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1.  Antiplatelet Activity of Morus alba Leaves Extract, Mediated via Inhibiting Granule Secretion and Blocking the Phosphorylation of Extracellular-Signal-Regulated Kinase and Akt 
Ethnopharmacological Relevance. Morus alba L. leaves (MAE) have been used in fork medicine for the treatment of beriberi, edema, diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis. However, underlying mechanism of MAE on cardiovascular protection remains to be elucidated. Therefore, we investigated whether MAE affect platelet aggregation and thrombosis. Materials and Methods. The anti-platelet activity of MAE was studied using rat platelets. The extent of anti-platelet activity of MAE was assayed in collagen-induced platelet aggregation. ATP and serotonin release was carried out. The activation of integrin αIIbβ3 and phosphorylation of signaling molecules, including MAPK and Akt, were investigated with cytofluorometer and immunoblotting, respectively. The thrombus formation in vivo was also evaluated in arteriovenous shunt model of rats. Results. HPLC chromatographic analysis revealed that MAE contained rutin and isoquercetin. MAE dose-dependently inhibited collagen-induced platelet aggregation. MAE also attenuated serotonin secretion and thromboxane A2 formation. In addition, the extract in vivo activity showed that MAE at 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg significantly and dose-dependently attenuated thrombus formation in rat arterio-venous shunt model by 52.3% (P < 0.001), 28.3% (P < 0.01), and 19.1% (P < 0.05), respectively. Conclusions. MAE inhibit platelet activation, TXB2 formation, serotonin secretion, aggregation, and thrombus formation. The plant extract could be considered as a candidate to anti-platelet and antithrombotic agent.
doi:10.1155/2014/639548
PMCID: PMC3950465  PMID: 24701244
2.  Development and Validation of Acupuncture Fear Scale 
Objectives. Strong aversions to acupuncture have been an obstacle to understanding its intrinsic action of acupuncture. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate the nature and extent of fear of acupuncture treatment. Our study aims to develop and validate an instrument that evaluates a patient's fear of acupuncture treatment. Methods. We have developed an acupuncture fear scale, a 16-item instrument which assesses the acupuncture fear score and uses it to survey 275 participants in South Korea, thus testing the reliability and validity of the instrument. Results. Internal consistency was high (Cronbach's alpha = 0.935). Test-retest reliability (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient) among 33 participants out of 275 ranged from 0.565 to 0.797 (P < 0.001). Principal component analysis revealed two factors accounting for 68% of the variance, which are painful sensation and possible adverse events, respectively. The acupuncture fear scale was positively correlated with the total of fear of pain questionnaire-III (r = 0.423, P < 0.001). Conclusions. The acupuncture fear scale can be a valid and reliable instrument that can measure fear of acupuncture treatment. These results strongly suggest that it would be a clinically useful tool to assess fear of acupuncture in the acupuncture clinic setting and an important instrument to understand the complex social-behavioral component of acupuncture modality.
doi:10.1155/2013/109704
PMCID: PMC3638605  PMID: 23662109
3.  The Antiobesity Effect of Polygonum aviculare L. Ethanol Extract in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice 
The antiobesity effects of a P. aviculare ethanol extract (PAE) in high-fat diet- (HFD-) induced obese mice were investigated. The mice were fed an HFD or an HFD supplemented with PAE (400 mg/kg/day) for 6.5 weeks. The increased body weights, adipose tissue weight, and adipocyte area as well as serum total triglyceride, leptin, and malondialdehyde concentrations were decreased in PAE-treated HFD-induced obese mice relative to the same measurements in untreated obese mice. Furthermore, PAE significantly suppressed the elevated mRNA expression levels of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, fatty acid synthase, and adipocyte protein 2 in the white adipose tissue of obese mice. In addition, PAE treatment of 3T3-L1 cells inhibited adipocyte differentiation and fat accumulation in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that PAE exerts antiobesity effects in HFD-induced obese mice through the suppression of lipogenesis in adipose tissue and increased antioxidant activity.
doi:10.1155/2013/626397
PMCID: PMC3570948  PMID: 23431342
4.  Ethanol Extract of Dianthus chinensis L. Induces Apoptosis in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma HepG2 Cells In Vitro 
Dianthus chinensis L. is used to treat various diseases including cancer; however, the molecular mechanism by which the ethanol extract of Dianthus chinensis L. (EDCL) induces apoptosis is unknown. In this study, the apoptotic effects of EDCL were investigated in human HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Treatment with EDCL significantly inhibited cell growth in a concentration- and time-dependent manner by inducing apoptosis. This induction was associated with chromatin condensation, activation of caspases, and cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase protein. However, apoptosis induced by EDCL was attenuated by caspase inhibitor, indicating an important role for caspases in EDCL responses. Furthermore, EDCL did not alter the expression of bax in HepG2 cells but did selectively downregulate the expression of bcl-2 and bcl-xl, resulting in an increase in the ratio of bax:bcl-2 and bax:bcl-xl. These results support a mechanism whereby EDCL induces apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway and caspase activation in HepG2 cells.
doi:10.1155/2012/573527
PMCID: PMC3356935  PMID: 22645629
5.  Scleroderma, Stress and CAM Utilization 
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease influenced by interplay among genetic and environmental factors, of which one is stress. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is frequently used to treat stress and those diseases in which stress has been implicated. Results are presented from a survey of patients with scleroderma. Respondents were a convenient sample of those attending a national conference in Las Vegas in 2002. Findings implicate stress in the onset, continuation and exacerbation of scleroderma. The implication is that CAM providers may be filling an important patient need in their provision of services that identify and treat stress and its related disorders.
doi:10.1093/ecam/nem142
PMCID: PMC2781773  PMID: 18955259
CAM use; scleroderma; stress

Results 1-5 (5)