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1.  Effect of Keishibukuryogan on Genetic and Dietary Obesity Models 
Obesity has been recognized as one of the most important risk factors for a variety of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension/cardiovascular diseases, steatosis/hepatitis, and cancer. Keishibukuryogan (KBG, Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan in Chinese) is a traditional Chinese/Japanese (Kampo) medicine that has been known to improve blood circulation and is also known for its anti-inflammatory or scavenging effect. In this study, we evaluated the effect of KBG in two distinct rodent models of obesity driven by either a genetic (SHR/NDmcr-cp rat model) or dietary (high-fat diet-induced mouse obesity model) mechanism. Although there was no significant effect on the body composition in either the SHR rat or the DIO mouse models, KBG treatment significantly decreased the serum level of leptin and liver TG level in the DIO mouse, but not in the SHR rat model. Furthermore, a lower fat deposition in liver and a smaller size of adipocytes in white adipose tissue were observed in the DIO mice treated with KBG. Importantly, we further found downregulation of genes involved in lipid metabolism in the KBG-treated liver, along with decreased liver TG and cholesterol level. Our present data experimentally support in fact that KBG can be an attractive Kampo medicine to improve obese status through a regulation of systemic leptin level and/or lipid metabolism.
PMCID: PMC4352422  PMID: 25793003
2.  Effects of Shenque Moxibustion on Behavioral Changes and Brain Oxidative State in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice 
Purpose. To determine whether moxibustion influences the learning and memory behavior of ApoE−/− male mice, and investigate the mechanism of moxibustion on the alteration of oxidized proteins (glial fibrillary acidic protein, β-amyloid) in hippocampus. Methods. Thirty-three ApoE−/− mice were randomly divided into 3 groups (n = 11/group): moxibustion, sham moxibustion, and no treatment control. Wild-type C57BL/6 mice (n = 13) were used for normal control. Moxibustion was performed with Shenque (RN8) moxibustion for 20 minutes per day, 6 days/week for 12 weeks. In sham control, the procedure was similar except burning of the moxa stick. Behavioral tests (step-down test and Morris water maze task) were conducted in the 13th week. The mice were then sacrificed and the tissues were harvested for immune-histochemical staining. Results. In the step-down test, the moxibustion group had shorter reaction time in training record and committed less mistakes compared to sham control. In immune-histochemical study, the moxibustion group expressed lower level of GFAP and less aggregation of β-amyloid in the hippocampus than the sham control. Conclusion. Our findings suggest that moxibustion may enhance learning capability of ApoE−/− mice. The mechanism may be via inhibiting oxidized proteins (GFAP and β-amyloid) in astrocytes.
PMCID: PMC4352425  PMID: 25793004
3.  Tai Chi Chuan Exercise for Patients with Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
Objective. Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is a form of aerobic exercise that may be an effective therapy for improving psychosomatic capacity among breast cancer survivors. This meta-analysis analyzed the available randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the effects of TCC in relieving treatment-related side effects and quality of life in women with breast cancer. Methods. RCTs were searched in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library through April 2014. Data were analyzed on pathology (pain, interleukin-6, and insulin-like growth factor 1), physical capacity (handgrip, limb physical fitness, and BMI), and well-being (physical, social, emotional, and general quality of life). Results. Nine RCTs, including a total of 322 breast cancer patients, were examined. Compared with control therapies, the pooled results suggested that TCC showed significant effects in improving handgrip dynamometer strength, limb elbow flexion (elbow extension, abduction, and horizontal adduction). No significant differences were observed in pain, interleukin-6, insulin-like growth factor, BMI, physical well-being, social or emotional well-being, or general health-related quality of life. Conclusion. The short-term effects of TCC may have potential benefits in upper limb functional mobility in patients with breast cancer. Additional randomized controlled trials with longer follow-up are needed to provide more reliable evidence.
