Previous studies of Gynura procumbens (G. procumbens) have shown that partially purified fractions of the leaves are capable of lowering the blood pressure of rats by inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzymic activity and causing vasodilatation. The objectives of this study were therefore to further purify the active compounds that exhibited selective effects on blood vessels, determine the mechanism of actions, and to qualitatively analyse the putative compounds present.
The butanolic fraction (BU) of the crude ethanolic extract was purified using column chromatography to obtain several sub-fractions of different polarities. The in vitro effects of BU and the sub-fractions on vascular tension were subsequently determined using isolated rat thoracic aortic rings. The most potent sub-fraction (F1) alone was then investigated for its mechanisms of the vasorelaxant activity. In another experiment, thin-layer chromatography was used to qualitatively analyse the active compounds found in F1.
The BU and the sub-fractions ranging from 10-7 to 10-2 g/ml significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited the sustained tonic contractions induced by phenylephrine and potassium chloride in a concentration-dependent manner with various degree of potency. The most potent sub-fraction (F1) antagonised the calcium-induced vasocontractions (1 x 10-4 – 1 x 10-2 M) in calcium-free with high concentration of potassium as well as in calcium- and potassium-free Krebs-Henseleit solutions. Contractions induced by noradrenaline and caffeine were not affected by F1. The vasorelaxing effect caused by F1 was significantly attenuated with preincubation of potassium channel blockers (glibenclamide and 4-aminopyridine) and prostacyclin inhibitor (indomethacin) while it was not affected by preincubation with tetraethylammonium, l-nitro-arginine methyl esther, propanolol, atropine, oxadiazolo quinoxalin one and methylene blue. The qualitative phytochemical analysis of F1 indicated the presence of flavonoids.
These results confirm previous findings that G. procumbens causes vasodilatory effects by blocking calcium channels. In addition, the present study further demonstrates that the vasodilatory effect of G. procumbens may also be due to the opening of potassium channels and the stimulation of prostacyclin production. The putative compounds are probably flavonoids in nature.
Gynura procumbens; Vasodilation; Calcium channel; Potassium channel; Prostacylin
It has been supposed that green tea polyphenols (GTPs) have neuroprotective effects on brain damage after brain ischemia in animal experiments. Little is known regarding GTPs’ protective effects against the blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption after ischemic stroke. We investigated the effects of GTPs on the expression of claudin-5, occludin, and ZO-1, and the corresponding cellular mechanisms involved in the early stage of cerebral ischemia.
Male Wistar rats were subjected to a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 0, 30, 60, and 120 min. GTPs (400 mg/kg/day) or vehicle was administered by intragastric gavage twice a day for 30 days prior to MCAO. At different time points, the expression of claudin-5, occludin, ZO-1, and PKCα signaling pathway in microvessel fragments of cerebral ischemic tissue were evaluated.
GTPs reduced BBB permeability at 60 min and 120 min after ischemia as compared with the vehicle group. Transmission electron microscopy also revealed that GTPs could reverse the opening of tight junction (TJ) barrier at 60 min and 120 min after MACO. The decreased mRNA and protein expression levels of claudin-5, occludin, and ZO-1 in microvessel fragments of cerebral ischemic tissue were significantly prevented by treatment with GTPs at the same time points after ischemia in rats. Furthermore, GTPs could attenuate the increase in the expression levels of PKCα mRNA and protein caused by cerebral ischemia.
These results demonstrate that GTPs may act as a potential neuroprotective agent against BBB damage at the early stage of focal cerebral ischemia through the regulation of TJ and PKCα signaling.
Green tea polyphenols; Cerebral ischemia; Blood–brain barrier; Tight junction; Protein kinase Cα
Total glucosides of paeony (TGP) is a biologically active compound extracted from Paeony root. TGP has been used in rheumatoid arthritis therapy for many years. However, the mechanism by which TGP prevents bone loss has been less explored.
TGP was orally administered for 3 months to New Zealand rabbits with antigen-induced arthritis (AIA). Digital x-ray knee images and bone mineral density (BMD) measurements of the subchondral knee bone were performed before sacrifice. Chondrocytes were observed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Histological analysis and mRNA expression of receptor activator of nuclear factor-B ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) were evaluated in joint tissues.
The BMD value in TGP rabbits was significantly higher compared with that seen in the AIA model rabbits. In addition, the subchondral bone plate was almost completely preserved by TGP treatment, while there was a decrease in bone plate integrity in AIA rabbits. There was less damage to the chondrocytes of the TGP treated group. Immunohistochemical examination of the TGP group showed that a higher percentage of TGP treated chondrocytes expressed OPG as compared to the chondrocytes isolated from AIA treated animals. In contrast, RANKL expression was significantly decreased in the TGP treated group compared to the AIA group. In support of the immunohistochemistry data, the expression of RANKL mRNA was decreased and OPG mRNA expression was enhanced in the TGP group when compared to that of the AIA model group.
These results reveal that TGP suppresses juxta-articular osteoporosis and prevents subchondral bone loss. The decreased RANKL and increased OPG expression seen in TGP treated animals could explain how administration of TGP maintains higher BMD.
