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Home > Newsletters > December 2009 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

Acupuncture Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Antidepressant-like Effect of the Methanolic Extract from Bupleurum Falcatum
Potential Ex Vivo Immunomodulatory Effects of San-Huang-Xie-Xin-Tang and its Component Herbs

Acupuncture Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Zhang SP, et al. School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, PRC.

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. It has been suggested that some acupoints have a specific effect on heel pain. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and specificity of acupuncture treatment for plantar fasciitis. Subjects were randomly assigned to the treatment group (n = 28) or control group (n = 25). The treatment group received needling at the acupoint PC 7, which is purported to have a specific effect for heel pain. The control group received needling at the acupoint Hegu (LI 4), which has analgesic properties. Treatment was administered five times a week for 2 weeks, with an identical method of manual needling applied to the two acupoints. The primary outcome measure was morning pain on a 100-point visual analog scale (VAS) at one month post-treatment. Secondary outcome measures included a VAS for activity pain, overall pain rating as well as pressure pain threshold using algometry. Significant differences in reduction in pain scores, favoring the treatment group, were seen at one month for morning pain (22.6 +/- 4.0 versus 12.0 +/- 3.0, mean +/- SEM), overall pain (20.3 +/- 3.7 versus 9.5 +/- 3.6) and pressure pain threshold (145.5 +/- 32.9 versus -15.5 +/- 39.4). No serious adverse event was observed in either group. The results indicate that acupuncture can provide pain relief to patient with plantar fasciitis, and that PC 7 is a relatively specific acupoint for heel pain.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Nov 23.

Source: PubMed


Antidepressant-like Effect of the Methanolic Extract from Bupleurum Falcatum

Kwon S, et al. Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center; College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, 130-701, Korea.

In traditional Oriental medicine, some herbal combinations that include Bupleurum falcatum (BFM) as a major ingredient are known to effectively treat depressive-like disorders. In the present study, the antidepressant-like effect of methanolic extract of BFM and its neuropharmacological mechanism were investigated in mice. After oral administration of BFM extract, a tail suspension test (TST) and open field test (OFT) were performed to assess the antidepressant activity and psychostimulant side-effects, respectively. Pre-treatment with p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA, a serotonin synthesis inhibitor) and alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine (AMPT, a catecholamine synthesis inhibitor) was used to assess the influence of BFM extract on the antidepressant activity in the TST. At doses of 150 and 300mg/kg body weight, p.o., the BFM extract significantly reduced the total duration of immobility in the TST, while individual differences in locomotor activities between experimental groups were not observed in the OFT. Moreover, pre-treatment with PCPA (100mg/kgi.p., for 4 consecutive days) or AMPT (100mg/kg i.p.) significantly inhibited the antidepressant-like activity of BFM extract (300mg/kg p.o.), as well as we confirmed the reversal of the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine (30mg/kgi.p.) by PCPA and bupropion (20mg/kg i.p.) by AMPT in the TST. Taken together, these findings suggest that the methanolic BFM extract has dose-dependent possibility of antidepressant-like activity valuable to alternative therapy for depression and that the mechanism of action involves the serotonergic and noradrenergic systems although underlying mechanism still remains to be further elucidated.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Nov 20.

Source: PubMed


Potential Ex Vivo Immunomodulatory Effects of San-Huang-Xie-Xin-Tang and its Component Herbs  

Li CY, et al. Department of Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan.

AIM OF THE STUDY: San-Huang-Xie-Xin-Tang (SHXXT), an important Chinese medicine formula, contains Rhei Rhizoma (RR), Scutellariae Radix (SR) and Coptidis Rhizoma (CR). RR and SR are abundant in anthraquinone and flavonoid polyphenols. Pharmacokinetic study of SHXXT indicated that glucuronides were the predominant forms of polyphenols in rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: As an extension of pharmacokinetic study, the serum metabolites of SHXXT, RR, SR and CR were prepared from rats and quantitated, then the immunomodulation effects were examined by culturing these serum metabolites with murine and human immune cells. RESULTS: The results indicated that the inhibitions on nitric oxide (NO) and cytokine production from mitogen-activated peritoneal macrophages by the serum metabolites of SHXXT, RR, SR and CR were through reducing the protein expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and the IC(50) were 0.8%, 1.5%, 3.0% and 0.8% of their blood concentrations, respectively. In addition, the serum metabolites of SHXXT, RR, SR and CR significantly decreased the ratios of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) to interleukin (IL)-4 in mitogen-stimulated mice spleen cells and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Moreover, the serum metabolites of SHXXT and SR significantly arrested the mitogen-stimulated mice spleen cells at G2/M stage. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the serum metabolites of SHXXT and the component herbs exerted promising modulation activities on the immune functions and the cell cycle distribution of mice and human immune cells. We suggest that SHXXT is a promising remedy for immunomodulation through Th1/Th2 regulation.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 10.

Source: PubMed


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December 2009
Volume 7, Number 12

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