Ethnopharmacological relevance: Kai-Xin-San (KXS), an ancient formula composed of Ginseng Radix et Rhizoma, Polygalae Radix, Acori Tatarinowii Rhizoma and Poria, was frequently applied for Alzheimer's disease and major depression disorders for thousands of years. However, its active components and molecular mechanism have not clearly been investigated. Aim of the study: We aimed to reveal the active components of KXS on regulating neurotrophic factor NGF and BDNF expressions and its mechanisms on mouse astrocyte primary cultures. Materials and methods: Extracts of KXS had been prepared by water reflux and chemical standardization was carried out by HPLC-MS/MS. Various ethanol elution components were prepared by eluting ethanol on macro pore resin column and compound identification was carried out by high-resolution mass spectrometry. KXS extract, elution components and identified chemicals were applied on mouse astrocytes and expressions of NGF and BDNF and related metabolic enzymes were analyzed by qPCR and western blotting analysis. Results: One compatible ratio of KXS named D-652 exerted the best effect on stimulation of NGF and BDNF expressions on mouse astrocytes. 70% ethanol elution fraction of D-652 exerted the highest increase tendency on expressions of NGF and BDNF by activating cAMP-dependent signaling pathway as well as stimulating enzymes accounting for neurotrophic factor synthesis. Combined with compound identification by high-resolution mass spectrometry, ginsenoside Rg(1) and Rb-1 might be the active compounds of this fraction on increasing NGF and BDNF expressions. Conclusions: The active compounds of KXS on increasing NGF and BDNF expressions might be the ginsenosides via activating cAMP-dependent signaling pathway as well as stimulating enzymes accounting for neurotrophic factor synthesis, which partly reveal the target of this formulae supported the clinically usage of this decoction.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Endemic to China, the distribution of Schisandra sphenanthera Rehder & E.H. Wilson includes giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca David, 1869) habitats in forests of the Minshan and Qinling Mountains, both inside and outside conservation areas. The fruit is used in indigenous medicines of the Qiang, Tibetan and Yi ethnic minorities of Sichuan. Also used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), indications for use are prescribed in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. For continued access and medical use, survival of healthy populations depends on forests. Biodiversity conservation programmes implemented in forests within the panda landscapes that also benefit rural and indigenous communities, link future access to wild medicinal plants with survival of the panda and resilient rural economies. Aims of the study: This study aimed at assessing the project activities, institutional-level outcomes and achievements, 10 years on, of the 5-year (2007-2011) UNDP-and WWF-supported EU-China Biodiversity Programme for sustainable, "panda-friendly" schisandra. Materials and methods: Our study combined analysis of quantitative data such as purchase records coupled with qualitative data obtained from field work, project documents, site-visit reports, certification documents and published articles about the project. Results: At start of project, interested companies were identified to support economic viability of the sustainable wild harvesting and a "panda friendly" pro-conservation model that provided an incentive to maintain habitat outside formal protected areas. Criteria of relevant sustainability standards, the Organic Wild-crop Harvesting Practice Standard and FairWild Standard, were applied while a new standard was drafted, the Giant Panda Friendly Products Standard. The initial pilot project involving 1 village determined feasibility leading to formation of the Pingwu Shuijing TCM Cooperative which, by 2016, scaled out to membership of 22 villages. From the cooperative's first commercial sale of S. sphenanthera Rehder & E.H.Wilson fruits of 0.5 MT in 2009, annual quantities steadily increased up to 30 MT sold in 2017. The cooperative achieved organic certification in 2012. In 2016, governmental authorisation for the certification of Chinese operations implementing the FairWild Standard was granted. In 2017, the Giant Panda Friendly Products Standard became an official Chinese standard with the cooperative becoming the first panda-friendly certified operation in 2018. Conclusions: A decade after the project first started, there is strong evidence for the pro-conservation micro-and small enterprise model. For example, through the establishment of a TCM cooperative with members in 22 villages engaged in sustainable resource