Juxta-articular; Osteoporosis; Rheumatoid arthritis; Receptor activator of nuclear factor-B ligand; Total glucosides of paeony
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common and aggressive cancer, and the treatment options are limited for patients with advanced HCC. Bufalin, the major digoxin-like component of the traditional Chinese medicine Chansu, exhibits significant anti-tumor activities in many tumor cell lines. In the present study, we investigated the effect of bufalin on the inhibition of an AKT-related signaling pathway, and examined the relationship between regulatory proteins and anti-tumor effects in hepatoma cells.
Proliferation, wound healing, transwell-migration/invasion and adhesion assays were performed in HCCLM3 and HepG2 cell lines. The protein levels of pAKT, AKT, pGSK3β, GSK3β, pβ-catenin, β-catenin, E-cadherin, MMP-9, and MMP-2 were measured by western blot analysis. E-Cadherin and β-catenin expression levels were also evaluated by immunofluorescence.
Bufalin inhibited hepatoma cell proliferation, migration, invasion and adhesion. In addition, treatment with bufalin significantly decreased the levels of pAKT, pGSK3β, MMP-9, and MMP-2, while increasing the levels of GSK3β and E-cadherin and suppressing the nuclear translocation of β-catenin.
Bufalin is a potential anti-HCC therapeutic candidate through its inhibition of the AKT/GSK3β/β-catenin/E-cadherin signaling pathway. Further studies with bufalin are warranted in patients with HCC, especially those with the disease at advanced stages.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Bufalin; Proliferation; Invasion; AKT signaling pathway
Propolis is a resin collected by bees from plant buds and exudates, which is further processed through the activity of bee enzymes. Propolis has been shown to possess many biological and pharmacological properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, immunostimulant and antitumor activities. Due to this bioactivity profile, this resin can become an alternative, economic and safe source of natural bioactive compounds.
Antitumor action has been reported in vitro and in vivo for propolis extracts or its isolated compounds; however, Portuguese propolis has been little explored. The aim of this work was to evaluate the in vitro antitumor activity of Portuguese propolis on the human colon carcinoma cell line HCT-15, assessing the effect of different fractions (hexane, chloroform and ethanol residual) of a propolis ethanol extract on cell viability, proliferation, metabolism and death.
Propolis from Angra do Heroísmo (Azores) was extracted with ethanol and sequentially fractionated in solvents with increasing polarity, n-hexane and chloroform. To assess cell viability, cell proliferation and cell death, Sulforhodamine B, BrDU incorporation assay and Anexin V/Propidium iodide were used, respectively. Glycolytic metabolism was estimated using specific kits.
All propolis samples exhibited a cytotoxic effect against tumor cells, in a dose- and time-dependent way. Chloroform fraction, the most enriched in phenolic compounds, appears to be the most active, both in terms of inhibition of viability and cell death. Data also show that this cytotoxicity involves disturbance in tumor cell glycolytic metabolism, seen by a decrease in glucose consumption and lactate production.
Our results show that Portuguese propolis from Angra do Heroísmo (Azores) can be a potential therapeutic agent against human colorectal cancer.
Antitumor activity; Colorectal cancer; Glycolytic metabolism; HCT-15 cells; Propolis
Leptospirosis, one of the most widespread zoonotic infectious diseases worldwide, is caused by spirochetes bacteria of the genus Leptospira. The present study examined inhibitory activity of purified xanthones and crude extracts from Garcinia mangostana against both non-pathogenic and pathogenic leptospira. Synergy between γ-mangostin and penicillin G against leptospires was also determined.
Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of crude extracts and purified xanthones from G. mangostana and penicillin G for a non-pathogenic (L. biflexa serovar Patoc) and pathogenic (L. interrogans serovar Bataviae, Autumnalis, Javanica and Saigon) leptospires were determined by using broth microdilution method and alamar blue. The synergy was evaluated by calculating the fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) index.
The results of broth microdilution test demonstrated that the crude extract and purified xanthones from mangosteen possessed antileptospiral activities. The crude extracts were active against all five serovars of test leptospira with MICs ranging from 200 to ≥ 800 μg/ml. Among the crude extracts and purified xanthones, garcinone C was the most active compound against both of pathogenic (MIC =100 μg/ml) and non-pathogenic leptospira (MIC = 200 μg/ml). However, these MIC values were higher than those of traditional antibiotics. Combinations of γ-mangostin with penicillin G generated synergistic effect against L. interrogans serovars Bataviae, Autumnalis and Javanica (FIC = 0.52, 0.50, and 0.04, respectively) and no interaction against L. biflexa serovar Patoc (FIC =0.75). However, antagonistic activity (FIC = 4.03) was observed in L. interrogans serovar Saigon.
Crude extracts and purified xanthones from fruit pericarp of G. mangostana with significant antibacterial activity may be used to control leptospirosis. The combination of xanthone with antibiotic enhances the antileptospiral efficacy.
Leptospira; Mangosteen; Xanthones; Gamma-Mangostin; Synergy; Penicillin G
The growing quantity of Complementary and Alternative Medicine literature requires databases enabled with increasingly powerful search capabilities. To address this need in the area of acupuncture research, a bibliographic database of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews called AcuTrials® has been developed by the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. AcuTrials® introduces a comprehensive keyword thesaurus that categorizes details of treatment protocols and research design to an extent not currently available in MEDLINE or other databases.
