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Planta medica [journal]
- Effects of Intraperitoneal Thymoquinone on Chronic Neuropathic Pain in Rats. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Planta Med 2014 Oct 1.
In this study, we evaluated the protective effects of thymoquinone, the major constituent of Nigella sativa seeds on the neuropathic pain of rats with chronic constrictive injury of the sciatic nerve. Rats received repeated administration of thymoquinone (1.25, 2.5, and 5 mg/kg, i. p.) once a day for 14 days, beginning immediately after the nerve injury. Mechanical allodynia, cold allodynia, and thermal hyperalgesia were assessed with the von Frey filament, acetone drop, or radiant heat stimulus, respectively. Recent evidence points towards a role of oxidative stress, spinal glia activation, and cell death in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. Ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (a marker of microglia), glial fibrillary acidic protein (a marker of astroglia), Bcl2-associated X protein (a proapoptotic protein), and B-cell lymphoma protein 2 (an antiapoptotic protein) were measured using Western blot on days 3, 7, and 14 post chronic constrictive injury. The changes in the protein levels of malondialdehyde and glutathione, biomarkers of oxidative stress, were assessed by spectrophotometric assay on day 14 post chronic constrictive injury. Repeated treatment with thymoquinone (2.5 and 5 mg/kg) significantly alleviated behavioral signs of neuropathic pain. In the lumbar spinal cord of neuropathic rats, ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 and Bcl2-associated X protein increased on day 3 post chronic constrictive injury, whereas B-cell lymphoma protein 2 did not significantly change. After repeated thymoquinone administration, the elevated Bcl2-associated X protein and ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule reduced on day 3, while the level of B-cell lymphoma protein 2 was even stimulated. Ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule and Bcl2-associated X protein/B-cell lymphoma protein 2 ratio declined by days 7 and 14; consequently, there were no significant differences among groups. No or little change was observed in the glial fibrillary acidic protein content during the study. Chronic constrictive injury produced a significant increase in the levels of malondialdehyde and decrease in the contents of glutathione on day 14. Thymoquinone treatment (2.5 and 5 mg/kg) restored the levels of malondialdehyde. High dose of thymoquinone (5 mg/kg) also reversed the decreased glutathione in the injured animals. Our results indicate that, microglia, apoptotic factors, and oxidative stress rather than astroglia contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic constrictive injury, and thymoquinone plays an anti-nociceptive role possibly by antioxidant effects and inhibition of microglia activity.
- Editorial. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Planta Med 2014 Sep; 80(14):1153.
- Hepatoprotective Saikosaponin Homologs from Comastoma pedunculatum. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Planta Med 2014 Sep 24.
Eight new triterpenoid saponins, the saikosaponin homologs comastomasaponins A-H (1-8), as well as a known triterpenoid (9) and eight known saponins (10-17) were isolated from the aerial portions of Comastoma pedunculatum. The structures of these compounds were elucidated spectroscopically, and their hepatoprotective activity and cytotoxic activity were evaluated against five human tumor cell lines in vitro. Compounds 1, 5-12, 14, 15, and 17 exhibited potent hepatoprotective activity, and compound 11 displayed cytotoxic activity against HCT-8, Bel-7402, BGC-825, A549, and A2780 human tumor cell lines.
- Identification of PPARγ Agonists from Natural Sources Using Different In Silico Approaches. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Planta Med 2014 Sep 24.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ plays an important role in lipid and glucose homeostasis and is the target of many drug discovery investigations because of its role in diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ by agonists leads to a conformational change in the ligand-binding domain altering the transcription of several target genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism, resulting in, for example, facilitation of glucose and lipid uptake and amelioration of insulin resistance, and other effects that are important in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ partial agonists are compounds with diminished agonist efficacy compared to full agonists; however, they maintain the antidiabetic effect of full agonists but do not induce the same magnitude of side effects. This mini-review gives a short introduction to in silico screening methods and recent research advances using computational approaches to identify peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ agonists, especially partial agonists, from natural sources and how these ligands bind to the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ in order to better understand their biological effects.
- Total Saponins from Discorea nipponica Ameliorate Urate Excretion in Hyperuricemic Mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Planta Med 2014 Sep 23.
