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1.  The Anxiolytic Effects of Valtrate in Rats Involves Changes of Corticosterone Levels 
Valtrate is a principle compound isolated from Valeriana jatamansi Jones, which is a Traditional Chinese Medicine used to treat various mood disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate the anxiolytic effects of valtrate in rats. The animals were orally administered valtrate (5, 10, and 20 g/kg daily) for 10 days and exposed to open field test (OFT) and elevated plus-maze (EPM). Then the corticosterone levels in the rat serum were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The valtrate (10 mg/kg, p.o.) exhibited the anxiolytic effect in rats by increasing the time and entry percentage into the open arms in the EPM and the number of central entries in the OFT. Valtrate (10 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly reduced the corticosterone level in the rat serum. Taken together, these results suggest that the valtrate has anxiolytic activity in behavioral models that might be mediated via the function of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.
doi:10.1155/2014/325948
PMCID: PMC3978903  PMID: 24782906
2.  Acupuncture Activates ERK-CREB Pathway in Rats Exposed to Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress 
Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) signal pathway has been implicated in the pathogenesis of depression. There is growing evidence that acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine has antidepressant-like effect. However, the effect of acupuncture on ERK-CREB pathway remains unknown. In our study, the antidepressant-like effect of acupuncture treatment was measured by sucrose intake test and open field test in rats exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) for 4 weeks. The protein levels of ERK1/2, CREB, phosphorylated ERK1/2 (p-ERK1/2), and phosphorylated CREB (p-CREB) in the hippocampus (HP) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) were examined by Western blot analysis. Our results showed that CUMS rats exhibited the reduction in behavioral activities, whereas acupuncture stimulation at acupoints Baihui (Du20) and Neiguan (PC6) reversed the behavioral deficit. In addition, exposure to CUMS resulted in the decrease of p-ERK1/2 and p-CREB in the HP and PFC. Acupuncture increased the ratio of p-ERK1/2 to ERK1/2 and the ratio of p-CREB to CREB in the HP and PFC. Our study suggested that one potential way, by which acupuncture had antidepressant-like effect, might be mediated by activating the ERK-CREB pathway in the brain.
doi:10.1155/2013/469765
PMCID: PMC3703360  PMID: 23843874
3.  Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Compound Zhi Zhu Xiang in Rats 
The purpose of this study was to determine whether compound zhi zhu xiang (CZZX) exerts anxiolytic-like effects in rats. The animals were orally administered CZZX (0.75, 1.5, and 3 g/kg daily) for 10 days and tested in the elevated plus maze (EPM), Vogel conflict test (VCT), and open field. Repeated treatment with CZZX (3 g/kg/day, p.o.) significantly increased the percentage of both entries into and time spent on the open arms of the EPM compared with saline controls. In the VCT, repeated treatment with CZZX (1.5 and 3 g/kg/day, p.o.) significantly increased the number of punished licks. The drug did not change the total entries into the open arms of the EPM or interfere with water consumption or nociceptive threshold, discarding potential confounding factors in the two tests. In the open field, locomotion was not reduced, discarding the possible sedative effect of CZZX. In the binding assay, the binding of [3H] Ro 15-1788 (flumazenil) to the benzodiazepine binding site in washed crude synaptosomal membranes from rat cerebral cortex was affected by CZZX. These data indicate an anxiolytic-like profile of action for CZZX without sedative side effects, and this activity may be mediated by benzodiazepine binding site modulation at γ-aminobutyric acid-A receptors.
doi:10.1155/2012/701289
PMCID: PMC3368380  PMID: 22690249
4.  A Hypothesis: Supplementation with Mushroom-Derived Active Compound Modulates Immunity and Increases Survival in Response to Influenza Virus (H1N1) Infection 
We hypothesize that the mushroom-derived active compound may be a potential strategy for increasing survival in response to influenza virus (H1N1) infection through the stimulation of host innate immune response. The validity of the hypothesis can be tested by immune response to influenza infection as seen through survival percentage, virus clearance, weight loss, natural killer cell cytotoxicity, Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α) and Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) levels, lytic efficiency in the spleens of mice and inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA expressions in RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells. The hypothesis may improve people's quality of life, reduce the medical cost of our healthcare system and eliminate people's fears of influenza outbreak.
doi:10.1093/ecam/neq037
PMCID: PMC3096471  PMID: 21660092
5.  Beta-asarone, a major component of Acorus tatarinowii Schott, attenuates focal cerebral ischemia induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats 
Background
Ischemic hypoxic brain injury often causes irreversible brain damage. The lack of effective and widely applicable pharmacological treatments for ischemic stroke patients may explain a growing interest in traditional medicines. β-Asarone, which has significant pharmacological effects on the central nervous system (CNS), was used in the prevention of cerebral ischemia in this paper.
Methods
The right middle cerebral artery occlusion model was used in the study. The effects of β-Asarone on mortality rate, neurobehavior, grip strength, lactate dehydrogenase, glutathione content, Lipid peroxidation, glutathione peroxidase activity, glutathione reductase activity, catalase activity, Na+-K+-ATPase activity and glutathione S transferase activity in a rat model were studied respectively.
