Points - Recent Research
Manual Acupuncture Regulates Behavior and Cerebral Blood Flow in the SAMP8 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease
GABA and 5-HT Systems Are Involved in the Anxiolytic Effect of Gan-Mai-Da-Zao Decoction
Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi) Inhibits Inflammation and Proliferation on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in Rats

Manual Acupuncture Regulates Behavior and Cerebral Blood Flow in the SAMP8 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

Ding N1, et al.

Background: A growing body of evidence has demonstrated that cerebrovascular function abnormality plays a key role in occurrence and worsening of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Reduction of cerebral blood flow (CBF) is a sensitive marker to early perfusion deficiencies in AD. As one of the most important therapies in complementary and alternative medicine, manual acupuncture (MA) has been used in the treatment of AD. However, the moderating effect of MA on CBF remains largely unknown. Objective: To investigate the effect of MA on the behavior and CBF of SAMP8 mice. Methods: SAMP8 mice were randomly divided into the AD, MA, and medicine (M) groups, with SAMR1 mice used as the normal control (N) group. Mice in the M group were treated with donepezil hydrochloride at 0.65 μg/g. In the MA group, MA was applied at Baihui (GV20) and Yintang (GV29) for 20 min. The above treatments were administered once a day for 15 consecutive days. The Morris water maze and arterial spin labeling MRI were used to assess spatial learning and memory in behavior and CBF respectively. Results: Compared with the AD group, both MA and donepezil significantly decreased the escape latency (p < 0.01), while also elevating platform crossover number and the percentage of time and swimming distance in the platform quadrant (p < 0.01 or p < 0.05). The remarkable improvement in escape latency in the MA group appeared earlier than the M group, and no significant statistical significance was observed between the N and MA group with the exception of days 5 and 10. The CBF in the prefrontal lobe and hippocampus in the MA group was substantially higher than in the AD group (p < 0.05) with the exception of the right prefrontal lobe, with similar effects of donepezil. Conclusion: Manual acupuncture can effectively improve the spatial learning, relearning and memory abilities of SAMP8 mice. The increase in CBF in the prefrontal lobe and hippocampus could be an important mechanism for the beneficial cognitive effects of MA in AD.

Front Neurosci. 2019 Jan 31;13:37. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00037. eCollection 2019.

Source: PubMed


GABA and 5-HT Systems Are Involved in the Anxiolytic Effect of Gan-Mai-Da-Zao Decoction

Chen HS1, et al.

The Gan-Mai-Da-Zao (GMDZ) decoction is one of the most famous Chinese medicine prescriptions to treat emotional diseases in China. Here we examined the anxiolytic-like effects of the GMDZ decoction in mice. The mice were orally administered with GMDZ decoction (1, 2, and 4 g/kg, respectively) for 7 days, diazepam (2 mg/kg, p.o.) and buspirone (5 mg/kg, p.o.) were used as positive controls. Then, elevated plus maze (EPM) test, light/dark box (LDB) test, and marble burying (MB) test, open field (OF) test and rota-rod test were performed. We found that GMDZ treatment (2 and 4 g/kg) significantly increased the percentage of open arm entries and time spent on the open arms in EPM as compared to the control. GMDZ treatment also significantly increased the time spent in the light box and the number of light box entries in LDB and reduced the number of marbles buried in MB. Similarly to those observed with diazepam and buspirone. In contrast, GMDZ did not affect the locomotor activity in the OF and motor coordination in the rota-rod test. Furthermore, the anxiolytic-like effects induced by GMDZ were inhibited by the γ-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) receptor antagonist flumazenil and 5-hydroxytryptamine-1A (5-HT1A) receptor antagonist WAY-100635. These results showed that GMDZ possesses anxiolytic-like effects in animal models, and its mechanism of action might be modulated by 5-HT1A and GABAA receptors.

Front Neurosci. 2019 Jan 22;12:1043. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.01043. eCollection 2018.

Source: PubMed


Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi) Inhibits Inflammation and Proliferation on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in Rats

Jin BR1,

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi), which is part of the 50 fundamental herbs of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been extensively used in the several East Asian countries to treat pyrexia, micturition disorder and inflammation. Although skullcap has effective properties on various diseases, the effects and molecular mechanism of Chinese Skullcap on BPH are still needed for better understanding.
AIM OF THE STUDY: In present study, we aimed to demonstrate the efficacy of Chinese Skullcap root extract (SRE) in testosterone-induced BPH rats and investigate the exact regulatory mechanism involved.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We followed a protocol of testosterone-induced BPH. Rats were allocated into five groups: Group 1, control; Group 2, BPH-induced rats; Group 3, BPH-induced rats administrated with finasteride; Group 4, BPH-induced rats administrated with SRE 100mg/kg/day; Group 5 - BPH-induced rats administrated with SRE 200mg/kg/day. We measured the weight of prostate, and thickness of prostate using H&E staining. Western blotting and immunostaining were used to measure protein levels. We used real-time PCR to determine mRNA amounts. To evaluate the level of DHT we used ELISA kit.
RESULTS: Compared with the untreated group, the SRE administration group suppressed pathological alterations, such as prostate growth and increase in serum DHT and 5α-reductase levels. Furthermore, SRE significantly obliterated the expression of AR and PCNA. SRE also restored Bax/Bcl-2 balance. These effect of SRE was more prevalent than commercial 5α-reductase inhibitor, finasteride.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, we propose that SRE suppresses abnormal androgen events in prostate tissue and inhibits the development of BPH by targeting inflammation- and apoptosis-related markers. These finding strengthens that SRE could be used as plant-based 5α-reductase inhibitory alternative.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2019 Jan 29. pii: S0378-8741(18)33792-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.01.039. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed


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