AcuTrials®, which went live in January of 2010 and is updated monthly, currently contains over 1250 articles from more than 300 journals. Articles included are English language RCTs and systematic reviews that report on medical conditions in human subjects treated by needle acupuncture. Study details are indexed by 14 key domains, such as acupuncture style and needling protocol, to create an acupuncture-relevant, searchable keyword catalogue. Keywords follow the National Library of Medicine (NLM) MeSH terminology when possible, and new keywords were created in cases where no appropriate MeSH terms were available. The resulting keyword catalogue enables users to perform sensitive, targeted searches for particular aspects of acupuncture treatment and research design.
AcuTrials® provides an extensive and innovative keyword catalogue of acupuncture research, allowing users to efficiently navigate, locate and assess the evidence base in ways not currently possible with other databases. By providing a more powerful suite of search options, the AcuTrials® database has the potential to enhance the accessibility and quality of acupuncture research.
Acupuncture; AcuTrials; CAM; Databases; Informatics; Evidence-based medicine
Mitrella kentii (M. kentii) (Bl.) Miq, is a tree-climbing liana that belongs to the family Annonaceae. The plant is rich with isoquinoline alkaloids, terpenylated dihydrochalcones and benzoic acids and has been reported to possess anti-inflammatory activity. The purpose of this study is to assess the gastroprotective effects of desmosdumotin C (DES), a new isolated bioactive compound from M. kentii, on gastric ulcer models in rats.
DES was isolated from the bark of M. kentii. Experimental rats were orally pretreated with 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg of the isolated compound and were subsequently subjected to absolute ethanol-induced acute gastric ulcer. Gross evaluation, mucus content, gastric acidity and histological gastric lesions were assessed in vivo. The effects of DES on the anti-oxidant system, non-protein sulfhydryl (NP-SH) content, nitric oxide (NO)level, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme activity, bcl-2-associated X (Bax) protein expression and Helicabacter pylori (H pylori) were also investigated.
DES pre-treatment at the administered doses significantly attenuated ethanol-induced gastric ulcer; this was observed by decreased gastric ulcer area, reduced or absence of edema and leucocytes infiltration compared to the ulcer control group. It was found that DES maintained glutathione (GSH) level, decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) level, increased NP-SH content and NO level and inhibited COX-2 activity. The compound up regulated heat shock protein-70 (HSP-70) and down regulated Bax protein expression in the ulcerated tissue. DES showed interesting anti-H pylori effects. The efficacy of DES was accomplished safely without any signs of toxicity.
The current study reveals that DES demonstrated gastroprotective effects which could be attributed to its antioxidant effect, activation of HSP-70 protein, intervention with COX-2 inflammatory pathway and potent anti H pylori effect.
Our aim was to evaluate the recovery effects of hydrotherapy after aerobic exercise in cardiovascular, performance and perceived fatigue.
A pragmatic controlled repeated measures; single-blind trial was conducted. Thirty-four recreational sportspeople visited a Sport-Centre and were assigned to a Hydrotherapy group (experimental) or rest in a bed (control) after completing a spinning session. Main outcomes measures including blood pressure, heart rate, handgrip strength, vertical jump, self-perceived fatigue, and body temperature were assessed at baseline, immediately post-exercise and post-recovery. The hypothesis of interest was the session*time interaction.
The analysis revealed significant session*time interactions for diastolic blood pressure (P=0.031), heart rate (P=0.041), self perceived fatigue (P=0.046), and body temperature (P=0.001); but not for vertical jump (P=0.437), handgrip (P=0.845) or systolic blood pressure (P=0.266). Post-hoc analysis revealed that hydrotherapy resulted in recovered heart rate and diastolic blood pressure similar to baseline values after the spinning session. Further, hydrotherapy resulted in decreased self-perceived fatigue after the spinning session.
Our results support that hydrotherapy is an adequate strategy to facilitate cardiovascular recovers and perceived fatigue, but not strength, after spinning exercise.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01765387
Hydrotherapy; Heart rate; Fatigue; Strength; Blood pressure; Body temperature
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that results from a progressive loss of motor neurons. Familial ALS (fALS) is caused by missense mutations in Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) that frequently result in the accumulation of mutant protein aggregates that are associated with impairments in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). UPS impairment has been implicated in many neurological disorders. Bee venom (BV) extracted from honey bees has been used as a traditional medicine for treating inflammatory diseases and has been shown to attenuate the neuroinflammatory events that occur in a symptomatic ALS animal model.
NSC34 cells were transiently transfected with a WT or G85R hSOD1-GFP construct for 24 hrs and then stimulated with 2.5 μg/ml BV for 24 hrs. To determine whether a SOD1 mutation affects UPS function in NSC34 cells, we examined proteasome activity and performed western blotting and immunofluorescence using specific antibodies, such as anti-misfolded SOD1, anti-ubiquitin, anti-GRP78, anti-LC3, and anti-ISG15 antibodies.
We found that GFP-hSOD1G85R overexpression induced SOD1 inclusions and reduced proteasome activity compared with the overexpression of GFP alone in NSC34 motor neuronal cells. In addition, we also observed that BV treatment restored proteasome activity and reduced the accumulation of ubiquitinated and misfolded SOD1 in GFP-hSOD1G85R-overexpressing NSC34 motor neuronal cells. However, BV treatment did not activate the autophagic pathway in these cells.
Our findings suggest that BV may rescue the impairment of the UPS in ALS models.
hSOD1G85R; Ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS); Bee venom (BV); Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); NSC34 motor neuronal cells
In recent years, red yeast rice (RYR) supplements have been marketed aggressively as a natural way to lower cholesterol; however, the large majority of commercially available products have not been studied according to current research standards.