management, harvesting and equitable trade of TCM ingredients with organic and panda-friendly branding. The project benefited from multi-disciplinary collaboration of experts in ethnoecology, TCM, panda biology and habitat, nature conservation, sustainability standards and international trade. Inviting interested companies at the start enabled a transition from a funded-project to annual contracts for sustainably harvested TCM herbal drugs. At end of project (2011), the companies and NGOs remained engaged and motivating for completion of activities started during the project. Major eventual outcomes rooted in the initial project included Chinese government authorisation of the FairWild Standard (2016) and Giant Panda Friendly Products Standard (2017).
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Xuebijing injection (XBJ), a Chinese patent medicine that was approved for treating sepsis in China in 2004, consists of Carthamus tinctorius L. (Carthami Flos, hong hua), Paeonia lactiflora Pall. (Paeoniae Radix Rubra, chi shao), Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. (Chuanxiong Rhizoma, chuan xiong), Salvia miltiorrhiza Bge. (Salviae Miltiorrhizae Radix Et Rhizoma, dan Shen) and Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels (Angelicae Sinensis Radix, dang gui). Aim of the study: This study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of XBJ combined with routine treatment (RT) for treating sepsis through systematic review and meta-analysis. Materials and methods: Databases including Embase, PubMed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chinese Science and Technology Journal Database (VIP) and the Wanfang database were searched from inception to June 6, 2017 to collect relevant RCTs comparing XBJ combined with RT and RT alone for sepsis. The primary clinical outcomes were 28-day mortality and mortality during treatment. The secondary outcomes of our study included APACHE II scores, WBC counts, body temperature, and adverse events or reactions. We excluded low-quality studies (Jadad score < 3) and calculated risk ratios (RR) for primary outcomes with fixed effects models. We assessed quality of evidence using the grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) approach. Results: We identified 1602 records, and 16 RCTs (1144 patients) were included. Moderate-quality evidence suggested that combined therapy reduced 28-day mortality (934/1144, RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.51-0.76 P < 0.000 01, I-2 = 0%), APACHE II scores (792/1144, MD -3.53, 95% CI -4.49 to -2.54; P < 0.000 01, I-2 = 59%) and body temperature (362/1144, MD -0.43, 95% CI -0.55 to -0.31; P < 0.000 01, I-2 = 0%). Very low-quality evidence showed that WBC count improved with combined medication at high dosages (one study included, 40/1144, MD -8.00, 95% CI -10.18 to -5.82), but there was no reduction at moderate dosages (230/1144, MD -2.38, 95% CI -5.01 to 0.25; P = 0.08, I-2 = 70%). However, moderate-quality evidence indicated positive results with low dosages (142/1144, MD -2.88, 95% CI -3.79 to -1.96; P < 0.000 01, I-2 = 0%). Nevertheless, due to the insufficient number of studies and the poor quality of the current evidence, more studies of dose-effect relationships and safety concerns of XBJ are needed. Low-quality evidence showed no risk difference for mortality during treatment (210/1144, RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.36-1.17; P = 0.15, I-2 = 0%). Conclusions: This study suggested that supplementation with XBJ in addition to regular treatment may improve the 28-day mortality rate, APACHE II scores, WBC count and body temperature of sepsis patients without serious adverse events, but it may not reduce mortality during treatment, revealing a specific, remote effect of traditional Chinese medicine. However, given the high risk of bias and the low quality of the included trials, we may be unable to draw any conclusions about its routine use. Rigorously designed, multicentre, large-scale, methodologically sound trials are warranted.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: The dried roots of Sophora flavescens Ait. (Leguminosae) is traditionally used as antipyretic medicine to reduce inflammation. It is well known that alkaloids and flavonoids are the main constituents of S. flavescens. However, the clinical researches and applications of S. flavescens is mainly based on its water-extracted alkaloids, its flavonoids may still remain in residues and have been underused. With development and manufacturing of S. flavescens in recent years, more herb residues are being produced. Since they are typically treated as waste and dumped openly in landfill sites, which can cause pollution, there is a great need to explore these wastes as recyclable