Publications by authors named "Laura De Martino"

59 Publications

The Antioxidant Activity of Limonene Counteracts Neurotoxicity Triggered byAβ Oligomers in Primary Cortical Neurons.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2021 Jun 9;10(6). Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Neuroscience, Division of Pharmacology, Reproductive and Odontostomatological Sciences, School of Medicine, "Federico II" University of Naples, 80131 Naples, Italy.

Many natural-derived compounds, including the essential oils from plants, are investigated to find new potential protective agents in several neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the present study, we tested the neuroprotective effect of limonene, one of the main components of the genus , against the neurotoxicity elicited by Aβ oligomers, currently considered a triggering factor in AD. To this aim, we assessed the acetylcholinesterase activity by Ellman's colorimetric method, the mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity by MTT assay, the nuclear morphology by Hoechst 33258, the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by DCFH-DA fluorescent dye, and the electrophysiological activity of K3.4 potassium channel subunits by patch-clamp electrophysiology. Interestingly, the monoterpene limonene showed a specific activity against acetylcholinesterase with an IC almost comparable to that of galantamine, used as positive control. Moreover, at the concentration of 10 µg/mL, limonene counteracted the increase of ROS production triggered by Aβ oligomers, thus preventing the upregulation of K3.4 activity. This, in turn, prevented cell death in primary cortical neurons, showing an interesting neuroprotective profile against Aβ-induced toxicity. Collectively, the present results showed that the antioxidant properties of the main component of the genus , limonene, may be useful to prevent neuronal suffering induced by Aβ oligomers preventing the hyperactivity of K3.4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox10060937DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8227170PMC
June 2021

The Essential Oil Compositions of Three Taxa Growing Wild in Sicily: HCA and PCA Analyses.

Molecules 2021 Jan 26;26(3). Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Biological, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies (STEBICEF), University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Parco d'Orleans II, 90128 Palermo, Italy.

The chemical composition and the qualitative and quantitative variability of the essential oils of three taxa belonging to the genus were studied. The investigated taxa, that grow wild in Sicily, were L. (section (Mill.) Scheb.), and L. of section (Mill.) Scheb. Essential oils were extracted by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC-MS. In total, 74 compounds were identified. Sesquiterpene hydrocarbons were found to be the main group for (48.3%). consisted essentially of monoterpene hydrocarbons (72.7%), with -pinene (19.9%), -pinene (27.6%) and sylvestrene (16.6%) as the most abundant compounds whereas ledene oxide (12.1%), epiglobulol (13.5%) and longifolenaldehyde (14.5%) were identified as the main constituents among the oxygenated sesquiterpenes (63.5%) of . Furthermore, a complete literature review on the composition of the essential oils of all the other accessions of these taxa, studied so far, was performed. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) and Principal Component Analyses (PCA) were used in order to demonstrate geographical variations in the composition of the essential oils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030643DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7865755PMC
January 2021

Study of Bio-Pharmaceutical and Antimicrobial Properties of Pomegranate ( L.) Leathery Exocarp Extract.

Plants (Basel) 2021 Jan 14;10(1). Epub 2021 Jan 14.

School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences (SAFE), University of Basilicata, Viale dell'Ateneo Lucano 10, 85100 Potenza, Italy.

Pomegranate ( L.) fruits are important sources of vitamins and minerals and widely used in the dietary supplement industry. An aqueous extract of its leathery exocarp (LEP) was obtained by a solid-phase micro-extraction method. The antifungal activity was examined against the phytopathogenic fungi, , , and , and the antibacterial activity was evaluated against , and . The antimicrobial assays showed, in some cases, a promising antimicrobial effect compared to the synthetic drugs. The possible anti-acetylcholinesterase and antioxidant activities of the LEP extract were investigated by the Ellman's assay and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) test, respectively, and their results showed that the LEP extract has an effective anti-acetylcholinesterase inhibitory effect and an antioxidant activity. Thus, the LEP extract could be valid as a candidate for further studies on the use of pomegranate in neurodegenerative diseases as a food preservative and a suitable substitute to control several phytopathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants10010153DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7828685PMC
January 2021

Two representatives of lamiaceae essential oils and their main components cause changes in glutathione related enzymatic activities.

Nat Prod Res 2020 Jul 30:1-7. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Fisciano (Salerno), Italy.