PMCID: PMC4352428  PMID: 25793000
5.  Safety Evaluation of Chinese Medicine Injections with a Cell Imaging-Based Multiparametric Assay Revealed a Critical Involvement of Mitochondrial Function in Hepatotoxicity 
The safety of herbal medicine products has been a widespread concern due to their complex chemical nature and lack of proper evaluation methods. We have adapted a sensitive and reproducible multiparametric cell-based high-content analysis assay to evaluate the hepatic-safety of four Chinese medicine injections and validated it with classical animal-based toxicity assays. Our results suggested that the reported hepatotoxicity by one of the drugs, Fufangkushen injection, could be attributed at least in part to the interference of mitochondrial function in human HepG2 cells by some of its constituents. This method should be useful for both preclinical screen in a drug discovery program and postclinical evaluation of herbal medicine preparations.
PMCID: PMC4352439  PMID: 25792997
6.  Factors Affecting Definitions of and Approaches to Integrative Medicine: A Mixed Methods Study Examining China's Integrative Medicine Development 
Aim. This study identifies existing definitions and approaches among China's integrative medicine (IM) experts and examines relationships with key characteristics distinguishing individual experts. Methods. Snowball sampling was used to select 73 IM experts for semistructured interviews. In this mixed methods study, we first identified definitions and approaches through analyzing core statements. Four key factors, including age, education, practice type, and working environment, were then chosen to evaluate the associations with the definitions. Results. Four unique definitions were identified, including IM as a “new medicine” (D1), as a combination of western medicine (WM) and Chinese medicine (CM) (D2), as a modernization of CM (D3), and as a westernization of CM (D4). D4 was mostly supported by those working in WM organizations, while D3 was more prominent from individuals working in CM organizations (P = 0.00004). More than 64% clinicians had D2 while only 1 (5.9%) nonclinician had D2. Only 1 clinician (1.8%) had D4 while almost 30% nonclinicians had D4 (P = 0.0001). Among nonclinicians working in WM organizations, 83.3% of them had D4 (P = 0.001). Conclusion. Findings indicate that institutional structure and practice type are factors affecting IM approaches. These results carry implications for the ways in which western countries move forward with the definition and implementation of IM.
PMCID: PMC4352459  PMID: 25792999
7.  Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Zishen Yutai Pill, Ameliorates Precocious Endometrial Maturation Induced by Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation and Improves Uterine Receptivity via Upregulation of HOXA10 
Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) is widely used in assisted reproductive technology (ART), but it often leads to precocious maturation of the endometrium such that it impairs embryonic implantation and limits pregnancy rates. Previous studies have shown the traditional Chinese medicine, the Zishen Yutai pill (ZYP), to be effective in treatment of threatened as well as recurrent miscarriages, and it can improve embryonic implantation rates in patients undergoing IVF treatment. In the present study, the ZYP has been found to ameliorate precocious endometrial maturation in a mouse model of different COH. Molecular evaluations, real-time PCR, relative RT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry have indicated that the ZYP increased the expression of HOXA10, an important marker of uterine receptivity. Elevation of HOXA10 led to further upregulation of its target gene, integrin β3, and downregulation of EMX2, two additional markers of uterine receptivity. In this way, the ZYP may mitigate COH-induced precocious maturation of the endometrium and improve uterine receptivity by upregulating HOXA10.
PMCID: PMC4352469  PMID: 25792996
8.  Antimicrobial Activity of Oleanolic and Ursolic Acids: An Update 
Triterpenoids are the most representative group of phytochemicals, as they comprise more than 20,000 recognized molecules. These compounds are biosynthesized in plants via squalene cyclization, a C30 hydrocarbon that is considered to be the precursor of all steroids. Due to their low hydrophilicity, triterpenes were considered to be inactive for a long period of time; however, evidence regarding their wide range of pharmacological activities is emerging, and elegant studies have highlighted these activities. Several triterpenic skeletons have been described, including some that have presented with pentacyclic features, such as oleanolic and ursolic acids. These compounds have displayed incontestable biological activity, such as antibacterial, antiviral, and antiprotozoal effects, which were not included in a single review until now. Thus, the present review investigates the potential use of these triterpenes against human pathogens, including their mechanisms of action, via in vivo studies, and the future perspectives about the use of compounds for human or even animal health are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC4352472  PMID: 25793002
9.  Suan Zao Ren Tang in Combination with Zhi Zi Chi Tang as a Treatment Protocol for Insomniacs with Anxiety: A Randomized Parallel-Controlled Trial 
Insomnia is a serious worldwide health problem that is often comorbid with anxiety. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of a Chinese formula containing Suan Zao Ren Tang (SZRT) and Zhi Zi Chi Tang (ZZCT; SZR-ZZC) for improving sleep quality and anxiety states with four indices of Polysomnography (PSG), the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and the Self Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS). Methods. A randomized, parallel-controlled trial compared SZR-ZZC to lorazepam tablet in insomniacs with anxiety. Patients were randomized to the SZR-ZZC treatment group (n = 60) and the lorazepam tablet treatment group (n = 59). Results. SZR-ZZC significantly improved scores on all four treatment indices. Compared with lorazepam, treatment with SZR-ZZC resulted in a significant reduction in the ISI (P = 0.029), the PSQI (P = 0.017), and wake after sleep onset (WASO; P = 0.008) scores and improved sleep architecture (P = 0.000–0.003) after a 4-week treatment period. Only one subject in the SZR-ZZC group experienced adverse side effects. Conclusion. Treatment with SZR-ZZC for 4 weeks appears to be a relatively safe and effective complementary therapeutic option when aiming to improve sleep quality and anxiety in insomniacs with anxiety.
