Pharmaceutical Applications of Plant Extracts, 2nd Edition

A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923). This special issue belongs to the section "Biopharmaceutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2024) | Viewed by 6698

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacology, Wroclaw Medical University, J. Mikulicza-Radeckiego 2, 50-345 Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: plant extracts’ bioactivity; functional food; bone metabolism; inflammation; aging; animal models
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Guest Editor
Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Wroclaw Medical University, Borowska 211, 50-556 Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: plant biotechnology; plant in vitro cultures; plant physiology (oxidative stress, bio-elicitor response); molecular biology (gene expression level, elucidation of plant biosynthetic pathways); phytochemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant extracts are complex matrices with a rich composition of specialized metabolites. These compounds exhibit many different biological activities and are, therefore, used in the prevention and treatment of various diseases and disorders.

Recently, research on the recognition of natural structures responsible for individual bioactivities has intensified, mainly due to the various reports on the overlapping activities of compounds contained in plant extracts.

It is for this reason that we are proposing this Special Issue, which will serve as a platform for research based on the bioactivity of plant extracts and natural compounds. Authors are invited to submit original research articles and reviews, including reports of antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-infectious activity of natural products, as well as studies assessing the influence of plant extracts and functional foods on age-related disorders, osteoporosis, and metabolic syndrome in vitro and in vivo.

Dr. Beata Nowak
Dr. Sylwia Zielińska
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • plant extract
  • natural compounds
  • biopharmaceutics
  • synergistic effect
  • antimicrobial activity
  • antifungal activity
  • antiviral activity
  • anti-inflammatory activity
  • biodiversity
  • metabolic syndrome
  • age-related disorders
  • bone metabolism
  • polyphenolics
  • alkaloidskaloids
  • saponins
  • essential oils
  • terpenoids
  • betalains
  • tanshinones

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 3305 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Hydrocolloid Plant Polysaccharides as Potential Candidates to Mimic the Functions of MUC5B in Saliva
by Christina Winter, Carolin Tetyczka, Duy Toan Pham, Dagmar Kolb, Gerd Leitinger, Sandra Schönfelder, Olaf Kunert, Tanja Gerlza, Andreas Kungl, Franz Bucar and Eva Roblegg
Pharmaceutics 2024, 16(5), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics16050682 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 415
Abstract
The successful substitution of complex physiological fluids, such as human saliva, remains a major challenge in drug development. Although there are a large number of saliva substitutes on the market, their efficacy is often inadequate due to short residence time in the mouth, [...] Read more.
The successful substitution of complex physiological fluids, such as human saliva, remains a major challenge in drug development. Although there are a large number of saliva substitutes on the market, their efficacy is often inadequate due to short residence time in the mouth, unpleasant mouthfeel, or insufficient protection of the teeth. Therefore, systems need to be identified that mimic the functions of saliva, in particular the salivary mucin MUC5B and the unique physiological properties of saliva. To this end, plant extracts known to contain hydrocolloid polysaccharides and to have mucus-forming properties were studied to evaluate their suitability as saliva substitutes. The aqueous plant extracts of Calendula officinalis, Fucus sp. thalli, and lichenan from Lichen islandicus were examined for composition using a range of techniques, including GC-MS, NMR, SEC, assessment of pH, osmolality, buffering capacity, viscoelasticity, viscoelastic interactions with human saliva, hydrocolloid network formation, and in vitro cell adhesion. For this purpose, a physiologically adapted adhesive test was developed using human buccal epithelial cells. The results show that lichenan is the most promising candidate to mimic the properties of MUC5B. By adjusting the pH, osmolality, and buffering capacity with K2HPO4, it was shown that lichenan exhibited high cell adhesion, with a maximum detachment force that was comparable to that of unstimulated whole mouth saliva. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Applications of Plant Extracts, 2nd Edition)
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26 pages, 4877 KiB  
Article
Prebiotic Systems Containing Anthocyanin-Rich Pomegranate Flower Extracts with Antioxidant and Antidiabetic Effects
by Anna Gościniak, Natalia Rosiak, Daria Szymanowska, Andrzej Miklaszewski and Judyta Cielecka-Piontek
Pharmaceutics 2024, 16(4), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics16040526 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 769
Abstract
Pomegranate flower extract, rich in anthocyanins, demonstrates beneficial health-promoting properties such as an anti-diabetic and antioxidant effect, among others. However, the potential health-promoting properties may be hindered by the low stability of anthocyanins. Therefore, the aim of our study was to assess whether [...] Read more.