resources and increase their added value. To date, whether other bioactive components would be found in the residues of S. flavescens is still unknown. If the extraction method of these active ingredients was established, the residues of S. flavescens could be turned from the harm to a benefit and make great sense of the comprehensive utilization of S. fiavescens resources. This study aimed to establish an extraction method of the residues of S. flavescens and investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of it both in vivo and in vitro. Materials and methods: Dried S. flavescens were decocted with distilled water firstly, then the residues were powdered and extracted with ethyl acetate by using ultrasonic wave. HPLC was utilized to analyze the chemical constituents of the water extracts of S. flavescens (WSF) and the ethyl acetate extracts of residues of S. flavescens (RSF). In vivo, the anti-inflammatory effect of WSF and RSF were evaluated using the xylene-induced auricle edema, acetic acid-induced peritoneal permeability and carrageenan-induced hind paw edema methods. In vitro, the inhibitory activities of WSF and RSF on NO, TNF-alpha, IL-6 and MCP-1 production of LPS-treated RAW264.7 cells were measured. Results: The major ingredients of RSF were flavonoids, while WSF almost had no flavonoids. In vivo, WSF and RSF (200 mg/kg) could significantly inhibit the edema in the xylene-induced mice auricle edema and carrageenan-induced hind paw edema as well as the peritoneal permeability increased by acetic acid. They can also lower production levels of PGE(2) in inflamed paw tissues. In vitro experimental results showed that RSF (25-100 mu g/mL) could significantly inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines NO, TNF-alpha, IL-6 and MCP-1 on LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells. The in vitro suppress effect of WSF had no dose-response relationship. Conclusions: The residues of S. flavescens had obvious flavonoids with anti-inflammatory activity. This study provided evidence for the reuse of residues from S. fiavescens in the food additive, medicine and cosmetic industries.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Sijunzi decoction (SJZD) is a classic recipe in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to strengthen the spleen and replenish Qi. It is well known for treating disorders of gastrointestinal function manifested in poor appetite, reduced food intake and loose stools. Polysaccharide is the most abundant constituent and the major effective component in SJZD. Aim of the study: The present study aimed to understand the immunomodulatory mechanism of S-3-1, a homogeneous polysaccharide purified from SJZD with immune-enhancement activity, by investigating its effects on human intestinal microbes and short chain fatty acids. Materials and methods: S-3-1 was incubated with simulated gastric juice, intestinal juice, and human fecal microflora independently and sequentially. The concentrations of total polysaccharide and reducing sugar were measured to identify the stability of independently and sequentially incubated S-3-1 in three in vitro fermentation models. Gas chromatograph (GC) analysis was used to measure the short chain fatty acid (SCFA) contents in human fecal samples. The human gut microbiota composition was measured by 16S rRNA gene Illumina MiSeq sequencing (V3-V4 region). Results: S-3-1 was degraded in three in vitro fermentation models separately and sequentially. Both S-3-1 and incubated S-3-1 could regulate the abundances of Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Streptococcus, Bacteroides, Enterococcus, Clostridium and Dorea in human intestinal microflora samples. Specifically, S-3-1 could only regulate the abundances of Paraprevotella and Oscillospira, while the influenced flora changed to Butyricimonas, Coprococcus, Dialister, Sutterella, Ruminococcus and Parabacteroides after sequential incubation of S-3-1. In contrast to S-3-1 showing no influence on the content of SCFA, incubated S-3-1 showed increased contents of acetic acid and total acid that were associated with its effects on the abundances of Enterococcus, Sutterella, Butyricimonas and Streptococcus. Conclusion: S-3-1 plays an immunomodulatory role by regulating the abundances of 9 intestinal bacteria genera. Incubated S-3-1 can regulate more bacteria genera, a total of 13 kinds, and can adjust the SCFA content to affect immunomodulation. Incubation with gastric and intestinal juices enhanced S-3-1's capability of modulating the intestinal flora composition and decreased the bacteria's need for a carbon source. This study could provide new insights for studies on the pharmacological mechanisms of polysaccharides in vitro.