In a double blind placebo controlled randomized trial, 52 physicians and their spouses with a total cholesterol level of > 200 mg/dL were randomly allocated to receive a RYR extract or placebo for 8 weeks. As a primary outcome measure, we compared the before-after difference in lipid levels between both groups. As secondary outcome measures we looked at side-effects, CK elevation and a change in cardiovascular risk.
LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol was lowered with 36 mg/dL (22%) and total cholesterol with 37 mg/dL (15%) in the intervention group. This result was statistically significant as compared to the control group, in which no reduction in total cholesterol and LDL was observed (p < 0.001). There was no marked difference in CK (creatine kinase)-elevation or reported side-effects between study groups. In 5/31 participants in the intervention group, the lipid lowering effect resulted in lower cardiovascular risk as measured with SCORE (Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation).
The RYR formulation under study was effective in lowering cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in this study population. RYR therapy may be an attractive and relatively well studied alternative in patients who are intolerant for statins or who have objections against pharmacological lipid lowering. However, consumers need to be warned that the actual content of commercially available preparations is not assured by governmental regulations, which raises effectiveness and safety issues.
Clinicaltrials.gov, nr: NCT01558050
Cardiovascular prevention; Statins; Red yeast rice; Cholesterol
There are reports of improved metabolic outcomes due to consumption of germinated brown rice (GBR). Many of the functional effects of GBR can be linked to its high amounts of antioxidants. Interestingly, dietary components with high antioxidants have shown promise in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This effect of dietary components is mostly based on their ability to prevent apoptosis, which is believed to link oxidative damage to pathological changes in AD. In view of the rich antioxidant content of GBR, we studied its potential to modulate processes leading up to AD.
The total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of the ethyl acetate extract of GBR were compared to that of brown rice (BR), and the cytotoxicity of both extracts were determined on human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells using 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) Assay. Based on its higher antioxidant potentials, the effect of the GBR extract on morphological changes due to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative damage in human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells was examined using inverted light microscope and fluorescence microscope by means of acridine orange-propidium iodide (AO/PI) staining. Also, evaluation of the transcriptional regulation of antioxidant and apoptotic genes was carried out using Multiplex Gene Expression System.
The ethyl acetate extract of GBR had higher total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity compared to BR. The cytotoxicity results showed that GBR extract did not cause any damage to the human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells at concentrations of up to 20 ppm, and the morphological analyses showed that the GBR extract (up to 10 ppm) prevented H2O2-induced apoptotic changes in the cells. Furthermore, multiplex gene expression analyses showed that the protection of the cells by the GBR extract was linked to its ability to induce transcriptional changes in antioxidant (SOD 1, SOD 2 and catalase) and apoptotic (AKT, NF-Kβ, ERK1/2, JNK, p53 and p38 MAPK) genes that tended towards survival.
Taken together, the results of our study showed that the ethyl acetate extract of GBR, with high antioxidant potentials, could prevent H2O2-induced oxidative damage in SH-SY5Y cells. The potential of GBR and its neuroprotective mechanism in ameliorating oxidative stress-related cytotoxicity is therefore worth exploring further.
Germinated brown rice; Antioxidant; Oxidative stress; Neuroprotective; SH-SY5Y
Gamijinhae-tang (GJHT) has long been used in Korea to treat respiratory diseases. The therapeutic effect of GJHT is likely associated with its anti-inflammatory activity. However, the precise mechanisms underlying its effects are unknown. This study was conducted to evaluate the protective effects of GJHT in a porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) and lipopolysaccharide(LPS) induced animal model of acute lung injury (ALI).
In this study, mice were intranasally exposed to PPE and LPS for 4 weeks to induce chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-like lung inflammation. Two hours prior to PPE and LPS administration, the treatment group was administered GJHT extracts via an oral injection. The numbers of neutrophils, lymphocytes, macrophages and total cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were counted, and pro-inflammatory cytokines were also measured. For histologic analysis, hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stains and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) stains were evaluated.
After inducing ALI by treating mice with PPE and LPS for 4 weeks, the numbers of neutrophils, lymphocytes and total cells were significantly lower in the GJHT group than in the ALI group. In addition, the IL-1β and IL-6 levels were significantly decreased in the GJHT group. The histological results also demonstrated the attenuation effect of GJHT on PPE- and LPS-induced lung inflammation.
The results of this study indicate that GJHT has significantly reduces PPE- and LPS-induced lung inflammation. The remarkable protective effects of GJHT suggest its therapeutic potential in COPD treatment.
ALI; COPD; Gamijinhae-tang; Elastase; IL-6; IL-1β; Goblet cell
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by chronic hyperglycaemia generally associated with oxidative stress. The present study aims at evaluating the antioxidant and antidiabetic potential of methanol and hydroethanol extracts of the stem bark and leaves of Pricralima nitida and the Sonchus oleraceus whole plant respectively.
The in vitro antioxidant activity was assessed using 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrilhydrazyl (DPPH) for free radical-scavenging properties of the extracts, and the Folin-Ciocalteu method in determining their phenol contents. The antidiabetic activity was tested in mice following streptozotocin diabetes induction, and selected oxidative stress markers (Malondialdehyde, Hydrogen peroxides and Catalase) were measured in order to evaluate the level of oxidative stress in treated animals.
