Wednesday 31 August 2022

Pirfenidone and post-Covid-19 pulmonary fibrosis: invoked again for realistic goals

 Inflammopharmacology, 30, 2017–2026 (2022)

Pirfenidone (PFN) is an anti-fibrotic drug with significant anti-inflammatory property used for treatment of fibrotic conditions such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) era, severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) could initially lead to acute lung injury (ALI) and in severe cases may cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which is usually resolved with normal lung function. However, some cases of ALI and ARDS are progressed to the more severe critical stage of pulmonary fibrosis commonly named post-Covid-19 pulmonary fibrosis which needs an urgent address and proper management. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to highlight the potential role of PFN in the management of post-Covid-19 pulmonary fibrosis. The precise mechanism of post-Covid-19 pulmonary fibrosis is related to the activation of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β1), which activates the release of extracellular proteins, fibroblast proliferation, fibroblast migration and myofibroblast conversion. PFN inhibits accumulation and recruitment of inflammatory cells, fibroblast proliferation, deposition of extracellular matrix in response to TGFβ1 and other pro-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, PFN suppresses furin (TGFβ1 convertase activator) a protein effector involved in the entry of SARS-CoV-2 and activation of TGFβ1, and thus PFN reduces the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2. Besides, PFN modulates signaling pathways such as Wingless/Int (Wnt/β-catenin), Yes-Associated Protein (YAP)/Transcription Co-Activator PDZ Binding Motif (TAZ) and Hippo Signaling Pathways that are involved in the pathogenesis of post-Covid-19 pulmonary fibrosis. In conclusion, the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties of PFN may attenuate post-Covid-19 pulmonary fibrosis.

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Comparative study on the phenolic composition and in vitro bioactivity of medicinal and aromatic plants from the Lamiaceae family

 Food Res. Int. 161, 111875, 2022

Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) have been described as a source of phenolic compounds with potential as antioxidant, antiproliferative and antimicrobial agents. MAP from the Lamiaceae family (Origanum vulgare L., Thymus vulgaris L., Ocimum basilicum L., Salvia officinalis L., Melissa officinalis L., and Matricaria chamomilla L.) were selected to perform a phytochemical and biological screening for their further exploitation as natural bioactive ingredients. The total content of phenolic compounds varied from 184.02 mg/g extract in M. officinalis to 17.97 mg/g extract in M. chamomilla. Caffeic and rosmarinic acids were the main phenolic acids found in the respective hydroalcoholic extracts. The extracts showed a promising antioxidant activity in vitro, being related the phenolic compositions of the extracts, furthermore, all extracts being able to combat lipid peroxidation in TBARS assays with an IC50 under 26 μg/mL, moreover all the plant extract has prevented the oxidative haemolysis in OxHLIA assays at concentrations below 67 μg/mL in a Δt 60 min and under 118 μg/mL for a Δt 120 min. Regarding to the bactericidal and fungicidal action the plant extracts were able to inhibit growth against bacteria associated with food hazards, such as Salmonella typhimurium (MIC < 1) and Listeria monocytogenes (MIC < 1), regarding to fungicidal activity it can be highlighted the MIC values under to 0.25 for Aspergillus versicolor and Trichoderma viride. Overall, the selected Lamiaceae plants stood out as a source of active phytochemicals that can be used by different industries, such as food and cosmetics.

Thursday 25 August 2022

The Nutritional and Bioactive Components, Potential Health Function and Comprehensive Utilization of Pomegranate: A Review

 Food Rev. Int. 2022

Pomegranate is native to the region between Iran and northern India, as well as cultivated in China with a large planting area and a variety of high-quality species. Pomegranate not only has delicious fruits and beautiful flowers, but it is rich in bioactive compounds with benefits to human health.The distribution and content of bioactive components in different organs and by-products of pomegranate have distinct characteristics. A variety of phenols, flavonoids, and triterpenoids exist in pomegranate peels and flowers, whereas the active ingredients in the leaves are mainly tannins. Arils and seeds are good sources of anthocyanins and unsaturated fatty acids, respectively. Pomegranate possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-cardiovascular, anti-pathogenic and skin care effects, among others. It is also widely used in food, health care, medicinal, and ornamental purposes. This review summarizes recent research progress on pomegranate, putting forward some innovative applications for the development and utilization of pomegranate resources. This review also provides a theoretical basis for the research and industrialization of pomegranate, as well as a reference for further development of pomegranate germplasm resources.