Results
β-Asarone significantly improved the neurological outcome after cerebral ischemia and reperfusion in terms of neurobehavioral function in rats. Meanwhile, supplementation of β-Asarone significantly boosted the defense mechanism against cerebral ischemia via increasing antioxidants activity related to lesion pathogenesis. Restoration of the antioxidant homeostasis in the brain after reperfusion may help the brain recover from ischemic injury.
Conclusions
These experimental results suggest that complement β-Asarone is protective against cerebral ischemia in specific way. The administration of β-Asarone could reduce focal cerebral ischemic/reperfusion injury. The Mechanism of β-Asarone in protection of cerebral ischemia was via increasing antioxidants activity related to lesion pathogenesis.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-236
PMCID: PMC3853232  PMID: 24066702
6.  Evaluation of anxiolytic activity of compound Valeriana jatamansi Jones in mice 
Background
Compound Valeriana jatamansi Jones is a formula for treating anxiety-related diseases in the clinic, which is composed of Valeriana jatamansi Rhizoma et Radix, Ziziphi Spinosae Semen, Albiziae Cortex and Junci Medulla. The purpose of this study was to explore the anxiolytic properties of this compound in mice.
Methods
Male ICR mice were treated with compound Valerianae Jatamansi Jones (1.2 g/kg, 2.4 g/kg, 4.8 g/kg), saline, diazepam (2 mg/kg) orally for 10 days and then exposed to elevated maze-plus (EPM) and light–dark box (LDB). The effects of the compound on spontaneous activity were evaluated by locomotor activity test. We further investigated the mechanism of action underlying the anxiolytic-like effect of compound by pre-treating animals with antagonists of benzodiazepine (flumazenil, 3mg/kg) prior to evaluation using EPM and LDB.
Results
Compound Valerianae Jatamansi Jones (2.4, 4.8 g/kg, p.o.) significantly increased entries (P<0.05) into and time spent (P<0.05) on the open arms of the EPM, and number of transitions (P<0.05) and time spent (P<0.05) in the light compartment of the LDB. However, the anxiolytic-like effects of compound were significantly reduced by pre-treatment with flumazenil (P>0.05). In addition, compound Valerianae Jatamansi Jones treatment didn’t affect the spontaneous activity in mice (P> 0.05).
Conclusions
The present study supports the hypothesis that compound Valeriana jatamansi Jones exert anxiolytic action but no sedative effects in mice and that this effect might be mediated by benzodiazepine receptors.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-223
PMCID: PMC3526556  PMID: 23171285
Compound Valeriana jatamansi Jones; Anxiolytic; Elevated maze-plus; Light–dark box; Benzodiazepine receptors
7.  Isolation and biological activity of triglycerides of the fermented mushroom of Coprinus Comatus 
Background
Although many physiological functions of Coprinus comatus have been reported, there has been no report on the antinociceptive activity of Coprinus comatus. Therefore, the objective of the present study is to demonstrate the production, isolation, and biological properties of triglycerides (TFC) of the fermented mushroom of Coprinus comatus.
Methods
The effects of TFC on cytokines levels, total antioxidant activity, antinociceptive effects in vivo, LD50 and tactile hyperalgesia were analyzed respectively.
Results
TFC treatment decreased the levels of cytokines and total antioxidant status (TAOS) and inhibited the acetic acid-induced abdominal constrictions in mice. In addition, TFC reduced CFA-induced tactile hyperalgesia in a dose-dependent manner and the LD50 of TFC was determined to be 400 mg/kg. However, TFC did not significantly inhibit the reaction time to thermal stimuli in the hot-plate test.
Conclusions
TFC showed anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, peripheral antinociceptive and antihyperalgesic activity in various models of inflammatory pain. The data suggest that TFC may be a viable treatment option for inflammatory pain.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-52
PMCID: PMC3428691  PMID: 22531110
8.  A Contemporary Treatment Approach to Both Diabetes and Depression by Cordyceps sinensis, Rich in Vanadium 
Diabetes mellitus is accompanied by hormonal and neurochemical changes that can be associated with anxiety and depression. Both diabetes and depression negatively interact, in that depression leads to poor metabolic control and hyperglycemia exacerbates depression. We hypothesize one novel vanadium complex of vanadium-enriched Cordyceps sinensis (VECS), which is beneficial in preventing depression in diabetes, and influences the long-term course of glycemic control. Vanadium compounds have the ability to imitate the action of insulin, and this mimicry may have further favorable effects on the level of treatment satisfaction and mood. C. sinensis has an antidepressant-like activity, and attenuates the diabetes-induced increase in blood glucose concentrations. We suggest that the VECS may be a potential strategy for contemporary treatment of depression and diabetes through the co-effect of C. sinensis and vanadium. The validity of the hypothesis can most simply be tested by examining blood glucose levels, and swimming and climbing behavior in streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemic rats.
doi:10.1093/ecam/nep201
PMCID: PMC2887337  PMID: 19948751
antidepressants; vanadium enriched Cordyceps sinensis; diabetes; depression; high blood sugar-diabetes

Results 1-8 (8)