The in vitro antioxidant activity using DPPH showed IC50 ranging from 0.19 ± 0.08 to 1.00 ± 0.06 mg/mL. The highest activity was obtained with the hydroethanol extracts of S. oleraceus (0.19 mg/mL and P. nitida (0.24 mg/mL). Polyphenol contents ranged from 182.25 ± 16.76 to 684.62 ± 46.66 μg Eq Cat/g. The methanol extract of P. nitida showed the highest activity, followed by the hydroethanol extract of S. oleraceus (616.89 ± 19.20 μEq Cat/g). The hydroethanol extract of whole plants (150 mg/Kg) and methanol leave extract of P. nitida (300 mg/Kg) exhibited significant antidiabetic activities with 39.40% and 38.48% glycaemia reduction, respectively. The measurement of stress markers in plasma, liver and kidney after administration of both extracts showed significant reduction in MDA and hydrogen peroxide levels, coupled with a substantial increase in catalase activity.
These findings suggest that S. oleraceus whole plant and P. nitida leaves possess both antidiabetic and antioxidant properties, and therefore could be used as starting point for the development of herbal medicines and/or source of new drug molecules against diabetes.
Antioxidant; Diabetes; Oxidative stress; Hypoglycaemic activity; Sonchus oleraceus; Pricralima nitida
Traditional Chinese medicines have been used for anti-asthma treatment for several centuries in many Asian countries, and have been shown to effectively relieve symptoms. Our previous study demonstrated that a complex traditional Chinese medicine (CTCM) administered in nebulized form through the intratracheal route is effective against early-phase air-flow obstruction and can inhibit IL-5 production in ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized guinea pigs. However, the antiasthmatic mechanisms of CTCMs are still unclear.
In this study, we examined the underlying mechanism of a CTCM that we used in our previous study in order to ascertain its function in the early-phase response to OVA challenge.
In each group, 10–12 unsensitized or OVA-sensitized guinea pigs were treated with nebulized CTCM before OVA challenge, and the airway responses of the animals to OVA were recorded. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) samples were collected 5 min after OVA challenge, and the histamine and IL-4 contents in the BALF were measured. P815 cells (a mouse mast cell line) were untreated or pretreated with CTCM or cromolyn sodium (a mast cell stabilizer), and incubated with Compound 48/80 (mast cell activator) for 9 hr. The levels of histamine and IL-4 released from the cells were quantified.
We found that the inhibition of bronchoconstriction by the CTCM was attenuated by pretreatment with propranolol, suggesting that the CTCM has a bronchodilator effect that is associated with beta-adrenergic receptor. Our results also showed that the CTCM inhibited histamine and IL-4 secretion in the OVA-induced airway hypersensitivity in guinea pigs at 5 min post-OVA challenge, and in vitro study revealed that the CTCM is able to stabilize mast cells.
In conclusion, our results suggested that the CTCM is a kind of bronchodilator and also a mast cell stabilizer. Our findings provide useful information regarding the possible mechanism of the CTCM, and show its potential for application in the treatment of allergenic airway disease.
Asthma; Nebulization; Drug delivery; Chinese medicine; Ovalbumin
Yoga seems to be an effective means to cope with a variety of internal
medicine conditions. While characteristics of yoga users have been
investigated in the general population, little is known about predictors of
yoga use and barriers to yoga use in internal medicine patients. The aim of
this cross-sectional analysis was to identify sociodemographic, clinical,
and psychological predictors of yoga use among internal medicine
A cross-sectional analysis was conducted among all patients being referred to
a Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine during a 3-year period. It
was assessed whether patients had ever used yoga for their primary medical
complaint, the perceived benefit, and the perceived harm of yoga practice.
Potential predictors of yoga use including sociodemographic characteristics,
health behavior, internal medicine diagnosis, general health status, mental
health, satisfaction with health, and health locus of control were assessed;
and associations with yoga use were tested using multiple logistic
regression analysis. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI)
were calculated for significant predictors.
Of 2486 participants, 303 (12.19%) reported having used yoga for their
primary medical complaint. Of those, 184 (60.73%) reported benefits and 12
(3.96%) reported harms due to yoga practice. Compared to yoga non-users,
yoga users were more likely to be 50–64 years old
(OR = 1.45; 95%CI = 1.05-2.01;
P = 0.025); female (OR = 2.45;
95%CI = 1.45-4.02; P < 0.001); and college
graduates (OR = 1.61; 95%CI = 1.14-2.27;
P = 0.007); and less likely to currently smoke
(OR = 0.61; 95%CI = 0.39-0.96;
P = 0.031). Manifest anxiety (OR = 1.47;
95%CI = 1.06-2.04; P = 0.020); and high internal
health locus of control (OR = 1.92;
95%CI = 1.38-2.67; P < 0.001) were positively
associated with yoga use, while high external-fatalistic health locus of
control (OR = 0.66; 95%CI = 0.47-0.92;
P = 0.014) was negatively associated with yoga use.
Yoga was used for their primary medical complaint by 12.19% of an internal
integrative medicine patient population and was commonly perceived as
beneficial. Yoga use was not associated with the patients’ specific
diagnosis but with sociodemographic factors, mental health, and health locus
of control. To improve adherence to yoga practice, it should be considered
that male, younger, and anxious patients and those with low internal health
locus of control might be less intrinsically motivated to start yoga.