Tuesday 23 August 2022

Hepatoprotective Mechanism of Ginsenoside Rg1 against Alcoholic Liver Damage Based on Gut Microbiota and Network Pharmacology

 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2022, 5025237

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a major public health problem worldwide, which needs to be effective prevention. Ginsenoside Rg1 (GRg1), a bioactive ingredient extracted from ginseng, has benefit effects on health. In this study, 11 potential targets of GRg1 against ALD were firstly obtained by network pharmacology. KEGG pathway enrichment showed that GRg1-target-ALD was closely related to Toll-like receptor (TLR) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathways. In addition, GRg1 decreased antioxidant levels and increased oxidative levels in alcohol-treated mice, which alleviated oxidative stress-induced hepatic damage. GRg1 enhanced intestinal barrier function via upregulating the levels of tight junction protein and immunoglobulin A. GRg1 also reduced alcohol-induced inflammation by suppressing TLR4/NF-κB pathway, which was consistent with the prediction of network targets. Moreover, GRg1 altered GM population, and Verrucomicrobia, Bacteroidetes, Akkermansia, Bacteroides, Lachnospiraceae_NK4A136_group, and Alloprevotella played positive association with intestinal barrier indicators and negative correlation with hepatic inflammation biomarkers. The results suggest that GRg1 administration might be a promising strategy for protection of alcohol-induced liver damage.

Wednesday 10 August 2022

Metabolomics approach reveals high energy diet improves the quality and enhances the flavor of black Tibetan sheep meat by altering the composition of rumen microbiota

 Front. Nut. 2022

This study aims to determine the impact of dietary energy levels on rumen microbial composition and its relationship to the quality of Black Tibetan sheep meat by applying metabolomics and Pearson's correlation analyses. For this purpose, UHPLC-QTOF-MS was used to identify the metabolome, whereas 16S rDNA sequencing was used to detect the rumen microbiota. Eventually, we observed that the high energy diet group (HS) improved the carcass quality of Black Tibetan sheep and fat deposition in the longissimus lumborum (LL) compared to the medium energy diet group (MS). However, HS considerably increased the texture, water holding capacity (WHC), and volatile flavor of the LL when compared to that of MS and the low energy diet group (LS). Metabolomics and correlation analyses revealed that dietary energy levels mainly affected the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids of the LL, which consequently influenced the content of volatile flavor compounds (VOCs) and fats. Furthermore, HS increased the abundance of Quinella, Ruminococcus 2, (Eubacterium) coprostanoligenes, and Succinivibrionaceae UCG-001, all of which participate in the carbohydrate metabolism in rumen and thus influence the metabolite levels (stachyose, isomaltose, etc.) in the LL. Overall, a high-energy diet is desirable for the production of Black Tibetan sheep mutton because it improves the mouthfeel and flavor of meat by altering the composition of rumen microbiota, which influences the metabolism in the LL.

Monday 1 August 2022

Safer plant-based nanoparticles for combating antibiotic resistance in bacteria: A comprehensive review on its potential applications, recent advances, and future perspective

 Science of the Total Environment, 821, 153472. 2022


Antibiotic resistance is one of the current threats to human health, forcing the use of drugs that are more noxious, costlier, and with low efficiency. There are several causes behind antibiotic resistance, including over-prescription of antibiotics in both humans and livestock. In this scenario, researchers are shifting to new alternatives to fight back this concerning situation.

Scope and approach

Nanoparticles have emerged as new tools that can be used to combat deadly bacterial infections directly or indirectly to overcome antibiotic resistance. Although nanoparticles are being used in the pharmaceutical industry, there is a constant concern about their toxicity toward human health because of the involvement of well-known toxic chemicals (i.e., sodium/potassium borohydride) making their use very risky for eukaryotic cells.

Key findings and conclusions

Multiple nanoparticle-based approaches to counter bacterial infections, providing crucial insight into the design of elements that play critical roles in the creation of antimicrobial nanotherapeutic drugs, are currently underway. In this context, plant-based nanoparticles will be less toxic than many other forms, which constitute promising candidates to avoid widespread damage to the microbiome associated with current practices. This article aims to review the actual knowledge on plant-based nanoparticle products for antibiotic resistance and the possible replacement of antibiotics to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.