Topic Editors

Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Granada, Avda Fuentenueva s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain
Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of Granada, 18011 Granada, Spain
Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of Granada, 18011 Granada, Spain

Plant Extracts and Their Therapeutic Effects

Abstract submission deadline
closed (24 December 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (29 February 2024)
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Throughout history, drugs or medicinal preparations obtained from plant extracts have been widely used as curative remedies, often being used under the criteria of intuition and the mere repetition of experience. In contemporary times, these criteria have been replaced by in-depth scientific studies that allow the application of these plant extracts to be much more effective through knowledge of the specific phytochemicals with different health benefits that are naturally found in small amounts in plants. In recent years, the study of these phytochemicals has been one of the main activities for the development of functional foods, nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals, finding that the use of plant extracts provides bioactive properties and beneficial effects. However, bioactive compounds vary widely in their chemical structure and function, which continues to pose some scientific challenges to increase the scientific evidence for such properties. In this sense, the present Special Issue covers a selection of recent research topics and current review articles related to the use of "green" extraction processes to extract bioactive compounds from plant matrices or plant by-products, their characterization via advanced separative techniques, as well as the evaluation, both in vitro and in vivo, of bioactivity against different pathologies related to obesity, anti-aging, neuroprotection, cancer, among others.

Prof. Dr. David Arráez-Román
Dr. María De La Luz Cádiz-Gurrea
Dr. Álvaro Fernández Ochoa
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • plants and plant sub-products
  • extraction processes, mainly “green” technologies
  • advanced analytical techniques coupled to different detection systems
  • bioactivity evaluation
  • therapeutic effects
  • dietary intervention studies
  • bioavailability and metabolism studies
  • omics studies (metabolomics, microbiomics, etc.)

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Antioxidants
antioxidants
7.0 8.8 2012 13.9 Days CHF 2900
Life
life
3.2 2.7 2011 17.5 Days CHF 2600
Medicines
medicines
- - 2014 32.6 Days CHF 1400
Molecules
molecules
4.6 6.7 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700
Plants
plants
4.5 5.4 2012 15.3 Days CHF 2700

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Published Papers (9 papers)

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28 pages, 7682 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Urtica dioica Phytochemicals against Therapeutic Targets of Allergic Rhinitis Using Computational Studies
by Erick Bahena Culhuac and Martiniano Bello
Molecules 2024, 29(8), 1765; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29081765 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 347
Abstract
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a prevalent inflammatory condition affecting millions globally, with current treatments often associated with significant side effects. To seek safer and more effective alternatives, natural sources like Urtica dioica (UD) are being explored. However, UD’s mechanism of action remains unknown. [...] Read more.
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a prevalent inflammatory condition affecting millions globally, with current treatments often associated with significant side effects. To seek safer and more effective alternatives, natural sources like Urtica dioica (UD) are being explored. However, UD’s mechanism of action remains unknown. Therefore, to elucidate it, we conducted an in silico evaluation of UD phytochemicals’ effects on known therapeutic targets of allergic rhinitis: histamine receptor 1 (HR1), neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R), cysteinyl leukotriene receptor 1 (CLR1), chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on type 2 helper T cells (CRTH2), and bradykinin receptor type 2 (BK2R). The docking analysis identified amentoflavone, alpha-tocotrienol, neoxanthin, and isorhamnetin 3-O-rutinoside as possessing a high affinity for all the receptors. Subsequently, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to analyze the key interactions; the free energy of binding was calculated through Generalized Born and Surface Area Solvation (MMGBSA), and the conformational changes were evaluated. Alpha-tocotrienol exhibited a high affinity while also inducing positive conformational changes across all targets. Amentoflavone primarily affected CRTH2, neoxanthin targeted NK1R, CRTH2, and BK2R, and isorhamnetin-3-O-rutinoside acted on NK1R. These findings suggest UD’s potential to treat AR symptoms by inhibiting these targets. Notably, alpha-tocotrienol emerges as a promising multi-target inhibitor. Further in vivo and in vitro studies are needed for validation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Extracts and Their Therapeutic Effects)
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20 pages, 3434 KiB  
Article
Metabolite Profiling of Colvillea racemosa via UPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS Analysis in Correlation to the In Vitro Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Potential against A549 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cell Line
by Álvaro Fernández-Ochoa, Inas Y. Younis, Reem K. Arafa, María de la Luz Cádiz-Gurrea, Francisco Javier Leyva-Jiménez, Antonio Segura Carretero, Engy Mohsen and Fatema R. Saber
Plants 2024, 13(7), 976; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13070976 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 615
Abstract
In this study, flower and leaf extracts of Colvillea racemosa were considered a source of bioactive compounds. In this context, the objective of the study focused on investigating the anticancer potential as well as the phytochemical composition of both extracts. The extracts were [...] Read more.
