read more.
Lentil (Lens culinaris; Fabaceae), one of the major pulse crops in the world, is an important source of proteins, prebiotics, lipids, and essential minerals as well as functional components such as flavonoids, polyphenols, and phenolic acids. To improve crop nutritional and medicinal traits, hybridization and mutation are widely used in plant breeding research. In this study, mutant lentil populations were generated by γ-irradiation for the development of new cultivars by inducing genetic diversity. Molecular networking via Global Natural Product Social Molecular Networking web platform and dipeptidyl peptide-IV inhibitor screening assay were utilized as tools for structure-based discovery of active components in active mutant lines selected among the lentil population. The bioactivity-based molecular networking analysis resulted in the annotation of the molecular class of phosphatidylcholine (PC) from the most active mutant line. Among PCs, 1-stearoyl-2-hydroxy-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (18:0 Lyso PC) was selected for further in vivo study of anti-obesity effect in a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mouse model. The administration of 18:0 Lyso PC not only prevented body weight gain and decreased relative gonadal adipose tissue weight, but also attenuated the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and leptin in the sera of HFD-induced obese mice. Additionally, 18:0 Lyso PC treatment inhibited the increase of adipocyte area and crown-like structures in adipose tissue. Therefore, these results suggest that 18:0 Lyso PC is a potential compound to have protective effects against obesity, improving obese phenotype induced by HFD. Full article
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