September 2008 >
The Thermal Nature of Chinese Herbs on Cultured Neural Cells
The Thermal Nature of Chinese Herbs on Cultured
Chinese herbs are the focus of more and more research in today’s
scientific laboratories in order to understand their pharmacological
nature and the molecular mechanisms of their actions. In a recent study,
twenty Chinese herbs, classified into four TCM properties - hot, warm,
cold, and cool - were analyzed for their ability to exhibit antioxidant
action, to enhance glucose uptake by murine microglia N9 cells, and to
influence neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) release from rat
pheochromocytoma PC12 cells.
found that there was a general protective effect of both the
hot/warm-natured and cold/cool-natured herbs against H(2)O(2)-induced N9
cell death, partially by elevating superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity.
They noticed that glucose uptake was elevated after the neural cells
were treated with some hot/warm-natured herbs. In addition, most of the
hot/warm natured herbs tended to stimulate NE release, while such
stimulatory effect was not observed in the cold/cool natured herbs. In
fact, two cold/cool-natured herbs, Rhizoma coptidis and Radix
scutellariae, even significantly suppressed the release of NE.
The researchers concluded that these laboratory results suggest that the
particular abilities of Chinese herbs to regulate neural cell functions
appear to be correlated with their natures identified in traditional TCM
theory, and may be a useful guide for their utility in neural
- "Functional analysis of cultured neural cells for evaluating
cold/cool- and hot/warm-natured chinese herbs." Am J Chin Med.