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Special Issue "Herbal Medicines–Unraveling Their Molecular Mechanism"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Francesca Borrelli

Department of Pharmacy, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, Naples , Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: herbal medicine; herbal dietary supplement; medicinal plant; naturally-occurring compounds; nutraceutical; colorectal cancer; inflammatory bowel disease; toxicology of natural products
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Natasa Milic

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Hajduk Veljkova 3, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: herbal medicine; herbal dietary supplement; medicinal plant; pharmaceutical chemistry; nutraceutical; NAFLD; endocrine disruptors and their effect on human health; toxicology of natural products
Guest Editor
Dr. Ester Pagano

Department of Pharmacy, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, Naples , Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: herbal medicine; naturally-occurring compounds ; transient receptor potential channels; cannabinoid receptors; colorectal cancer; inflammatory bowel disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Herbal medicines have been commonly used over the years for the treatment and prevention of chronic and acute diseases, and health promotion. Herbal medicines contain multiple compounds which, either individually or together, are responsible for the biological effects of these natural products. Although many plant-derived natural products have already been isolated and characterized, the molecular mechanisms underlying their therapeutic effects remain unexplored. This Special Issue aims to comprehensively highlight the newest discoveries in herbal medicinal products with an emphasis on their molecular targets. Therefore, I cordially invite authors to contribute original articles, as well as reviews, that unravel the molecular mechanisms of naturally-occurring compounds and can provide greater opportunities for their future use.

Prof. Dr. Francesca Borrelli
Prof. Dr. Natasa Milic
Dr. Ester Pagano
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 1800 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

  • medicinal plants
  • herbal medicines
  • natural products
  • naturally-occurring compounds
  • nutraceuticals
  • pharmacology
  • molecular mechanism
  • preclinical studies
  • clinical trials