Yoga; Complementary therapies; Internal medicine
XinJiErKang (XJEK), a Chinese herbal formula, is identified as an effective preparation to treat coronary heart disease and myocarditis. The aim of the study is to investigate the anti-hypertensive effects of XJEK by oral administration and also to find out whether the drug has any role in oxidative stress and vascular endothelial function.
Clipping of the renal artery resulted in gradual elevation of the systolic blood pressure (SBP) which reached a plateau after 4 weeks of surgery. Treatment of hypertensive rats (20 mmHg higher than basic systolic blood pressure) with XJEK (6, 12, 24 g/kg/day) and fosinopril (15 mg/kg/day) respectively by intragastric administration started 4 weeks after surgery and continued for 4 weeks. The sham-operated (Sh-Op) controls received drinking water. BP was monitored weekly using tail-cuff apparatus. At the end of 8 wk, left ventricular systolic pressure (LVSP), left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), rate of rise of left ventricular pressure (±dp/dtmax) were examined (PowerLab 8/30, AD Instruments, Australia). The myocardial hypertrophy index was expressed as heart weight/body weight (HW/BW), the histological changes were investigated by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and Van Gieson (VG) stain. Endothelium-dependent relaxations due to acetylcholine were observed in isolated rat thoracic aortic ring preparation. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) content in serum, contents of hydroxyproline (Hyp) in the ventricular tissue were assayed by xanthin oxidase method, thiobarbituric acid (TBA) method, Griess method and alkaline hydrolysis method, respectively. Angiotensin II (Ang II) content in serum was detected by radioimmunoasssay method.
XJEK therapy potently improved cardiac function, inhibited myocardial hypertrophy, improved cardiac pathology change, decreased the myocardial cross-section area (CSA), collagen volume fraction (CVF) and perivascular circumferential collagen area (PVCA), reduced the content of Hyp in the left ventricular tissue, inhibited the decrease of SOD activity and increase of MDA, Ang II content in serum. Moreover, treatment with XJEK improved endothelial dysfunction (ED) manifested by promoting endothelial-dependent vasodilation of thoracic aortic rings and enhancing the NO activity in serum.
These findings suggest that administration of XJEK possess protective effects against 2K1C induced hypertension and cardiac remodeling in rats, preserve NO activity and endothelial function.
Oxidative stress; Endothelial dysfunction; Antioxidant; Renovascular; Hypertension; Cardiac remodeling
Banhabaekchulchunma-tang (hange-byakujutsu-tenma-to in Japanese and banxia-baizhu-tianma-tang in Chinese) is a mixture of fourteen herbs. It is used traditionally for the treatment of anemia, anorexia, general weakness, and female infertility in China, Japan, and Korea. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of a Banhabaekchulchunma-tang water extract (BCT) against ethanol-induced acute gastric injury in rats.
Gastric injury was induced by intragastric administration of 5 mL/kg body weight of absolute ethanol to each rat. The positive control group and the BCT group were given oral doses of omeprazole (50 mg/kg) or BCT (400 mg/kg), respectively, 2 h prior to the administration of absolute ethanol. The stomach of each animal was excised and examined for gastric mucosal lesions. To confirm the protective effects of BCT, we evaluated the degree of lipid peroxidation, the level of reduced glutathione (GSH), and the activities of the antioxidant enzymes catalase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase in the stomach. In addition, we conducted an acute toxicity study to evaluate the safety of BCT according to OECD guideline.
BCT reduced ethanol-induced hemorrhage, hyperemia, and loss of epithelial cell in the gastric mucosa. BCT reduced the increased lipid peroxidation associated with ethanol-induced acute gastric lesions, and increased the mucosal GSH content and the activities of antioxidant enzymes. In addition, BCT did not cause any adverse effects at up to 5000 mg/kg.
These results indicate that BCT protects the gastric mucosa against ethanol-induced gastric injury by increasing the antioxidant status. We suggest that BCT could be developed as an effective drug for the treatment of gastric injury caused by alcohol intake.
Banhabaekchulchunma-tang; Herbal formula; Ethanol; Gastric injury; Antioxidant
The objective of the present study was to determine the phytochemical content and the protective effect of red grape skin extract (RGSE) against fructose-mediated protein oxidation. In addition, RGSE was screened for its potential as an antioxidant using various in vitro models.
Antioxidant activity was measured by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), hydroxyl radical scavenging activity, superoxide radical scavenging activity, trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), ferrous ion chelating power. The total phenols content was measured by Folin–Ciocalteu assay, the flavonoids content by the AlCl3 colorimetric method. Antiglycation activity was determined using the formation of AGE fluorescence intensity, Nϵ-(carboxymethyl)lysine, and the level of fructosamine. The protein oxidation was examined using the level of protein carbonyl content and thiol group.