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Cerebrovascular diseases (CBVDs), characterized by striking morbidity and mortality, have become the most common life-threatening diseases. The existing drugs of CBVDs target one or a few of pathogenic factors, the efficacy of which is limited because of the complexity of CBVDs. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), featured by multi-component and multi-target endows the great effectiveness in CBVDs treatment. For instance, Erigeron breviscapus (vans) Hand. Mazz. (Erigeron breviscapus) has been used to treat CBVDs for a long time and the efficacy has been verified through years' of practice. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of Erigeron breviscapus for treating CBVDs are still unclear. The aim of the study: Systematically decipher the mechanisms of Erigeron breviscapus for treating CBVDs. Materials and methods: The systems pharmacology approach is utilized by integrating ADME pharmacokinetic screening, target fishing, protein-protein interaction (PPI), network analysis and in vitro experiments verification. Results: First, 14 potentially active molecules were screened out through in silico ADME pharmacokinetic evaluation, most of which have been reported with excellent biological activities. Then 169 targets of active molecules were read out using our in-house softwares, systems drug targeting (sysDT) and Weighted Ensemble Similarity(WES). We found that the targets of the active compounds were significantly enriched to the CBVDs therapeutic targets by analyzing their biological processes and protein-protein interactions (PPIs). A multi-layer network analysis including compound-target network, target-pathway network and "CBVDs pathway" indicated that the Erigeron breviscapus exerts a protective effect on CBVDs via regulating multiple pathways and hitting on multiple targets. Meanwhile in vitro experiments confirmed that the stigmasterol, scutellarein, and daucosterol from Erigeron breviscapus increased the MEK and PLCy proteins levels, and decreased the expression of Bax, PI3K, and eNOS, which led to the cell survival, proliferation and contraction. Conclusion: The approach used in this work offers a new exemplification for systematically understanding the mechanisms of herbal medicines, which will give an impulse to the CBVDs drug development.
Ethnopharrnacological relevance: Nowadays, bronchial asthma is still a severe disease threatening human health, and it is incumbent upon us to seek effective therapeutic drugs. Mahuang decoction (MHD), a classic famous Chinese prescription, has been used for thousands of years to prevent phlegm from forming, stop coughing and relieve asthma, but the relevant mechanism has not been thoroughly clarified. This study aims to investigate the anti-airway inflammation effect of MHD and the possible molecular mechanism underlying IL21/STAT3 signaling pathway, so as to provide guidance for the treatment of MHD on bronchial asthma. Materials and methods: Specific pathogen free SD rats were randomly divided into 6 groups: normal control group, model group, positive group (Compound methoxyphenamine), MHD-treated groups at doses of 10 ml/kg, 5 ml/kg and 2.5 ml/kg, 10 rats in each group. Except for the normal control group, rats in other groups were sensitized with ovalbumin via introperitoneal injection and challenged with ovalbumin inhalation to trigger asthma model. At 24 h after the last excitation, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of every rat was drawn and the number of inflammatory cells was analyzed using cell counting method. ELISA method was performed to determine the concentrations of TXB2, 6-keto-PGF(1 alpha) MMP-9, TIMP-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5 and TNF-alpha in rat serum. The protein expressions of IL-21, IL-21R, STAT3 and p-STAT3 in murine pulmonary tissues were assessed with western blotting analysis. Results: Compared with the control group, the airway wall and airway smooth muscle of murine pulmonary tissues significantly thickened and massive inflammatory cells infiltration occurred around the bronchus in the model group, and the cell counts of WBC and EOS in BALF were also apparently increased, which indicated the rat asthma model was successfully established. MHD or Compound methoxyphenamine not only alleviated the pulmonary inflammatory pathological damages, but also down- regulated the numbers of WBC and EOS in BALF. What's more, the levels of TXB2, MMP-9, TIMP-1, ILs-(2, 4, 5) and TNF-a in rat serum were lessened by the treatment of MHD. In western blotting analysis, treatment with 10 ml/kg or 5 ml/kg MHD markedly declined the increased protein expressions of IL-21, IL-21R, STAT3 and p-STAT3 in lung tissues of asthmatic rats to normal level. Conclusion: MHD intervention demonstrated a strong inhibitory action on the secretion of inflammatory mediators as well as the inflammatory cell infiltration in pulmonary tissues of asthmatic rats, and also depressed the protein expressions of IL-21, IL-21R, STAT3 and p-STAT3 in pulmonary tissues. MHD effectively mitigates airway inflammation and regulates the IL-21/STAT3 signaling pathway in rat asthma model.