In this study, flower and leaf extracts of Colvillea racemosa were considered a source of bioactive compounds. In this context, the objective of the study focused on investigating the anticancer potential as well as the phytochemical composition of both extracts. The extracts were analyzed by UPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS, and the bioactivity was tested using in vitro antioxidant assays (FRAP, DPPH, and ABTS) in addition to cytotoxic assays on non-small cell lung cancer cell line (A549). Our results clearly indicated the potent radical scavenging capacity of both extracts. Importantly, the flower extract exhibited a greater antioxidant capacity than the leaf extract. In terms of cytotoxic activity, leaf and flower extracts significantly inhibited cell viability with IC50 values of 17.0 and 17.2 µg/mL, respectively. The phytochemical characterization enabled the putative annotation of 42 metabolites, such as saccharides, phenolic acids, flavonoids, amino acids, and fatty acids. Among them, the flavonoid C-glycosides stand out due to their high relative abundance and previous reports on their anticancer bioactivity. For a better understanding of the bioactive mechanisms, four flavonoids (vitexin, kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside, luteolin, and isoorientin) were selected for molecular docking on hallmark protein targets in lung cancer as represented by γ-PI3K, EGFR, and CDK2 through in-silico studies. In these models, kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside and vitexin had the highest binding scores on γ-PI3K and CDK2, followed by isoorientin, so they could be highly responsible for the bioactive properties of C. racemosa extracts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Extracts and Their Therapeutic Effects)
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19 pages, 6053 KiB  
Article
Amelioration of Functional, Metabolic, and Morphological Deterioration in the Retina following Retinal Detachment by Green Tea Extract
by Kai On Chu, Yolanda Wong Ying Yip, Kwok Ping Chan, Chi Chiu Wang, Danny Siu Chun Ng and Chi Pui Pang
Antioxidants 2024, 13(2), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox13020235 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 797
Abstract
Retinal detachment (RD) can result in the loss of photoreceptors that cause vision impairment and potential blindness. This study explores the protective effects of the oral administration of green tea extract (GTE) in a rat model of RD. Various doses of GTE or [...] Read more.