Mill. (lavender) and L. (greek oregano) are aromatic plants used in traditional medicine for relief of convulsion, anxiety, insomnia and in the treatment of neurological disorders. On the basis of literature, we evaluated the changing in glutathione enzymatic activities provoked by the essential oils and pure components, linalool, carvacrol and limonene to study the mechanisms of action, responsible for several activities. Activities of SOD (superoxide dismutase) and GPx (glutathione peroxidase) tend to increase respect to control. SOD maximal increase reached up to 117% for carvacrol and limonene. Increase in GPx activity reached even up to value 1.229 for origanum oil in comparison to control 0.125 μkat/mg prot. Activities of GR (glutathione reductase), except for lavender, showed a biphasic response. Like for GR, the administration of compounds, resulted in a biphasic response in GST (glutathione-S-transferase) activities (with a consistent increase in activity at concentration 125 μg/mL for all compounds except lavender). Moreover, the changes in GSH (reduced glutathione), are no significant for different concentrations of essential oils. So, the biological properties of essential oils and specifically, the antioxidant ones, can be related to their capacity to modify the glutathione enzymatic activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2020.1797728DOI Listing
July 2020

Thymol Chemotype Origanum vulgare L. Essential Oil as a Potential Selective Bio-Based Herbicide on Monocot Plant Species.

Molecules 2020 Jan 29;25(3). Epub 2020 Jan 29.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, I-84084 Fisciano, Italy.

Searching for new bio-based herbicides is crucial for decreasing chemical pollution, protecting the environment, and sustaining biodiversity. Origanum vulgare is considered a promising source of essential oil with herbicidal effect. The mode of action is not known. The present study focused on (1) comparison of phytotoxic activity of Origanum vulgare EO on monocot (Triticum aestivum and Hordeum vulgare) and dicot species (Lepidium sativum and Sinapis alba); (2) and evaluating other antimicrobial biological activities against phytopatogen bacteria (Clavibacter michiganensis, Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola, Pseudomonas savastanoi, and Xanthomonas campestris); antifungal activity against Monilinia fructicola, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium expansum, and Botrytis cinerea; cytotoxic activity and antioxidant activity. According to the GC/MS analyses, the EO belongs to the thymol chemotype O. vulgare with its high content of thymol (76%). Germination of all four species was not influenced by EO. The phytotoxic effect was statistically significant in the monocot species, while in the dicot species the opposite was observed-a stimulation effect, which was also statistically significant. Strong biological activity of O. vulgare EO was noted on all phytopatogen bacteria and fungi in the highest dose. Cytotoxic activity showed an IC = 50.5 μg/mL. Antioxidant activity showed an IC = 106.6 μg/mL after 45 min experimental time. Based on the presented results, it is possible to conclude that thymol chemotype O. vulgare essential oil could be potentially used as a herbicide with selective effects on monocot plant species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030595DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7037002PMC
January 2020

Ethnobotanical research in Cava de' Tirreni area, Southern Italy.

J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 2019 Oct 17;15(1):50. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università degli Studi di Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, 84084, Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.

Background: To best of our knowledge, this is the first quantitative ethnobotanical study with the aim of documenting the local knowledge and practices of using plants for curing diseases in the Cava de' Tirreni area, Salerno Province, Campania Region, Italy. The present ethnobotanical field study, carried out during 2016-2017, documents the local uses of 119 plant species for medicinal, food and domestic purposes.

Methods: Ethnobotanical data were documented from 70 informants: field data were collected and information on the uses of plants was gathered through semi-structured and structured interviews with persons who still retain traditional ethnobotanical knowledge. Documented data were evaluated using the quantitative ethnobotanical index of use value (UV).

Results: Overall, the informants native of the area were interviewed and 277 use-reports have been recorded. The scientific names, local names, plant part used, preparation and administration processes are reported and compared with practices in other Southern Italian regions. In total, 101 species are documented as medicinal, 36 as food or food aromatizer, 29 for domestic and handicraft uses, 10 in veterinary medicine. More or less 64% of all species have more uses and over half of the food plants (23 species) are also used for medicinal purposes.

Conclusions: The comparison of the documented species and their uses with ethnobotanical literature of other Italian regions reveals that the traditional plant knowledge in this area shows strong similarities with adjacent Southern Italian areas. Some of the recorded species and administration processes however seem to be unique for the zone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13002-019-0330-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6798482PMC
October 2019

Antimicrobial Activity and Chemical Composition of Essential Oil Extracted from L. Growing Wild in Slovakia.

Molecules 2019 Mar 27;24(7). Epub 2019 Mar 27.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, I-84084 Fisciano, Italy.

Plant essential oils (EOs) are one of the most relevant natural products due to their biological, medicinal, and nutritional properties. The promising biological effects of many plants EOs encourage researchers to study their biochemical properties to be used as possible natural alternatives for commercial pesticides and not only as herbal medicines. The current research has been conducted to study the microbicide effect of L. EO to control some common plant diseases caused by several postharvest phytopathogenic fungi (Monilinia fructicola, Botrytis cinerea, Aspergillus niger, and Penicillium expansum) in comparison with Azoxystrobin as a large spectrum fungicide. The antibacterial activity has been carried out against some phytopathogenic bacteria (Bacillus megaterium and Clavibacter michiganensis (G+ve) and Xanthomonas campestris, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola (G-ve)) compared to the synthetic antibiotic Tetracycline. Minimum inhibitory concentration was carried out to determine the lowest effective EO dose using a 96-well microplate. The cell membrane permeability was also evaluated by measuring the electric conductivity (EC) to examine the possible mechanisms of action of EO. Chemical characterization of EO has been carried out using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Thirty-two identified components in EO presented 97.7% of total compounds in EO. The principal compounds were identified as germacrene D (34.9%), limonene (12.5%), α-pinene (11.6%), β-elemene (7.1%), and bornyl acetate (6.3%). In addition, S. canadensis EO demonstrated promising in vitro antimicrobial activities against the majority of tested phytopathogens at all tested concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6479883PMC
March 2019

Influence of six essential oils on invasive L. seed germination.

