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Special Issue "Biological and Pharmacological Activity of Plant Natural Compounds II"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Pezzani
Website
Guest Editor
1 OU Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
2 Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca Oncologica di Base, Padova, Italy
Interests: plant medicinal chemistry; phytotherapy research; oncology; preclinical research; endocrinology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants contain a plethora of diverse biochemical compounds. They are molecules which are necessary for plant survival, but they can also have a different fate: helping in the fight against human diseases. For centuries, humanity has used plant natural extracts to cure the most varied disorders, including cardiac disfunction, neoplasia, diabetes, circulation problems, and many others. However, only in recent decades have these ethnotraditional, evidenced-based, folkloric, anecdotic uses been converted into a scientific tool, with a real pharmacological, pathophysiological, and rational background. Despite strong advances in medicine, numerous diseases remain without practical treatment or have to deal with heavy drug side effects. In this regard, any effort to improve human health is a new path to follow, and plant natural compounds represent an infinite reserve of molecules that can be explored. Undeniably, many therapeutic properties of plants are still to be discovered. This Special Issue is intended to substantially contribute to our knowledge on their curative properties.   

The Special Issue aims to uncover novel unconventional, alternative, and original characteristics of plant-derived compounds with a distinctive emphasis on biological and pharmacological activities. Moreover, phytocomplex (chemical compounds derived in full from plants) synergic effects, as well as the effects of single molecules will be explored in preclinical models, including normal and cancer cells, animals, and human-derived samples. Reviews investigating plant product effects and/or describing the state-of-the-art are welcome, considering the increasing role of plant-derived molecules in daily use.

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Pezzani
Prof. Dr. Sara Vitalini
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.

Keywords

  • Natural compounds
  • Plant-derived products
  • Plant natural products
  • Biological and biochemical acitivity
  • Pharmacological properties
  • Plant pharmacology
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant medicine
  • Plant medicinal chemistry
  • Phytocomplex effects
  • Plant extracts and phytochemicals in preclinical models
  • Phytotherapy and natural medicine