PMCID: PMC4352487  PMID: 25793006
10.  Gray Matter Volumes in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue with uncertain pathologic mechanism. Neuroimage may be an important key to unveil the central nervous system (CNS) mechanism in CFS. Although most of the studies found gray matter (GM) volumes reduced in some brain regions in CFS, there are many factors that could affect GM volumes in CFS, including chronic pain, stress, psychiatric disorder, physical activity, and insomnia, which may bias the results. In this paper, through reviewing recent literatures, we discussed these interferential factors, which overlap with the symptoms of CFS.
PMCID: PMC4352504  PMID: 25792998
11.  Beneficial Effects and Safety of Corticosteroids Combined with Traditional Chinese Medicine for Pemphigus: A Systematic Review 
Objective. To evaluate the beneficial effects and safety of corticosteroids combined with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for pemphigus. Methods. Seven electronic databases were searched to identify any potential randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or clinical controlled trials (CCTs) that compared corticosteroids with and without TCM for the treatment of pemphigus, published in any language. Remission of the mucocutaneous lesions, therapeutic duration, dosage of corticosteroids, and specific antibody titers were employed as the main outcome measures. The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed using the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Review of Interventions and Rev Man 5.1.0 software. Results. Four RCTs with a total of 199 patients were included in the present review. Management with corticosteroids combined with TCM seemed to benefit pemphigus patients in terms of healing of lesions, prevention of complications and relapse, and reduced interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) level. The trials were not of high methodological quality. No study mentioned allocation concealment and blinding. Only one trial reported adverse events, and it indicated that the safety of corticosteroids combined with TCM was uncertain. Conclusion. There is some, albeit weak, evidence to show that combined treatment with corticosteroids with TCM could be of benefit for some patients with pemphigus. The efficacy and safety of this combined treatment should be evaluated further in better designed, fully powered, and confirmatory RCTs.
PMCID: PMC4352514  PMID: 25793005
13.  The Inhibitory Effect of Kakkonto, Japanese Traditional (Kampo) Medicine, on Brain Penetration of Oseltamivir Carboxylate in Mice with Reduced Blood-Brain Barrier Function 
Oseltamivir phosphate (OP) is used to treat influenza virus infections. However, its use may result in central nervous system (CNS) adverse effects. In Japan, OP is used with Kampo formulations to improve clinical effectiveness. We evaluated the potential for using Kampo formulations to reduce CNS adverse effects by quantifying the CNS distribution of oseltamivir and its active metabolite oseltamivir carboxylate (OC) when administered with maoto and kakkonto. We administered lipopolysaccharide (LPS) by intraperitoneal injection to C57BL/6 mice to reduce blood-brain barrier function. Saline, maoto, and kakkonto were administered orally at the same time as LPS. OP was orally administered 4 hours after the last LPS injection and the migration of oseltamivir and OC was examined. Additionally, we examined the brain distribution of OC following intravenous administration. Changes in OC concentrations in the brain suggest that, in comparison to LPS-treated control mice, both Kampo formulations increased plasma levels of OC, thereby enhancing its therapeutic effect. Additionally, our findings suggest kakkonto may not only improve the therapeutic effect of oseltamivir but also reduce the risk of CNS-based adverse effects. Considering these findings, it should be noted that administration of kakkonto during periods of inflammation has led to increased OAT3 expression.