Nat Prod Res 2020 Nov 28;34(22):3231-3233. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy.

L. (SC) (Canadian goldenrod) is a dangerous plant invader in Europe, which suppress the indigenous flora. Essential oils (EOs) are considered biological control agents. GC-MS analysis for identification of main components was conducted and the potential phytotoxicity of six EOs were also evaluated. Limonene and β-thujone were dominant components in L., menthone and menthol in L., carvacrol in L., estragole/anisole and anethole in Mill., limonene and carvone in L., and anethole in L. Along with EOs, anethole, anisole, camphor, carvone, estragole, limonene, menthol, menthone, thujone and thymol were used independently to evaluate phytotoxic effect against Canadian goldenrod seed germination. A significant inhibitory effect was registered for origanum (1.250 µg.ml). The influence of single components was significant. The highest phytotoxic activity was registered with anethole and estragole. Phenolic compounds were the inhibitoriest, followed by oxygenated and hydrocarbon monoterpenes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2018.1552694DOI Listing
November 2020

Chemical and Biological Evaluation of Essential Oils from Cardamom Species.

Molecules 2018 Oct 30;23(11). Epub 2018 Oct 30.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, I-84084 Fisciano (Salerno), Italy.

To highlight the importance of the spices in the Mediterranean diet, the aim of the paper was to study the essential oil compositions and to clarify the potential differences in the biological activities of the three cardamom species. In the study, we compared the phytochemical profiles and biological activities of essential oils from , and . The oils were analyzed using the GC and GC/MS techniques and were mainly constituted of the oxygenated monoterpenes which represents 71.4%, 63.0%, and 51.0% of all compounds detected in , and essential oils, respectively, 1,8-cineole was the main common compound between the tree tested volatile oil. The essential oils showed significant antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms tested especially the fungal strains. The Ethiopian cardamom was the most active essential oil with fungal growth inhibition zone ranging from 12.67 to 34.33 mm, MICs values ranging from 0.048 to 0.19 mg/mL, and MBCs values from 0.19 to 1.75 mg/mL. The three tested essential oils and their main component (1,8-cineole) significantly increased the production of elastase and protease production, and motility in PAO1 in a dose dependent manner. In fact, at 10 mg/mL concentration, the three essential oils showed more than 50% of inhibition of elastolytic and proteolytic activities in PAO1. The same oils inhibited also the violacein production in strain. It was also noticed that at high concentrations, the essential oil significantly inhibited the germination of radish. A thorough knowledge of the biological and safety profiles of essential oils can produce applications of economic importance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112818DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6278479PMC
October 2018

and PAO1: Models for Evaluating Anti-Quorum Sensing Activity of Essential Oil and Its Main Component Terpinen-4-ol.

Molecules 2018 Oct 17;23(10). Epub 2018 Oct 17.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, Fisciano, Salerno 84084, Italy.

The problem of antibiotic resistance among pathogens encourages searching for novel active molecules. The aim of the research was to assay the anti-quorum sensing (anti-QS) and antibiofilm potential of essential oil and its main constituent, terpinen-4-ol, to prevent the infections due to methicillin-resistant strains as an alternate to antibiotics. The tea tree oil (TTO) was evaluated for its potential in inhibiting QS-dependent phenomena such as violacein production in , swarming motility of PAO1, and biofilm formation in MRSA strains on glass. The results showed that terpinen-4-ol was able to inhibit MRSA strain biofilm formation on the glass strips by 73.70%. TTO inhibited the violacein production at a mean inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 0.048 mg/mL by 69.3%. At 100 µg/mL TTO and terpinen-4-ol exhibited inhibition in swarming motility of PAO1 by 33.33% and 25%, respectively. TTO revealed anti-QS and anti-biofilm activities at very low concentrations, but it could be further investigated for new molecules useful for the treatment of MRSA infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules23102672DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6222492PMC
October 2018

Laurus nobilis: Composition of Essential Oil and Its Biological Activities.

