Radix Astragalus has been shown to exert beneficial effects regarding the prevention postmenopausal osteoporosis. However, its mechanism of action remains to be investigated. Calycosin, formononetin, and calycosin-7-O--d-glucoside are the main isoflavone constituents of Astragalus. In this study, the abilities of these 3 compounds to promote osteogenic function of osteoblasts were compared, and the structure-activity relationships of these osteotrophic isoflavones were determined. Calycosin exhibited a greater effect than formononetin and calycosin-7-O--d-glucoside regarding improvements in osteogenic function of osteoblasts, as demonstrated by cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity, collagen I and osteocalcin secretion, and the number and area of mineralized bone nodules. This suggests that calycosin may be better than formononetin and calycosin-7-O--d-glucoside at preserving bone mass. In addition, calycosin, formononetin, and calycosin-7-O--d-glucoside stimulate the expression of bone morphogenetic protein 2 and runt-related transcription factor 2 proteins, which indicates that all 3 agents may promote the osteogenesis of osteoblasts via regulation of bone morphogenetic protein 2 expression. In conclusion, calycosin may be the best candidate, with higher osteogenic activity than formononetin and calycosin-7-O--d-glucoside. The higher osteogenic activity of calycosin could be attributable to the superiority of its chemical structure (a hydroxyl group at position C3 of Ring B and no glucosyl group).
In the genus Macleaya, Macleaya cordata and Macleaya microcarpa have been recognized as traditional herbs that are primarily distributed in China, North America, and Europe and have a long history of medicinal usage. These herbs have been long valued and studied for detumescence, detoxification, and insecticidal effect. This review aims to provide comprehensive information on botanical, phytochemical, pharmacological, and toxicological studies on plants in the genus Macleaya. Plants from the genus of Macleaya provide a source of bioactive compounds, primarily alkaloids, with remarkable diversity and complex architectures, thereby having attracted attention from researchers. To date, 291 constituents have been identified and/or isolated from this group. These purified compounds and/or crude extract possess antitumor, anti-inflammatory, insecticidal, and antibacterial activities in addition to certain potential toxicities. Macleaya species hold potential for medicinal applications. However, despite the pharmacological studies on these plants, the mechanisms underlying the biological activities of active ingredients derived from Macleaya have not been thoroughly elucidated to date. Additionally, there is a need for research focusing on in vivo medical effects of Macleaya compounds and, eventually, for clinical trials.
Gentiopicroside isolated from gentiana macrophylla Pall. belongs to iridoid glycosides. This study aimed to evaluate the protective effect of gentiopicroside against ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury in mice. Mice were proactively administrated with gentiopicroside by intragastric administration once a day for 3 consecutive days. On the 3rd day, gastric ulcer in mice was induced with 70% ethanol after the last intragastric administration. The stomach tissues were submitted for evaluation of the severity of gastric mucosal alterations. Gentiopicroside administrated orally ameliorated the severity of gastric mucosal alterations. Oral administration of gentiopicroside significantly increased heat shock protein-70 and glutathione levels and superoxide dismutase activity, normalized epidermal growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor levels, and decreased the levels of tumour necrosis factor-, interleukin-6 and malondialdehyde, and myeloperoxidase activity in gastric tissue. These findings demonstrated that gentiopicroside has protective effect against ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury in mice through the improvements of antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as up-regulation of heat shock protein-70 level and normalization of epidermal growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor levels. The results presented in this study provide some evidence for the development of a novel antigastric ulcer agent.
Decursin, the major bioactive component of Angelica gigas Nakai, exhibited neuroprotective properties. Our previous studies showed that decursin conferred neuroprotective effects in PC12 cells induced by Amyloid-beta (A beta)(25-35) via antiapoptosis and antioxidant. In this study, the antiinflammatory effects of decursin against PC12 cells injury stimulated by A beta(25-35) were assessed. Our results demonstrated that decursin suppressed the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 protein and prostaglandin E2 content which was stimulated by A beta(25-35) in PC12 cells. Meanwhile, the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-kappa B in A beta(25-35)-treated PC12 cells was also inhibited by decursin. In addition, decursin suppressed phosphorylation of the two upstream pathway kinases, p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Overall, our findings indicate that decursin exerts protective effects against neuroinflammation stimulated by A beta(25-35) in PC12 cells by abolishing cyclooxygenase-2 protein expression through inactivation of nuclear factor-kappa B via the upstream kinases including p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase. This work provides a new insight into the pharmacological mode of decursin and should facilitate its therapeutic application in treatment of inflammatory disorders.
Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS) have been widely used in the cardiovascular system for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke in China. In this study, we investigated the anti-apoptotic effect of PNS on cardiomyocytes in the natural aging rat and explored the potential mechanisms regarding oxidative stress and mitochondrial function signaling pathways. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups: adult control (3-month old), aging control (24-month old), and different doses of PNS-treated aging rat groups (10, 30, 60 mg/kg/day, orally). After treatment of PNS or saline for 6 months, the effects of PNS on the cardiomyocytes were evaluated. Results showed that PNS significantly improved the morphological changes in myocardium, prevented the increase of cardiomyocyte apoptosis in the aging rats, and improved mitochondrial dysfunction associated aging in a dose-dependent manner. PNS also significantly reversed the down-regulation of FoxO3a and Mn-SOD and up-regulated PGC-1 alpha, LC3 beta, and Beclin-1 levels. Our data demonstrated that during aging, mitochondrial dysfunction caused an increase of oxidative damage, which played a key role in cardiomyocyte apoptosis. PNS exerted an anti-apoptotic effect via attenuating oxidative damage through oxidative stress- and mitochondrial function-related signaling pathways.
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are usually with poor immunity and easier to suffer from cancer and microbial infections. Herein, we report an efficient anti-diabetic medicinal mushroom, Coriolus versicolor (CV). This study aimed to investigate the anti-diabetic and anti-insulin-resistance effects of CV aqueous extract in myoblasts (L6 cells) and skeletal muscle of T2DM rat. Our results showed that CV extract treatment significantly reduced blood glucose levels of T2DM rats, whereas CV extract increased glucose consumption in insulin resistant L6 cells. Besides, the translocation and expression of glucose transporter 4 were enhanced by CV extract, which indicated that CV extract was effective in diabetic skeletal muscle. Moreover, CV extract treatments resulted in remarkable anti-insulin-resistance effects, which was reflected by the change of gene and protein expression levels in PI3K/Akt and p38 MAPK pathways. PI3K inhibitor, LY29004, and p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB203580 confirmed it further. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that the CV extract exhibited anti-diabetic and anti-insulin-resistance effects in diabetic skeletal muscle, and the effects were mediated by PI3K/Akt and p38 MAPK pathways. These findings are remarkable when considering the use of commercially available CV by diabetic patients who also suffer from cancer or microbial infections.
Sepsis induced myocardial dysfunction (SIMD) is a common complication and leads to an increased mortality. SIMD is closely related to inflammation and oxidative stress. Myricetin exhibits strong capacities of anti-inflammation and anti-oxidative stress, but its pharmacological effects for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced cardiac injury remains undefined. This study aimed to explore whether myricetin was efficient to alleviate SIMD in mice and neonatal rat cardiomyocytes injury. Mice administrated with myricetin (100mg/kg, po, bid) or vehicle groups were challenged with LPS (10mg/kg, ip), and cardiac functions examined by echocardiography after 12hr LPS exposure. LPS markedly impaired mouse cardiac functions, which were significantly attenuated by myricetin administration. Myricetin significantly reduced the production of inflammatory cytokines both in serum and cardiac tissue. Myricetin could inhibit the nuclear translocation of p65, degradation of IB, and cellular apoptosis in vivo and in vitro. Myricetin also prevented overexpression of iNOS and reduction of oxidoreductase (SOD and GPx) activity. Besides, Myricetin treatment could attenuate production of inflammatory cytokines of peritoneal macrophages stimulated with LPS in vitro. Thus we concluded that myricetin could attenuate the LPS induced cardiac inflammation injury in vivo and in vitro. Myricetin may be a potential therapy or adjuvant therapy for SIMD.
Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TwHF) is a promising Chinese traditional medicine used to significantly reduce proteinuria and improve renal function. However, its efficacy and safety in treatment of chronic kidney disease need to be further explored in order to promote its application in clinics. This review compared the efficacy and safety of TwHF with the placebo, conventional Western medicine and other immunosuppressive medicine in a range of kidney disorders. One hundred three randomized controlled trials were included. TwHF therapy decreased 24-hr proteinuria by 0.59g/day (95% confidence interval [CI; -0.68, -0.50]), serum creatinine level by 1.93mol/L (95% CI [-3.69, -0.17]), and blood urea nitrogen level by 0.24mmol/L (95% CI [-0.41, -0.07]); increased the total effective rate by 27% (95% CI [1.24, 1.30]); and decreased the incidence of adverse reactions by 19% (95% CI [0.68, 0.96]) overall. Meta regression results showed that the duration of therapy and mean age of participants were the major sources of high heterogeneity. Sensitivity analysis demonstrated that our statistic results were relatively stable and credible. The present findings suggested that TwHF possibly has nephroprotective effects by decreasing proteinuria, serum creatinine level, and blood urea nitrogen level and no more adverse reactions compared with control group in most kidney disorders. However, these findings still need to be further confirmed by high-quality trials.
Efficient transcytosis across the blood-brain-barrier is an important strategy for accessing drug targets within the central nervous system. Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. was used as a messenger drug to increase the distribution of drugs in brain tissue in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The present study investigates the transport of echinacoside (ECH) through MDCK-MDR1 cell and the effects of ligustilide (LIG), senkyunolide A (SENA) and senkyunolide I (SENI) in chuanxiong on its transport. The results indicated that the absorption of ECH was relatively poor in MDCK-MDR1cells, and was concentration dependent and not saturable. The P-glycoprotein inhibitor verapamil could significantly increase the transport of ECH. It indicated that the transport mechanism might be passive diffusion as the dominating process with the active transportation mediated mechanism involved. The increased apparent permeability of ECH in AB direction by ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid-Na-2 suggested that ECH was absorbed via the paracellular route. The transport of ECH in AB direction significantly increased when co-administrated with increasing concentrations of LIG, SENI and SENA. Western blot analysis and a decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance during the permeation experiment indicated that LIG, SENI and SENA had enhanced the transport of ECH in the BBB models attribute to down-regulate the expressions of claudin-5 and zonula occludens-1 expression.
Soy and soy-based foods are considered healthy, particularly in many Asia-Pacific countries, where soy products have long been consumed. Soy and soy-related products have been found to help prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer, such as breast and prostate cancer. These products can also have antioxidative effects that alleviate hot flashes during menopause and bone loss. These biological and therapeutic functions are primarily due to the isoflavones derived from soy, whose structure is similar to the structure of 17--oestradiol. Despite the many health benefits for humans and animals, the application of isoflavones remains controversial because of their anti-oestrogenic properties. We focused on general information regarding isoflavones, as well as their structure, function, and application. We summarized evidence showing that dietary or supplemental isoflavones exert protective effects on the health of humans and animals. Based on the literature, we conclude that soy foods and isoflavones may be effective and safe; however, more high-quality trials are needed to fully substantiate their potential use.
Radiotherapy frequently induces failure of hematopoietic system and leads to myelosuppression. The objective of this study was to investigate the protective effect of dammarane sapogenins (DS), the hydrolysed product of the constituent ginsenosides of Panax ginseng, which are produced by gut metabolism, on radiation-induced hematopoietic injury. Mice were exposed to 3.5Gy Co-60 -rays of total body radiation at a dose rate of 1.60Gy per minute and treated with DS or granulocyte colony-stimulating factor immediately after radiation. The general condition of the mice, the peripheral blood cell counts, multiple colony forming unit (CFU) assays of hematopoietic progenitor cells, hematopoietic stem cell counts, bone marrow histology, and spleen colony forming unit counts were then investigated. Our results indicated that administration with DS could ameliorate Co-60-irradiation induced damage and significantly increase the number of peripheral blood cells (white blood cells and platelets), 5 types of hematopoietic progenitor cells CFU (CFU-GM, CFU-E, BFU-E, CFU-Meg, and CFU-GEMM), hematopoietic stem cell (Lin(-)c-kit(+)Scal-1(+)) numbers, and CFUs in the spleen, as well as improved bone marrow histopathology. All together, these results confirmed the enhancement of DS on hematopoiesis.