Retinal detachment (RD) can result in the loss of photoreceptors that cause vision impairment and potential blindness. This study explores the protective effects of the oral administration of green tea extract (GTE) in a rat model of RD. Various doses of GTE or epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most active ingredient in green tea catechins, were administered to Sprague Dawley (SD) rats with experimentally induced retinal detachment. The rats received sub-retinal injections of hyaluronic acid (0.1%) to induce RD and were given different doses of GTE and EGCG twice daily for three days. Notably, a low dose of GTE (142.9 mg/kg) caused significantly higher signal amplitudes in electroretinograms (ERGs) compared to higher GTE doses and any doses of EGCG. After administration of a low dose of GTE, the outer nuclear layer thickness, following normalization, of the detached retina reduced to 82.4 ± 8.2% (Mean ± SEM, p < 0.05) of the thickness by RD treatment. This thickness was similar to non-RD conditions, at 83.5 ± 4.7% (Mean ± SEM) of the thickness following RD treatment. In addition, the number of TUNEL-positive cells decreased from 76.7 ± 7.4 to 4.7 ± 1.02 (Mean ± SEM, p < 0.0001). This reduction was associated with the inhibition of apoptosis through decreased sphingomyelin levels and mitigation of oxidative stress shown by a lowered protein carbonyl level, which may involve suppression of HIF-1α pathways. Furthermore, GTE showed anti-inflammatory effects by reducing inflammatory cytokines and increasing resolving cytokines. In conclusion, low-dose GTE, but not EGCG, significantly alleviated RD-induced apoptosis, oxidative stress, inflammation, and energy insufficiency within a short period and without affecting energy metabolism. These findings suggest the potential of low-dose GTE as a protective agent for the retina in RD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Extracts and Their Therapeutic Effects)
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17 pages, 307 KiB  
Review
Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Natural Products in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): A Mini-Review of Lipid Profile, Blood Glucose, and Ovarian Histological Improvements
by Syawany Wahid, Muhammad Danial Che Ramli, Nur Ezza Fazleen, Rosli Muhammad Naim and Mohd Helmy Mokhtar
Life 2024, 14(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14010150 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1769
Abstract
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in women that is characterized by fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries and various symptoms, including high androgen levels, endometrial irregularities, and cysts. Although the main cause of PCOS remains unknown, it has been linked [...] Read more.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in women that is characterized by fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries and various symptoms, including high androgen levels, endometrial irregularities, and cysts. Although the main cause of PCOS remains unknown, it has been linked to genetic, endocrine, and metabolic factors, and there are several treatment options, including lifestyle modifications, medications, and surgery. Natural products such as medicinal plants and fruits are being explored as potential treatments for PCOS because of their bioactive compounds with pharmacological effects related to antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antidiabetic properties. Some of these compounds improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and enhance glucose metabolism, thereby benefiting patients with PCOS. This mini-review examined the effects of natural products on PCOS, including their effects on ovarian histological changes, blood glucose, sex hormones, and lipid profiles, based on animal and human studies. This study suggests that the use of natural products as complementary medicines can be a promising resource for the development of effective therapeutics for PCOS; however, further research is needed to fully understand their benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Extracts and Their Therapeutic Effects)
15 pages, 2458 KiB  
Article
Solarplast®—An Enzymatically Treated Spinach Extract
by Annie Simon, Shahneela Mazhar, Ekaterina Khokhlova, Natasha Leeuwendaal, Christopher Phipps, John Deaton, Kieran Rea and Joan Colom
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2678; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142678 - 18 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1496
Abstract
In the modern world we are constantly bombarded by environmental and natural stimuli that can result in oxidative stress. Antioxidant molecules and enzymes help the human body scavenge reactive oxygen species and prevent oxidative damage. Most organisms possess intrinsic antioxidant activity, but also [...] Read more.
In the modern world we are constantly bombarded by environmental and natural stimuli that can result in oxidative stress. Antioxidant molecules and enzymes help the human body scavenge reactive oxygen species and prevent oxidative damage. Most organisms possess intrinsic antioxidant activity, but also benefit from the consumption of antioxidants from their diet. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach are a well-researched rich source of dietary antioxidant molecules. However, plant cell walls are difficult to digest for many individuals and the bio-accessibility of nutrients and antioxidants from these sources can be limited by the degree of digestion and assimilation. Through a specific enzymatic process, Solarplast® contains organic spinach protoplasts without the cell wall, which may facilitate higher yield and efficacy of beneficial antioxidant molecules. In this study, analytical techniques coupled to in vitro bioassays were used to determine the potential antioxidant activity of Solarplast® and determine its antioxidant enzymatic capabilities. Solarplast® demonstrated superior antioxidant activity when compared to frozen spinach leaves in TOC, FRAP and TEAC antioxidant assays. Several antioxidant enzymes were also increased in Solarplast®, when compared to frozen spinach. As a functional readout, Solarplast® attenuated hydrogen peroxide-, ethanol- and acetaminophen-induced increases in oxidative stress and cytotoxicity in both intestinal (HT-29) and liver (HepG2) cell lines. These findings suggest that Solarplast® may represent a non-GMO, plant-based food supplement to help reduce oxidative stress in the human body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Extracts and Their Therapeutic Effects)
