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Points - Recent Research
Oral Uncaria Rhynchophylla (UR) Reduces Kainic Acid-Induced Epileptic Seizures and Neuronal Death accompanied by Attenuating Glial Cell Proliferation and S100B Proteins in Rats
A New TCM Formula FTZ Lowers Serum Cholesterol by Regulating HMG-CoA Reductase and CYP7A1 in Hyperlipidemic Rats
  Shikonin Extracted from Medicinal Chinese Herbs (Zi Cao) Exerts Anti-Inflammatory Effect Via Proteasome Inhibition

Oral Uncaria Rhynchophylla (UR) Reduces Kainic Acid-Induced Epileptic Seizures and Neuronal Death accompanied by Attenuating Glial Cell Proliferation and S100B Proteins in Rats

Lin YW, et al. Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; Acupuncture Research Center, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.

AIM OF THE STUDY: Epilepsy is a common clinical syndrome with recurrent neuronal discharges in cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Here we aim to determine the protective role of Uncaria rhynchophylla (UR), an herbal drug belong to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), on epileptic rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: To address this issue, we tested the effect of UR on kainic acid (KA)-induced epileptic seizures and further investigate the underlying mechanisms. RESULTS: Oral UR successfully decreased neuronal death and discharges in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. The population spikes (PSs) were decreased from 4.10.4mV to 2.10.3mV in KA-induced epileptic seizures and UR-treated groups, respectively. Oral UR protected animals from neuronal death induced by KA treatment (from 344.6 to 191.748.6 neurons/field) through attenuating glial cell proliferation and S100B protein expression but not GABAA and TRPV1 receptors. CONCLUSIONS: The above results provide detail mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective action of UR on KA-induced epileptic seizure in hippocampal CA1 neurons.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Mar 11.

Source: PubMed

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A New TCM Formula FTZ Lowers Serum Cholesterol by Regulating HMG-CoA Reductase and CYP7A1 in Hyperlipidemic Rats

Guo J, et al. Key Unit of Modulating Liver to Treat Hyperlipemia SATCM (State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine),SATCM Level 3 Lab of Lipid Metabolism, Institute of Chinese Medicinal Sciences, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre, Guangzhou, 510006, P.R.China.

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Based on a theory of Chinese Medicine, Regulating Gan (liver) to lower lipids that is in brief to regulate the lipid metabolic related factors in the liver will improve serum lipid profile, we have developed Fufang Zhenzhu Tiao Zhi (FTZ) which includes eight herbs that are quality assured. FTZ has been developed with the potential to correct abnormal lipid metabolism. This Chinese herbal medicine has been prescribed for 20years, which has been issued patent and clinically proven for use in the treatment of dyslipidemia. AIM OF THE STUDY: To investigate the cholesterol-lowering effect and the mode of action of FTZ extract on high lipid diet induced hyperlipidemic rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The FTZ was prepared by alcohol and water extraction of eight herbs that have been quality-controlled according to the protocol. The cholesterol-lowering effect of FTZ was evaluated on SD rats fed with high-lipid diet. RT-PCR and Western blot were used to analyze the gene expression of cholesterol metabolism-related enzymes including HMG-CoA reductase and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase(CYP7A1) in the livers of the rats. The activity of HMG-CoA reductase and CYP7A1 were assessed by colorimetrical method and by quantification of the cholesterol metabolite of CYP7A1 using HPLC analysis respectively. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: FTZ significantly decreased the levels of serum total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), whilst elevated the serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and decreased serum atherogenic index (A.I.) values in high lipid diet induced hyperlipidemic rats. Furthermore, FTZ showed significant antihyperlipidemic effect by at least three pathways in the high lipid diet induced hyperlipidemic rats: (1) upregulating the gene expression and activity of CYP7A1 which promotes the conversion of cholesterol into bile acid; (2) downregulating the gene expression and activity of HMG-CoA reductase to reduce de novo synthesis of cholesterol; (3) increasing the cholesterol excretion from feces. In these three pathways, HMG-CoA reductase and CYP7A1 are two pivotal enzymes in lipid cholesterol metabolism and are expressed mainly in hepatic cells, which support our new TCM treatment strategy: Modulating Liver to Treat Hyperlipemia.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Mar 9.

Source: PubMed

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Shikonin Extracted from Medicinal Chinese Herbs (Zi Cao) Exerts Anti-Inflammatory Effect Via Proteasome Inhibition

Lu L, et al. Protein Modification and Degradation Lab, Department of Pathophysiology, Guangzhou Medical College, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.

Shikonin, extracted from medicinal Chinese herb (Lithospermum erythrorhizo), was reported to exert anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects both in vitro and in vivo. We have found that proteasome was a molecular target of shikonin in tumor cells, but whether shikonin targets macrophage proteasome needs to be investigated. In the current study, we report that shikonin inhibited inflammation in mouse models as efficiently as dexamethasone. Shikonin at 4μM reduced the Lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-mediated TNFα release in rat primary macrophage cultures, and blocked the translocation of p65-NF-κB from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, associated with decreased proteasomal activity. Consistently, shikonin accumulated IκB-α, an inhibitor of NF-κB, and ubiquitinated proteins in rat primary macrophage cultures, demonstrating that the proteasome is a target of shikonin under inflammatory conditions. Shikonin also induced macrophage cell apoptosis and cell death. These results demonstrate for the first time that proteasome inhibition by shikonin contributes to its anti-inflammatory effect. The novel finding about macrophage proteasome as a target of shikonin suggests that this medicinal compound has great potential to be developed into an anti-inflammatory agent.

Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Mar 7.

Source: PubMed

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