PMCID: PMC4350872  PMID: 25788966
14.  Renoprotective Effects of Vitex megapotamica (Spreng.) Moldenke in C57BL/6 LDLr-Null Mice Undergoing High Fat Diet 
Although Vitex megapotamica (Spreng.) Moldenke is used in Brazilian folk medicine as hypolipidemic drug no study has been conducted to evaluate the effects of this species in an experimental model of atherosclerosis. So, the aim of this study was to evaluate the possible renoprotective activity of methanolic extract obtained from Vitex megapotamica (MEVM) using C57BL/6 LDLr-null mice submitted to high fat diet (HFD). MEVM was orally administered at doses of 30, 100, and 300 mg/kg, for three weeks, starting from the 2nd week of HFD. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diuretic activity were measured weekly. At the end of experiments the serum lipids, atherogenic index serum (AIS), oxidative stress, and markers of renal function were determined. HFD induced a significant increase in the systolic blood pressure, dyslipidemia, increase in AIS, and lipid peroxidation accompanied by an important reduction in renal function. Treatment with MEVM was able to prevent increase in SBP, total cholesterol, triglycerides, AIS, urea, and creatinine levels in LDLr-null mice. These effects were accompanied by a significant reduction in oxidative stress and renal injury. The data reported here support the potential of Vitex megapotamica as candidate to be an herbal medicine used in cardiovascular or renal diseases.
PMCID: PMC4350963  PMID: 25788962
15.  Can Herbal Medicine Cause Hematoma Enlargement of Hypertensive Intracerebral Hemorrhage within 24 hrs Time Window? A Retrospective Study of 256 Cases from a Single Center in China 
A retrospective review was performed of consecutive patients presenting with HICH within 24 hours of ictus presenting between March 2008 and March 2013 who were diagnosed as having HICH by CT scan. Of the 256 patients who matched study inclusion standard, 43 patients hematoma was enlarged (16.8%). The number of the patients who did not take PBC or RBC herbal medicine, took the PBC herbal medicine, and took RBS herbal medicine was 19 (44.2%), 2 (4.7%), and 22 (51.2%) in hematoma enlargement group and 78 (36.6%), 26 (12.2%), and 109 (51.2%) in nonhematoma enlargement group, individually. There was no significant difference between two groups (P = 0.671). PBC and RBS herbal medicine did not increase the incidence of hematoma expansion of ICH within 24 hours after onset of symptom.
PMCID: PMC4351003  PMID: 25788965
16.  Fourier-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography for Monitoring the Lower Tear Meniscus in Dry Eye after Acupuncture Treatment 
Dry eye is highly prevalent and has a significant impact on quality of life. Acupuncture was found to be effective to treat dry eye. However, little was known about the effect of acupuncture on different subtypes of dry eye. The objective of this study was to investigate the applicability of tear meniscus assessment by Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography in the evaluation of acupuncture treatment response in dry eye patients and to explore the effect of acupuncture on different subtypes of dry eye compared with artificial tear treatment. A total of 108 dry eye patients were randomized into acupuncture or artificial tear group. Each group was divided into three subgroups including lipid tear deficiency (LTD), Sjögren syndrome dry eye (SSDE), and non-Sjögren syndrome dry eye (Non-SSDE) for data analysis. After 4-week treatment, the low tear meniscus parameters including tear meniscus height (TMH), tear meniscus depth (TMD), and tear meniscus area (TMA) in the acupuncture group increased significantly for the LTD and Non-SSDE subgroups compared with both the baseline and the control groups (all P values < 0.05), but not for the SSDE. Acupuncture provided a measurable improvement of the tear meniscus dimensions for the Non-SSDE and LTD patients, but not for the SSDE patients.
