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Emanue V.,University of Bucharest | Adrian V.,University of Bucharest | Sultana N.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development | Svetlana C.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development
Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research | Year: 2011

Purpose: Cynara scolymus is a medicinal plant frequently used in traditional medicine for stomach and liver diseases. The purpose of the study was to identify the most suitable extraction solvent for maximum antioxidant and antimicrobial effect of fluidized bed extracts. Methods: The extracts were obtained by conventional maceration and fluidized bed extraction using 25, 50, 75 and 97% v/v ethanol as solvent. The antioxidant effect of the extracts was determined by 2,2- diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) method. The quantities of phenols and flavonoids, and the reducing power of the extracts were also determined. The antimicrobial activity of the extracts was tested against different microbial strains using agar well diffusion method. The minimum inhibiting concentration (MIC) of the fluidized bed extract was also determined. Results: The ethanol extract showed the highest antioxidant activity as well as yielded the largest quantity of polyphenolic compounds. For the extract obtained by fluidized bed technique, the optimum concentration of 10 mg/ml gave maximum antioxidant activity of 65.15%. The MIC values obtained using the freeze-dried extract ranged from 5.0 mg/ml - 15.0 mg/ml. The extracts showed significant inhibitory activity against the tested strains of Listeria innocua CMGB 218, Bacillus cereus CMGB 215 with MIC of 5 mg/ml but showed MIC of 15 mg/ml for the other strains. Conclusion: The results indicate that the freeze-dried extract from Cynara scolymus is capable of yielding nutritional supplements with antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. © Pharmacotherapy Group.

Nichita C.,University of Bucharest | Nichita C.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development | Stamatin I.,University of Bucharest
Digest Journal of Nanomaterials and Biostructures | Year: 2012

This study reveal the relationship between SWCNTs (SWCNTs, carboxylated respective, hydroxylated) with a series of flavonoids (quercetin, rutin) to design new bionanohybrids with higher antioxidant capacity. The chemiluminescence assay proved that the carbon nanotubes have antioxidant activity as electron donor or as proton donor (SWCNTs -hydroxylated and carboxylated) in the redox transition reaction with free radicals. The bi-ohybrids "flavonoids carbon nanotubes" shown a high antioxidant activity, evaluated by the amplification factor, ranging from 3 up to 4 times higher than single flavonoids. These results open the perspective to design functional carriers based on carbon nanotubes to transport low soluble antioxidants to specific target with improved scavenging rate against the free radicals (reactive oxygen species).

Cioates Negut C.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development | Cioates Negut C.,Polytechnic University of Bucharest | Stefan-Van Staden R.-I.,Romanian National Institute for Research for Electrochemistry and Condensed Matter | Moldoveanu I.,Romanian National Institute for Research for Electrochemistry and Condensed Matter | And 2 more authors.
Electrochemistry Communications | Year: 2015

Six oleamides: oleoylethanolamide, (Z)-N-[(1S)-2-hydroxy-1-(phenylmethyl)ethyl]-9octadecenamide, N-phenethyloleamide, N-[2-(4-methoxyphenyl)ethyl]oleamide, N-[1]naphthyloleamide, N-cyclohexyloleamide were synthesized and used as modifiers for the design of new stochastic microsensors based on graphite paste. Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was used as a model analyte to prove the stochastic behavior of the microsensors. CEA was determined directly from whole blood samples with recoveries higher than 94.00%, favorizing pattern recognition of CEA in whole blood samples. The most sensitive stochastic microsensor was the one based on the physical immobilization of N-[2-(4-methoxyphenyl)ethyl]oleamide in graphite paste. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Grigore A.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development | Colceru-Mihul S.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development | Litescu S.,Romanian National Institute for Research and Development for Biological Sciences | Panteli M.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development | Rasit I.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development
Pharmaceutical Biology | Year: 2013