The results showed that the content of total phenolics, flavonoids and total anthocyanins in RGSE was 246.3 ± 0.9 mg gallic acid equivalent/g dried extract, 215.9 ± 1.3 mg catechin equivalent/g dried extract, and 36.7 ± 0.8 mg cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalent/g dried extract, respectively. In the DPPH radical scavenging activity, hydroxyl radical scavenging activity, and superoxide radical scavenging activity, RGSE had the IC50 values of 0.03 ± 0.01 mg/ml, 5.40 ± 0.01 mg/ml, and 0.58 ± 0.01 mg/ml, respectively. In addition, RGSE had trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity assay (395.65 ± 1.61 mg trolox equivalent/g dried extract), ferric reducing antioxidant power (114.24 ± 0.03 mM FeSO4/g dried extract), and ferrous ion chelating power (3,474.05 ± 5.55 mg EDTA/g dried extract), respectively. The results showed that RGSE at different concentrations (0.031–0.500 mg/ml) has significantly inhibited the formation of AGEs in terms of the fluorescence intensity of glycated BSA during 4 weeks of study. The RGSE markedly decreased the level of fructosamine, which is directly associated with the reduction of AGE formation and Nϵ-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML). The results demonstrated the significant effect of RGSE on preventing protein oxidative damages, including effects on the thiol and protein carbonyl oxidation.
The present study revealed that RGSE would exert beneficial effects by virtue of its antioxidants and antiglycation. The findings could provide a new insight into the naturally occurring antiglycation properties of RGSE for preventing AGE-mediated diabetic complication.
Grape skin; Anthocyanin; Antioxidant; Antiglycation
In order to effectively target and provide individualised patient support strategies it is crucial to have a comprehensive picture of those presenting for services. The purpose of this study was to determine the characteristics and patient rated outcomes of individuals presenting to SolarisCare cancer support centres and their choices regarding complementary and integrated therapies (CIT).
A cohort with a current or previous cancer diagnosis aged 18 – 87 years presenting to a SolarisCare centre during a 5-day period completed a questionnaire. Four SolarisCare centres participated in the trial including regional and metropolitan locations. Outcomes included medical and demographic characteristics, CIT variables and patient rated outcomes (PROs) including quality of life (QoL).
Of the 95 participants (70.3%) who completed the survey, the mean age was 60.5 years with 62% currently receiving treatment. Eighty percent of the sample had at least one other comorbid condition, with the most popular CIT being relaxation massage. Of the PROs, QoL was significantly lower than norms for the Australian population and other mixed cancer populations. No notable differences were seen between genders, however significantly poorer outcomes were found for the younger age group. Fifty percent of the population did not meet physical activity recommendations, and musculoskeletal symptoms explained between 25-27% of variance in QoL.
A greater understanding of the health profiles of patients presenting to supportive care centres and their use of CIT, provides Western Australian health professionals with key information to ensure the safety of supportive care practices, as well as fosters optimal patient outcomes and enhances the integration of supportive care strategies within mainstream medical care.
Cancer patients; Complementary therapies; Quality of life; Supportive care; Symptom distress
Syzygium campanulatum Korth (Myrtaceae) is an evergreen shrub rich in phenolics, flavonoid antioxidants, and betulinic acid. This study sought to investigate antiangiogenic and anti-colon cancer effects of S.C. standardized methanolic extract.
Betulinic acid was isolated from methanolic extract by crystallization and chromatography techniques. S.C. methanolic extract was analyzed by UV-Vis spectrophotometry, FTIR, LC-MS, and HPLC. Antiangiogenic effect was studied on rat aortic rings, matrigel tube formation, cell proliferation and migration, and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Antitumor effect was studied using a subcutaneous tumor model of HCT 116 colorectal carcinoma cells established in nude mice.
Analysis by HPLC, LC-MS and FTIR confirm presence of betulinic acid in S.C. methanolic extract. Quantitative analysis by HPLC indicates presence of betulinic acid in S.C. extract at 5.42 ± 0.09% (w/w). Antiangiogenesis study showed potent inhibition of microvessels outgrowth in rat aortic rings, and studies on normal and cancer cells did not show any significant cytotoxic effect. Antiangiogenic effect was further confirmed by inhibition of tube formation on matrigel matrix that involves human endothelial cells (IC50 = 17.6 ± 2.9 μg/ml). S.C. extract also inhibited migration of endothelial cells and suppressed expression of VEGF. In vivo antiangiogenic study showed inhibition of new blood vessels in chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), and in vivo antitumor study showed significant inhibition of tumor growth due to reduction of intratumor blood vessels and induction of cell death.
Collectively, our results indicate S. campanulatum as antiangiogenic and antitumor candidate, and a new source of betulinic acid.
In response to the propagation of bacteria resistant to many antibiotics also called multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria, the discovery of new and more efficient antibacterial agents is primordial. The present study was aimed at evaluating the antibacterial activities of seven Cameroonian dietary plants (Adansonia digitata, Aframomum alboviolaceum, Aframomum polyanthum, Anonidium. mannii, Hibiscus sabdarifa, Ocimum gratissimum and Tamarindus indica).
The phytochemical screening of the studied extracts was performed using described methods whilst the liquid broth micro dilution was used for all antimicrobial assays against 27 Gram-negative bacteria.
The results of the phytochemical tests indicate that all tested extracts contained phenols and triterpenes, other classes of chemicals being selectively present. The studied extracts displayed various degrees of antibacterial activities. The extracts of A. digitata, H. sabdarifa, A. polyanthum, A. alboviolaceum and O. gratissimum showed the best spectra of activity, their inhibitory effects being recorded against 81.48%, 66.66%, 62.96%, 55.55%, and 55.55% of the 27 tested bacteria respectively. The extract of A. polyanthum was very active against E. aerogenes EA294 with the lowest recorded minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 32 μg/ml.
