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1.  Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Eclipta prostrata L. by LC/MS 
The Scientific World Journal  2015;2015:980890.
Eclipta prostrata L. is one of the Chinese medicinal tonics which are usually used for treating loose teeth, dizziness, tinnitus, hemoptysis, hematuria, and uterine bleeding. However, quality control of this herbal medicine has been not satisfactory. This study reported its qualitative and quantitative analyses based on LC/MS method. UHPLC-DAD-Q-TOF-MS fingerprinting and MS fragmentation cleavage pathway were investigated for qualitative analysis. Furthermore, a method for simultaneous quantitative determination of nine compounds, luteolin 7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, ecliptasaponin C, luteolin, eclalbasaponin IV, apigenin, ecliptasaponin A, echinocystic acid 28-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, echinocystic acid, and 3-oxo-16α-hydroxy-olean-12-en-28-oic acid in E. prostrata, was established. The method was validated for samples of E. prostrata from different habitats. The results showed good linear correlation, precision, accuracy, and repeatability that could be used for contents determination of the nine compounds in E. prostrata from different habitats.
doi:10.1155/2015/980890
PMCID: PMC4312610  PMID: 25667939
2.  Acute and Long-Term Toxicity of Mango Leaves Extract in Mice and Rats 
The acute toxicity of mango leaves extract (MLE) at the maximal dose (18.4 g/kg) was studied in ICR mice and no abnormalities were detected during the experiment. The long-term studies at various doses of MLE (100 mg/kg, 300 mg/kg, and 900 mg/kg) in SD rats for 3 consecutive months revealed that, compared with the control group, rats in MLE treated groups showed slight body weight increase and higher fat weight; the serum TG and CHOL levels and the epididymis weight of male rats were a little higher; the serum K+ level of female rats was on the low side but the weights of liver, kidney, and adrenal gland were on the high side. In addition to this, no other obvious abnormalities were detected.
doi:10.1155/2014/691574
PMCID: PMC4163298  PMID: 25246938
3.  Quantitative Profiling of Polar Metabolites in Herbal Medicine Injections for Multivariate Statistical Evaluation Based on Independence Principal Component Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105412.
Botanical primary metabolites extensively exist in herbal medicine injections (HMIs), but often were ignored to control. With the limitation of bias towards hydrophilic substances, the primary metabolites with strong polarity, such as saccharides, amino acids and organic acids, are usually difficult to detect by the routinely applied reversed-phase chromatographic fingerprint technology. In this study, a proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) profiling method was developed for efficient identification and quantification of small polar molecules, mostly primary metabolites in HMIs. A commonly used medicine, Danhong injection (DHI), was employed as a model. With the developed method, 23 primary metabolites together with 7 polyphenolic acids were simultaneously identified, of which 13 metabolites with fully separated proton signals were quantified and employed for further multivariate quality control assay. The quantitative 1H NMR method was validated with good linearity, precision, repeatability, stability and accuracy. Based on independence principal component analysis (IPCA), the contents of 13 metabolites were characterized and dimensionally reduced into the first two independence principal components (IPCs). IPC1 and IPC2 were then used to calculate the upper control limits (with 99% confidence ellipsoids) of χ2 and Hotelling T2 control charts. Through the constructed upper control limits, the proposed method was successfully applied to 36 batches of DHI to examine the out-of control sample with the perturbed levels of succinate, malonate, glucose, fructose, salvianic acid and protocatechuic aldehyde. The integrated strategy has provided a reliable approach to identify and quantify multiple polar metabolites of DHI in one fingerprinting spectrum, and it has also assisted in the establishment of IPCA models for the multivariate statistical evaluation of HMIs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105412
PMCID: PMC4144889  PMID: 25157567
4.  A Systems Biology-Based Approach to Uncovering the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Effects of Dragon's Blood Tablet in Colitis, Involving the Integration of Chemical Analysis, ADME Prediction, and Network Pharmacology 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101432.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest East Asian medical systems. The present study adopted a systems biology-based approach to provide new insights relating to the active constituents and molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood (DB) tablets for the treatment of colitis. This study integrated chemical analysis, prediction of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), and network pharmacology. Firstly, a rapid, reliable, and accurate ultra-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry method was employed to identify 48 components of DB tablets. In silico prediction of the passive absorption of these compounds, based on Caco-2 cell permeability, and their P450 metabolism enabled the identification of 22 potentially absorbed components and 8 metabolites. Finally, networks were constructed to analyze interactions between these DB components/metabolites absorbed and their putative targets, and between the putative DB targets and known therapeutic targets for colitis. This study provided a great opportunity to deepen the understanding of the complex pharmacological mechanisms underlying the effects of DB in colitis treatment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101432
PMCID: PMC4113278  PMID: 25068885
5.  Recent Advances in Astragalus membranaceus Anti-Diabetic Research: Pharmacological Effects of Its Phytochemical Constituents 
The disease burden of diabetes mellitus is increasing throughout the world. The need for more potent drugs to complement the present anti-diabetic drugs has become an imperative. Astragalus membranaceus, a key component of most Chinese herbal anti-diabetic formulas, has been an important prospect for lead anti-diabetic compounds. It has been progressively studied for its anti-diabetic properties. Ethnopharmacological studies have established its potential to alleviate diabetes mellitus. Recent studies have sought to relate its chemical constituents to types 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. Its total polysaccharides, saponins, and flavonoids fractions and several isolated compounds have been the most studied. The total polysaccharides fraction demonstrated activity to both types 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. This paper discusses the anti-diabetic effects and pharmacological action of the chemical constituents in relation to types 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus.
