Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 14203049 / 14203049
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Former Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1007)
Total articles ≅ 20,697
Google Scholar h5-index: 78
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Nham-Linh Nguyen, Thanh-Hoa Vo, Yu-Chi Lin, Chia-Ching Liaw, Zhi-Hu Lin, Mei-Chuan Chen, Yao-Haur Kuo
Published: 28 January 2020
Molecules, Volume 25; doi:10.3390/molecules25030551

Abstract:In folk medicine, Stahlianthus thorelii Gagnep. has been used to treat diseases related to inflammation, ulcers, and cancer. There are no reports concerning the chemical components and bioactivities of S. thorelii; thus, this study aims to explore the phytochemicals, quantify the main compounds, and test the anticancer activity of isolates from S. thorelii. Dried rhizomes were extracted with 95% ethanol and, then, partitioned, fractionated, and isolated. On the basis of the result of the antiproliferative activity of the fractions, seven isolates were yielded and were identified by spectroscopic analyses. The inhibition of cancer proliferation was determined by an MTT assay and the deployed IC50 to value their efficacy. Seven compounds containing one new C-benzylated dihydrochalcone derivative, thorechalcone A (1) and 2–7 were isolated from S. thorelii. In terms of the bioactivity, compounds 1 and 3 displayed promising antiproliferative activity (WiDr, A549, and HepG2), with IC50 values 3 and 4) was also validated. This study presented the isolations of antiproliferative potentials of new chalcone and known flavonoid derivatives from S. thorelii. The validated simple, accurate, and rapid HPLC method could be deployed for the quality control of herbal drugs.
Melasinee Laosuwan, Siriboon Mukdasai, Supalax Srijaranai
Published: 28 January 2020
Molecules, Volume 25; doi:10.3390/molecules25030552

Abstract:A simple and highly sensitive method is developed for the simultaneous determination of Ni2+, Cr2O72−, Co2+, and Hg2+ by using in syringe low density solvent-dispersive liquid liquid microextraction (ISLD-DLLME), followed by high performance liquid chromatography with a UV detector. The four metal ions were derivatized with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDC) based on complexation before their enrichment by ISLD-DLLME in which 1-octanol and methanol were used as the extraction solvent and the dispersive solvent, respectively. The extraction was performed in a commercially available syringe under vortex agitation. Phase separation was achieved without centrifugation, and the extraction phase was easily collected by moving the syringe plunger. Parameters affecting the extraction efficiency were studied and optimized. Under the optimum conditions, the four metal-PDC complexes were detected within 18 min, and ISLD-DLLME could increase the detection sensitivity in the range of 64–230 times compared to the direct HPLC analysis. The obtained limits of detection (LODs) were found to be in the range of 0.011–2.0 µg L−1. The applicability of the method is demonstrated for freshwater fish, shrimp, and shellfish samples. In addition, the results are in good agreement with those obtained by inductively-coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES).
Li-Ying He, Mei-Bian Hu, Ruo-Lan Li, Rong Zhao, Lin-Hong Fan, Li Wang, Wei Peng, Yu-Jie Liu, Chun-Jie Wu
Published: 28 January 2020
Molecules, Volume 25; doi:10.3390/molecules25030553

Abstract:Bombyx Batryticatus (BB) is a known traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) utilized to treat convulsions, epilepsy, cough, asthma, headaches, etc. in China for thousands of years. This study is aimed at investigating optimum extraction of protein-rich extracts from BB (BBPs) using response surface methodology (RSM) and exploring the protective effects of BBPs against nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced PC12 cells injured by glutamate (Glu) and their underlying mechanisms. The results indicated optimum process of extraction was as follows: extraction time 1.00 h, ratio of liquid to the raw material 3.80 mL/g and ultrasonic power 230.0 W. The cell viability of PC12 cells stimulated by Glu was determined by CCK-8 assay. The levels of γ-aminobutyric (GABA), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-4 (IL-4), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and glucocorticoid receptor alpha (GR) in PC12 cells were assayed by ELISA. Furthermore, the Ca2+ levels in PC12 cells were determined by flow cytometry analysis. Protein and mRNA expressions of GABAA-Rα1, NMDAR1, GAD 65, GAD 67, GAT 1 and GAT 3 in PC12 cells were evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting assays. Results revealed that BBPs decreased toxic effects due to Glu treatment and decreased Ca2+ levels in PC12 cells. After BBPs treatments, levels of GABA and 5-HT were increased and contents of TNF-α, IL-4 and IL-1β were decreased in NGF-induced PC12 cells injured by Glu. Moreover, BBPs up-regulated the expressions of GABAA-Rα1, GAD 65 and GAD 67, whereas down-regulated that of NMDAR1 GAT 1 and GAT 3. These findings suggested that BBPs possessed protective effects on NGF-induced PC12 cells injured by Glu via γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) signaling pathways, which demonstrated that BBPs has potential anti-epileptic effect in vitro. These findings may be useful in the development of novel medicine for the treatment of epilepsy.
Prince Edwin Das, Imad A. Abu-Yousef, Amin F. Majdalawieh, Srinivasan Narasimhan, Palmiro Poltronieri
Published: 28 January 2020
Molecules, Volume 25; doi:10.3390/molecules25030555

