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Anti-Inflammatory Potential of Green Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles of the Soft Coral Nephthea Sp. Supported by Metabolomics Analysis and Docking Studies

Authors Abdelhafez OH, Ali TFS, Fahim JR, Desoukey SY, Ahmed S, Behery FA, Kamel MS, Gulder TAM, Abdelmohsen UR

Received 21 November 2019

Accepted for publication 7 March 2020

Published 28 July 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 5345—5360


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Omnia Hesham Abdelhafez,1 Taha Farouk Shehata Ali,2 John Refaat Fahim,3 Samar Yehia Desoukey,3 Safwat Ahmed,4 Fathy A Behery,5,6 Mohamed Salah Kamel,3 Tobias AM Gulder,7 Usama Ramadan Abdelmohsen1,3

1Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Deraya University, New Minia 61111, Egypt; 2Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Minia University, Minia 61519, Egypt; 3Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Minia University, Minia 61519, Egypt; 4Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Suez Canal University, Ismailia 41522, Egypt; 5Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt; 6Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh 11681, Saudi Arabia; 7Chair of Technical Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Food Chemistry, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden 01069, Germany

Correspondence: Usama Ramadan Abdelmohsen
Department of Pharmacognosy,Faculty of Pharmacy, Minia University, Minia 61519, Egypt
Tobias AM Gulder
Chair of Technical Biochemistry,Department of Chemistry and Food Chemistry, Technical University of Dresden, Bergstraße 66, Dresden 01069, Germany

Background: Soft corals have been endorsed as a plentiful source of bioactive compounds with promising anti-inflammatory activities; therefore, exploring their potential as source of anti-inflammatory metabolites has stimulated a growing research interest.
Purpose: To investigate the anti-inflammatory potential of the soft coral, Nephthea sp., in its bulk and silver nanostructure. Metabolomics analysis of Nephthea sp., followed by molecular docking studies, was also conducted in order to explore and predict the secondary metabolites that might provide its inhibitory actions on inflammation.
Materials and Methods: The petroleum ether and ethyl acetate fractions were used to synthesize silver nanoparticles. The prepared silver nanoparticles were characterized through UV-vis spectrophotometric, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analyses. Testing for the anti-inflammatory activity was performed against COX-1 and COX-2. Furthermore, liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) based metabolomics analysis and molecular docking were also applied.
Results: A variety of secondary metabolites were identified, among them, sesquiterpenes were found to prevail. The petroleum ether and acetone fractions of Nephthea sp. showed the highest COX-2 inhibitory activities, possibly attributable to their substantial contents of terpenoids. Additionally, the green synthesized silver nanoparticles of both the petroleum ether and ethyl acetate fractions of Nephthea sp. demonstrated higher anti-COX-2 properties.
Conclusion: The obtained results showed the effectiveness of non-targeted metabolomics technique in metabolic profiling of Nephthea sp., helping the search for new bioactive metabolites in future chemical studies on this soft coral. The interesting anti-inflammatory potential of the tested extracts and their nanoparticles could also be relevant to the development of new, effective anti-inflammatory agents.

Keywords: anti-inflammatory, metabolomics, molecular docking, nanoparticles, Nephthea, soft coral

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