Context: Verbascum phlomoides L. (Scrophulariaceae) (mullein) used in the European folk medicine due to its anti-inflammatory and soothing action on the respiratory tract is thoroughly documented in handbooks and scientific literature. Nevertheless, information regarding the influence of the polyphenol content on pharmacological activity is scarce. Objective: This study explored the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of V. phlomoides polyphenol-rich extract. Materials and methods: Dried mullein flowers (200 g) were subjected to water extraction (60 °C, 2 h, herb/solvent ratio = 1/10 m/v) and further to n-butanol partition. Total phenolics were spectrophotometrically determined and specific compounds were evaluated by HPLC. The antioxidant activity was assessed by the 2,2-di(4-tert-octylphenyl)-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. The anti-inflammatory potential of the extract (50-200 μg/mL) was evaluated in vitro by ELISA measurement of ICAM-1 expression in TNF-α-stimulated endothelial cells and in vivo by the rat paw edema assay. Results: The mullein extract contained 4.18% total polyphenols expressed as gallic acid. The main components identified by HPLC were: rosmarinic acid (14.93 mg/g), caffeic acid (39.96 mg/g), ferulic acid (29.61 mg/g) and quercetin (17.29 mg/g). Acteoside was not detected; aucubin was detected in traces (0.028 mg/g). Depending on concentration, the extract exerted scavenging activity on DPPH radical (EC50 7.09 mg/mL), significantly inhibited TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 expression by 55-58.8% on human umbilical vein endothelial cells at 100 and 200 μg/mL, but failed to reduce egg-white-induced rat paw edema. Discussion and conclusion: Mullein polyphenols play an important role in exerting the antioxidant effect but have a weak influence on anti-inflammatory activity that is correlated, probably, to a higher content of iridoids and phenylethanoids. © 2013 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Albulescu R.,Victor Babes National Institute of Pathology | Albulescu R.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development | Tanase C.,Victor Babes National Institute of Pathology | Codrici E.,Victor Babes National Institute of Pathology | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine | Year: 2015

Telocytes (TCs) are interstitial cells that are present in numerous organs, including the heart interstitial space and cardiac stem cell niche. TCs are completely different from fibroblasts. TCs release extracellular vesicles that may interact with cardiac stem cells (CSCs) via paracrine effects. Data on the secretory profile of TCs and the bidirectional shuttle vesicular signalling mechanism between TCs and CSCs are scarce. We aimed to characterize and understand the in vitro effect of the TC secretome on CSC fate. Therefore, we studied the protein secretory profile using supernatants from mouse cultured cardiac TCs. We also performed a comparative secretome analysis using supernatants from rat cultured cardiac TCs, a pure CSC line and TCs-CSCs in co-culture using (i) high-sensitivity on-chip electrophoresis, (ii) surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and (iii) multiplex analysis by Luminex-xMAP. We identified several highly expressed molecules in the mouse cardiac TC secretory profile: interleukin (IL)-6, VEGF, macrophage inflammatory protein 1α (MIP-1α), MIP-2 and MCP-1, which are also present in the proteome of rat cardiac TCs. In addition, rat cardiac TCs secrete a slightly greater number of cytokines, IL-2, IL-10, IL-13 and some chemokines like, GRO-KC. We found that VEGF, IL-6 and some chemokines (all stimulated by IL-6 signalling) are secreted by cardiac TCs and overexpressed in co-cultures with CSCs. The expression levels of MIP-2 and MIP-1α increased twofold and fourfold, respectively, when TCs were co-cultured with CSCs, while the expression of IL-2 did not significantly differ between TCs and CSCs in mono culture and significantly decreased (twofold) in the co-culture system. These data suggest that the TC secretome plays a modulatory role in stem cell proliferation and differentiation. © 2015 The Authors.