Pomegranate flower extract, rich in anthocyanins, demonstrates beneficial health-promoting properties such as an anti-diabetic and antioxidant effect, among others. However, the potential health-promoting properties may be hindered by the low stability of anthocyanins. Therefore, the aim of our study was to assess whether stabilizing carriers, namely HP-γ-cyclodextrin (HP-γ-CD), α-cyclodextrin (α-CD), Methyl-β-cyclodextrin (Me-β-CD), Inulin (Inu) and Arabic gum (AGu) affect the antioxidant and antidiabetic activity of lyophilized pomegranate flower extract, how they influence stability, release profile, and whether the systems exhibit prebiotic activity. Interactions between pomegranate flower extract and these factors were analyzed using FT-IR. The structures were examined through microscopic imaging while for the prepared prebiotic systems, antidiabetic activity was determined and confirmed by the inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase; antioxidant activity was expressed by DPPH and CUPRAC assays. The content of pelargonidin-3,5-glucoside in these systems was assessed using the HPLC method. The release profiles of pelargonidin-3,5-glucoside were examined in a medium at pH = 6.8 and pH = 1.2, and the stability was assessed after subjecting the systems to high temperatures (T = 90 °C). The prebiotic potential was evaluated for 10 prebiotic bacterial strains (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis Lactobacillus rhamnosus gg, Lactobacillus reuteri, Pediococcus pentosaceus, Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus fermentum lf, Streptococcus thermophilus). As a result of the conducted research, better functionalities of the obtained systems containing Pomegranate flower extract were proven in terms of prebiotic and antidiabetic effects. The obtained delivery systems for pelargonidin-3,5-glucoside allow for better use of its health-promoting effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Applications of Plant Extracts, 2nd Edition)
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21 pages, 8669 KiB  
Article
Cardioprotective and Hepatoprotective Potential of Silymarin in Paracetamol-Induced Oxidative Stress
by Bogdan Okiljević, Nikola Martić, Srđan Govedarica, Bojana Andrejić Višnjić, Milana Bosanac, Jovan Baljak, Branimir Pavlić, Isidora Milanović and Aleksandar Rašković
Pharmaceutics 2024, 16(4), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics16040520 - 9 Apr 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 950
Abstract
Silymarin, derived from Silybum marianum, has been used in traditional medicine for various ailments. In this study, the cardioprotective and hepatoprotective effects of silymarin against paracetamol-induced oxidative stress were examined in 28 male Swiss Webster mice, divided into four groups and treated [...] Read more.