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17 pages, 4209 KiB  
Article
Therapeutic Effects of Plant Extracts of Anoectochilus roxburghii on Side Effects of Chemotherapy in BALB/c Breast Cancer Mice
by Chi-Feng Cheng, Chen-Wen Lu, Wen-Jhen Wu, Li-Yu Su, Thi Kim Ngan Nguyen, Szu-Chuan Shen, Chia-Ying Lien, Wu-Chang Chuang, Ming-Chung Lee and Chung-Hsin Wu
Plants 2023, 12(13), 2494; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12132494 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1664
Abstract
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and chemotherapy is an effective treatment. However, chemotherapy often causes adverse side effects such as cardiotoxicity, myelosuppression, immunodeficiency, and osteoporosis. Our study focused on the alleviating effects of Anoectochilus roxburghii extracts (AREs) on the [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and chemotherapy is an effective treatment. However, chemotherapy often causes adverse side effects such as cardiotoxicity, myelosuppression, immunodeficiency, and osteoporosis. Our study focused on the alleviating effects of Anoectochilus roxburghii extracts (AREs) on the adverse side effects of chemotherapy in mice with breast cancer. We individually evaluated the antioxidant capacity and cytotoxicity of the AREs using DPPH and MTT assays. We also examined the effects of the AREs on intracellular F-actin, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) of 4T1 cancer cells before and after doxorubicin (DOX) treatment. Our results showed that ARE treatment enhanced the effects of DOX chemotherapy by promoting cell morphology damage, oxidative stress, and ROS generation, as well as by reducing MMP in the 4T1 breast cancer cells. By using BALB/c mice with breast cancer with DOX treatment, our results showed that the DOX treatment reduced body weight, blood pressure, and heart rate and induced myelosuppression, immunodeficiency, cardiotoxicity, and osteoporosis. After oral ARE treatment of BALB/c mice with breast cancer, the chemotherapeutic effects of DOX were enhanced, and the adverse side effects of DOX chemotherapy were alleviated. Based on the above results, we suggest that AREs can be used as an adjuvant reliever to DOX chemotherapy in BALB/c mice with breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Extracts and Their Therapeutic Effects)
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13 pages, 465 KiB  
Article
American Cranberry (Oxycoccus macrocarpus (Ait.) Pursh) Leaves Extract and Its Amino-Acids Preparation: The Phytochemical and Pharmacological Study
by Oleh Koshovyi, Inna Vlasova, Valdas Jakštas, Gabrielė Vilkickytė, Vaidotas Žvikas, Roman Hrytsyk, Lyubov Grytsyk and Ain Raal
Plants 2023, 12(10), 2010; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12102010 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
The liver is an organ with several important biofunctions, for which there are very few effective and safe preparations that promote the functioning, protection, and regeneration of cells. Sufficiently safe preparations with hepatoprotective activity can be found in plants. The aim of our [...] Read more.
The liver is an organ with several important biofunctions, for which there are very few effective and safe preparations that promote the functioning, protection, and regeneration of cells. Sufficiently safe preparations with hepatoprotective activity can be found in plants. The aim of our study was to investigate the chemical composition of an extract made from American cranberry (Oxycoccus macrocarpus (Ait.) Pursh) leaves and its amino-acids preparations as well as their possible hepatoprotective activity. Using the UPLC-MS/MS method, we identified 19 phenolic compounds (8 flavonoids (flavones and flavonols), 4 anthocyanins, 3 hydroxycinnamic acids, and 2 catechins). The prophylactic and therapeutic administration of the American cranberry-leaves extracts led to a decrease in the lipid-peroxidation process during a study of tetrachloromethane acute toxic damage in the liver of rats. As a result of animal studies, the most effective hepatoprotective activity was found in the extract preparations with valine and arginine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Extracts and Their Therapeutic Effects)
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15 pages, 4074 KiB  
Article
Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Nees Alleviates Methotrexate-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Wistar Albino Rats
by Manisha Parthasarathy and Sabina Evan Prince
Life 2023, 13(5), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13051173 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Andrographis paniculata is a herbal plant used in traditional medicinal approaches to treat various ailments and diseases. Methotrexate (MTX) is a clinically used immunosuppressant and anticancer drug. One of the increasing concerns with MTX use is liver toxicity. The aim of this study [...] Read more.