Molecules 2017 Jun 3;22(6). Epub 2017 Jun 3.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, 84084 Fisciano (Salerno), Italy.

is native to the southern Mediterranean region and cultivated mainly in Europe and the USA as an ornamental and medicinal plant. The chemical composition of the essential oil (EO) from leaves of collected in Southern Italy, was studied by GC and GC-MS. In all, 55 compounds were identified, accounting for 91.6% of the total oil. 1,8-Cineole (31.9%), sabinene (12.2%), and linalool (10.2%) were the main components. Antimicrobial and antifungal activities of EO and 1,8-cineole were determined in vitro. The cytotoxicity of the EO was evaluated against SH-SY5Y cell line, as well as the influence of the EO on the expression of adenylate cyclase 1 (ADCY1), suggesting possible oil effects on the Central Nervous System.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules22060930DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152719PMC
June 2017

Phytotoxic and Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oil of New Peppermint Cultivar.

Nat Prod Commun 2016 Nov;11(11):1721-1724

A new menthol cultivar of Mentha x piperita L. bred in East Slovakia was evaluated for the biological activity of its essential oils (EOs). The content and composition of the EO components changed during plant development and the different effects of samples collected each month (April - September) within the growing season were noted. EOs are considered to be an important source of potential allelochemicals. Changes in EO composition influenced phytotoxic activity. Stimulation and inhibition of seed germination and root elongation occurred with different EO concentrations. The four tested bacterial strains: presented different resistance to the samples collected in different growing periods.
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November 2016

Chemical Composition and in Vitro Antimicrobial, Cytotoxic, and Central Nervous System Activities of the Essential Oils of Citrus medica L. cv. 'Liscia' and C. medica cv. 'Rugosa' Cultivated in Southern Italy.

Molecules 2016 Sep 18;21(9). Epub 2016 Sep 18.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, 84084 Fisciano (Salerno), Italy.

Citrus medica cv. 'liscia' and C. medica cv. 'rugosa' are two taxa of citron, belonging to the biodiversity of South Italy, in particular of Amalfi Coast, in the Campania region. The chemical composition of the essential oils (EOs) from fruit peels of both C. medica cultivars was studied by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses. In all, 100 compounds were identified, 82 for C. medica cv. 'liscia', accounting for 91.4% of the total oil, and 88 for C. medica cv. 'rugosa', accounting for 92.0% of the total oil. Monoterpene hydrocarbons are the main constituents in both oils of C. medica cv. 'liscia' (79.1%) and C. medica cv. 'rugosa' (80.2%). In both oils, limonene (67.2%-62.8%) and camphene (8.5%-10.9%) are the main constituents. The antimicrobial activity of the EOs was assayed against some bacterial strains: Bacillus cereus (DSM 4313), Bacillus cereus (DSM 4384), Staphylococcus aureus (DSM 25693), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 50071), and Escherichia coli (DSM 8579). Low concentrations of C. medica cv. 'rugosa' EO showed an inhibitory effect on P. aeruginosa and higher concentrations inhibited more B. cereus (4384) and E. coli than S. aureus. The cytotoxicity of the EO was evaluated against SH-SY5Y cell line. The influence of the EO on the expression of adenylate cyclase 1 (ADCY1) was also studied. The antimicrobial activity registered confirm their traditional uses as food preserving agents and led us to hypothesize the possible use of these oils as antimicrobials. The alterations in ADCY1 expression suggested a role for limonene in effects on the central nervous system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules21091244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6273413PMC
September 2016

The protective effect of Hypericum connatum on stress-induced escape deficit in rat is related to its flavonoid content.

Pharm Biol 2016 Sep 5;54(9):1782-92. Epub 2016 Jan 5.

b Department of Pharmacy , University of Salerno , Fisciano , Salerno , Italy ;

Context Hypericum perforatum L. (Hypericaceae), used in moderate depression treatment, is active in experimental tests for antidepressant activity. For H. connatum Lam., a South American species lacking hyperforin, antidepressant effects have not been demonstrated. Objective This study evaluates the antidepressant-like effect of H. connatum in rats and identifies the components involved in this activity. Materials and methods First, the effects of acute and 14-d oral administrations of an extract derived from H. connatum aerial parts were studied using the Escape Deficit (ED) test. Next, methanol-extracted flavonoid-enriched fractions B and C and fraction-purified flavonoids (quercetin, rutin and isoquercitrin) were evaluated in the ED test after acute administration. To rule out possible confounding effects of the flavonoids, we examined nociceptive threshold using the tail-flick test and anxious behaviour using the elevated plus maze (EPM) test. Results Hypericum connatum increased reactivity of unavoidable stress-exposed rats after acute (0.5 and 1 g/kg: ED = 18.6/30 and 19.8/30, respectively) and repeated administration (0.5 g/kg twice daily: ED = 17.8/30). Protective effects were observed for fractions B and C (250 mg/kg: ED = 18.1/30 and 18.8/30, respectively), quercetin (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg: ED = 15.3/30, 18.3/30 and 21.6/30, respectively), rutin (5 and 10 mg/kg: ED = 15.4/30 and 13.0/30, respectively) and isoquercitrin (2.5 mg/kg: ED = 19.2/30). The flavonoids did not modify nociceptive threshold or performance in the EPM test. Discussion and conclusion Hypericum connatum showed protective activity in the ED test, a correlate of potential antidepressant-like effects that appeared to be related to the flavonoid components of this species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13880209.2015.1127979DOI Listing
September 2016

Studies on Chemical Composition, Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of Five Thymus vulgaris L. Essential Oils.

