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Special Issue "Natural Bioactive Compounds in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Thea Magrone
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sensory Organs, School of Medicine, University of Bari, 70124 Bari, Italy
Interests: allergic contact dermatitis; nutritional immunology; mucosal immunology; interleukins; polyphenols; psoriasis; toll-like receptors
Dr. Rodrigo Valenzuela
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Av. Independencia 1027, Independencia, Casilla 70000, Santiago 8380453, Chile
Interests: N-3 fatty acids (marine or vegetal origin) and hepatoprotective effects in steatosis and inflammatory models; beneficial impacts of natural antioxidants from fruits and vegetable in metabolic disturbance, especially in adipose tissue and liver

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The prevalence of chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and allergic-autoimmune diseases, among others, is currently increasing worldwide. These diseases have in common a complex interaction between genetic, metabolic and environmental factors. In this context, recent basic and clinical investigations have demonstrated the importance of different natural bioactive compounds present in food or herbs as fundamental elements in the prevention and/or treatment of chronic diseases. Particularly, the role of natural bioactive compounds in cell and tissue protection against injury (i.e., oxidative stress, inflammation, endoplasmic reticulum stress) has been explored. The principal natural bioactive compounds are: i. natural antioxidants (tocopherols, polyphenols, carotenoids, etc.), ii. vegetal sterols (such as phytosterols), iii. short and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, iv. bioactive peptides, and v. pre- and probiotics. These molecules may regulate many cellular processes in different tissues under pathological situations. In this sense, the natural bioactive compounds in food and herbs play a relevant and direct role in regulating several of the metabolic and molecular pathways involved in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.

This Special Issue of Molecules is devoted to recent advances about the natural bioactive compounds in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. For this reason, it is necessary to identify and understand molecular pathways involved in these events in order to develop nutritional or pharmaceutical strategies that contribute to the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.

Prof. Dr. Thea Magrone
Dr. Rodrigo Valenzuela
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

  • Chronic diseases
  • Natural bioactive compounds in food or herbs
  • Natural antioxidants and vegetal sterols
  • Short and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Bioactive peptides and, pre- and probiotics

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Rosmarinic Acid as a Candidate in a Phenotypic Profiling Cardio-/Cytotoxicity Cell Model Induced by Doxorubicin
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25040836 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Abstract
Advances in cancer treatment have led to significant improvements in long-term survival in many types of cancer, but heart dysfunction and heart failure, associated with cancer treatment, have also increased. Anthracyclines are the main cause of this type of cardiotoxicity. In this study, [...] Read more.
Advances in cancer treatment have led to significant improvements in long-term survival in many types of cancer, but heart dysfunction and heart failure, associated with cancer treatment, have also increased. Anthracyclines are the main cause of this type of cardiotoxicity. In this study, we describe a combined experimental and cell morphology analysis approach for the high-throughput measurement and analysis of a cardiomyocyte cell profile, using partial least square linear discriminant analysis (PLS-LDA) as the pattern recognition algorithm. When screening a small-scale natural compound library, rosmarinic acid (RosA), as a candidate drug, showed the same cardioprotective effect as the positive control. We investigated the protective mechanism of RosA on a human cardiomyocyte cell line (AC16) and human induced pluripotent stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). We showed that RosA pretreatment suppressed doxorubicin (Dox)-induced cell apoptosis and decreased the activity of caspase-9. RosA promotes the expression of Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and reduces the production of reactive oxygen species (Ros), which is induced by Dox. Meanwhile, it can also promote the expression of cardiac-development-related protein, including histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), GATA binding protein 4 (GATA4) and troponin I3, cardiac type (CTnI). Collectively, our data support the notion that RosA is a protective agent in hiPSC-CMs and has the potential for therapeutic use in the treatment of cancer therapy-related cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Amelioration of Hyperglycemia-Induced Nephropathy by 3,3′-Diindolylmethane in Diabetic Mice
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4474; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244474 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (insulin-dependent diabetes) is characterized by hyperglycemia caused by an insulin deficiency. Diabetic nephropathy is a major complication of hyperglycemia. 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM)-a natural compound produced from indole-3-carbinol, found in cruciferous vegetables-enhances glucose uptake by increasing the activation of the insulin [...] Read more.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (insulin-dependent diabetes) is characterized by hyperglycemia caused by an insulin deficiency. Diabetic nephropathy is a major complication of hyperglycemia. 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM)-a natural compound produced from indole-3-carbinol, found in cruciferous vegetables-enhances glucose uptake by increasing the activation of the insulin signaling pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In this study, we investigated whether DIM could improve insulin-dependent diabetes and nephropathy in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. In mice, STZ induced hyperglycemia, hunger, thirst, and abnormally increased kidney weight and serum creatinine, which is a renal functional parameter. DIM decreased STZ-increased high blood glucose levels and food and water intake in diabetic mice. DIM also improved diabetic nephropathy by inhibiting the expression of PKC-α, the marker of albuminuria, and TGF-β1, an indicator of renal hypertrophy, in diabetic mice. Our findings suggest that DIM may ameliorate hyperglycemia and diabetic nephropathy through the inhibition of PKC-α and TGF-β1 signaling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Aucubin, An Active Ingredient in Aucuba japonica, Prevents N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced Retinal Degeneration in Mice
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4437; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244437 - 04 Dec 2019
Abstract
In the present study, we examined the potent retinoprotective effects of an ethanol-based extract of Aucuba japonica (AJE) and its active ingredient, aucubin, on N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced retinal degeneration in mice. Retinal degeneration was induced by an intraperitoneal injection of MNU [...] Read more.
In the present study, we examined the potent retinoprotective effects of an ethanol-based extract of Aucuba japonica (AJE) and its active ingredient, aucubin, on N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced retinal degeneration in mice. Retinal degeneration was induced by an intraperitoneal injection of MNU (60 mg/kg). AJE (250 mg/kg) and aucubin (15 mg/kg) were orally administered for 1 week after the MNU injection. Electroretinography (ERG) and histological examinations were performed. Retinal apoptosis and oxidative DNA damage were also quantified. The retinoprotective abilities of AJE and aucubin were also assessed in primary cultured retinal cells. Morphologically, MNU induced a remarkable decrease in the outer nuclear layer, which contains photoreceptor cells. However, this layer was well preserved in the AJE- and aucubin-administered mice. The ERG responses significantly decreased in both a- and b-wave amplitudes in the MNU-injected mice. In the AJE and aucubin-treated mice, ERG responses were significantly increased. In addition, a terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay and immunohistochemical staining for 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) revealed that both AJE and aucubin attenuated MNU-induced photoreceptor cell apoptosis and oxidative DNA damage. Furthermore, the in vitro assay also showed that AJE and aucubin have potent anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic activities in primary cultured retinal cells. These results indicate that AJE and aucubin have potent retinoprotective effects, and that this retinoprotective activity is as a result of the potency of the bioactive compound, aucubin. These pharmacological characteristics suggest the additional application of AJE or aucubin in the treatment of patients with retinal degenerative diseases. Full article
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