Natural Compounds in Plants and Their Anti-inflammatory Activity

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 27026

Special Issue Editors

Korean Medicine Clinical Trial Center (K-CTC), Kyung Hee University Medical Center, Seoul 02454, Republic of Korea
Interests: natural product chemistry; LC-MS based metabolomics; biosynthesis of metabolites in plants; chemical profiling; phytochemical analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are a major source of complex and highly structurally diverse chemical compounds, which are often used as a starting point for drug discovery and development and have provided us with a large number of clinically useful drugs, including paclitaxel, artemisinin, galantamine, and morphine. Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug derived from salicylic acid from willow and other salicylate-rich plants, has been used to treat fever and pain for thousands of years. Inflammation is part of the biological response of our body to harmful stimuli, including pathogens, damaged cells, and irritants. Inflammation is a protective response, but the inflammatory response should be actively terminated when no longer needed to prevent unnecessary damage to normal tissues. Dysregulated inflammation, thus, is linked to various disease conditions, such as allergies, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer. Therefore, anti-inflammatory drugs can be useful for the treatment of inflammation-associated diseases. In addition, many natural compounds beneficial for human health are yet to be uncovered, especially in regard to treating inflammation-associated diseases. In this contex, this Special Issue aims to cover all areas of research related to plant exptracts and phytochemicals with anti-inflammatory activities, including chemical, biological, and pharmacological analysis. Research on potential application of anti-inflammatory phytochemcials in inflammation-associated diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, will be also considered. We welcome all scientific works presented as original research articles, reviews, and short communications dealing with natural compounds from plants, their anti-inflammatory activitiy, and their pharmacological activity on inflammation-associated diseases.  

Prof. Dr. Seok-Geun Lee
Dr. In Jin Ha
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • plants
  • phytochemicals
  • drug discovery
  • bioactive compounds
  • biochemometrics
  • metabolomics
  • molecular network analysis
  • inflammation
  • inflammation-associate diseases