Molecules 2015 Jul 1;20(7):12016-28. Epub 2015 Jul 1.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, Fisciano 84084, Salerno, Italy.

This study is aimed at assessing the essential oil composition, total phenolic content, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Thymus vulgaris collected in five different area of the Campania Region, Southern Italy. The chemical composition of the essential oils was studied by GC-flame ionization detector (FID) and GC/MS; the biological activities were evaluated through determination of MIC and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) and evaluation of antioxidant activity. In total, 134 compounds were identified. The oils were mainly composed of phenolic compounds, and all oils belonged to the chemotype thymol. The antimicrobial activity of the five oils was assayed against ten bacterial strains. The oils showed different inhibitory activity against some Gram-positive pathogens. The total phenol content in the essential oils ranged from 77.6-165.1 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g. The results reported here may help to shed light on the complex chemotaxonomy of the genus Thymus. These oils could be used in many fields as natural preservatives of food and as nutraceuticals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules200712016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6332365PMC
July 2015

Chemical composition and biological activities of the essential oils from two Pereskia species grown in Brazil.

Nat Prod Commun 2014 Dec;9(12):1805-8

The chemical composition of the essential oils of Pereskia aculeata Mill. and P. grandifolia Haw. (Cactaceae), grown in Brazil, was studied by means of GC and GC-MS. In all, 37 compounds were identified, 30 for P. aculeata and 15 for P. grandifolia. Oxygenated diterpenes are the main constituents, both in the oil ofP. grandifolia (55.5%) and in that ofP. aculeata (29.4%). The essential oils were evaluated for their in vitro phytotoxic activity against germination and initial radicle growth of Raphanus sativus L., Sinapis arvensis L., and Phalaris canariensis L. seeds. The essential oil of P. grandifolia, at all doses tested, significantly inhibited the radicle elongation of R. sativus. Moreover, the antimicrobial activity of the essential oils was assayed against ten bacterial strains. The essential oils showed weak inhibitory activity against the Gram-positive pathogens.
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December 2014

Antifungal Activity of Some Constituents of Origanum vulgare L. Essential Oil Against Postharvest Disease of Peach Fruit.

J Med Food 2015 Aug 19;18(8):929-34. Epub 2015 Jan 19.

1 School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Basilicata , Potenza, Italy .

Plant essential oils (EOs) can potentially replace synthetic fungicides in the management of postharvest fruit and vegetable diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate in vitro and in vivo effectiveness of thymol, carvacrol, linalool, and trans-caryophyllene, single constituents of the EO of Origanum vulgare L. ssp. hirtum against Monilinia laxa, M. fructigena, and M. fructicola, which are important phytopathogens and causal agents of brown rot of pome and stone fruits in pre- and postharvest. Moreover, the possible phytotoxic activity of these constituents was assessed and their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined. In vitro experiment indicated that thymol and carvacrol possess the highest antifungal activity. Results of in vivo trials confirmed the strong efficacy of thymol and carvacrol against brown rot of peach fruits. The thymol MIC resulted to be 0.16 μg/μL against M. laxa and M. fructigena and 0.12 μg/μL against M. fructicola, whereas for carvacrol they were 0.02 μg/μL against the first two Monilinia species and 0.03 μg/μL against the third. Results of this study indicated that thymol and carvacrol could be used after suitable formulation for controlling postharvest fruit diseases caused by the three studied Monilinia species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2014.0167DOI Listing
August 2015

Chemical composition and biological activities of the essential oil from Anredera cordifolia grown in Brazil.

Nat Prod Commun 2014 Jul;9(7):1003-6

The chemical composition of the essential oil of Anredera cordifolia (Ten.) Steenis (Basellaceae), grown in Brazil, was studied by means of GC and GC-MS analysis. In all, 19 compounds were identified, accounting for 91.6% of the total oil; hydrocarbons were the main constituents (67.7%). The essential oil was evaluated for its in vitro potential phytotoxic activity against germination and initial radicle growth of Raphanus sativus L., Sinapis arvensis L., and Phalaris canariensis L. seeds. At 1.25 microg/mL and 0.625 microg/mL, the oil significantly promoted the germination of S. arvensis. Moreover, the antimicrobial activity of the essential oil was assayed against ten bacterial strains. The essential oil showed a weak inhibitory activity against the Gram-positive pathogens.
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July 2014

Tanshinone IIA, a major component of Salvia milthorriza Bunge, inhibits platelet activation via Erk-2 signaling pathway.