doi:10.1155/2013/654643
PMCID: PMC3855992  PMID: 24348714
6.  An Estrogen Receptor Dependent Mechanism of Oroxylin A in the Repression of Inflammatory Response 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69555.
Oroxylin A, a natural flavonoid, is one of the main bioactive compounds that underlie the anti-inflammatory effect of the medicinal herb Scutellariabaicalensis Georgi widely used in southeastern Asia; however, the molecular mechanisms for the therapeutic benefits remain largely unclear. In this study, we found that Oroxylin A induces estrogen-responsive gene expression and promoter activity. In macrophages, Oroxylin A treatment significantly attenuates lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced but not basal inflammatory response, including nitric oxide (NO) production and the expression of inflammatory mediators (i.e., iNOS and COX-2) and cytokines (i.e., TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6), in an estrogen receptor (ER)-dependent manner. Oroxylin A treatment also dramatically decreases LPS-induced secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, the downregulation of all these inflammatory parameters by Oroxylin A was abolished when cells were pretreated with specific ER antagonist. Thus, Oroxylin A is a novel phytoestrogen and exhibits anti-inflammatory effects that are mediated by ER activity.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069555
PMCID: PMC3726624  PMID: 23922737
7.  Qi-Shen-Yi-Qi Dripping Pills for the Secondary Prevention of Myocardial Infarction: A Randomised Clinical Trial 
Background. Several types of drugs have been recommended for the secondary prevention of myocardial infarction (MI). However, these conventional strategies have several limitations, such as low adherence, high cost, and side effects during long time use. Novel approaches to this problem are still needed. This trial aimed to test the effectiveness and safety of Qi-Shen-Yi-Qi Dripping Pills (QSYQ), a multi-ingredient Chinese patent medicine, for the secondary prevention of MI. Methods and Findings. A total of 3505 eligible patients were randomly assigned to QSYQ group (1746 patients) or aspirin group (1759). Patients took their treatments for 12 months. The final follow-up visit took place 6 months after the end of the trial drugs. The 12-month and 18-month estimated incidences of the primary outcome were 2.98% and 3.67%, respectively, in the QSYQ group. The figures were 2.96% and 3.81% in the aspirin group. No significant difference was identified between the groups. Conclusions. This trial did not show significant difference of primary and secondary outcomes between aspirin and QSYQ in patients who have had an MI. Though inconclusive, the result suggests that QSYQ has similar effects to aspirin in the secondary prevention of MI.
doi:10.1155/2013/738391
PMCID: PMC3725842  PMID: 23935677
8.  Evidence for a therapeutic effect of Braintone on ischemic brain damage 
Neural Regeneration Research  2013;8(19):1743-1755.
