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Herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health. Scuola Viterbese di Fitoterapia - Italia
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Advances in Neuroprotective Ingredients of Medicinal Herbs by Using Cellular and Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease. [Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a multifactorial disorder, which is neuropathologically identified by age-dependent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Development of symptomatic treatments has been partly successful for PD research, but there remain a number of inadequacies in therapeutic strategies for the disease. The pathogenesis of PD remains intricate, and the present anti-PD treatments appears to be clinically insufficient. Comprehensive research on discovery of novel drug candidates has demonstrated that natural products, such as medicinal herbs, plant extracts, and their secondary metabolites, have great potential as therapeutics with neuroprotective activity in PD. Recent preclinical studies suggest that a number of herbal medicines and their bioactive ingredients can be developed into optimum pharmaceuticals for treating PD. In many countries, traditional herbal medicines are used to prevent or treat neurodegenerative disorders, and some have been developed as nutraceuticals or functional foods. Here we focus on recent advances of the evidence-linked neuroprotective activity of bioactive ingredients of herbal origin in cellular and animal models of PD research.

Pasquale Valente's insight:

"Bioactive constituents listed in this current write-up belong to different chemical classes like including, Terpenes (ginsenoside Rg1, tenuigenin, astragaloside IV), flavones (puerarin, luteolin and baicalein, morin), stilbenoids (resveratrol), phenylpropanoid (echinacoside), phenylethyl glycoside (acteoside), coumarin (umbelliferone and esculetin), and catechol (curcumin and protocatechuic acid).  All the mentioned bioactive compounds have demonstrated a significant neuroprotective effect in PD models. "

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Skin cancer chemoprevention by α-santalol

Skin cancer chemoprevention by α-santalol | Vitae Herbae | Scoop.it

Abstract

Alpha-santalol, a naturally occurring terpenoid, has been shown to have chemopreventive effects on both 7, 12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-initiated and 12-O- tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-promoted skin cancer development in CD-1 and SENCAR mice, and UVB-induced skin cancer developments in SKH-1 hairless mice in a concentration-dependent manner. Studies have demonstrated that α-santalol could be effective against skin carcinogenesis through both induction of apoptosis via caspase activation together with dissipation of mitochondria membrane potential and cytochrome c release in A431 cells, and inhibition of cell growth via induction of G2/M phase arrest in both A431 cells and melanoma UACC-62 cells by altering multiple cell cycle regulatory proteins and complexes. This review summarizes the chemopreventive effects and molecular mechanisms of α-santalol on skin cancer development in both animal models and skin cancer cell lines.

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Paeoniflorin attenuates amyloid-beta peptide-induced neurotoxicity by ameliorating oxidative stress and regulating the NGF-mediated signaling in rats.

Abstract

Paeoniflorin is a monoterpene glycoside isolated from the aqueous extract of the dry root of Paeonia. It has been identified to exhibit many pharmacological effects including enhancing the cognitive ability, producing anti-depressant-like effect and reducing the MTPT-induced toxicity. In our previous study, it has shown that paeoniflorin improved the cognitive ability and attenuated the oxidative stress in the Aβ((1-42))-treated rats. In order to further elucidate the possible molecular mechanisms of paeoniflorin on the cognitive ability, rats were injected with Aβ((1-42)) (1μg/μL) and later with paeoniflorin (15mg/kg and 30mg/kg, i.p.) and donepezil hydrochloride (2mg/kg, i.p.) daily for 20 days in this study. The results showed that the long-term treatment of paeoniflorin or donepezil enhanced the cognitive performances in the Morris water maze test, restored the decreased activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase and the increased level of malondialdehyde, and reversed the alterations of matrix metallopeptidase-9 and tissue-inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 in the hippocampus of Aβ((1-42))-treated rats. Paeoniflorin also up-regulated the activity of choline acetyltrasferase and the expression of tyrosine kinase A receptor, and down-regulated the activity of acetylcholine esterase in the hippocampus of Aβ((1-42))-treated rats. These results demonstrate that paeoniflorin ameliorates the spatial learning and memory deficits by attenuating oxidative stress and regulating the nerve growth factor-mediated signaling to reinforce cholinergic functions in the hippocampus of the Aβ((1-42))-treated rats.

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De Novo transcriptome assembly (NGS) of Curcuma longa L. rhizome reveals novel transcripts related to anticancer and antimalarial terpenoids.

Abstract

Herbal remedies are increasingly being recognised in recent years as alternative medicine for a number of diseases including cancer. Curcuma longa L., commonly known as turmeric is used as a culinary spice in India and in many Asian countries has been attributed to lower incidences of gastrointestinal cancers. Curcumin, a secondary metabolite isolated from the rhizomes of this plant has been shown to have significant anticancer properties, in addition to antimalarial and antioxidant effects. We sequenced the transcriptome of the rhizome of the 3 varieties of Curcuma longa L. using Illumina reversible dye terminator sequencing followed by de novo transcriptome assembly. Multiple databases were used to obtain a comprehensive annotation and the transcripts were functionally classified using GO, KOG and PlantCyc. Special emphasis was given for annotating the secondary metabolite pathways and terpenoid biosynthesis pathways. We report for the first time, the presence of transcripts related to biosynthetic pathways of several anti-cancer compounds like taxol, curcumin, and vinblastine in addition to anti-malarial compounds like artemisinin and acridone alkaloids, emphasizing turmeric's importance as a highly potent phytochemical. Our data not only provides molecular signatures for several terpenoids but also a comprehensive molecular resource for facilitating deeper insights into the transcriptome of C. longa.

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The inhibitory activity of atractylenolide Ш, a sesquiterpenoid, on IgE-mediated mast cell activation and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA).

AbstractETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:

AT Ш, a sesquiterpenoid, is the major component of Atractylodes japonica Koidz that has been used as a traditional oriental medicine.

AIM OF THE STUDY:

We investigated the anti-allergic activity of AT Ш and its mechanism of action.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The released amount of β-hexosaminidase in mast cells, a key parameter of degranulation, was measured. Anti-allergic potential of AT Ш was evaluated using passive cutaneous anaphylaxis in vivo. The anti-allergic mechanism of AT Ш was investigated by immunoblotting analysis, RT-PCR and measurement of [Ca(2+)]i in mast cells.

RESULTS:

AT Ш significantly inhibited IgE/Ag-mediated degranulation with an IC(50) value (36 ± 4 μM) in RBL-2H3 cells without affecting cell viability. It also suppressed IgE/Ag-mediated passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) response with an ED(50) value (65 ± 41 mg/kg) in vivo. AT Ш suppressed the production of interleukin (IL-4) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha mRNAs more potent than the Src-family kinase inhibitor PP2 in RBL-2H3 cells at all concentrations. In order to elucidate the anti-allergic mechanisms of AT Ш in mast cells, we examined the activated levels of signaling molecules. AT Ш inhibited the phosphorylation of Lyn, Fyn, Syk, LAT, PLCγ, Gab2, Akt, p38, and JNK kinases expression. IgE/Ag-mediated [Ca(2+)]i elevation was significantly inhibited by AT Ш.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study suggests that AT Ш might be used as a therapeutic agent for allergic diseases.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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