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1.  Administration of Danhong Injection to diabetic db/db mice inhibits the development of diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11219.
Danhong Injection (DHI), a Chinese medicine for treatment of patients with coronary heart disease, inhibits primary abdominal aortic aneurysms in apoE deficient (apoE−/−) mice. Formation of microaneurysms plays an important role in the development of diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy. It remains unknown if DHI can reduce these diabetic complications. In this study, diabetic db/db mice in two groups were injected with saline and DHI, respectively, for 14 weeks. Blood and tissue samples were collected to determine serum glucose, lipids and tissue structure. DHI reduced diabetes-induced body weight gain, serum cholesterol and glucose levels. In retinas, DHI blocked the shrink of whole retina and retinal sub-layers by inhibiting expression of caspase 3, matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9, accumulation of carbohydrate macromolecules and formation of acellular capillaries. DHI improved renal functions by inhibiting mesangial matrix expansion, expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A, fibronectin and advanced glycation end products in kidneys. Mechanistically, DHI induced expression of glucokinase, AMPKα/phosphorylated AMPKα, insulin receptor substrate 1, fibroblast growth factor 21 and peroxisome proliferator-activated γ. Expression of genes responsible for energy expenditure was also activated by DHI. Therefore, DHI inhibits diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy by ameliorating glucose metabolism and demonstrates a potential application in clinics.
PMCID: PMC4462147  PMID: 26061387
2.  Systems Pharmacology Dissecting Holistic Medicine for Treatment of Complex Diseases: An Example Using Cardiocerebrovascular Diseases Treated by TCM 
Holistic medicine is an interdisciplinary field of study that integrates all types of biological information (protein, small molecules, tissues, organs, external environmental signals, etc.) to lead to predictive and actionable models for health care and disease treatment. Despite the global and integrative character of this discipline, a comprehensive picture of holistic medicine for the treatment of complex diseases is still lacking. In this study, we develop a novel systems pharmacology approach to dissect holistic medicine in treating cardiocerebrovascular diseases (CCDs) by TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). Firstly, by applying the TCM active ingredients screened out by a systems-ADME process, we explored and experimentalized the signed drug-target interactions for revealing the pharmacological actions of drugs at a molecule level. Then, at a/an tissue/organ level, the drug therapeutic mechanisms were further investigated by a target-organ location method. Finally, a translational integrating pathway approach was applied to extract the diseases-therapeutic modules for understanding the complex disease and its therapy at systems level. For the first time, the feature of the drug-target-pathway-organ-cooperations for treatment of multiple organ diseases in holistic medicine was revealed, facilitating the development of novel treatment paradigm for complex diseases in the future.
PMCID: PMC4460250  PMID: 26101539
3.  Identifying roles of “Jun-Chen-Zuo-Shi” component herbs of QiShenYiQi formula in treating acute myocardial ischemia by network pharmacology 
Chinese Medicine  2014;9:24.
The role of “Jun-Chen-Zuo-Shi” (also known as “sovereign-minister-assistant-courier”) component herbs of Chinese medicine is not fully understood. This study aims to test the “Jun-Chen-Zuo-Shi” rule with the QiShenYiQi formula (QSYQ) on treating acute myocardial ischemia (AMI) by a network pharmacology approach.
An Acute Myocardial Ischemia (AMI) specific Organism Disturbed Network (AMI-ODN), was constructed by integrating data of disease-associated genes, protein-protein interaction and microarray experiments. A network-based index, Network Recovery Index for Organism Disturbed Network (NRI-ODN), was developed to measure the therapeutic efficacy of QSYQ and its ingredients, i.e., the ability to recover disturbed AMI network model back to normal state.
The whole formula of QSYQ got a NRI-ODN score of 864.48, which outperformed all individual herbs. Additionally, the primary component herbs, Radix Astragalus membranaceus and Radix Salvia miltiorrrhiza showed NRI-DON score of 680.27 and 734.31 respectively, which meant a better performance to recover disturbed AMI network than the supplementary component herbs, Panax notoginseng and Dalbergia sissoo did (545.76 and 584.88, respectively).
AMI-ODN model and NRI-ODN identified the possible roles of “Jun-Chen-Zuo-Shi” component herbs of QSYQ in treating AMI at molecular network and pathway level.
PMCID: PMC4196468  PMID: 25342960
5.  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.
PMCID: PMC3725842  PMID: 23935677
7.  Huangqi Injection (a Traditional Chinese Patent Medicine) for Chronic Heart Failure: A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19604.
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).
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of Huangqi injection for CHF according to the available scientific knowledge.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3089614  PMID: 21573109

Results 1-7 (7)