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Medicines, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2016)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Methanol Extract from Anogeissus leiocarpus (DC) Guill. et Perr. (Combretaceae) Stem Bark Quenches the Quorum Sensing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 26; doi:10.3390/medicines3040026
Received: 27 August 2016 / Accepted: 29 September 2016 / Published: 6 October 2016
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Abstract
Background: Due to its extensive arsenal of virulence factors and inherent resistance to antibiotics, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a threat particularly in immunocompromised patients. Considering the central role of quorum sensing in the production of virulence factors, inhibition of bacterial communication mechanism constitute an
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Background: Due to its extensive arsenal of virulence factors and inherent resistance to antibiotics, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a threat particularly in immunocompromised patients. Considering the central role of quorum sensing in the production of virulence factors, inhibition of bacterial communication mechanism constitute an opportunity to attenuate pathogenicity of bacteria resistant to available antibiotics. Our study aimed to assess the anti-quorum sensing activity of Anogeissus leiocarpus, traditionally used in Burkina Faso, for the treatment of infected burn wounds. Methods: Investigations were carried out on methanol extract from A. leiocarpus stem bark. The reporter strains Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 and P. aeruginosa PAO1 derivatives were used to evidence any interference with the bacterial quorum sensing and expression of related genes. P. aeruginosa PAO1 was used to measure the impact on pyocyanin production. Results: At a sub-inhibitory concentration (100 µg/mL), A. leiocarpus methanol extract quenched the quorum sensing mechanism of P. aeruginosa PAO1 by down-streaming the rhlR gene, with a subsequent reduction of pyocyanin production. Moreover, the antioxidant polyphenols evidenced are able to reduce the oxidative stress induced by pyocyanin. Conclusion: The antioxidant and anti-quorum sensing activities of A. leiocarpus stem bark could justify its traditional use in the treatment of infected burn wounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Medicines for Clinical Trial)
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Open AccessArticle Chemical Composition, Cytotoxic, Apoptotic and Antioxidant Activities of Main Commercial Essential Oils in Palestine: A Comparative Study
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 27; doi:10.3390/medicines3040027
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 16 October 2016 / Accepted: 19 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
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Abstract
Background: Essential oils (EOs) are complex mixtures of several components gifted with a wide array of biological activities. The present research was designed to evaluate whether commercial essential oils could be effective by examining their in vitro antioxidant, cytotoxic, and apoptotic properties of
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Background: Essential oils (EOs) are complex mixtures of several components gifted with a wide array of biological activities. The present research was designed to evaluate whether commercial essential oils could be effective by examining their in vitro antioxidant, cytotoxic, and apoptotic properties of nine commercially available EOs in Palestine, namely, African rue, basil, chamomile, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, spearmint, sage, and thyme, and to assure their effective use. Methods: The cytotoxic activity was determined using HT29-19(A) non-muco secreting and HT29-muco secreting (MS) cell lines. MTT, and trypan blue tests, and DPPH radical scavenging have also been assayed on the studied EOs. Results: In this work chamomile oil showed the lowest IC50 at the content of 60 µL/mL, while all other EOs reached such a decrease when 70–80 µL/mL was used on HT-29 (MS) cell lines. In HT-29 19(A) cells, 50% of viability was obtained when 80 µL/mL of ginger and African rue was used, while all other EOs needed more than 80 µL/mL to reach such a decline in viability. Otherwise, an MTT assay on HT-29 (MS) displayed ginger EO with the lowest IC50, followed by African rue and sage, with 40, 48 and 53 µL/mL, respectively. Otherwise, for the rest of the EOs, the IC50 was obtained by assaying around 80 µL/mL. Ginger showed the lowest IC50 with 60 µL/mL and thyme was the highest with 77 µL/mL when HT-29 19(A) cells were used. Conclusion: The most active EOs were found to be ginger, chamomile oil, and African rue. In general, the results demonstrate that most commercial EOs tested in this work possess low, or no biological activities; this may be due to processing, storage conditions, and handling or other reasons, which may cause losses in the biological and pharmacological properties that endemically exist in the Eos; hence, more investigation is still required on commercial EOs before they are recommended to the public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Medicines for Clinical Trial)
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Open AccessArticle Antifungal and Anticancer Potential of Argemone mexicana L.