Seca A.M.L.,University of The Azores | Seca A.M.L.,University of Aveiro | Grigore A.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development | Pinto D.C.G.A.,University of Aveiro | Silva A.M.S.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Ethnopharmacology | Year: 2014

Ethnopharmacological relevance The genus Inula comprises more than one hundred species widespread in temperate regions of Europe and Asia. Uses of this genus as herbal medicines have been first recorded by the Greek and Roman ancient physicians. In the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, from the 20 Inula spp. distributed in China, three are used as Traditional Chinese medicines, named Tumuxiang, Xuanfuhua and Jinfeicao. These medicines are used as expectorants, antitussives, diaphoretics, antiemetics, and bactericides. Moreover, Inula helenium L. which is mentioned in Minoan, Mycenaean, Egyptian/Assyrian pharmacotherapy and Chilandar Medical Codex, is good to treat neoplasm, wound, freckles and dandruff. Many other Inula spp. are used in Ayurvedic and Tibetan traditional medicinal systems for the treatment of diseases such as bronchitis, diabetes, fever, hypertension and several types of inflammation. This review is a critical evaluation of the published data on the more relevant ethnopharmacological and medicinal uses of Inula spp. and on their metabolites biological activities. This study allows the identification of the ethnopharmacological knowledge of this genus and will provide insight into the emerging pharmacological applications of Inula spp. facilitating the prioritirization of future investigations. The corroboration of the ethnopharmacological applications described in the literature with proved biological activities of Inula spp. secondary metabolites will also be explored. Materials and methods The major scientific databases including ScienceDirect, Medline, Scopus and Web of Science were queried for information on the genus Inula using various keyword combinations, more than 180 papers and patents related to the genus Inula were consulted. The International Plant Name Index was also used to confirm the species names. Results Although the benefits of Inula spp. are known for centuries, there are insufficient scientific studies to certify it. Most of the patents are registered by Chinese researchers, proving the traditional use of these plants in their country. Although a total of sixteen Inula species were reported in the literature to have ethnopharmacological applications, the species Inula cappa (Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don) DC., Inula racemosa Hook.f., Inula viscosa (L.) Aiton [actually the accepted name is Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter], Inula helenium, Inula britannica L. and Inula japonica Thunb. are the most frequently cited ones since their ethnopharmacological applications are vast. They are used to treat a large spectrum of disorders, mainly respiratory, digestive, inflammatory, dermatological, cancer and microbial diseases. Fifteen Inula spp. crude extracts were investigated and showed interesting biological activities. From these, only 7 involved extracts of the reported spp. used in traditional medicine and 6 of these were studied to isolate the bioactive compounds. Furthermore, 90 bioactive compounds were isolated from 16 Inula spp. The characteristic compounds of the genus, sesquiterpene lactones, are involved in a network of biological effects, and in consequence, the majority of the experimental studies are focused on these products, especially on their cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory activities. The review shows the chemical composition of the genus Inula and presents the pharmacological effects proved by in vitro and in vivo experiments, namely the cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory (with focus on nitric oxide, arachidonic acid and NF-κB pathways), antimicrobial, antidiabetic and insecticidal activities. Conclusions Although there are ca. 100 species in the genus Inula, only a few species have been investigated so far. Eight of the sixteen Inula spp. with ethnopharmacological application had been subjected to biological evaluations and/or phytochemical studies. Despite Inula royleana DC. and Inula obtusifolia A. Kerner are being used in traditional medicine, as far as we are aware, these species were not subjected to phytochemical or pharmacological studies. The biological activities exhibited by the compounds isolated from Inula spp., mainly anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic, support some of the described ethnopharmacological applications. Sesquiterpene lactone derivatives were identified as the most studied class, being britannilactone derivatives the most active ones and present high potential as anti-inflammatory drugs, although, their pharmacological effects, dose-response relationship and toxicological investigations to assess potential for acute or chronic adverse effects should be further investigated. The experimental results are promising, but the precise mechanism of action, the compound or extract toxicity, and the dose to be administrated for an optimal effect need to be investigated. Also human trials (some preclinical studies proved to be remarkable) should be further investigated. The genus Inula comprises species useful not only in medicine but also in other domains which makes it a high value-added plant. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Vamanu E.,University of Agronomical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine | Nita S.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development
BioMed Research International | Year: 2013

Boletus edulis is a wild edible mushroom habitually consumed by rural populations. Ethanolic and methanolic extracts was obtained in cold and hot water from dried fruit bodies. The antioxidant activity of freeze-dried extracts from B. edulis were investigated using free radicals scavenging activity, reducing power, metal chelating effect, inhibition of lipid peroxidation, and the identification of antioxidant compounds. The levels of different compounds with antioxidant properties were higher in alcoholic extracts compared with aqueous extracts. Rosmarinic acid was the major phenolic compound, it being identified in a concentration between 7±0.23 and 56±0.15 mg/100 g extract. A positive correlation between the content of total phenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and tocopherols, and the antioxidant capacity of the extracts was determined. The results showed that the ethanolic extract of Romanian wild mushroom B. edulis represents a natural source of functional compounds. © 2013 Emanuel Vamanu and Sultana Nita.