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Antioxidant and Polyphenol-Rich Ethanolic Extract of Rubia tinctorum L. Prevents Urolithiasis in an Ethylene Glycol Experimental Model in Rats
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26041005 - 14 Feb 2021
Abstract
Treatment of kidney stones is based on symptomatic medications which are associated with side effects such as gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting) and hepatotoxicity. The search for effective plant extracts without the above side effects has demonstrated the involvement of antioxidants in the [...] Read more.
Treatment of kidney stones is based on symptomatic medications which are associated with side effects such as gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting) and hepatotoxicity. The search for effective plant extracts without the above side effects has demonstrated the involvement of antioxidants in the treatment of kidney stones. A local survey in Morocco has previously revealed the frequent use of Rubia tinctorum L. (RT) for the treatment of kidney stones. In this study, we first explored whether RT ethanolic (E-RT) and ethyl acetate (EA-RT) extracts of Rubia tinctorum L. could prevent the occurrence of urolithiasis in an experimental 0.75% ethylene glycol (EG) and 2% ammonium chloride (AC)-induced rat model. Secondly, we determined the potential antioxidant potency as well as the polyphenol composition of these extracts. An EG/AC regimen for 10 days induced the formation of bipyramid-shaped calcium oxalate crystals in the urine. Concomitantly, serum and urinary creatinine, urea, uric acid, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, potassium, and chloride were altered. The co-administration of both RT extracts prevented alterations in all these parameters. In the EG/AC-induced rat model, the antioxidants- and polyphenols-rich E-RT and EA-RT extracts significantly reduced the presence of calcium oxalate in the urine, and prevented serum and urinary biochemical alterations together with kidney tissue damage associated with urolithiasis. Moreover, we demonstrated that the beneficial preventive effects of E-RT co-administration were more pronounced than those obtained with EA-RT. The superiority of E-RT was associated with its more potent antioxidant effect, due to its high content in polyphenols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Pharmacological Activity of Plant Natural Compounds II)
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Platelet Aggregation and Anti-Cyclooxygenase Activities for a Range of Coffee Extracts (Coffea arabica)
Molecules 2021, 26(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010010 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Coffee is rich in caffeine (CF), chlorogenic acid (CGA) and phenolics. Differing types of coffee beverages and brewing procedures may result in differences in total phenolic contents (TPC) and biological activities. Inflammation and increases of platelet activation and aggregation can lead to thrombosis. [...] Read more.
Coffee is rich in caffeine (CF), chlorogenic acid (CGA) and phenolics. Differing types of coffee beverages and brewing procedures may result in differences in total phenolic contents (TPC) and biological activities. Inflammation and increases of platelet activation and aggregation can lead to thrombosis. We focused on determining the chemical composition, antioxidant activity and inhibitory effects on agonist-induced platelet aggregation and cyclooxygenase (COX) of coffee beverages in relation to their preparation method. We prepared instant coffee and brewed coffee beverages using drip, espresso, and boiling techniques. Coffee extracts were assayed for their CF and CGA contents using HPLC, TPC using colorimetry, platelet aggregation with an aggregometer, and COX activity using ELISA. The findings have shown all coffee extracts, except the decaffeinated types, contained nearly equal amounts of CF, CGA, and TPC. Inhibitory effects of coffee extracts on platelet aggregation differed depending on the activation pathways induced by different agonists. All espresso, drip and boiled coffee extracts caused dose dependent inhibition of platelet aggregation induced by ADP, collagen, epinephrine, and arachidonic acid (ARA). The most marked inhibition was seen at low doses of collagen or ARA. Espresso and drip extracts inhibited collagen-induced platelet aggregation more than purified caffeine or CGA. Espresso, boiled and drip coffee extracts were also a more potent inhibitors of COX-1 and COX-2 than purified caffeine or CGA. We conclude that inhibition of platelet aggregation and COX-1 and COX-2 may contribute to anti-platelet and anti-inflammatory effects of espresso and drip coffee extracts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Pharmacological Activity of Plant Natural Compounds II)
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Open AccessArticle
The Anti-Cancer Effect of Linusorb B3 from Flaxseed Oil through the Promotion of Apoptosis, Inhibition of Actin Polymerization, and Suppression of Src Activity in Glioblastoma Cells
Molecules 2020, 25(24), 5881; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25245881 - 12 Dec 2020
Abstract
Linusorbs (LOs) are natural peptides found in flaxseed oil that exert various biological activities. Of LOs, LOB3 ([1–9-NαC]-linusorb B3) was reported to have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities; however, its anti-cancer activity has been poorly understood. Therefore, this study investigated the anti-cancer effect of [...] Read more.
Linusorbs (LOs) are natural peptides found in flaxseed oil that exert various biological activities. Of LOs, LOB3 ([1–9-NαC]-linusorb B3) was reported to have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities; however, its anti-cancer activity has been poorly understood. Therefore, this study investigated the anti-cancer effect of LOB3 and its underlying mechanism in glioblastoma cells. LOB3 induced apoptosis and suppressed the proliferation of C6 cells by inhibiting the expression of anti-apoptotic genes, B cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and p53, as well as promoting the activation of pro-apoptotic caspases, caspase-3 and -9. LOB3 also retarded the migration of C6 cells, which was achieved by suppressing the formation of the actin cytoskeleton critical for the progression, invasion, and metastasis of cancer. Moreover, LOB3 inhibited the activation of the proto-oncogene, Src, and the downstream effector, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), in C6 cells. Taken together, these results suggest that LOB3 plays an anti-cancer role by inducing apoptosis and inhibiting the migration of C6 cells through the regulation of apoptosis-related molecules, actin polymerization, and proto-oncogenes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Pharmacological Activity of Plant Natural Compounds II)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Bergenia Genus: Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology
Molecules 2020, 25(23), 5555; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25235555 - 26 Nov 2020
Abstract
Bergenia (Saxifragaceae) genus is native to central Asia and encompasses 32 known species. Among these, nine are of pharmacological relevance. In the Indian system of traditional medicine (Ayurveda), “Pashanabheda” (stone breaker) is an elite drug formulation obtained from the rhizomes of B. ligulata [...] Read more.
Bergenia (Saxifragaceae) genus is native to central Asia and encompasses 32 known species. Among these, nine are of pharmacological relevance. In the Indian system of traditional medicine (Ayurveda), “Pashanabheda” (stone breaker) is an elite drug formulation obtained from the rhizomes of B. ligulata. Bergenia species also possess several other biological activities like diuretic, antidiabetic, antitussive, insecticidal, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, anti-bradykinin, antiviral, antibacterial, antimalarial, hepatoprotective, antiulcer, anticancer, antioxidant, antiobesity, and adaptogenic. This review provides explicit information on the traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological significance of the genus Bergenia. The extant literature concerned was systematically collected from various databases, weblinks, blogs, books, and theses to select 174 references for detailed analysis. To date, 152 chemical constituents have been identified and characterized from the genus Bergenia that belong to the chemical classes of polyphenols, phenolic-glycosides, lactones, quinones, sterols, tannins, terpenes, and others. B. crassifolia alone possesses 104 bioactive compounds. Meticulous pharmacological and phytochemical studies on Bergenia species and its conservation could yield more reliable compounds and products of pharmacological significance for better healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Pharmacological Activity of Plant Natural Compounds II)
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