Advances in the Biomedical Applications of Plants and Plant Extracts

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Pharmaceutical Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 2150

Special Issue Editors

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary
Interests: pharmacology; CV system; neurodegenerative disorders; diabetes mellitus; retinopathy; herbals; antioxidants; oxidative stress
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Guest Editor
Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Oradea, Piata 1 Decembrie, 410028 Oradea, Romania
Interests: pharmacology; herbals; plant extracts; polyphenols; SIRT1; antioxidants; oxidative stress; apoptosis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants have been integral to healing practices since ancient times, and their significance persists in contemporary drug development and modern medicine. According to surveys conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), a substantial 80% of the global population continues to rely on plants or plant-derived preparations. Within plants and plant extracts, a plethora of beneficial active ingredients exists, offering a wide array of biomedical applications owing to their structural and biological diversity. Remarkably, only a small fraction—roughly 10–15%—of these plant-based compounds have undergone comprehensive chemical examination. This implies a vast reservoir of untapped potential for the medical and pharmaceutical utilization of plants. In the present era, advanced techniques in molecular biology, chemistry, and pharmaceutical technology play crucial roles in uncovering novel therapeutically active biomolecules and in broadening their biomedical applications. We believe that plants and natural compounds represent a significant and unique resource for humanity, particularly from a medicinal standpoint. The ongoing research of plant-based compounds holds the promise of unlocking further breakthroughs in the medical and pharmaceutical field. Considering the significance of plants as an unparalleled resource for medicinal purposes, our Special Issue aims to disseminate research findings that focus on exploring and utilizing newly discovered therapeutically active substances within the scientific community.

Dr. Rita Kiss
Prof. Dr. Annamária Pallag
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • herbals
  • plant extracts
  • polyphenols
  • anthocyanins
  • isolation
  • characterization
  • preparation
  • oxidative stress
  • apoptosis
  • inflammation
  • dermatitis
  • CNS
  • new target molecules

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 2344 KiB  
Article
Piceatannol Upregulates SIRT1 Expression in Skeletal Muscle Cells and in Human Whole Blood: In Vitro Assay and a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Comparison Trial
by Kenta Tanaka, Shinpei Kawakami, Sadao Mori, Takumi Yamaguchi, Eriko Saito, Yuko Setoguchi, Yuko Matsui, Eisaku Nishimura, Shukuko Ebihara and Toshihiro Kawama
Life 2024, 14(5), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14050589 - 5 May 2024
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Abstract
Piceatannol (PIC), a polyphenol abundant in passion fruit seeds, is reported to promote fat metabolism. This study investigated whether PIC affects sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) expression and metabolic factors in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells. C2C12 myotubes were stimulated with PIC, and alterations in gene [...] Read more.
Piceatannol (PIC), a polyphenol abundant in passion fruit seeds, is reported to promote fat metabolism. This study investigated whether PIC affects sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) expression and metabolic factors in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells. C2C12 myotubes were stimulated with PIC, and alterations in gene expression, protein levels, mitochondrial DNA content, and fatty acid levels were assessed using real-time PCR, Western blotting, and Nile red staining. Furthermore, we examined changes in SIRT1 expression following the consumption of a test food containing 100 mg PIC for 2 weeks among adults with varying age and body mass index ranges. Both PIC and passion fruit seed extract induced SIRT1 expression in C2C12 myotubes to a greater extent than resveratrol. PIC also increased the expression of genes associated with mitochondrial biogenesis and fatty acid utilization, increased mitochondrial DNA content, and suppressed oleic acid-induced fat accumulation. Moreover, participants who consumed PIC exhibited significantly higher SIRT1 mRNA expression in whole blood compared to those in the placebo group. These findings suggest that PIC induces SIRT1 expression both in vitro and in the human body, which may promote mitochondrial biosynthesis and fat metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Biomedical Applications of Plants and Plant Extracts)
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15 pages, 1364 KiB  
Article
Deciphering the Systemic Impact of Herbal Medicines on Allergic Rhinitis: A Network Pharmacological Approach
by Sa-Yoon Park, Yoon Yeol Lee, Min Hee Kim and Chang-Eop Kim
Life 2024, 14(5), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14050553 - 25 Apr 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 608
Abstract
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a systemic allergic disease that has a considerable impact on patients’ quality of life. Current treatments include antihistamines and nasal steroids; however, their long-term use often causes undesirable side effects. In this context, traditional Asian medicine (TAM), with its [...] Read more.
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a systemic allergic disease that has a considerable impact on patients’ quality of life. Current treatments include antihistamines and nasal steroids; however, their long-term use often causes undesirable side effects. In this context, traditional Asian medicine (TAM), with its multi-compound, multi-target herbal medicines (medicinal plants), offers a promising alternative. However, the complexity of these multi-compound traits poses challenges in understanding the overall mechanisms and efficacy of herbal medicines. Here, we demonstrate the efficacy and underlying mechanisms of these multi-compound herbal medicines specifically used for AR at a systemic level. We utilized a modified term frequency–inverse document frequency method to select AR-specific herbs and constructed an herb–compound–target network using reliable databases and computational methods, such as the Quantitative Estimate of Drug-likeness for compound filtering, STITCH database for compound-target interaction prediction (with a high confidence score threshold of 0.7), and DisGeNET and CTD databases for disease-gene association analysis. Through this network, we conducted AR-related targets and pathway analyses, as well as clustering analysis based on target-level information of the herbs. Gene ontology enrichment analysis was conducted using a protein–protein interaction network. Our research identified 14 AR-specific herbs and analyzed whether AR-specific herbs are highly related to previously known AR-related genes and pathways. AR-specific herbs were found to target several genes related to inflammation and AR pathogenesis, such as PTGS2, HRH1, and TBXA2R. Pathway analysis revealed that AR-specific herbs were associated with multiple AR-related pathways, including cytokine signaling, immune response, and allergic inflammation. Additionally, clustering analysis based on target similarity identified three distinct subgroups of AR-specific herbs, corroborated by a protein–protein interaction network. Group 1 herbs were associated with the regulation of inflammatory responses to antigenic stimuli, while Group 2 herbs were related to the detection of chemical stimuli involved in the sensory perception of bitter taste. Group 3 herbs were distinctly associated with antigen processing and presentation and NIK/NF-kappa B signaling. This study decodes the principles of TAM herbal configurations for AR using a network pharmacological approach, providing a holistic understanding of drug effects beyond specific pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Biomedical Applications of Plants and Plant Extracts)
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