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Oxidative stress is a prominent feature of clinical acute pancreatitis (AP). Coreopsis tinctoria has been used traditionally to treat pancreas disorders like diabetes mellitus in China and Portugal and its flavonoid-rich fraction contain the main phytochemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Aim of the study: To investigate the effects of flavonoids isolated from C. tinctoria on experimental AP and explore the potential mechanism. Materials and methods: LC-MS based online technique was used to analyse and isolate targeted flavonoids from C. tinctoria. Freshly isolated mouse pancreatic acinar cells were treated with taurocholic acid sodium salt hydrate (NaT, 5 mM) with or without flavonoids. Fluorescence microscopy and a plate reader were used to determine necrotic cell death pathway activation (propidium iodide), reactive oxygen species (ROS) production (H2-DCFDA) and ATP depletion (luminescence) where appropriate. AP was induced by 7 repeated intraperitoneal caerulein injections (50 mu g/kg) at hourly interval in mice or retrograde infusion of taurolithocholic acid 3-sulfate disodium salt (TLCS; 5 mM, 50 mu L) into the pancreatic duct in mice or infusion of NaT (3.5%, 1 mL/kg) in rats. A flavonoid was intraperitoneally administered at 0, 4, and 8 h after the first caerulein injection or post-operation. Disease severity, oxidative stress and antioxidant markers were determined. Results: Total flavonoids extract and flavonoids w1-6 (C1-C6) exhibited different capacities in reducing necrotic cell death pathway activation with 0.5 mM Cl, (2 R,3 R)-taxifolin 7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, having the best effect. Cl also significantly reduced NaT-induced ROS production and ATP depletion. Cl at 12.5 mg/kg and 8.7 mg/kg (equivalent to 12.5 mg/kg for mice) significantly reduced histopathological, biochemical and immunological parameters in the caerulein-, TLCS- and NaT-induced AP models, respectively. Cl administration increased pancreatic nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and Nrf2-medicated haeme oxygenase-1 expression and elevated pancreatic antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase levels. Conclusions: Flavonoid Cl from C. tinctoria was protective in experimental AP and this effect may at least in part be attributed to its antioxidant effects by activation of Nrf2-mediated pathways. These results suggest the potential utilisation of C. tinctoria to treat AP.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Periploca forrestii Schltr. is a popular folk medicine in china, commonly prescribed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and wounds. The present research aimed to evaluate the effects of HLG on wound healing and reveal the potential active constituents. Materials and methods: The wound healing activity was assessed by proliferation of fibroblast, migration and collagen production using L929 cells. A reliable HPLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS method was constructed for the systematic identification and characterization of main components in HLG. For further clarifying the potential active ingredients responsible for wound healing, total extract was separated by D101 macroporous resin. The fraction with strongest potency on wound healing was screened out by comparing with total extract. Finally, a new quantitative method was developed for determination of four typical cardiac glycosides in HLG by LC-MS. Results: The results showed that the total extract significantly promoted proliferation of fibroblast L929 up to 168% at 50 mu g/ml. It also notably enhanced L929 migration on day 2 up to 56% and stimulated collagen release (96.1 mu g/ml) at 50 mu g/ml. A total of 38 compounds were identified or tentatively characterized by HPLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS based on reference substances or literatures. The separation by D101 macroporous adsorption resin led to the identification of 65 ethanol eluate as the most effective fraction. The data suggested that it could markedly promote L929 growth (174% of control), accelerate wound contraction (63% on day 2) and stimulate collagen generation (103.7 mu g/ml) at 50 mu g/ml, all of which were comparable to those of total extract. Interestingly, the HPLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS analysis revealed that the 65 ethanol fraction was mainly composed of cardiac glycosides. Finally, the new quantitative method was successfully utilized for detection of four typical cardiac glycosides in HLG, showing good performance in terms of analytical methodology. Conclusion: The present study identified the cardiac glycosides as potential active constituents associated with wound healing and might afford a chemical foundation for preparation development of crude drug and quality evaluation of relevant products.