PMCID: PMC4348587  PMID: 25788963
17.  Echinacoside Protects against 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Inflammatory Responses in PC12 Cells via Reducing ROS Production 
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons at the substantia nigra. Mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammatory responses are involved in the mechanism of cell damage in PD. 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), a dopamine analog, specifically damages dopaminergic neurons. Echinacoside (ECH) is a phenylethanoid glycoside isolated from the stems of Cistanche salsa, showing a variety of neuroprotective effects in previous studies. The present study was to investigate its effect against 6-OHDA-induced neurotoxicity and possible mechanisms in PC12 cells. The results showed that 6-OHDA reduced cell viability, decreased oxidation-reduction activity, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, and induced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis compared with untreated PC12 cells. However, echinacoside treatment significantly attenuated these changes induced by 6-OHDA. In addition, echinacoside also could significantly alleviate the inflammatory responses induced by 6-OHDA. Further research showed that echinacoside could reduce 6-OHDA-induced ROS production in PC12 cells. These results suggest that the underlying mechanism of echinacoside against 6-OHDA-induced neurotoxicity may be involve in attenuating mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammatory responses by reducing ROS production.
PMCID: PMC4348598  PMID: 25788961
18.  The Effect of Tou Nong San on Transplanted Tumor Growth in Nude Mice 
Tou Nong San (TNS) is a traditional Chinese medicinal decoction used to treat sores and carbuncles. It contains four herbal drugs and one animal medicine: Radix Astragaliseu Seu Hedysari, Angelica sinensis, Ligustici Chuanxiong, Spina Gleditsiae, and stir-baked Squama Manis. Previous studies have shown that it has anticancer effects. This report validates in vivo antitumor properties of TNS. The compounds contained in TNSE were confirmed by liquid chromatographmass spectrometer (LC-MS) analysis. The in vivo antitumor activity of TNS extract (TNSE) was tested by feeding it to athymic mice harboring a human colonic tumor subcutaneous xenograft. Toxicity was monitored by recording behavior and weight parameters. Seven compounds were detected in TNSE by LC-MS. TNSE was fed to athymic mice for 2 weeks. No adverse reactions were reported. Compared to the control group, administration of TNSE to tumor bearing mice significantly reduced both tumor weight and volume. The expressions of p-PI3K, p-AKT, p-mTOR, p-p70s6k1, VEGF, and CD31 were significantly reduced, the expression levels of cleaved Caspase-9 and cleaved Caspase-3 were significantly increased in the TNSE groups compared to the control group as determined by western blot and immunohistochemistry. TNSE produced anticolonic cancer effects and the underlying mechanisms involved inhibition of the PI3K/AKT signal transduction pathway, inhibition of angiogenesis, and promotion of apoptotic proteins.
PMCID: PMC4348604  PMID: 25788964
19.  Acupuncture Antiarrhythmic Effects on Drug Refractory Persistent Atrial Fibrillation: Study Protocol for a Randomized, Controlled Trial 
Background. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common form of arrhythmia. Several trials have suggested that acupuncture may prevent AF. However, the efficacy of acupuncture for AF prevention has not been well investigated. Therefore, we designed a prospective, two-parallel-armed, participant and assessor blinded, randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial to investigate acupuncture in persistent AF (ACU-AF). Methods. A total of 80 participants will be randomly assigned to active acupuncture or sham acupuncture groups in a 1 : 1 ratio. Both groups will take the same antiarrhythmic medication during the study period. Patients will receive 10 sessions of acupuncture treatment once a week for 10 weeks. The primary endpoint is AF recurrence rate. Secondary endpoints are left atrium (LA) and left atrial appendage (LAA) changes in function and volume, and inflammatory biomarker changes. Ethics. This study protocol was approved by the institutional review boards (IRBs) of Kyung Hee University Hospital (number 1335-04). This trial is registered with NCT02110537.
PMCID: PMC4346697  PMID: 25784948
20.  Antihypertensive Effect of Radix Paeoniae Alba in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats and Excessive Alcohol Intake and High Fat Diet Induced Hypertensive Rats 
Radix Paeoniae Alba (Baishao, RPA) has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine formulation to treat hypertension by repression the hyperfunction of liver. However, whether the RPA itself has the antihypertensive effect or not is seldom studied. This study was to evaluate the protective effect of RPA on hypertensive rats. Alcohol in conjunction with a high fat diet- (ACHFD-) induced hypertensive rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) was constantly received either RPA extract (25 or 75 mg/kg) or captopril (15 mg/kg) all along the experiments. As a result, RPA extract (75 mg/kg) could significantly reduce systolic blood pressure of both ACHFD-induced hypertensive rats and SHR after 9-week or 4-week treatment. In ACHFD-induced hypertensive rats, the blood pressure was significantly increased and the lipid profiles in serum including triglyceride, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and HDL-cholesterol were significantly deteriorated. Also, hepatic damage was manifested by a significant increase in alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) in serum. The RPA extract significantly reversed these parameters, which revealed that it could alleviate the liver damage of rats. In SHR, our result suggested that the antihypertensive active of RPA extract may be related to its effect on regulating serum nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin (ET) levels.