J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Sep 16;155(2):1236-42. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Via Domenico Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy.

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: The roots of Salvia milthorriza Bunge (Lamiaceae) known as "Danshen", are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a remedy for activating blood and eliminating stasis. TIIA, a diterpenoid of Salvia milthorriza, is one of active components in Danshen that exhibits a significant improvement of the blood flow in the coronary circulatory system and a reduction of myocardial infarction. However, its effect on platelet and underlying mechanism remains largely unknown. On this basis, this compound could be a promising agent to improve blood viscosity and microcirculation and to prevent CVD.

Materials And Methods: In order to investigate the effects of TIIA on platelet functionality and its interaction with various platelet activation pathways, rat PRP were incubated with TIIA for 1 min at 37°C prior the addition of the stimuli (ADP or collagen). Aggregation was monitored in a light transmission aggregometer measuring changes in turbidity with continuous observation up to 10 min after the addition of the stimuli. MAPK signaling pathway and tubulin acetylation were analyzed by a Western blot technique. The effect of the TIIA was also studied in vivo on bleeding time in mice.

Results: TIIA selectively inhibited rat platelet aggregation induced by reversible ADP stimuli (3 μM) in a concentration-dependent manner (0.5-50 μM). Nevertheless, TIIA was less active against the irreversible stimuli induced by ADP (10 μM) and collagen (10 μg/mL). Moreover, experiments performed on platelet lysates collected at different time-point after the addition of the stimuli shown that TIIA modulated tubulin acetylation and inhibited Erk-2 phosphorylation. Concomitantly, TIIA administrated i.p. at 10 mg/kg significantly amplified the mice bleeding time with an increase of 58% compared to its control (2.06±0.29 min vs 1.30±0.07). ASA was used as reference drug for in vitro and in vivo experiments.

Conclusions: This study clarifies the intracellular signaling pathway involved in antiplatelet action of TIIA and also gives preliminary evidences for its anticoagulant activity. On this basis, this compound could be a promising agent to improve blood viscosity and microcirculation and to prevent CVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2014.07.010DOI Listing
September 2014

Seasonal variability of the main components in essential oil of Mentha × piperita L.

J Sci Food Agric 2015 Feb 23;95(3):621-7. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

Department of Ecology, Faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences, University of Prešov, 17 November St, 081 16, Prešov, Slovak Republic.

Background: Mentha × piperita is an important and commonly used flavoring plant worldwide. Its constituents, primarily menthol and menthone, change in the essential oil depending on internal and external factors, of which environmental conditions appear very important. The experiment was established in 2010 for three vegetation season, in order to observe the quantitative changes of the main components of peppermint. The determination of menthol, menthone, limonene, menthyl acetate, menthofuran and β-caryophyllene was registered.

Results: In the experimental season 2011 and 2012 a higher mean temperature than in 2010 and extreme rainfall in July 2011 and 2012 were recorded. Different environmental conditions affected the development of M. × piperita plants and the content and composition of the essential oil.

Conclusion: Seasonal and maturity variations are interlinked with each other, because the specific ontogenic growth stage differed as the season progressed. Fluctuations in monthly and seasonal temperature and precipitation patterns affected the quality of peppermint essential oil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.6802DOI Listing
February 2015

Chemical composition and biological activity of the essential oil of Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum from different areas in the Southern Apennines (Italy).

Chem Biodivers 2014 Apr;11(4):639-51

Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II 132, I-84084 Fisciano (Salerno) (phone: +39-089969751; fax: +39-089969602).

The chemical composition of the essential oils of Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum, growing wild in three different localities in the Southern Apennines, was studied by GC-FID and GC/MS analyses. In total, 103 compounds were identified. The oils were mainly composed of phenolic compounds and all oils belonged to the chemotype carvacrol/thymol. The three essential oils were evaluated for their in vitro phytotoxic activity by determining their influence on the germination and initial radicle elongation of Sinapis arvensis L., Phalaris canariensis L., Lepidium sativum L., and Raphanus sativus L. The seed germination and radicle growth were affected in various degrees. Moreover, the antifungal activity of the three essential oils was assayed against three species causing pre- and postharvest fruit decay (Monilinia laxa, M. fructigena, and M. fructicola). At 1000 ppm, the three oils completely inhibited fungal growth. The hemolytic activity of the oils was assayed and showed no effect on the cell membranes of bovine erythrocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201300326DOI Listing
April 2014

Antioxidant and cytotoxic activities investigation of tomato seed extracts.

Nat Prod Res 2014 31;28(10):764-8. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

a Via Campi Flegrei , National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry , 34-80078 Pozzuoli , NA , Italy.