Rhizoma Dioscoreae Nipponicae, from Discorea nipponica, is a widely used traditional Chinese herb. It is used to treat arthroncus, arthrodynia, and arthritis. Hyperuricemia is an important foundation of gouty arthritis. The current study was aimed at investigating whether the effects of total saponins from Rhizoma Dioscoreae Nipponicae on hyperuricemia were due to renal organic ion transporters in potassium oxonate-induced hyperuricemia mice. Hyperplasia of synovial cells prepared from Wistar rats was induced by IL-1β (1 × 10(4) µg/mL). MTT was used and to screen active components in the inhibition of hyperplasia by total saponins from Rhizoma Dioscoreae Nipponica, individual pure compounds, and different combinations of these compounds. Sixty Kun Ming mice were randomly divided into six groups: normal, model, allopurinol (40 mg/kg), and three total saponins groups receiving dose (600 mg/kg), middle (300 mg/kg), and low doses (60 mg/kg). Hyperuricemic mice were induced with potassium oxonate (300 mg/kg) intragastrically. The total saponins were given six days and the positive drug allopurinol was given one day before inducing hyperuricemia. The serum and urine levels of uric acid and creatinine and the fractional excretion of uric acid were measured in normal and hyperuricemic mice treated with Rhizoma Dioscoreae Nipponicae and allopurinol. The mRNA and protein levels of the mouse urate transporter 1, glucose transporter 9, organic anion transporter 1, and organic anion transporter 3 were analyzed by real-time-PCR and Western blotting methods, respectively. Total saponins from Rhizoma Dioscoreae Nipponicae could effectively reverse potassium oxonate-induced alterations in renal mouse urate transporter 1, glucose transporter 9, organic anion transporter 1, and organic anion transporter 3 mRNA and protein levels, resulting in enhancement of renal urate excretion in mice. These findings suggested that the total saponins from Rhizoma Dioscoreae Nipponicae had a uricosuric effect on the regulation of renal organic ion transporters in hyperuricemic animals.
- Bioactive Depsidones from the Fungus Pilobolus heterosporus. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Planta Med 2014 Sep 23.
A new aromatic ester, pilobolusate (1), four new depsidones, pilobolusones A-D (2-5), five known depsidones, (6-10), and ergosterol were isolated from the fungus Pilobolus heterosporus. Their structures were established on the basis of spectroscopic data. Compounds 2 and 4-9 showed cytotoxicity against three cancer cell lines (KB, MCF-7, and NCI-H187) with IC50 values in the range of 9.94-97.42 µM. In addition, compounds 2, 5, 9, and 10 exhibited antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum with IC50 values ranging from 3.67-23.56 µM.
- Discrimination of Solanaceae Taxa and Quantification of Scopolamine and Hyoscyamine by ATR-FTIR Spectroscopy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Planta Med 2014 Sep 23.
Plant species of the Solanaceae family (nightshades) contain pharmacologically active anticholinergic tropane alkaloids, e.g., scopolamine and hyoscyamine. Tropane alkaloids are of special interest, either as active principles or as starting materials for semisynthetic production of other substances. For genetic evaluation, domestication, cultivation, harvest and post-harvest treatments, quantification of the individual active principles is necessary to monitor industrial processes and the resulting finished products. Up to now, frequently applied methods for quantification are based on high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography optionally combined with mass spectrometry. However, alternative analytical methods have the potential to replace the established standard methods partly. In this context, attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy enabled chemotaxonomical classification of the Solanaceae Atropa belladonna, Datura stramonium, Hyoscyamus niger, Solanum dulcamara, and Duboisia in combination with cluster analysis. Also discrimination of genotypes within species was achieved to some extent. The most characteristic scopolamine bands could be identified in attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectra of Solanaceae leaves, which allow a fast characterisation of plants with high scopolamine content. Applying a partial least square algorithm, very good calibration statistics were obtained for the prediction of the scopolamine content (residual prediction deviation = 7.67), and moderate prediction quality could be achieved for the hyoscyamine content (residual prediction deviation = 2.48).
- Assay Suitability for Natural Product Screening: Searching for Leads to Fight Alzheimer's Disease. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Planta Med 2014 Sep; 80(14):1200-1209.
Phenotypic and target-based approaches represent two principal strategies for identifying new bioactive compounds. In this review, differences between these approaches, as well as strengths and limitations thereof, are described by examples from the therapeutic area of Alzheimer's disease. Some of the central mechanisms of the disease that today are targets of screening campaigns are described. These mechanisms include acetylcholinesterase inhibition, amyloid-based approaches, and oxidative stress. Examples of assays using natural products, either as isolated pure compounds, unpurified or partially purified extracts, are given for each mechanism. Further, the article presents and discusses the pros and cons of both target-based and phenotypic approaches for the chosen mechanisms. In most cases, a thoroughly biology-driven selection of the used assays can be recommended, especially when taking into account the complexity of the disease in question. However, target-based assays also have their justification as long as there is an awareness of what the assay read-out stands for. A clear recommendation is thus for every researcher to critically consider the aim of their bioactivity screening efforts and to adopt the screening strategies most appropriate for the goals set.
- How to Translate a Bioassay Into a Screening Assay for Natural Products: General Considerations and Implementation of Antimicrobial Screens. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Planta Med 2014 Sep 15.
Natural product sources have been a valuable provider of molecular diversity in many drug discovery programs and several therapeutically important drugs have been isolated from these. However, the screening of such materials can be very complicated due to the fact that they contain a complex mixture of secondary metabolites, but also the purified natural compounds exert a challenge for bioactivity screening. Success in identifying new therapeutics using in vitro bioassays is largely dependent upon the proper design, validation, and implementation of the screening assay. In this review, we discuss some aspects which are of significant concern when screening natural products in a microtiter plate-based format, being partly applicable to other assay formats as well, such as validation parameters, layouts for assay protocols, and common interferences caused by natural products samples, as well as various troubleshooting strategies. Examples from the field of natural product drug discovery of antibacterial compounds are discussed, and contributions from the realm of academic screenings are highlighted.