PMCID: PMC4345252  PMID: 25784949
21.  Adenosine A2A Receptors Mediate Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Electroacupuncture on Synovitis in Mice with Collagen-Induced Arthritis 
To study the role of adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) in mediating the anti-inflammatory effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on synovitis in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), C57BL/6 mice were divided into five treatment groups: Sham-control, CIA-control, CIA-EA, CIA-SCH58261 (A2AR antagonist), and CIA-EA-SCH58261. All mice except those in the Sham-control group were immunized with collagen II for arthritis induction. EA treatment was administered using the stomach 36 and spleen 6 points, and stimulated with a continuous rectangular wave for 30 min daily. EA treatment and SCH58261 were administered daily from days 35 to 49 (n = 10). After treatment, X-ray radiography of joint bone morphology was established at day 60 and mouse blood was collected for ELISA determination of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels. Mice were sacrificed and processed for histological examination of pathological changes of joint tissue, including hematoxylin-eosin staining and immunohistochemistry of A2AR expression. EA treatment resulted in significantly reduced pathological scores, TNF-α concentrations, and bone damage X-ray scores. Importantly, the anti-inflammatory and tissue-protective effect of EA treatment was reversed by coadministration of SCH58261. Thus, EA treatment exerts an anti-inflammatory effect resulting in significant protection of cartilage by activation of A2AR in the synovial tissue of CIA.
PMCID: PMC4345253  PMID: 25784951
22.  Terminalia chebula Fructus Inhibits Migration and Proliferation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells and Production of Inflammatory Mediators in RAW 264.7 
Pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and neointima formation after angioplasty involves vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) migration and proliferation followed by inflammatory responses mediated by recruited macrophages in the neointima. Terminalia chebula is widely used traditional medicine in Asia for its beneficial effects against cancer, diabetes, and bacterial infection. The study was designed to determine whether Terminalia chebula fructus water extract (TFW) suppresses VSMC migration and proliferation and inflammatory mediators production in macrophage (RAW 264.7). Our results showed that TFW possessed strong antioxidative effects in 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging and lipid peroxidation assays. In addition, TFW reduced nitric oxide (NO) production, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in RAW 264.7 cells. Also, TFW inhibited platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB) induced VSMC migration as determined by wound healing and Boyden chamber assays. The antimigratory effect of TFW was due to its inhibitory effect on metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) expression, focal adhesion kinase (FAK) activation, and Rho-family of small GTPases (Cdc42 and RhoA) expression in VSMCs. Furthermore, TFW suppressed PDGF-BB induced VSMC proliferation by downregulation of mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) signaling molecules. These results suggest that TFW could be a beneficial resource in the prevention of atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4345257  PMID: 25784946
23.  Cytotoxic Effects of Biosynthesized Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles on Murine Cell Lines 
The aim of this study is to evaluate the in vitro cytotoxic activity and cellular effects of previously prepared ZnO-NPs on murine cancer cell lines using brown seaweed (Sargassum muticum) aqueous extract. Treated cancer cells with ZnO-NPs for 72 hours demonstrated various levels of cytotoxicity based on calculated IC50 values using MTT assay as follows: 21.7 ± 1.3 μg/mL (4T1), 17.45 ± 1.1 μg/mL (CRL-1451), 11.75 ± 0.8 μg/mL (CT-26), and 5.6 ± 0.55 μg/mL (WEHI-3B), respectively. On the other hand, ZnO-NPs treatments for 72 hours showed no toxicity against normal mouse fibroblast (3T3) cell line. On the other hand, paclitaxel, which imposed an inhibitory effect on WEHI-3B cells with IC50 of 2.25 ± 0.4, 1.17 ± 0.5, and 1.6 ± 0.09 μg/mL after 24, 48, and 72 hours treatment, respectively, was used as positive control. Furthermore, distinct morphological changes were found by utilizing fluorescent dyes; apoptotic population was increased via flowcytometry, while a cell cycle block and stimulation of apoptotic proteins were also observed. Additionally, the present study showed that the caspase activations contributed to ZnO-NPs triggered apoptotic death in WEHI-3 cells. Thus, the nature of biosynthesis and the therapeutic potential of ZnO-NPs could prepare the way for further research on the design of green synthesis therapeutic agents, particularly in nanomedicine, for the treatment of cancer.