Abstract:: The synthesis of metal nanoparticles using plant extracts is a very promising method in green synthesis. The medicinal value of Moringa oleifera leaves and the antimicrobial activity of metallic copper were combined in the present study to synthesize copper nanoparticles having a desirable added-value inorganic material. The use of a hydroalcoholic extract of M. oleifera leaves for the green synthesis of copper nanoparticles is an attractive method as it leads to the production of harmless chemicals and reduces waste. The total phenolic content in the M. oleifera leaves extract was 23.0 ± 0.3 mg gallic acid equivalent/g of dried M. oleifera leaves powder. The M. oleifera leaves extract was treated with a copper sulphate solution. A color change from brown to black indicates the formation of copper nanoparticles. Characterization of the synthesized copper nanoparticles was performed using ultraviolet-visible light (UV-Vis) spectrophotometry, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The synthesized copper nanoparticles have an amorphous nature and particle size of 35.8-49.2 nm. We demonstrate that the M. oleifera leaves extract and the synthesized copper nanoparticles display considerable antioxidant activity. Moreover, the M. oleifera leaves extract and the synthesized copper nanoparticles exert considerable anti-bacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus faecalis (MIC values for the extract: 500, 250, 250, and 250 µg/mL; MIC values for the copper nanoparticles: 500, 500, 500, and 250 µg/mL, respectively). Similarly, the M. oleifera leaves extract and the synthesized copper nanoparticles exert relatively stronger anti-fungal activity against Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Candida albicans, and Candida glabrata (MIC values for the extract: 62.5, 62.5, 125, and 250 µg/mL; MIC values for the copper nanoparticles: 125, 125, 62.5, and 31.2 µg/mL, respectively). Our study reveals that the green synthesis of copper nanoparticles using a hydroalcoholic extract of M. oleifera leaves was successful. In addition, the synthesized copper nanoparticles can be potentially employed in the treatment of various microbial infections due to their reported antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal activities.
Minyi Guan, Rui Shi, Yuying Zheng, Xuan Zeng, Weiyang Fan, Yonggang Wang, Weiwei Su
Published: 28 January 2020
Molecules, Volume 25; doi:10.3390/molecules25030554

Abstract:Naringenin, a flavonoid compound which exists abundantly in Citrus fruits, is proven to possess excellent antitussive and expectorant effects. However, the clinical applications of naringenin are restricted by its poor solubility and low local concentration by oral administration. The aim of the present study is to prepare a naringenin-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (naringenin-HPβCD) inclusion as an inhalation solution for pulmonary delivery. The naringenin-HPβCD inclusion was characterized by phase solubility study, XRD, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1HNMR), and two-dimensional rotating frame Overhauser effect spectroscopy (2D ROESY). The in vitro permeability of the inclusion was evaluated on Calu-3 cells and the pharmacokinetic profile of pulmonary delivery was investigated in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Based on the linear model of phase solubility study, the relationship between naringenin and HPβCD was identified as AL type with a 1:1 stoichiometry. XRD, DSC, and NMR studies indicated that the entire naringenin molecule is encapsulated into the cavity of HPβCD. HPβCD could increase the concentration of naringenin in the epithelium-lining fluid (ELF) of Calu-3 cells and act as a sustained release system for naringenin. The pharmacokinetic profile of naringenin-HPβCD inclusion showed rapid response and higher local concentration by pulmonary delivery. In conclusion, pulmonary delivery of naringenin-HPβCD inclusion is a promising formulation strategy, which could provide a new possibility for the clinical application of naringenin.
Anna Kurek-Górecka, Michał Górecki, Anna Rzepecka-Stojko, Radosław Balwierz, Jerzy Stojko
Published: 28 January 2020
Molecules, Volume 25; doi:10.3390/molecules25030556

Abstract:Honey, propolis, bee pollen, bee bread, royal jelly, beeswax and bee venom are natural products which have been used in medicine since ancient times. Nowadays, studies indicate that natural bee products can be used for skin treatment and care. Biological properties of these products are related to flavonoids they contain like: chrysin, apigenin, kaempferol, quercetin, galangin, pinocembrin or naringenin. Several pharmacological activities of phenolic acids and flavonoids, and also 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid, which is present in royal jelly, have been reported. Royal jelly has multitude of pharmacological activities: antibiotic, antiinflammatory, antiallergenic, tonic and antiaging. Honey, propolis and pollen are used to heal burn wounds, and they possess numerous functional properties such as: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, disinfectant, antifungal and antiviral. Beeswax is used for production of cosmetics and ointments in pharmacy. Due to a large number of biological activities, bee products could be considered as important ingredients in medicines and cosmetics applied to skin.
Yongjie Xiong, Qirun Yin, Erhui Jin, Huatao Chen, Shaojun He
Published: 28 January 2020
Molecules, Volume 25; doi:10.3390/molecules25030557

