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Special Issue "Herb–Drug Interactions: Current Progress and Future Trends"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jose M. Prieto-Garcia
Guest Editor
Dept Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCL School of Pharmacy, London, United Kingdom
Interests: herb–drug interactions; topical inflammation; melanoma; artificial intelligence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The concurrent use of herbal supplements with many conventional drugs is on the rise on a global scale and potentially contributing to a lack of efficacy, adverse effects, and high costs of medical treatments. This is commonly referred as Herb–Drug Interactions (HDIs).

From an evolutionary point of view, it could be argued that synthetic medications themselves are the sources of interference, since the human pharmacokinetic system has already been pre-conditioned to work with secondary products of natural origin primarily as food. Therefore, herbal medicines share the same drug metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters with several clinically important drugs. Thus, current methods for evaluating the pharmacokinetics of pharmaceutical drugs have been adapted for the evaluation of herbal medicines and in so doing are useful for predicting potential herb–drug interactions.

The biggest challenge in the identification of potential HDIs is that herbal medicines are not subject to the same ‘rigid’ pre-clinical and clinical assessments and regulations as those carried out with new drug entities. Therefore, researchers face a lack of funding and incentives to work on this subject.

This Special Issue aims to attract contributions from both pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics (ADME) of natural products as well as protocols adapted to the chemical complexity of herbal drugs and substances with a view to predict potential HDIs.

Dr. Jose M. Prieto-Garcia
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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.


  • herb–drug interactions
  • pharmacokinetics
  • pharmacodynamic
  • drug metabolism
  • cytochromes
  • transporter proteins

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Danggui Buxue Decoction Sensitizes the Response of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer to Gemcitabine via Regulating Deoxycytidine Kinase and P-glycoprotein
Molecules 2019, 24(10), 2011; - 25 May 2019
This study aimed to investigate whether the anti-tumor effect of gemcitabine (GEM) in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment was affected by Danggui Buxue decoction (DBD), and explore the potential mechanisms. The combined use of GEM and DBD showed an enhanced tumor growth inhibition [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate whether the anti-tumor effect of gemcitabine (GEM) in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment was affected by Danggui Buxue decoction (DBD), and explore the potential mechanisms. The combined use of GEM and DBD showed an enhanced tumor growth inhibition effect in a murine Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) model. LC-MS/MS results showed that the pharmacokinetic behaviors of a GEM active metabolite, gemcitabine triphosphate (dFdCTP), were found to be altered remarkably in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of DBD co-administration rats. In addition, after co-administration of DBD with GEM, Western Blot and qPCR results confirmed that the expression of deoxycytidine kinase (dCK) in tumor tissues of LLC-bearing mice were markedly increased. DBD co-administration also reversed the upregulation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in tumor tissues induced by GEM. Moreover, DBD could notably up-regulate the IL-12p70 and GM-CSF expression in mice serum, suggesting potential immunomodulatory activities in tumor-bearing mice. Meanwhile, DBD inhibited the P-gp efflux activity in A549 cells. Therefore, the regulation of dCK and P-gp played important roles in the alternation of GEM pharmacokinetics and the enhancement of the anti-tumor effect of GEM. DBD being a potential dCK promoter could work as an adjuvant agent to boost the anticancer effect of GEM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herb–Drug Interactions: Current Progress and Future Trends)
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