The results of the present work provide useful baseline information for the potential use of the studied edible plants in the fight against both sensitive and MDR phenotypes.
Antibacterial; Multi-drug resistant bacteria; Dietary plants
In Pakistan Fagonia olivieri (Zygophyllaceae) is commonly used in the indigenous system of medicine for treatment of conditions like diabetes, cancer, fever, asthma, toothache, stomach troubles and kidney disorders. This study evaluated the crude methanol extract of F. olivieri (FOM) and its derived fractions for their antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities as well as the classes of phytochemical.
Dried powder of whole plant of F. olivieri was extracted with methanol (FOM) and the resultant was fractionated to give n-hexane fraction (FOH), chloroform fraction (FOC), ethyl acetate fraction (FOE), n-butanol fraction (FOB) and residual aqueous fraction (FOA). Methanol extract and its derived fractions were subjected to phytochemical screening using standard procedures. Also the extract and fractions were assayed for antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities using agar well diffusion technique, agar tube dilution method and brine shrimps lethality test, respectively.
The results obtained for phytochemical analysis indicate the presence of saponins and alkaloids in all the tested extract and fractions while anthraquinones were not detected. The results showed that all the bacterial strains tested in this study were susceptible to at least one of the fractions tested. However, FOE and FOB were the best antibacterial fractions and showed antibacterial activity against maximum number of bacterial strains. The results showed that Escherichia coli was the most sensitive bacterium while Bordetella bronchiseptica and Enterobacter aerogenes were less susceptible against various fractions. Maximum percent inhibition for growth was recorded for the fungus Aspergillus flavus with FOE whereas growth of Aspergillus fumigatus and Fusarium solani was inhibited by FOM and its all derived fractions. Minimum LC50 (24.07 mg/L) for brine shrimp assay was recorded for FOE followed by LC50 of FOC (26.1 mg/L) and FOB (30.05 mg/L) whereas maximum LC50 was exhibited by FOH (1533 mg/L).
These results indicated the use of F. olivieri to treat infections with emphasis to isolate and characterize the active principle responsible for antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities and its exploitation as therapeutic agent.
Antibacterial activity; Brine shrimps lethality assay; Cytotoxicity; Fagonia olivieri; Phytochemicals
Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) Kuntze (scientific synonyms: Vernonia anthelmintica; black cumin) is one of the ingredients of an Ayurvedic preparation, called “Kayakalp”, commonly applied to treat skin disorders in India and Southeast Asia. Despite its well known anti-inflammatory property on skin diseases, the anti-cancer effect of C. anthelminticum seeds on skin cancer is less documented. The present study aims to investigate the anti-cancer effect of Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) seeds chloroform fraction (CACF) on human melanoma cells and to elucidate the molecular mechanism involved.
A chloroform fraction was extracted from C. anthelminticum (CACF). Bioactive compounds of the CACF were analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Human melanoma cell line A375 was treated with CACF in vitro. Effects of CACF on growth inhibition, morphology, stress and survival of the cell were examined with MTT, high content screening (HSC) array scan and flow cytometry analyses. Involvement of intrinsic or extrinsic pathways in the CACF-induced A375 cell death mechanism was examined using a caspase luminescence assay. The results were further verified with different caspase inhibitors. In addition, Western blot analysis was performed to elucidate the changes in apoptosis-associated molecules. Finally, the effect of CACF on the NF-κB nuclear translocation ability was assayed.
The MTT assay showed that CACF dose-dependently inhibited cell growth of A375, while exerted less cytotoxic effect on normal primary epithelial melanocytes. We demonstrated that CACF induced cell growth inhibition through apoptosis, as evidenced by cell shrinkage, increased annexin V staining and formation of membrane blebs. CACF treatment also resulted in higher reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and lower Bcl-2 expression, leading to decrease mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). Disruption of the MMP facilitated the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c, which activates caspase-9 and downstream caspase-3/7, resulting in DNA fragmentation and up-regulation of p53 in melanoma cells. Moreover, CACF prevented TNF-α-induced NF-κB nuclear translocation, which further committed A375 cells toward apoptosis.
Together, our findings suggest CACF as a potential therapeutic agent against human melanoma malignancy.
Centratherum anthelminticum; Melanoma; Caspase cascade; Apoptosis; Bcl-2; p53; NF-κB
Aromatherapy and hand massage therapies have been reported to have some benefit for people with dementia who display behavioural symptoms; however there are a number of limitations of reported studies. The aim is to investigate the effect of aromatherapy (3% lavender oil spray) with and without hand massage on disruptive behaviour in people with dementia living in long-term care.
In a single blinded randomised controlled trial 67 people with a diagnosis of dementia and a history of disruptive behaviour, from three long-term care facilities were recruited and randomised using a random number table into three groups: (1) Combination (aromatherapy and hand massage) (n = 22), (2) Aromatherapy (n = 23), (3) Placebo control (water spray) (n = 22). The intervention was given twice daily for six weeks. Data on residents’ behaviour (CMAI) and cognition (MMSE) were collected before, during and after the intervention.
Despite a downward trend in behaviours displayed not one of the interventions significantly reduced disruptive behaviour.
Further large-scale placebo controlled studies are required where antipsychotic medication is controlled and a comparison of the methods of application of aromatherapy are investigated.
Aggression; Agitation; Aromatherapy; Behaviour; Dementia; Massage