Development of agents to overcome multidrug resistance (MDR) is one of the important strategies in cancer chemotherapy, and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) correlates with the degree of resistance. As a naturally occurring isoflavone, whether barbigerone (BA) could reverse MDR, is unknown. In this paper, we evaluated effects of BA on reversing P-gp mediated MDR of adriamycin (ADR)-resistant human breast carcinoma (MCF-7/ADR) cells. BA (0.5M) treatment showed strong potency to increase ADR cytotoxicity toward MCF-7/ADR cells. It was also demonstrated that BA time- and dose-dependently increased accumulations of ADR and reduced the efflux in MCF-7/ADR cells, pretreatment of these cells with BA might relocalized ADR to the nuclei. Furthermore, the results also revealed that BA did not affect P-gp, but alter P-gp ATPase activity. Intravenous administration of BA significantly increased anticancer efficacy of ADR to MCF-7/ADR xenograft model in nude mice. These results revealed that BA might reverse P-gp mediated MDR through inhibition of ATPase activity, which indicated a novel use of BA as a potent candidate for cancer chemotherapy.
Genipin is the major active component of Gardeniae fructus and has been shown to ameliorate diabetes and insulin resistance in rat models. In this study, we first investigated the effect of genipin on obesity and the related lipid metabolism mechanisms in diet-induced obese rats. Our results showed that genipin reduced body weight, food intake, and visceral fat mass; ameliorated dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, insulin intolerance, adipocyte hypertrophy, and hepatic steatosis; and reduced serum tumor necrosis factor- level in diet-induced obese rats. Quantitative real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction results further illustrated that genipin promoted lipolysis and -oxidation of fatty acid by upregulating gene expressions of hormone-sensitive lipase and adipose triglyceride lipase in white adipose tissue (WAT) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 in hepatic tissue. Moreover, genipin promoted browning of WAT by upregulating the mRNA and protein levels of uncoupling protein 1 and PRD1-BF1-RIZ1 homologous domain containing 16 in WAT. Additionally, genipin inhibited gene expressions of activin receptor-like kinase 7, tumor necrosis factor-, and interlukin-6 in WAT. These results indicated that genipin had a potential therapeutic role in obesity, in which regulation of lipid mobilization and browning of WAT were involved.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the hypolipidemic effect and mechanisms of total phenylpropanoid glycosides extracted from Ligustrum robustum (Roxb.) Blume (LRTPG) in hamsters fed a high-fat diet and to discover bioactive components in HepG2 cell model induced by oleic acid. LRTPG of high (1.2g/kg), medium (0.6g/kg), and low (0.3g/kg) doses was administrated daily for 21 consecutive days in hamsters. We found that in hamsters fed a high-fat diet, LRTPG effectively reduced the concentrations of plasma triglycerides (TG), free fatty acid, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and hepatic TG and total cholesterol. And the compounds acteoside, ligupurpuroside A, ligupurpuroside C, and ligupurpuroside D significantly inhibited lipid accumulation in HepG2 cell at the concentration of 50mol/L. Mechanism research demonstrated that LRTPG increased the levels of phospho-AMP-activated protein kinase and phospho-sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c in liver, further to suppress the downstream lipogenic genes as stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1, glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase 2, and diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2. In addition, LRTPG increased the hydrolysis of circulating TG by up-regulating lipoprotein lipase activities. These results indicate that LRTPG prevents hyperlipidemia via activation of hepatic AMP-activated protein kinase-sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c pathway.
Drug resistance represents a major obstacle to improving the overall response and survival of cancer patients. Taxol is one of the most commonly used chemotherapy agents in breast cancer. As with many cancer therapeutic agents, resistance remains a significant problem when using Taxol to treat malignancies. In this study, estrogen receptor positive breast cancer cells MCF-7 were induced Taxol resistance. And Tanshinone IIA combined with Taxol was chosen to treat it. The drugs combination showed additive effect in most drug concentrations. Drug resistance cancer cells showed a higher microtubule associated protein (Tau) expression, which was considered as one of the reasons for Taxol resistance. Tanshinone IIA inhibited the expression of Tau in MCF-7 cells and resulted in higher sensibility of Taxol. Moreover, Tanshinone IIA also showed cytotoxicity to MCF-7, which might be related to its estrogenicity effect. In conclusion, the combination of Tanshinone IIA and Taxol showed higher cytotoxicity to Taxol resistant MCF-7 cells, which might be related to the inhibition of Tau.