Biological activities of different varieties of tomato seed extracts were evaluated to verify the potential antioxidant and/or antiproliferative activity of the bioactive metabolites present in them. Findings demonstrated that among all the varieties investigated (San Marzano Rosso, San Marzano Giallo, Corbarino, Black Tomato and San Marzano/Black Tomato hybrid) San Marzano Rosso seed extract exhibited the highest free radical-scavenging activity with 68% of 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical inhibition, and the best cytotoxic activity evaluated by using the brine shrimp test (LD50: 23,198 ppm) and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-phenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide assay on A375 cell line (IC50: 137.7 μg/mL).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2013.879474DOI Listing
October 2014

Chemical composition and biological activities of Tunisian Cupressus arizonica Greene essential oils.

Chem Biodivers 2014 Jan;11(1):150-60

Laboratory for Forest Ecology, National Institute for Research in Rural Engineering, Water and Forests, BP 10, 2080 Ariana, Tunisia.

The chemical composition of the essential oils obtained by hydrodistillation of leaves, stems, and female cones of Cupressus arizonica Greene, grown in Tunisia, was studied by GC-FID and GC/MS analyses. Altogether, 62 compounds were identified, 62 in the leaf oil, 19 in the cone oil, and 24 in the stem oil. The cone and stem oils were mainly composed by monoterpene hydrocarbons (96.6 and 85.2%, resp.). In the leaf oil, the total sesquiterpene fraction constituted 36.1% and that of the monoterpene hydrocarbons 33.8% of the total oil composition. The three oils were evaluated for their in vitro herbicidal activity by determining their influence on the germination and the shoot and root growth of the four weed species Sinapis arvensis L., Lolium rigidum Gaudin, Trifolium campestre Schreb., and Phalaris canariensis L. At the highest doses tested (0.8 and 1.0 mg/ml), the leaf essential oil inhibited either totally or almost completely the seed germination and the shoot and root growth of S. arvensis and T. campestre. The oils were also tested for their antifungal activity; however, their effects on the fungal growth were statistically not significant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201300191DOI Listing
January 2014

Chemical composition and in vitro cytotoxic activity of the essential oils of Stachys rupestris and Salvia heldreichiana, two endemic plants of Turkey.

Nat Prod Commun 2013 Nov;8(11):1637-40

Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, University of Salerno, Via Ponte don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano (Salerno), Italy.

The chemical composition of the essential oils of two endemic plants of Turkey, Stachys rupestris Montbret et Aucher ex Benth. and Salvia heldreichiana Boiss. ex Benth., were obtained by hydrodistillation and studied by GC and GC-MS. In all, 46 compounds were identified, 22 for S. rupestris accounting for 94.6% of the total oil and 30 for S. heldreichiana, accounting for 91.9% of the total oil. The presence of diterpenoids (50.7%) characterized the oil from S. rupestris, while S. heldreichiana oil was rich in oxygenated sesquiterpenes (78.9%).The essential oils were evaluated for their in vitro potential cytotoxic activity on three human cancer cell lines. The oil of S. rupestris showed the higher antiproliferative activity against PC-3 and MCF-7 cancer cell lines.
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November 2013

Effect of essential oils on pathogenic bacteria.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2013 Nov 25;6(12):1451-74. Epub 2013 Nov 25.

Istituto di Scienze dell'Alimentazione, ISA-CNR, Via Roma 64, 83100 Avellino, Italy.

The increasing resistance of microorganisms to conventional chemicals and drugs is a serious and evident worldwide problem that has prompted research into the identification of new biocides with broad activity. Plants and their derivatives, such as essential oils, are often used in folk medicine. In nature, essential oils play an important role in the protection of plants. Essential oils contain a wide variety of secondary metabolites that are capable of inhibiting or slowing the growth of bacteria, yeasts and moulds. Essential oils and their components have activity against a variety of targets, particularly the membrane and cytoplasm, and in some cases, they completely change the morphology of the cells. This brief review describes the activity of essential oils against pathogenic bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph6121451DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3873673PMC
November 2013

Chemical composition and biological activity of the essential oil from leaves of Moringa oleifera Lam. cultivated in Mozambique.

Molecules 2013 Sep 9;18(9):10989-1000. Epub 2013 Sep 9.

Centre for Research and Development in Ethnobotany-CIDE, Rua de Igreja, Casa zero, Vila Namaacha, Maputo Province, Mozambique.

The antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae) grown in Mozambique was investigated. The chemical composition was studied by means of GC and GC-MS analysis. Hexacosane (13.9%), pentacosane (13.3%) and heptacosane (11.4%) were the main components. Ultra High Performance Chromatography-DAD analysis detected the flavonoids quercetin (126 μg/g) and luteolin (6.2 μg/g). The essential oil exhibited a relatively low free radical scavenging capacity. The antimicrobial activity of the essential oil was assayed against two Gram-positive strains (Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus), two Gram-negative strains (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa), and five fungal strains of agro-food interest (Penicillium aurantiogriseum, Penicillium expansum, Penicillium citrinum, Penicillium digitatum, and Aspergillus niger spp.). B. cereus and P. aeruginosa, as well as the fungal strains were sensitive to the essential oil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules180910989DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6269949PMC
September 2013

Complementary and alternative medicine use in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia: an Italian multicentric survey.

