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Pavel Mucaji, Speaker at Nutrition Conferences
Pavel Mucaji
Comenius University, Slovakia (Slovak Republic)
Title: Artichoke leaf extract as AKR1B1 inhibitor


Artichokes as an important part of mediterranean diet have positive impact on human health. Traditional applications of C. cardunculus consider the usage of the blanched leaves, fleshy leaf petioles and the receptacle in soups, stews and salads. Cardoon is traditionally used as a diuretic, choleretic, cardiotonic and an antihemorrhodial agent. Cardoon leaves are used for their cholagogue,choleretic and choliokinetic actions, for treatment of dyspepsia and as antidiabetics.

Aldose reductase inhibitors are considered to be potential therapeutical agents for the chronic diabetic complications. The AKR1B1-catalyzed reduction of aldehydes is part of the intracellular inflammatory pathway leading to the activation of NF-κB and the expression of pro-inflammatory genes. Herbal extracts or their constituents are promising agents potentially alleviating these complications. The present study is aimed at determining the inhibition of AKR1B1 by an extract of artichoke leaves and the effects of this extract and three participating compounds on the expression of AKR1B1, COX-2, and MMP-2 proteins in THP-1 cells after incubation with LPS.

Extract of Cynara cardunculus leaves is rich in phenolics. Total amount of phenolic compouds of artichoke leaf extract was 7.85%. Human and rat lenses adose reductase were inhibited in non-toxic low concentrations. IC50 = 5.12 mg/mL and 3.059 mg/mL respectively. After stimulation by LPS, the extract attenuated the activity of NF-κB in THP-1 cells, but no changes in the expression of AKR1B1 were recorded. The extract diminished the expression of the inflammation-related enzymes COX-2 and MMP-2, probably by inhibiting the activity of NF-κB.

The artichoke leaf extract represents a prospective preventive agent of development of chronic diabetic complications, probably due to phenols content.

Acknowledgment: This work was supported by the Grant Agency of Ministry of Education, Science, Research, and Sport of the Slovak (grant no. VEGA-1/0359/18).


Dr. Mucaji studied Pharmacy at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia and graduated as MS in 1993. He received his PhD degree in Pharmacognosy in 1997 at the same institution. In 2004 he obtained the position of an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Comenius University and in 2013 position of Professor. He has published more than 60 research articles in SCI(E) journals with around 700 citations. His field of interest is Pharmacognosy, separation and identification of natural compounds, extracts standardization and evaluation of biological activity of natural compounds.