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

10 pages, 3935 KiB  
Article
Inhibitory Effect of Lotusine on Solar UV-Induced Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 Expression
by Tae-Kyeong Ryu, Eunmiri Roh, Han-Seung Shin and Jong-Eun Kim
Plants 2022, 11(6), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11060773 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2419
Abstract
Solar ultraviolet (sUV) radiation remains a major cause of skin aging. Nelumbo nucifera (lotus) is a well-known edible plant widely grown in Asia, including Korea, China, and Japan. The lotus consists of flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds, and all parts reportedly possess nutritional [...] Read more.
Solar ultraviolet (sUV) radiation remains a major cause of skin aging. Nelumbo nucifera (lotus) is a well-known edible plant widely grown in Asia, including Korea, China, and Japan. The lotus consists of flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds, and all parts reportedly possess nutritional and medical values. Traditionally, lotus flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds have been used as antidiarrheal agents, diuretics, antipyretics, and antimicrobial and antihyperlipidemic agents. In addition, the Nelumbo nucifera lotus embryo has been shown to possess sedative and antipyretic properties and can relieve hemostatic thirst and treat eye diseases. Recently, Nelumbo nucifera lotus flower extract has been widely used in cosmetics due to its ability to reduce wrinkles and its whitening effects. Numerous cosmetics using Nelumbo nucifera lotus embryo extracts are commercially available. However, the active components of Nelumbo nucifera remain elusive. Lotusine is a phytochemical and soluble alkaloid found in lotus embryos. Herein, we examined the anti-wrinkle effect of lotusine using sUV-exposed human keratinocytes. We observed that lotusine reduced sUV-induced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 expression and modulated transcriptional activities of activator protein (AP)-1 and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). sUV-induced AP-1 and NF-κB activity could be activated via multiple signal transduction cascades, including the p38 MAPK, JNK, ERK1/2, and Akt pathways in the skin. Lotusine inhibited the MEK1/2-ERK1/2-p90RSK, MKK3/6-p38, and Akt-p70S6K pathways. Overall, our findings suggest that lotusine has potential benefits related to MMP-1 expression and skin aging following sUV exposure. Hence, the lotus can be developed as a valuable functional food and cosmetic material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Plants and Their Anti-inflammatory Activity)
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47 pages, 3080 KiB  
Article
Natural Products as Novel Neuroprotective Agents; Computational Predictions of the Molecular Targets, ADME Properties, and Safety Profile
by Sahar Saleh Alghamdi, Rasha Saad Suliman, Norah Abdulaziz Aljammaz, Khawla Mohammed Kahtani, Dimah Abdulqader Aljatli and Ghadeer M. Albadrani
Plants 2022, 11(4), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040549 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3481
Abstract
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are one of the most challenging public health issues. Despite tremendous advances in our understanding of NDs, little progress has been made in establishing effective treatments. Natural products may have enormous potential in preventing and treating NDs by targeting microglia; [...] Read more.
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are one of the most challenging public health issues. Despite tremendous advances in our understanding of NDs, little progress has been made in establishing effective treatments. Natural products may have enormous potential in preventing and treating NDs by targeting microglia; yet, there have been several clinical concerns about their usage, primarily due to a lack of scientific evidence for their efficacy, molecular targets, physicochemical properties, and safety. To solve this problem, the secondary bioactive metabolites derived from neuroprotective medicinal plants were identified and selected for computational predictions for anti-inflammatory activity, possible molecular targets, physicochemical properties, and safety evaluation using PASS online, Molinspiration, SwissADME, and ProTox-II, respectively. Most of the phytochemicals were active as anti-inflammatory agents as predicted using the PASS online webserver. Moreover, the molecular target predictions for some phytochemicals were similar to the reported experimental targets. Moreover, the phytochemicals that did not violate important physicochemical properties, including blood-brain barrier penetration, GI absorption, molecular weight, and lipophilicity, were selected for further safety evaluation. After screening 54 neuroprotective phytochemicals, our findings suggest that Aromatic-turmerone, Apocynin, and Matrine are the most promising compounds that could be considered when designing novel neuroprotective agents to treat neurodegenerative diseases via modulating microglial polarization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Plants and Their Anti-inflammatory Activity)
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14 pages, 3220 KiB  
Article
Bromelain Extract Exerts Antiarthritic Effects via Chondroprotection and the Suppression of TNF-α–Induced NF-κB and MAPK Signaling
by Peraphan Pothacharoen, Rujirek Chaiwongsa, Theerawut Chanmee, Orapin Insuan, Thanchanok Wongwichai, Phornpimon Janchai and Pilanee Vaithanomsat
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2273; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112273 - 23 Oct 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4177
Abstract
Bromelain, a mixture of proteases in pineapple rhizome, has beneficial biological properties. Following absorption, the compound remains biologically active in mammalian blood and tissues. Bromelain has multiple clinical and therapeutic applications because of its anti-arthritic activities. Anti-inflammation is one of the putative therapeutic [...] Read more.
Bromelain, a mixture of proteases in pineapple rhizome, has beneficial biological properties. Following absorption, the compound remains biologically active in mammalian blood and tissues. Bromelain has multiple clinical and therapeutic applications because of its anti-arthritic activities. Anti-inflammation is one of the putative therapeutic effects of bromelain on osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the molecular mechanisms in cartilage and synovial fibroblast has not been reported. Thus, in this study, interleukin (IL)-1β/oncostatin M-induced porcine cartilage and TNF-α–induced synovial fibroblast were used as the inflamed OA and RA models, respectively. The results demonstrated the chondroprotective effects of bromelain on cartilage degradation and the downregulation of inflammatory cytokine (tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8) expression in TNF-α–induced synovial fibroblasts by suppressing NF-κB and MAPK signaling. The evidence from this study supported and explained the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of bromelain on arthritis in animal models and clinical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Plants and Their Anti-inflammatory Activity)