Silymarin, derived from Silybum marianum, has been used in traditional medicine for various ailments. In this study, the cardioprotective and hepatoprotective effects of silymarin against paracetamol-induced oxidative stress were examined in 28 male Swiss Webster mice, divided into four groups and treated for 7 days (via the oral route) with (a) saline 1 mL/kg (control group), (b) saline 1 mL/kg + single dose of paracetamol 110 mg/kg on the 7th day; (c) silymarin 50 mg/kg; and (d) silymarin 50 mg/kg + single dose of paracetamol 110 mg/kg on the 7th day. In vitro and in vivo antioxidant activity together with liver enzyme activity were evaluated. Histopathological and immunohistochemical assessment was performed. Silymarin mitigated paracetamol-induced liver injury by reducing oxidative stress markers such as lipid peroxidation and restoring antioxidant enzyme activity. Silymarin treatment resulted in a significant decrease in liver enzyme levels. Reduced necrosis and inflammatory infiltrate in liver tissues of silymarin-treated groups were detected as well. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated reduced expression of inflammatory markers (COX2, iNOS) and oxidative stress marker (SOD2) in the liver tissues of the silymarin-treated groups. Similar trends were observed in cardiac tissue. These results suggest that silymarin exerts potent hepatoprotective and cardioprotective effects against paracetamol-induced oxidative stress, making it a promising therapeutic agent for liver and heart diseases associated with oxidative damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Applications of Plant Extracts, 2nd Edition)
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19 pages, 4144 KiB  
Article
Use of Plant Extracts in Polymeric Scaffolds in the Regeneration of Mandibular Injuries
by Bruna Eduarda Gandra de Oliveira, Fernanda Latorre Melgaço Maia, Lívia Contini Massimino, Claudio Fernandes Garcia, Ana Maria de Guzzi Plepis, Virgínia da Conceição Amaro Martins, Carlos Henrique Bertoni Reis, Vinícius Rodrigues Silva, Andre Alves Bezerra, Carolina Chen Pauris, Daniela Vieira Buchaim, Yggor Biloria e Silva, Rogerio Leone Buchaim and Marcelo Rodrigues da Cunha
Pharmaceutics 2024, 16(4), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics16040491 - 2 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1318
Abstract
Severe loss of bone mass may require grafting, and, among the alternatives available, there are natural biomaterials that can act as scaffolds for the cell growth necessary for tissue regeneration. Collagen and elastin polymers are a good alternative due to their biomimetic properties [...] Read more.
Severe loss of bone mass may require grafting, and, among the alternatives available, there are natural biomaterials that can act as scaffolds for the cell growth necessary for tissue regeneration. Collagen and elastin polymers are a good alternative due to their biomimetic properties of bone tissue, and their characteristics can be improved with the addition of polysaccharides such as chitosan and bioactive compounds such as jatoba resin and pomegranate extract due to their antigenic actions. The aim of this experimental protocol was to evaluate bone neoformation in experimentally made defects in the mandible of rats using polymeric scaffolds with plant extracts added. Thirty rats were divided into group 1, with a mandibular defect filled with a clot from the lesion and no graft implant (G1-C, n = 10); group 2, filled with collagen/chitosan/jatoba resin scaffolds (G2-CCJ, n = 10); and group 3, with collagen/nanohydroxyapatite/elastin/pomegranate extract scaffolds (G3-CHER, n = 10). Six weeks after surgery, the animals were euthanized and samples from the surgical areas were submitted to macroscopic, radiological, histological, and morphometric analysis of the mandibular lesion repair process. The results showed no inflammatory infiltrates in the surgical area, indicating good acceptance of the scaffolds in the microenvironment of the host area. In the control group (G1), there was a predominance of reactive connective tissue, while in the grafted groups (G2 and G3), there was bone formation from the margins of the lesion, but it was still insufficient for total bone repair of the defect within the experimental period standardized in this study. The histomorphometric analysis showed that the mean percentage of bone volume formed in the surgical area of groups G1, G2, and G3 was 17.17 ± 2.68, 27.45 ± 1.65, and 34.07 ± 0.64 (mean ± standard deviation), respectively. It can be concluded that these scaffolds with plant extracts added can be a viable alternative for bone repair, as they are easily manipulated, have a low production cost, and stimulate the formation of new bone by osteoconduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Applications of Plant Extracts, 2nd Edition)
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15 pages, 4633 KiB  
Article
Carob Extract (Ceratonia siliqua L.): Effects on Dyslipidemia and Obesity in a High-Fat Diet-Fed Rat Model
by Aleksandar Rašković, Nikola Martić, Ana Tomas, Bojana Andrejić-Višnjić, Milana Bosanac, Marko Atanasković, Marko Nemet, Radmila Popović, Marko Krstić, Saša Vukmirović and Nebojša Stilinović
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(11), 2611; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15112611 - 10 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1333
Abstract
Dyslipidemia and obesity are recognized as two of the major global health issues and main risk factors for coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. In recent years, carob has shown certain antioxidant and anti-dyslipidemic potential. In this study, Wistar rats were fed with [...] Read more.