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 28; doi:10.3390/medicines3040028
Received: 12 August 2016 / Revised: 15 October 2016 / Accepted: 28 October 2016 / Published: 3 November 2016
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Abstract
Background: Medicinal plants are widely used to treat infectious diseases, metabolic disorders and cancer. Argemone mexicana L. (A. mexicana), commonly found on desolate land of Marathwada (Maharashtra, India) has been used to treat oral cavity infections. Methods: In this study, cold
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Background: Medicinal plants are widely used to treat infectious diseases, metabolic disorders and cancer. Argemone mexicana L. (A. mexicana), commonly found on desolate land of Marathwada (Maharashtra, India) has been used to treat oral cavity infections. Methods: In this study, cold aqueous and methanolic extracts were prepared from A. mexicana stem and leaves. These extracts were tested for their antifungal and anticancer activities. The antifungal activity was tested using the agar well diffusion method, while the anticancer activity against immortalized cell lines was assessed by trypan blue assay. Results: It was observed that both cold aqueous and methanolic extracts of A. mexicana stem and leaves inhibited the growth of Mucor indicus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger and Penicillum notatum. Antifungal activity of the extract was comparable to that of Amphoterecin-B. A. mexicana extracts had a cytotoxic effect on A549, SiHa and KB immortalized cell lines that were similar to that of berberine. Conclusion: The A. mexicana leaf and stems exhibit strong antifungal and anticancer potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Cancer Patients)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Phlogacantholide C as a Novel ADAM10 Enhancer from Traditional Chinese Medicinal Plants
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 30; doi:10.3390/medicines3040030
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 5 December 2016
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Abstract
Background: Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent dementias in the elderly population with increasing numbers of patients. One pivotal hallmark of this disorder is the deposition of protein aggregates stemming from neurotoxic amyloid-beta peptides. Synthesis of those peptides has been efficiently
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Background: Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent dementias in the elderly population with increasing numbers of patients. One pivotal hallmark of this disorder is the deposition of protein aggregates stemming from neurotoxic amyloid-beta peptides. Synthesis of those peptides has been efficiently prevented in AD model mice by activation of an enzyme called alpha-secretase. Therefore, drugs with the capability to increase the expression of this enzyme, named ADAM10, have been suggested as a valuable therapeutic medication. Methods: We investigated 69 substances from a drug library derived from traditional Chinese medicine by luciferase reporter assay in human neuronal cells for their potential to selectively induce alpha-secretase expression. Western blot analysis was used to confirm results on the protein level. Results: Ten of the 69 investigated compounds led to induction of ADAM10 transcriptional activity while BACE-1 (beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1) and APP (amyloid precursor protein) expression were not induced. Two of them—Norkurarinol and Phlogacantholide C—showed substantial elevation of ADAM10 protein levels and Phlogacantholide C also increased secretion of the ADAM10-derived cleavage product APPs-alpha. Conclusion: Phlogacantholide C represents a novel ADAM10 gene expression enhancer from traditional Chinese medicinal herbs that may lay the groundwork for evolving potential novel therapeutics in Alzheimer’s disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbal Medicines and Functional Foods)
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Open AccessArticle Isolation and Cytotoxic Investigation of Flacourtin from Oncoba spinosa
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 31; doi:10.3390/medicines3040031
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract
Background: Oncoba spinosa, an endangered medicinal plant whose secondary metabolites have not been extensively profiled, and which is hitherto yet to be examined for cytotoxicity, is being investigated in this study. Methods: Leaves of Oncoba spinosa (800 g) were extracted with 95% aqueous
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Background: Oncoba spinosa, an endangered medicinal plant whose secondary metabolites have not been extensively profiled, and which is hitherto yet to be examined for cytotoxicity, is being investigated in this study. Methods: Leaves of Oncoba spinosa (800 g) were extracted with 95% aqueous methanol. The crude extract was partitioned with n-hexane and the resultant defatted extract was extensively chromatographed on silica gel to yield compound 1 which was subjected to spectroscopic analysis. A brine shrimps lethality test was used to establish the cytotoxicity potentials of the isolated compound and the plant extracts. Results: Compound 1 was elucidated as flacourtin, 3-hydroxy-4-hydroxymethylphenyl-6-O-benzoyl-β-d-glucopyranoside. The LD50 values obtained were less than 1000 µg/mL for flacourtin and the plant extracts. Conclusion: Flacourtin is being reported for the first time in the O. spinosa. The preliminary toxicity assay indicated that flacourtin and the plant extracts were not cytotoxic; thus, the tradomedicinal uses of the plant may portend no danger. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Medicines for Clinical Trial)
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Open AccessArticle Study Protocol for a Randomized Double Blind, Treatment Control Trial Comparing the Efficacy of a Micronutrient Formula to a Single Vitamin Supplement in the Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 32; doi:10.3390/medicines3040032
Received: 12 August 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
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Abstract
Background: The recent addition of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (5th ed.) has highlighted the seriousness of this disorder. Many alternatives to psychoactive medication in the form of vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts have been trialled by women