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Trichosanthis Fructus (ripe fruits of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim. and Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms) is an essential traditional Chinese medicine to treat thoracic obstruction, angina, cardiac failure, myocardial infarction, pulmonary heart disease, some cerebral ischaemic diseases, etc. The present report reviews the advancements in research on the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Trichosanthis Fructus. Finally, perspectives on future research and its possible directions are discussed. Aim of the study: This review provides up-to-date information about the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, toxicity and quality control of Trichosanthis Fructus and discusses the perspectives on future research and possible directions of this traditional Chinese Medicine and its origin plants. Materials and methods: The information on Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim. and Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms was collected from published scientific materials, including books; monographs on medicinal plants; pharmacopoeia and electronic databases such as SCI finder, PubMed, Web of Science, ACS, Science Direct, Wiley, Springer, Taylor, CNKI and Google Scholar. Results: Approximately 162 compounds, including terpenoids, phytosterols, flavonoids, nitrogenous compounds and lignans, have been isolated and identified from Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim. and Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms. Numerous studies have shown that the extracts and compounds isolated from these two plants exhibit pharmacological activities, including protection against myocardial ischaemia, calcium antagonist, endothelial cell protection, anti-hypoxic, anti-platelet aggregation, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic and antioxidant. Conclusions: Trichosanthis Fructus is an essential traditional Chinese medicine with pharmacological activities that mainly affect the cardiovascular system. This review summarises its botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology. Future research is needed to clarify the different uses of the seeds, pericarps and fruits. Quality control of investigations of the fruits should be improved, and the potential uses of the flesh, leaves and twigs should be further explored.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: According to ancient traditional Chinese medicine, Typhae Pollen (TP) is commonly used to treat fundus haemorrhage because it improves blood circulation. Aims of the study: This study evaluated the role of the main TP component, polysaccharides (TPP), on diabetic retinopathy (DR) and its possible mechanisms of inhibiting inflammation and improving blood circulation. Materials and methods: After successful establishment of a diabetic rat model, TPP was administered to diabetic rats for treatment, and the rats were sacrificed at 12 weeks. Retinal electrophysiology and ultrastructures were observed, and serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels were also measured. Changes in the retinal expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) were examined by immunofluorescence. A mouse model of acute blood stasis was then established, and the effects of TPP on haemorheology were observed. The anti-inflammatory effect of TPP was analysed based on the changes in abdominal capillary permeability and the degree of auricle swelling in the mice. Results: In streptozotocin (STZ)-induced DR rats, TPP (0.4 g/kg) treatment restored electrophysiology indexes and retinal ultrastructures, reduced serum IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels, decreased VEGF and bFGF expression in retinal tissues, and improved haemorheology indexes. Moreover, TPP reduced abdominal capillary permeability and relieved auricle swelling in a dose-dependent manner. Conclusions: TPP treatment ameliorated DR by inhibiting inflammation and improving blood circulation.