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Phytochemical and Biological Studies of Nepeta asterotricha Rech. f. (Lamiaceae): Isolation of Nepetamoside
Molecules 2019, 24(9), 1684; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24091684
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 26 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
PDF Full-text (1125 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The n-butanolic extract, from an Iranian specimen of Nepeta asterotricha Rech. f. (NABE), displayed anti-inflammatory effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated J774A.1 macrophages, which reduced nitrites and cytokines production. Bioassay guided fractionation of the extract led to the isolation of four iridoid glycosides, including [...] Read more.
The n-butanolic extract, from an Iranian specimen of Nepeta asterotricha Rech. f. (NABE), displayed anti-inflammatory effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated J774A.1 macrophages, which reduced nitrites and cytokines production. Bioassay guided fractionation of the extract led to the isolation of four iridoid glycosides, including a new one known as nepetamoside (1), one hexenyl-diglycoside, and some polyphenol and flavonoid components. None of the isolated iridoid components displayed significant effects on nitrites formation in an in vitro LPS-induced model of inflammation, thus suggesting that the plant anti-inflammatory effect is probably due to a synergistic action among its constituents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbal Medicines–Unraveling Their Molecular Mechanism)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Study on the Effects of Different Parts of Panax ginseng on the Immune Activity of Cyclophosphamide-Induced Immunosuppressed Mice
Molecules 2019, 24(6), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24061096
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 10 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
PDF Full-text (1522 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The objective of the present study was to compare the effects of the immunological activity of various parts (root/stem/leaf/flower/seed) of five-year-old ginseng on the immune system of immunosuppressive mice. Immunosuppression was induced by cyclophosphamide (CTX) in the mouse model, whereas levamisole hydrochloride tablet [...] Read more.
The objective of the present study was to compare the effects of the immunological activity of various parts (root/stem/leaf/flower/seed) of five-year-old ginseng on the immune system of immunosuppressive mice. Immunosuppression was induced by cyclophosphamide (CTX) in the mouse model, whereas levamisole hydrochloride tablet (LTH) was used for the positive control group. We found that ginseng root (GRT), ginseng leaf (GLF), and ginseng flower (GFR) could relieve immunosuppression by increased viability of NK cells, enhanced immune organ index, improved cell-mediated immune response, increased content of CD4+ and ratio of CD4+/CD8+, and recovery of macrophage function, including carbon clearance, phagocytic rate, and phagocytic index, in immunodeficient mice. However, ginseng stem (GSM) and ginseng seed (GSD) could only enhance the thymus indices, carbon clearance, splenocyte proliferation, NK cell activities, and the level of IL-4 in immunosuppressed mice. In CTX-injected mice, GRT and GFR remarkably increased the protein expression of Nrf2, HO-1, NQO1, SOD1, SOD2, and CAT in the spleen. As expected, oral administration of GRT and GFR markedly enhanced the production of cytokines, such as IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IFN-γ, and TNF-α, compared with the CTX-induced immunosuppressed mice, and GRT and GFR did this relatively better than GSM, GLF, and GSD. This study provides a theoretical basis for further study on different parts of ginseng. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbal Medicines–Unraveling Their Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
S5, a Withanolide Isolated from Physalis Pubescens L., Induces G2/M Cell Cycle Arrest via the EGFR/P38 Pathway in Human Melanoma A375 Cells
Molecules 2018, 23(12), 3175; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23123175
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 25 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 1 December 2018
PDF Full-text (7766 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
S5 is a withanolide natural product isolated from Physalis pubescens L. Our previous experimental studies found that it has significant antitumor activity on renal cell carcinoma. In the present study, the anti-melanoma effect of S5 and the related molecular mechanism was first investigated. [...] Read more.
S5 is a withanolide natural product isolated from Physalis pubescens L. Our previous experimental studies found that it has significant antitumor activity on renal cell carcinoma. In the present study, the anti-melanoma effect of S5 and the related molecular mechanism was first investigated. It was found that S5 induced an obvious growth inhibitory effect on human melanoma A375 cells with low toxicity to human peripheral blood cells. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that the cell death mode of S5 on A375 cells is not due to inducing apoptosis and autophagy. However, there was a significant time-dependent increase in G2/M phase after treatment of A375 with S5. Meanwhile, S5 could also decrease the protein expression of Cdc25c, Cdc2, and CyclinB1, and increased the expression of p-P53 and P21, suggesting that S5 inhibited A375 cell death through G2/M phase arrest. Moreover, the signal pathway factors P38, extracellular regulated protein kinases (ERK), and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) were observed taking part in the S5-induced A375 cells growth inhibitory effect. In addition, suppressing P38 and EGFR reversed the cell proliferation inhibitory effect and G2/M cell cycle arrest induced by S5 and inhibition of EGFR enhanced the downregulation of the expression of P38 and p-P38, indicating that S5 induced A375 G2/M arrest through the EGFR/P38 pathway. Briefly, this study explained for the first time the mechanism of S5-induced A375 cell growth inhibition in order to provide the basis for its clinical application in melanoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbal Medicines–Unraveling Their Molecular Mechanism)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Natural Negative Allosteric Modulators of 5-HT3 Receptors
Molecules 2018, 23(12), 3186; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23123186
Received: 13 October 2018 / Revised: 24 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
PDF Full-text (469 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) remain the most common and devastating side-effects associated with cancer chemotherapy. In recent decades, several lines of research emphasize the importance of 5-hydroxytryptamine3 (5-HT3; serotonin) receptors in the pathogenesis and treatment of CINV. 5-HT3 receptors are [...] Read more.
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) remain the most common and devastating side-effects associated with cancer chemotherapy. In recent decades, several lines of research emphasize the importance of 5-hydroxytryptamine3 (5-HT3; serotonin) receptors in the pathogenesis and treatment of CINV. 5-HT3 receptors are members of ligand-gated ion channels that mediate the rapid and transient membrane-depolarizing effect of 5-HT in the central and peripheral nervous system. These receptors play important roles in nausea and vomiting, as well as regulation of peristalsis and pain transmission. The development of antagonists for 5-HT3 receptor dramatically improved the treatment of CINV in cancer patients. In fact, the most common use of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists to date is the treatment of nausea and vomiting. In recent years, there has been an increasing tendency to use natural plant products as important therapeutic entities in the treatment of various diseases. In this article, we examined the results of earlier studies on the actions of natural compounds on the functional properties of 5-HT3 receptors. It is likely that these natural modulators of 5-HT3 receptors can be employed as lead structures for the synthesis of therapeutic agents for treating CINV in future clinical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbal Medicines–Unraveling Their Molecular Mechanism)
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