PMCID: PMC4345278  PMID: 25784947
24.  Total Flavonoids from Clinopodium chinense (Benth.) O. Ktze Protect against Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity In Vitro and In Vivo 
Doxorubicin has cardiotoxic effects that limit its clinical benefit in cancer patients. This study aims to investigate the protective effects of the total flavonoids from Clinopodium chinense (Benth.) O. Ktze (TFCC) against doxorubicin- (DOX-) induced cardiotoxicity. Male rats were intraperitoneally injected with a single dose of DOX (3 mg/kg) every 2 days for three injections. Heart samples were collected 2 weeks after the last DOX dose and then analyzed. DOX delayed body and heart growth and caused cardiac tissue injury, oxidative stress, apoptotic damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, and Bcl-2 expression disturbance. Similar experiments in H9C2 cardiomyocytes showed that doxorubicin reduced cell viability, increased ROS generation and DNA fragmentation, disrupted mitochondrial membrane potential, and induced apoptotic cell death. However, TFCC pretreatment suppressed all of these adverse effects of doxorubicin. Signal transduction studies indicated that TFCC suppressed DOX-induced overexpression of p53 and phosphorylation of JNK, p38, and ERK. Studies with LY294002 (a PI3K/AKT inhibitor) demonstrated that the mechanism of TFCC-induced cardioprotection also involves activation of PI3K/AKT. These findings indicated the potential clinical application of TFCC in preventing DOX-induced cardiac oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC4346128  PMID: 25784945
25.  The Clinical Efficacy and Safety of the Sahastara Remedy versus Diclofenac in the Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Double-Blind, Randomized, and Controlled Trial 
Introduction. The Sahastara (SHT) remedy is a Thai traditional medicine that has been acknowledged in the Thai National List of Essential Medicine and has been used as an alternative medicine to treat knee osteoarthritis. Although SHT remedies have been used in Thai traditional medical practices for a long period of time, there are few reports on their clinical trials. Aim of the Study. To investigate the clinical efficacy and safety of the SHT remedy in treating OA of the knee when compared to diclofenac. Methods. A phase 2, double-blind, randomized, and controlled trial study with a purpose to determine the clinical efficacy and safety of SHT in comparison with diclofenac for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Sixty-six patients, ages between 45 and 80 years of age, were randomly allocated into 2 groups. The SHT group received 1,000 mg of SHT powdered capsules 3 times per day, orally before meals, while another group received 25 mg of diclofenac sodium capsules 3 times a day, orally after meals for 28 days. All patients were followed up at 14 and 28 days for the evaluation of the efficacy and safety by using clinical examinations, blood tests, a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, and the 100-meter walktime test. Improvement on the quality of life was also assessed by the WOMAC index. Results. There were 31 and 30 patients in SHT and diclofenac groups, respectively, who had completed the study. Both medications have shown to significantly reduce the VAS for pain, and significantly improve the 100-meter walktime test and the WOMAC index score. However, there were no differences in the efficacy between the two groups. The blood chemistry showed no toxicity on renal and/or liver functions after taking SHT for 28 days but the patients who took diclofenac showed significant increases in their AST, ALT, and ALP. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure slightly increased in the diclofenac group but the SHT group did not effect on blood pressure. Conclusions. The SHT remedy is similar to diclofenac in all evaluating symptoms of OA knee. However, the SHT remedy has shown to be a good alternative treatment for OA knee with less systemic side effects when it was compared with diclofenac.
PMCID: PMC4345063  PMID: 25784944

Results 1-25 (4114)