Abstract:Heat stress induces apoptosis in various cells. Selenium, an essential micronutrient, has beneficial effects in maintaining the cellular physiological functions. However, its potential protective action against chronic heat stress (CHS)-induced apoptosis in granulosa cells and the related molecular mechanisms are not fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated the roles of selenium in CHS-induced apoptosis in mouse granulosa cells and explored its underlying mechanism. The heat treatment for 6–48 h induced apoptosis, potentiated caspase 3 activity, increased the expression levels of apoptosis-related gene BAX and ER stress markers, glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) in mouse granulosa cells. The treatment with ER stress inhibitor 4-PBA significantly attenuated the adverse effects caused by CHS. Selenium treatment significantly attenuated the CHS- or thapsigargin (Tg, an ER stress activator)-induced apoptosis, potentiation of caspase 3 activity, and the increased protein expression levels of BAX, GRP78, and CHOP. Additionally, treatment of the cells with 5 ng/mL selenium significantly ameliorated the levels of estradiol, which were decreased in response to heat exposure. Consistently, administering selenium supplement alleviated the hyperthermia-caused reduction in the serum estradiol levels in vivo. Together, our findings indicate that selenium has protective effects on CHS-induced apoptosis via inhibition of the ER stress pathway. The current study provides new insights in understanding the role of selenium during the process of heat-induced cell apoptosis.
Monika Wojciechowska, Marcin Równicki, Adam Mieczkowski, Joanna Miszkiewicz, Joanna Trylska
Published: 28 January 2020
Molecules, Volume 25; doi:10.3390/molecules25030559

Abstract:Antibiotic resistance is an escalating, worldwide problem. Due to excessive use of antibiotics, multidrug-resistant bacteria have become a serious threat and a major global healthcare problem of the 21st century. This fact creates an urgent need for new and effective antimicrobials. The common strategies for antibiotic discovery are based on either modifying existing antibiotics or screening compound libraries, but these strategies have not been successful in recent decades. An alternative approach could be to use gene-specific oligonucleotides, such as peptide nucleic acid (PNA) oligomers, that can specifically target any single pathogen. This approach broadens the range of potential targets to any gene with a known sequence in any bacterium, and could significantly reduce the time required to discover new antimicrobials or their redesign, if resistance arises. We review the potential of PNA as an antibacterial molecule. First, we describe the physicochemical properties of PNA and modifications of the PNA backbone and nucleobases. Second, we review the carriers used to transport PNA to bacterial cells. Furthermore, we discuss the PNA targets in antibacterial studies focusing on antisense PNA targeting bacterial mRNA and rRNA.
Yaelle Bavli, Bing-Mae Chen, Steve R. Roffler, Marina A. Dobrovolskaia, Eldad Elnekave, Shifra Ash, Yechezkel Barenholz, Keren Turjeman
Published: 28 January 2020
Molecules, Volume 25; doi:10.3390/molecules25030558

Abstract:PEGylated nanomedicines are known to induce infusion reactions (IRs) that in some cases can be life-threatening. Herein, we report a case study in which a patient with rare mediastinal and intracardiac IgG4-related sclerosing disease received 8 treatments of intravenously administered PEGylated liposomal methylprednisolone-succinate (NSSL-MPS). Due to the ethical requirements to reduce IRs, the patient received a cocktail of premedication including low dose of steroids, acetaminophen and H2 blockers before each infusion. The treatment was well-tolerated in that IRs, complement activation, anti-PEG antibodies and accelerated blood clearance of the PEGylated drug were not detected. Prior to the clinical study, an in vitro panel of assays utilizing blood of healthy donors was used to determine the potential of a PEGylated drug to activate complement system, elicit pro-inflammatory cytokines, damage erythrocytes and affect various components of the blood coagulation system. The overall findings of the in vitro panel were negative and correlated with the results observed in the clinical phase.
Kamila Sofińska, Natalia Wilkosz, Marek Szymoński, Ewelina Lipiec
Published: 28 January 2020
Molecules, Volume 25; doi:10.3390/molecules25030561

Abstract:Every cell in a living organism is constantly exposed to physical and chemical factors which damage the molecular structure of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Cellular DNA lesions are the most dangerous because the genetic information, critical for the identity and function of each eukaryotic cell, is stored in the DNA. In this review, we describe spectroscopic markers of DNA damage, which can be detected by infrared, Raman, surface-enhanced Raman, and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopies, using data acquired from DNA solutions and mammalian cells. Various physical and chemical DNA damaging factors are taken into consideration, including ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, chemicals, and chemotherapeutic compounds. All major spectral markers of DNA damage are presented in several tables, to give the reader a possibility of fast identification of the spectral signature related to a particular type of DNA damage.