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15 pages, 2682 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects of Citrus unshiu Peel (CUP) Flavonoids on LPS-Stimulated RAW 264.7 Cells
by Adhimoolam Karthikeyan, Hun Hwan Kim, Vetrivel Preethi, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, Ki Ho Lee, Senthil Kalaiselvi, Gon Sup Kim and Taesun Min
Plants 2021, 10(10), 2209; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10102209 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3064
Abstract
Citrus unshiu is a popular medicinal herb in several Asian countries, in particular South Korea. C. unshiu peel (CUP) has several biologically active compounds, including flavonoids. Hence, this research aimed to label the flavonoids from CUP by HPLC-MS/MS analysis and examine their anti-inflammatory [...] Read more.
Citrus unshiu is a popular medicinal herb in several Asian countries, in particular South Korea. C. unshiu peel (CUP) has several biologically active compounds, including flavonoids. Hence, this research aimed to label the flavonoids from CUP by HPLC-MS/MS analysis and examine their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential on LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. A total of four flavonoids (Rutin, naringin, hesperidin, and poncirin) were characterized, and their contents were quantified from CUP. It showed that the naringin is rich in CUP. Further, treatment with the flavonoids at concentrations of 2.5 and 5 μg/mL had no effect on the cell viability of RAW 264.7 macrophages. On the other hand, it decreased the production and expression of inflammatory mediators and pro-inflammatory cytokines such as NO, PGE2, TNF-α, IL-1β, iNOS, and COX2 in the LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. In addition, flavonoids treatment inhibited the NF-κB activation by downregulating the p-p65 and p-IκBα proteins expression. Furthermore, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production considerably decreased at the same concentrations while antioxidant enzyme activity increased in the LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Collectively, our results show that CUP flavonoids have the potential to decrease inflammation and oxidative damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Plants and Their Anti-inflammatory Activity)
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17 pages, 1224 KiB  
Article
Benefits of Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton) and Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) Extracts for Their Applications as Natural Anti-Inflammatory Adjuvants
by Gustavo R. Cárdenas Garza, Joel H. Elizondo Luévano, Aldo F. Bazaldúa Rodríguez, Abelardo Chávez Montes, Raymundo A. Pérez Hernández, Ameyalli J. Martínez Delgado, Sonia M. López Villarreal, José Rodríguez Rodríguez, Rosa M. Sánchez Casas, Uziel Castillo Velázquez and Osvelia E. Rodríguez Luis
Plants 2021, 10(9), 1908; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10091908 - 14 Sep 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 5326
Abstract
The genus Zingiberaceae has been widely used for phytotherapeutic purposes in traditional medicine throughout the world for its anti-inflammatory activity. Experimental studies have established that inflammation caused by chronic infections represents a risk factor for different forms of cancer. The objective of this [...] Read more.
The genus Zingiberaceae has been widely used for phytotherapeutic purposes in traditional medicine throughout the world for its anti-inflammatory activity. Experimental studies have established that inflammation caused by chronic infections represents a risk factor for different forms of cancer. The objective of this study was focused on determining the anti-inflammatory capacity and cytotoxic activity of aqueous extracts of Elettaria cardamomum (cardamom) and Curcuma Longa (turmeric). The extracts were obtained by maceration and, through GC-MS/MS, a total of 11 different chemical components were determined in the aqueous extract of cardamom and 7 in the extract of turmeric. The main compounds found in cardamom and turmeric were α-terpinyl acetate (54.46%) and β-turmerone (33.45%), respectively. RT-qPCR results showed significantly lower gene expression levels of innate inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) compared to the control (LPS). Also, it was observed that the extracts do not possess cytotoxic activity against different cell lines, where E. cardamomum showed EC50 (µg/mL) of 473.84 (HeLa cells), 237.36 (J774A.1 cells), 257.51 (Vero E6 cells), and 431.16 (Balb/C peritoneal cells) and C. longa showed EC50 (µg/mL) of 351.17 (HeLa cells), 430.96 (J774A.1 cells), 396.24 (Vero E6 cells), and 362.86 (Balb/C peritoneal cells). The results of this research suggest that natural extracts of E. cardamomum and C. longa possess anti-inflammatory effects and no cytotoxic activity against HeLa, J774A.1, Vero E6, and Balb/C peritoneal cell lines. Finally, it was observed that the extracts also decreased nitric oxide (NO) production in peritoneal macrophages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Plants and Their Anti-inflammatory Activity)
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17 pages, 3471 KiB  
Article
Bioactivity-Guided Extract Optimization of Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus Leaves and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Phillyrin
by Hwa-Young Song, Da-Eun Jeong and Mina Lee
Plants 2021, 10(8), 1545; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10081545 - 28 Jul 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2176
Abstract
The aim of this study was to identify the optimal extraction conditions for leaves of Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus. Inhibitory effects of various extracts on NO production were compared. Antioxidant evaluations for total phenol and flavonoid contents were carried out using various [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to identify the optimal extraction conditions for leaves of Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus. Inhibitory effects of various extracts on NO production were compared. Antioxidant evaluations for total phenol and flavonoid contents were carried out using various extracts of O. fragrans var. aurantiacus leaves obtained under optimal extraction conditions that showed the greatest effect on NO production. The optimal method for extracting O. fragrans var. aurantiacus leaves resulted in an extract named OP OFLE. OP OFLE showed DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging activities in a concentration-dependent manner. Phillyrin (PH) was isolated as a major compound from OP OFLE by HPLC/DAD analysis. OP OFLE and PH reduced inducible nitric oxide (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 protein expression and downregulated proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 and HT-29 cells. To determine the signal pathway involved in the inhibition of NO production, a Western blot analysis was performed. Results showed that OP OFLE decreased phosphorylation of extracellular regulated kinase (pERK) 1/2 and the expression of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB). Our results suggest that extracts of O. fragrans var. aurantiacus leaves and its major components have biological activities such as antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Plants and Their Anti-inflammatory Activity)
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Review