Andrographis paniculata is a herbal plant used in traditional medicinal approaches to treat various ailments and diseases. Methotrexate (MTX) is a clinically used immunosuppressant and anticancer drug. One of the increasing concerns with MTX use is liver toxicity. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential effect of aqueous leaf extract of Andrographis paniculata against methotrexate-induced hepatotoxicity. Wistar albino rats were grouped into five groups, and the drugs were administered. MTX (20 mg/kg b.w.) was intraperitoneally injected into rats on the ninth day alone. Aqueous leaf extract of Andrographis paniculata (500 mg/kg b.w./day) was orally administered for 10 days. We confirmed the beneficial effect of aqueous extracts of Andrographis paniculata on restoring the hepatic enzyme markers, lipid profile, antioxidant level, anti-inflammatory marker (IL-10), anti-apoptosis (bcl-2), significant suppression of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, and IL-6), apoptosis marker (caspase 3) and cellular tissue damage caused by MTX. Overall, we revealed that Andrographis paniculata reduces critical aspects of oxidative stress, inflammatory processes, and apoptosis, thus protecting against methotrexate-induced hepatotoxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Extracts and Their Therapeutic Effects)
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16 pages, 29393 KiB  
Article
The Protective Effects of Goitrin on LPS-Induced Septic Shock in C57BL/6J Mice via Caspase-11 Non-Canonical Inflammasome Inhibition
by Deqing Ruan, Jingyi Yang, Qianfei Luo, Yanhong Shi, Lili Ding, Zhengtao Wang, Rui Wang and Li Yang
Molecules 2023, 28(7), 2883; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28072883 - 23 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
Septic shock is defined as a subset of sepsis, which is associated with a considerably high mortality risk. The caspase-11 non-canonical inflammasome is sensed and activated by intracellular lipopolysaccharide (LPS) leading to pyroptosis, it plays a critical role in septic shock. However, there [...] Read more.
Septic shock is defined as a subset of sepsis, which is associated with a considerably high mortality risk. The caspase-11 non-canonical inflammasome is sensed and activated by intracellular lipopolysaccharide (LPS) leading to pyroptosis, it plays a critical role in septic shock. However, there are few known drugs that can control caspase-11 non-canonical inflammasome activation. We report here that goitrin, an alkaloid from Radix Isatidis, shows protective effects in LPS-induced septic shock and significant inhibitory effect in caspase-11 non-canonical inflammasome pathway. Male C57BL/6J were injected intraperitoneally with LPS (20 mg/kg) to induce experimental septic shock. The results demonstrated that the survival rates of mice pretreated with goitrin or Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) inhibitor TKA-242 increased, and LPS-induced hypothermia and lung damage improved by inhibiting inflammatory response. Elucidating the detailed mechanism, we surprisingly found goitrin is really different from TAK-242, it independent of the TLR4 signal activation, but significantly inhibited the activation of caspase-11 non-canonical inflammasome, including cleaved caspase-11 and N-terminal fragment of gasdermin D (GSDMD-NT). Furthermore, with a nonlethal dose of the TLR3 agonist poly(I:C)-primed and subsequently challenged with LPS to induce caspase-11-mediated lethal septic shock, the efficacy of goitrin had been verified. Those results revealed the effect of goitrin in protective against LPS-induced septic shock via inhibiting caspase-11 non-canonical inflammasome, which provided a new therapeutic strategy for clinical treatment of septic shock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Extracts and Their Therapeutic Effects)
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