Ethnophannacological relevance: Traditional Chinese medicine has been utilized for the treatment of cancer. Jianpi Jiedu decoction (JPJD), a traditional Chinese medicine formula, has been used for the treatment of colorectal cancer for decades. However, the underlying molecular mechanistic basis for the effect of JPJD on colorectal cancer is poorly understood. Aim of the study: The aim of this study was to identify the effects of JPJD on human colon cancer cells in vitro as well as in vivo and to investigate the mechanistic basis for the anticancer effect of JPJD. Materials and methods: The in vitro antitumor activity of JPJD was assessed by MTT assay, flow cytometric analysis, wound-healing assay, transwell assays, and tube formation assays in order to assess cell activity, apoptosis, migration, invasion, and angiogenesis, respectively. The anticancer properties of JPJD in vivo were assessed by immunohistochemistry in a nude mouse xenograft model of HCT116 cells. In addition, the level of mTOR/HIF-1 alpha/VEGF signaling pathway proteins in HCT116 cells and tumor tissue was evaluated by immunoblotting. Results: In vitro, JPJD significantly inhibited colorectal cancer cell lines viability and proliferation. Flow cytometry analysis demonstrated JPJD to induce HCT116 cell apoptosis. Additionally, JPJD effectively suppressed tumor cell migration, invasion, and angiogenesis by inhibiting the mTOR/HIF-1 alpha/VEGF signaling pathway. In vivo, JPJD significantly inhibited HCT116 tumor growth in athymic nude mice, decreased the levels of CD34 as well as VEGF, and downregulated the mTOR/HIF-1 alpha/VEGF pathway. Conclusions: JPJD treatment produced anti-colorectal tumor effects by inhibiting tumorigenesis, metastasis, as well as angiogenesis through the mTOR/HIF-1 alpha/VEGF pathway. Thus, these results provide a strong rationale for the therapeutic use of JPJD in cancer treatment. Further studies are required to investigate the mechanisms underlying anti-CRC effect of JPJD.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: The dried rhizomes of Paris polyphylla var. yunnanensis are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as hemostatic, antitumor, and antimicrobial agents. More than 70 Chinese patent medicines are based on P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis rhizomes. Steroidal saponins are considered as the main active ingredients of these rhizomes. However, wild populations of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis are greatly threatened due to the illegal wild harvest and over-utilization of the rhizomes. In contrast, the renewable above-ground parts (leaves and stems) of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis are usually thrown away as waste material, whether from wild or cultivated material. Aim of the study: The aim of this study was to use HPLC analyses of chemical constituents and bioactive assays to assess whether the above-ground parts could be an alternative source of active ingredients to the rhizomes of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis. Materials and methods: The saponin components of the rhizomes and above-ground parts of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis were analyzed by HPLC-UV. The total saponins extracted from the rhizomes and above-ground parts of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis were evaluated for their hemostatic, cytotoxic, and antimicrobial activities by using the rabbit blood in vitro based on turbidimetric method, MTT assay method, and a dilution antimicrobial susceptibility test method, respectively. Results: Four bioactive spirostanol saponins (paris saponins I, II, VI, and VII) were detected in the total saponins from the rhizomes and above-ground parts of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis, which indicated they should have similar pharmacological properties. The bioactive assays revealed that both the parts of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis exhibited the same hemostatic, cytotoxic, and antimicrobial effects. Conclusion: Our results revealed that based on saponin content in the above-ground parts of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis and the requirements stipulated in 2015 of Chinese Pharmacopoeia, the above-ground parts (especially its leaves) can be an alternative and more sustainable source of active ingredients compared to the rhizomes.