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23 pages, 2614 KiB  
Review
Anti-Inflammatory and Anticancer Properties of Birch Bark-Derived Betulin: Recent Developments
by Hardeep Singh Tuli, Katrin Sak, Dhruv Sanjay Gupta, Ginpreet Kaur, Diwakar Aggarwal, Nidarshana Chaturvedi Parashar, Renuka Choudhary, Mukerrem Betul Yerer, Jagjit Kaur, Manoj Kumar, Vivek Kumar Garg and Gautam Sethi
Plants 2021, 10(12), 2663; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10122663 - 3 Dec 2021
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 4524
Abstract
Birch tree bark-derived betulin has attracted scientific interest already for several centuries, being one of the first natural products identified from plants. However, the cellular events regulated by betulin and precise molecular mechanisms under these processes have been begun to be understood only [...] Read more.
Birch tree bark-derived betulin has attracted scientific interest already for several centuries, being one of the first natural products identified from plants. However, the cellular events regulated by betulin and precise molecular mechanisms under these processes have been begun to be understood only recently. Today, we know that betulin can exert important anticancer activities through modulation of diverse cellular pathways. In this review article, betulin-regulated molecular signaling is unraveled and presented with a special focus on its participation in anti-inflammatory processes, especially by modulating nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), prostaglandin/COX, and nuclear factor erythroid2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-mediated cascades. By regulating these diverse pathways, betulin can not only affect the development and progression of different cancers, but also enhance the antitumor action of traditional therapeutic modalities. It is expected that by overcoming the low bioavailability of betulin by encapsulating it into nanocarriers, this promising natural compound may provide novel possibilities for targeting inflammation-related cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Plants and Their Anti-inflammatory Activity)
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