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Background: The recent addition of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (5th ed.) has highlighted the seriousness of this disorder. Many alternatives to psychoactive medication in the form of vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts have been trialled by women seeking a natural treatment approach. We plan to explore whether a well validated micronutrient formula, EMPowerplus Advanced, can outperform a recognized single nutrient treatment, vitamin B6, for the treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Methods: This will be a randomized treatment control study. Eighty women will be recruited and assigned to one of two treatment groups; EMPowerplus Advanced or vitamin B6. Baseline daily data will be collected for an initial two cycles, followed by three months of active treatment. A natural follow up will take place three cycles post treatment. Results: The primary outcome measure will be PMS change scores as based on results from the Daily Record of Severity of Problems (DRSP). The number of treatment responders for each of the two groups will yield a comparison score between the two treatments, with participants deemed as a responder if they show a total PMS score improvement of 50% from their baseline scores on the DRSP. Conclusion: If a micronutrient formula proves more effective for treating PMS, not only does it give women suffering from the condition a viable treatment option, but it may also suggest one cause of PMS; that is insufficient minerals and vitamins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbal Medicines and Functional Foods)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Essential Oils’ Chemical Characterization and Investigation of Some Biological Activities: A Critical Review
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 25; doi:10.3390/medicines3040025
Received: 2 March 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 2 September 2016 / Published: 22 September 2016
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Abstract
This review covers literature data summarizing, on one hand, the chemistry of essential oils and, on the other hand, their most important activities. Essential oils, which are complex mixtures of volatile compounds particularly abundant in aromatic plants, are mainly composed of terpenes biogenerated
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This review covers literature data summarizing, on one hand, the chemistry of essential oils and, on the other hand, their most important activities. Essential oils, which are complex mixtures of volatile compounds particularly abundant in aromatic plants, are mainly composed of terpenes biogenerated by the mevalonate pathway. These volatile molecules include monoterpenes (hydrocarbon and oxygenated monoterpens), and also sesquiterpenes (hydrocarbon and oxygenated sesquiterpens). Furthermore, they contain phenolic compounds, which are derived via the shikimate pathway. Thanks to their chemical composition, essential oils possess numerous biological activities (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, etc…) of great interest in food and cosmetic industries, as well as in the human health field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
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Open AccessReview Critical Analysis on Characterization, Systemic Effect, and Therapeutic Potential of Beta-Sitosterol: A Plant-Derived Orphan Phytosterol
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 29; doi:10.3390/medicines3040029
Received: 17 May 2016 / Revised: 27 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 15 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2436 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Beta-sitosterol (BS) is a phytosterol, widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom and known to be involved in the stabilization of cell membranes. To compile the sources, physical and chemical properties, spectral and chromatographic analytical methods, synthesis, systemic effects, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic potentials, toxicity, drug
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Beta-sitosterol (BS) is a phytosterol, widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom and known to be involved in the stabilization of cell membranes. To compile the sources, physical and chemical properties, spectral and chromatographic analytical methods, synthesis, systemic effects, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic potentials, toxicity, drug delivery and finally, to suggest future research with BS, classical as well as on-line literature were studied. Classical literature includes classical books on ethnomedicine and phytochemistry, and the electronic search included Pubmed, SciFinder, Scopus, the Web of Science, Google Scholar, and others. BS could be obtained from different plants, but the total biosynthetic pathway, as well as its exact physiological and structural function in plants, have not been fully understood. Different pharmacological effects have been studied, but most of the mechanisms of action have not been studied in detail. Clinical trials with BS have shown beneficial effects in different diseases, but long-term study results are not available. These have contributed to its current status as an “orphan phytosterol”. Therefore, extensive research regarding its effect at cellular and molecular level in humans as well as addressing the claims made by commercial manufacturers such as the cholesterol lowering ability, immunological activity etc. are highly recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbal Medicines and Functional Foods)
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Open AccessReview Ginseng for Liver Injury: Friend or Foe?
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 33; doi:10.3390/medicines3040033
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 8 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 17 December 2016
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Abstract
Panax sp., including Panax ginseng Meyer, Panax quiquifolius L., or Panax notoginseng (Burk.) FH Chen, have been used as functional foods or for traditional Chinese medicine for diabetes, inflammation, stress, aging, hepatic injury, and cancer. In recent decades, a number of both in
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Panax sp., including Panax ginseng Meyer, Panax quiquifolius L., or Panax notoginseng (Burk.) FH Chen, have been used as functional foods or for traditional Chinese medicine for diabetes, inflammation, stress, aging, hepatic injury, and cancer. In recent decades, a number of both in vitro and in vivo experiments as well as human studies have been conducted to investigate the efficacy and safety of various types of ginseng samples and their components. Of these, the hepatoprotective and hepatotoxic effects of ginseng and their ginsenosides and polysaccharides are reviewed and summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Herbal Hepatotoxicity)
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