Leuk Lymphoma 2014 Apr 17;55(4):841-7. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Hematology Oncology Unit.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is common in patients with cancer and its use is steadily increasing over time. We performed a multicenter survey in which the use of CAM in 442 Italian patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the commonest form of leukemia in Western countries, was assessed. Data were collected by means of a face-to-face standardized questionnaire with several items. Mean age was 69 years; 258 patients (58%) were male and 184 (42%) female. Seventy-three patients (16.5%) were found to be CAM users. The most common CAM therapies were green tea, aloe formulations and high dose vitamins. Predictors of CAM use were female gender, younger age, higher education level, internet availability and newspaper reading. The reasons for CAM popularity among these patients are complex. Given the number of patients combining therapy with CAM and its possible drug interactions, doctor interest as well as patient education about CAM should be improved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2013.803223DOI Listing
April 2014

Autoimmune cytopenias in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Clin Dev Immunol 2013 16;2013:730131. Epub 2013 Apr 16.

Onco-Hematology Department, IRCCS Centro di Riferimento Oncologico della Basilicata, 85028 Rionero in Vulture, Italy.

The clinical course of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) may be complicated at any time by autoimmune phenomena.The most common ones are hematologic disorders, such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) and immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) and autoimmune agranulocytosis (AG) are, indeed, more rarely seen. However, they are probably underestimated due to the possible misleading presence of cytopenias secondary to leukemic bone marrow involvement or to chemotherapy cytotoxicity. The source of autoantibodies is still uncertain, despite the most convincing data are in favor of the involvement of resting normal B-cells. In general, excluding the specific treatment of underlying CLL, the managementof these complications is not different from that of idiopathic autoimmune cytopenias or of those associated to other causes. Among different therapeutic approaches, monoclonal antibody rituximab, given alone or in combination, has shown to be very effective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/730131DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3652131PMC
December 2013

Chemical composition and biological activities of the essential oil from Artemisia herba-alba growing wild in Tunisia.

Nat Prod Commun 2013 Mar;8(3):407-10

Laboratorie d'Ecologie Forestière, Institut National de Recherches en Génie Rural, Eaux et Forêts, BP 10, 2080 Ariana, Tunisia.

Aromatic plants can interfere in the Mediterranean ecosystem, mainly by the introduction in the environment of volatile compounds. For this reason, we studied the chemical composition and the possible phytotoxic and antimicrobial activities of the essential oil extracted from leaves of Tunisian Artemisia herba-alba Asso. The chemical composition of the essential oil, obtained by hydrodistillation, was analyzed by GC and GC-MS. In all, 24 compounds were identified. The main components were camphor (39.1%), chrysanthenone (15.0%) and cis-thujone (7.8%). The essential oil was evaluated for its in vitro phytotoxic activity against germination and initial radical growth of Raphanus sativus L., Lepidium sativum L., Sinapis arvensis L., Triticum durum L. and Phalaris canariensis L. seeds. The radicle elongation of the five seeds was affected to different extents by the oil, while germination was not affected. The oil, when tested against eight selected bacterial strains, showed low antimicrobial activity. The chemical composition of the oil of A. herba-alba can help in the chemosystematics of this complex genus. However, the recorded biological activities seem to be neither ecologically nor medicinally significant.
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March 2013

Biochemical composition, antimicrobial activities,and anti-quorum-sensing activities of ethanol and ethyl acetate extracts from Hypericum connatum Lam. (Guttiferae).

J Med Food 2013 May 30;16(5):454-9. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Institute of Food Science, National Research Council ISA-CNR, Avellino, Italy.

We studied the polyphenol composition and antioxidant activity of the ethanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of Hypericum connatum (Guttiferae), in addition to their antimicrobial and antiquorum-sensing (AQS) properties. The extracts exhibited a similar polyphenol content and a notable antioxidant activity, which was stronger in the ethanolic extract (EC50=3.2 μg/mL). Ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography analyses revealed different polyphenol profiles, with rutin and apigen being the main components of the ethanolic extract and caffeic acid, (-)-epicatechin and p-coumaric acid being abundant in the ethyl acetate extract. The ethyl acetate extract exhibited a more effective antimicrobial activity than the ethanolic extract against the pathogens Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. For the first time, AQS activity was detected in H. connatum: the ethanolic extract inhibited the production of violacein, a quorum-sensing-regulated pigment, in a Chromobacterium violaceum tester strain, without interfering with its growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2012.0197DOI Listing
May 2013