Etlumpharmacological relevance: Although quantitative surveys of traditional medicine markets are widely used to gain insights into the economic value, popularity or conservation status of traditional medicinal species, there have been very few repeat surveys. This study is an exception. The research was carried out in Sanyuejie Market in North-west Yunnan Province in China for three reasons. Firstly, Sanyuejie Market is large and historically significant, having operated since the Tang Dynasty (794 CE). Secondly, Sanyuejie Market is located along the "Tea-Horse Road" and "Southern Silk Road", and as such the trade from this market radiates widely throughout China and into neighboring countries such as Myanmar, Nepal and India. Thirdly, a comprehensive and systematic survey of the market was completed in 1987/88 and so this provided a unique opportunity to conduct a repeat quantitative survey. The findings, highlighting changes in species sold and the reasons why the changes have occurred, are highly relevant to ethnopharmacology at a time of substantial socio-economic and cultural change throughout China. Aim of the study: To understand the changes in the medicinal plants trade at Sanyuejie Market between 1987/88 and 2012/13. Materials and methods: A quantitative ethnobotanical re-surveying involving literature review, key informant interviews and visual observations of vendor booths at the market and village investigations, was carried out in Sanyuejie. Results: In 1987/88, 401 types of herbal preparations derived from 505 species in 111 families and 315 genera were sold in the market. In 2012/13, 623 herbal preparations derived from 709 species in 173 families and 451 genera were being sold. There were 105 types of herbal preparations originating from 115 species that were recorded in 1987/88 but are no longer sold at the market 25 years later. In addition, 326 types of herbal medicine preparations originating from 336 species have been added to the market since the original survey. Labor divisions have also appeared in the market. Conclusion This study validates that the diversity of herbal medicines sold at Sanyuejie Market has increased and changed greatly. The growing demands for traditional herbal medicines combined with government initiatives to develop the local economy are drivers of the observed changes.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Trade in medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) between Nepal and China has taken place for centuries along the Tibetan border. While there is anecdotal evidence that economic development in China over the past decades, coupled with regional infrastructure development and increasing market integration, has substantially changed this trade, there are no current published studies investigating this, e.g. in terms of species and market structure. This knowledge gap impedes the development of public interventions, e.g. in support of sustainable trade. Aim of this study: The primary objective of this study is to provide the first informative insights into the Nepal China trade in MAPs, with particular emphasis on the value chain in Tibet. Methods and materials: Data was collected from December 2015 to August 2016 in Nepal and Tibet. The data collection included standardized questionnaires to understand and map the value chain of MAPs, including the actors involved and key governance issues. Data was collected from Katmandu-based MAPs wholesalers exporting from Nepal to China, (n = 6) and with regional wholesalers (n = 40) based in Tibet. The questionnaires contained quantitative and qualitative components focusing on key elements of the MAPs value chain, e.g. the traded species and their values. This was augmented with qualitative interviews with Lhasa-based processors (n = 4) and government officials (n = 12) working in border controls, customs, and/or drug administration. We also collected official statistics on the Nepal-China MAPs trade and conducted a workshop in Lhasa with traders and government officials to discuss the nature of the Nepal-China MAPs trade. Results: The Nepal-China MAPs trade boomed after 2011 when the value of traded plants increased more than nine-fold. This rapid increase reflected both a broader species composition and higher unit prices in response to increasing demand from China. The trade expansion was also driven by increasing demand in China and facilitated by improved infrastructure in Nepal and Tibet, including direct flight connections for the transport of high-value products. Official records on both sides of the border under-document both the value and the volume of the trade, implying that much of it is extra-legal. The value chain is thus governed by both legal and extra-legal mechanisms. Conclusion: This study provides the first structured overview of the current trade in commercial MAPs from Nepal to China. While the trade is thriving, growing in both volume and value to the benefit of producers in Nepal and consumers in China, there is little empirical data or research to support policy formulation on sustainable trading. This study provides informative insights into the value chain and makes public policy recommendations to increase the transparency and sustainability of trade by improving traditional border markets and removing market barriers.