This study used a novel combination of in vivo and in vitro experiments to show that Braintone had neuroprotective effects and clarified the molecular mechanisms underlying its efficacy. The Chinese herbal extract Braintone is composed of Radix Rhodiolase Essence, Radix Notoginseng Essence, Folium Ginkgo Essence and Rhizoma Chuanxiong. In vivo experiments showed that cerebral infarction volume was reduced, hemispheric water content decreased, and neurological deficits were alleviated in a rat model of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion after administration of 87.5, 175 or 350 mg/kg Braintone for 7 consecutive days. Western blot analysis showed that Braintone enhanced the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, heme oxygenase-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor in the ischemic cortex of these rats. The 350 mg/kg dose of Braintone produced the most dramatic effects. For the in vitro experiments, prior to oxygen-glucose deprivation, rats were intragastrically injected with 440, 880 or 1 760 mg/kg Braintone to prepare a Braintone-containing serum, which was used to pre-treat human umbilical vein endothelial cells for 24 hours. Human umbilical vein endothelial cell injury was alleviated with this pre-treatment. Western blot and real-time PCR analysis showed that the Braintone-containing serum increased the levels of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α mRNA and protein, heme oxygenase-1 protein and vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA in oxygen-glucose deprived human umbilical vein endothelial cells. The 1 760 mg/kg dose produced the greatest increases in expression. Collectively, these experimental findings suggest that Braintone has neuroprotective effects on ischemia-induced brain damage via the up-regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, heme oxygenase-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor expression in vascular endothelial cells.
doi:10.3969/j.issn.1673-5374.2013.19.002
PMCID: PMC4145954  PMID: 25206471
neural regeneration; traditional Chinese medicine; Braintone; ischemic brain damage; oxygen-glucose deprivation; endothelial cells; hypoxia inducible factor 1α; heme oxygenase-1; vascular endothelial growth factor; grants-supported paper; neuroregeneration
9.  Antiplatelet Effects of Qishen Yiqi Dropping Pill in Platelets Aggregation in Hyperlipidemic Rabbits 
We investigated the effects of Qishen Yiqi Dropping Pill (QSYQ) on platelets aggregation and its possible mechanisms. Hyperlipidemic model in rabbits was produced by a high fat/cholesterol diet for 6 weeks, the therapeutic effect of QSYQ with 2.0 g/kg, 1.0 g/kg, and 0.5 g/kg was observed. Fourteen days after drug treatment, platelet aggregation induced by adenosine diphosphate (ADP), arachidonic acid (AA), and collagen (COLL) was significantly reduced in rabbits of model group. Moreover, β-thromboglobulin (β-TG) level decreased obviously but no significant change in P-selectin and platelet factor 4 (PF4) level, while QSYQ significantly decreased the ratio of thromboxane B2 (TXB2) to 6-keto-prostaglandin F1α (6-Keto-PGF1α) and increased cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) level in rabbits. In summary, QSYQ can improve platelets aggregation and inhibit the over-release of β-TG in hyperlipidemic rabbits; and the increased cAMP level may be involved in this process. These results suggest that the antiplatelet aggregation effect of QSYQ may be due to its ability to increase cAMP level for improving cAMP metabolism.
doi:10.1155/2012/205451
PMCID: PMC3434420  PMID: 22969824
10.  Huangqi Injection (a Traditional Chinese Patent Medicine) for Chronic Heart Failure: A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19604.
Background
Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a global public health problem. Therefore, novel and effective drugs that show few side-effects are needed. Early literature studies indicated that Huangqi injection is one of the most commonly used traditional Chinese patent medicines for CHF in China. As a large number of clinical studies has been carried out and published, it is essential to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Huangqi injection. Therefore, we carried out this systematic review under the support of the framework of the Joint Sino-Italian Laboratory (JoSIL).
Objectives
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of Huangqi injection for CHF according to the available scientific knowledge.
Methods
An extensive search including PubMed, EMBASE, CBM, the Cochrane Library and Chinese literature databases was performed up to July 2008. Clinical trials regarding Huangqi injection for the treatment of CHF were searched for, irrespective of languages. The quality of each trial was assessed according to the Cochrane Reviewers' Handbook 5.0, and RevMan 5.0 provided by the Cochrane Collaboration and STATA 9.2 were used for data analysis.
Results
After selection of 1,205 articles, 62 RCTs and quasi-RCTs conducted in China and published in Chinese journals were included in the review. The methodological quality of the trials was low. In most trials inclusion and exclusion criteria were not specified. Furthermore, only one study evaluated the outcomes for drug efficacy after an adequate period of time. For these reasons and because of the different baseline characteristics we did not conduct a meta-analysis.
Conclusions
Although available studies are not adequate to draw a conclusion on the efficacy and safety of Huangqi injection (a traditional Chinese patent medicine), we hope that our work could provide useful experience on further studies on Huangqi injections. The overall level of TCM clinical research needs to be improved so that the efficacy of TCM can be evaluated by the international community and possibly some TCM can enter into the international market.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019604
PMCID: PMC3089614  PMID: 21573109

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