Iulian O.,Polytechnic University of Bucharest | Stefaniu A.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development
Journal of Solution Chemistry | Year: 2013

The physico-chemical property data for l-glutamic acid in aqueous NaCl solutions were obtained at 0, 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mol·kg-1 NaCl and amino acid molalities from 0 to 0.0669 mol·kg-1 between 293.15 and 323.15 K. The influence of NaCl addition on the volumetric and viscometric properties of the amino acid has been studied. From the experimental densities, the apparent molar volumes and transfer volumes of l-glutamic acid in aqueous electrolyte solutions have been calculated. The viscosity data in the studied domain of amino acid molalities have led to the evaluation of the Falkenhagen and Jones-Dole viscosity coefficients of l-glutamic acid in NaCl aqueous solutions. The results have been discussed in terms of interactions occurring in the systems. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Stefaniu A.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development | Iulian O.,Polytechnic University of Bucharest
Journal of Solution Chemistry | Year: 2013

Density and viscosity experimental data for l-histidine in NaCl aqueous solutions were obtained at different salt and different amino acid concentrations in the range of temperatures between 293.15 and 323.15 K. The results have been correlated and analyzed in order to evaluate the influence of electrolyte concentration and temperature on the volumetric and viscometric properties of the solutions. The apparent molar volumes and the transfer volumes of l-histidine in aqueous NaCl solutions at different salt and amino acid molalities over entire temperature range were calculated from experimental density data. The viscosity experimental data have been analyzed with Jones-Dole equation and the Falkenhagen (A) and the Jones-Dole coefficient (B) have been calculated in order to evaluate the interactions occurring in the systems. The B viscosity coefficients were found to be positive for all conditions, showing a kosmotropic effect of solutes, indicating an alignment of zwitterions with ions/water dipoles. A comparison of standard partial molar volumes for some amino acids in water and NaCl aqueous solutions shows that they increase with molecular mass and complexity of the lateral side chain of the amino acid. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Moscovici M.,Romanian National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2015

Microbial exopolysaccharides (EPS) have found outstanding medical applications since the mid-20th century, with the first clinical trials on dextran solutions as plasma expanders. Other EPS entered medicine firstly as conventional pharmaceutical excipients (e.g., xanthan - as suspension stabilizer, or pullulan - in capsules and oral care products). Polysaccharides, initially obtained from plant or animal sources, became easily available for a wide range of applications, especially when they were commercially produced by microbial fermentation. Alginates are used as anti-reflux, dental impressions, or as matrix for tablets. Hyaluronic acid and derivatives are used in surgery, arthritis treatment, or wound healing. Bacterial cellulose is applied in wound dressings or scaffolds for tissue engineering. The development of drug controlled-release systems and of micro- and nanoparticulated ones, has opened a new era of medical applications for biopolymers. EPS and their derivatives are well-suited potentially non-toxic, biodegradable drug carriers. Such systems concern rating and targeting of controlled release. Their large area of applications is explained by the available manifold series of derivatives, whose useful properties can be thereby controlled. From matrix inclusion to conjugates, different systems have been designed to solubilize, and to assure stable transport in the body, target accumulation and variable rate-release of a drug substance. From controlled drug delivery, EPS potential applications expanded to vaccine adjuvants and diagnostic imaging systems. Other potential applications are related to the bioactive (immunomodulator, antitumor, antiviral) characteristics of EPS. The numerous potential applications still wait to be developed into commercial pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Based on previous and recent results in important medical-pharmaceutical domains, one can undoubtedly state that EPS medical applications have a broad future ahead. © 2015 Moscovici.

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