Dyslipidemia and obesity are recognized as two of the major global health issues and main risk factors for coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. In recent years, carob has shown certain antioxidant and anti-dyslipidemic potential. In this study, Wistar rats were fed with a standard and cholesterol-enriched diet and treated orally with carob extract and simvastatin for four weeks. After sacrifice, blood samples were collected for biochemical analysis, and liver tissue was taken for histological and immunohistochemical assessment. Weight gain was significantly higher in groups fed with cholesterol-fortified granules; total cholesterol was found to be significantly lower in the hypercholesterolemic groups treated with simvastatin and simvastatin/carob combined regimens compared with hypercholesterolemic animals treated with saline (p < 0.05). The same was true for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and the LDL/HDL ratio (p < 0.05). Adiponectin was remarkably higher in animals treated with simvastatin compared to all other groups (p < 0.05). Leptin was significantly lower in groups treated with carob and simvastatin compared to the hypercholesterolemic group treated with saline (p < 0.05). Carob/simvastatin co-administration reduced hepatocyte damage and improved liver morphology. A study confirmed the anti-dyslipidemic, anti-obesity, and hepatoprotective potential of carob pulp alone or in combination with simvastatin in the treatment of high-fat diet-fed rats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Applications of Plant Extracts, 2nd Edition)
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13 pages, 4985 KiB  
Article
Isolation and Characterization of an Anti-Osteoporotic Compound from Melia toosendan Fructus
by Seong Cheol Kim, Dong Ryun Gu, Hyun Yang, Sung-Ju Lee, Jin Ah Ryuk and Hyunil Ha
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(10), 2454; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15102454 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 979
Abstract
Melia toosendan fructus, traditionally employed in traditional Chinese and Korean herbal medicine, exhibits diverse biological properties encompassing anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral effects. However, its influence on bone metabolism remains largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated the impact of an ethanolic extract of [...] Read more.
Melia toosendan fructus, traditionally employed in traditional Chinese and Korean herbal medicine, exhibits diverse biological properties encompassing anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral effects. However, its influence on bone metabolism remains largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated the impact of an ethanolic extract of Melia toosendan fructus (MTE) on osteoclast differentiation and characterized its principal active constituent in osteoclast differentiation and function, as well as its effects on bone protection. Our findings demonstrate that MTE effectively inhibits the differentiation of osteoclast precursors induced by receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL). Utilizing a bioassay-guided fractionation approach coupled with UHPLC-MS/MS analysis, we isolated and identified the triterpenoid compound toosendanin (TSN) as the active constituent responsible for MTE’s anti-osteoclastogenic activity. TSN treatment downregulated the expression of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1, a pivotal osteoclastogenic transcription factor, along with molecules implicated in osteoclast-mediated bone resorption, including tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6, carbonic anhydrase II, integrin beta-3, and cathepsin K. Furthermore, treatment of mature osteoclasts with TSN impaired actin ring formation, acidification, and resorptive function. Consistent with our in vitro findings, TSN administration mitigated trabecular bone loss and reduced serum levels of the bone resorption marker, C-terminal cross-linked telopeptides of type I collagen, in a mouse bone loss model induced by intraperitoneal injections of RANKL. These results suggest that TSN, as the principal active constituent of MTE with inhibitory effects on osteoclastogenesis, exhibits bone-protective properties by suppressing both osteoclast differentiation and function. These findings imply the potential utility of TSN in the treatment of diseases characterized by excessive bone resorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Applications of Plant Extracts, 2nd Edition)
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