The American Journal of Chinese Medicine (AM J CHINESE MED )

Publisher: Institute for Advanced Research in Asian Science and Medicine


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    The American journal of Chinese medicine, Mei-chou Chung-kuo i hsüeh tsa chih
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ischemic stroke is a clinical acute disease which causes neurological dysfunction and threatens a patient's life. Because the mechanism of pathology is complicated and most patients miss the best therapeutic window time, the effect of the treatment is not satisfied at present. Numerous studies indicated new vessels not only recuperated blood flow in the ischemic boundary zone, but also facilitated endogenous neurogenesis and improved neurological function after ischemic stroke. Therefore, angiogenesis has been an important research field in neurovascular regeneration. Recently, some Chinese medicines, bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) and their combination treatment were demonstrated to have beneficial effects in promoting angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we summarized the effective mechanisms of Chinese medicines and BMSCs, as well as BMSCs in combination with Chinese medicines on angiogenesis post-stroke.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):61-77.
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    ABSTRACT: The widely used culinary vegetable, red cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Var. capitata f. rubra), of the Brassicaceae family contains biologically potent anthocyanins and a myriad of antioxidants. Previous studies have shown that the pharmacological effects of red cabbage in vivo are redox-sensitive. The present study explored whether red cabbage modulates various histopathological and biochemical parameters in rats administered with a cholesterol-rich diet (CRD). To this end, prolonged administration of a lyophilized-aqueous extract of red cabbage (250 and 500 mg/kg body weight) significantly blunted the imbalances in lipids, liver enzymes and renal osmolytes induced by the CRD. The effects of red cabbage were compared to simvastatin (30 mg/kg body weight) treated rats. Estimation of malondialdehyde and non-protein sulfhydryls revealed robust antioxidant properties of red cabbage. Histopathological analysis of livers from rats administered with red cabbage showed marked inhibition in inflammatory and necrotic changes triggered by CRD. Similarly, in vitro studies using a 2',7'-Dichlorofluorescein-based assay showed that red cabbage conferred cytoprotective effects in cultured HepG2 cells. In conclusion, the present study discloses the potential therapeutic effects of red cabbage in dyslipidemia as well as hepatic injury, that is at least, partly mediated by its antioxidant properties.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):189-206.
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of cantharidins, a traditional Chinese medicine, in chemotherapy for the treatment of hepatoma. From August 2011 to December 2012, 96 patients with hepatoma, who were eligible for transcatheter hepatic arterial chemoembolization and received cantharidins, were selected for comparison with the control group of 95 patients without cantharidins. The treatment effect, clinical symptoms and adverse effects were analyzed. The results of the study showed that the cantharidins group had a higher overall efficient rate than the control group (p < 0.001). The improvement rate of the Karnofsky score in the cantharidins group was significantly higher than that of the control group (p = 0.014). In the cantharidins group, there was a decrease in white blood cell (WBC) count and gastrointestinal response rates were lower than those of the control group (p < 0.05). Therefore, the traditional Chinese medicine cantharidins showed effects of easing the progress of liver cancer, relieving side effects of chemotherapy and improving the quality of life in the treatment of hepatoma.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(3):561-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Du-Zhong has a long history of being used in traditional Chinese formulas to treat bone related diseases. The objective of the present study is to systematically investigate the effects of Du-Zhong cortex extract (DZCE) on disuse-induced osteoporosis. Rats were randomly divided into four groups, and three groups were treated with hind limb suspension (HLS). Control and HLS group received deionized distilled water, while the other two groups received alendronate (2.0 mg/kg/day) and DZCE (300 mg/kg/day) respectively by intragastric gavage for six weeks (two weeks prior to and during the four weeks of HLS). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, assay of biochemical markers, and three-point bending test were employed to determine the effect of various treatments on bone mass, turnover, and strength. The trabecular bone microarchitecture was assessed by microCT analysis. DZCE could effectively prevent the bone loss induced by HLS, which was indicated by decreased levels of bone turnover markers as well as the changes in urinary calcium and phosphorus. The DZCE treatment also enhanced the biomechanical strength of bone and prevented the deterioration of trabecular bone microarchitecture. DZCE administration was able to prevent disuse-induced osteoporosis by regulating the bone metabolism, suggesting that DZCE could be used as an alternative therapy for the prevention of disuse-induced osteoporosis.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):143-55.
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    ABSTRACT: Scant scientific evidence supports the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of opiate dependence. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture for heroin addicts on methadone maintenance by measuring the daily consumption of methadone, variations in the 36-item Short Form Health Survey-36 (SF-36) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores, and heroin craving. Sixty heroin addicts were randomly assigned to true acupuncture (electroacupuncture at the Hegu [LI4] and Zusanli [ST36] acupoints, as well as acupuncture at the Ear Shenmen) or sham acupuncture (minimal acupuncture at the Hegu and Zusanli acupoints without electrical stimulation and superficial acupuncture at the Ear Shenmen), twice weekly for 4 weeks. From week 2 onwards, the daily dose of methadone was reduced by a significantly greater amount with true acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture. True acupuncture was also associated with a greater improvement in sleep latency at follow-up. All adverse events were mild in severity. Acupuncture appears to be a useful adjunct to methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) in heroin addiction.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(3):569-86.
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    ABSTRACT: Ajuga bracteosa (AB) has been widely used in folk medicine in Asian countries against gout, hepatitis, pneumonia, rheumatism, and various neuro inflammatory disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible immunoregulatory effects of the ethanolic extract of Ajuga bracteosa (ABEE) on systemic Th1/Th2 immunity in SRBC immunized Balb/C mice. Animals were orally administered with graded doses of ABEE from 6.25 mg/kg to 100 mg/kg. Post sub-cutaneous immunization with SRBCs and circulating antibody titers, DTH responses and splenocyte proliferation was monitored as markers of Th2 and Th1 responses. Cyclophosphamide and levamisole were used as controls. Lymphocyte immunophenotying (CD4/CD8 cell counts) and intracellular Th1/Th2 cytokine concentrations were determined using flow cytometry. Treatment with ABEE demonstrated significant biphasic immunostimulation of effector T-helper immunity. ABEE at 50 mg/kg dose resulted in maximal increase in antibody titers, DTH responses and CD4+/CD8+ T-cell percentages indicating maximal activation and proliferation of T and B lymphocytes at this dose. ABEE, at the same dose, also showed maximal up regulation of LPS and CON A stimulated splenocyte proliferation and also maximal up-regulation of both Th1 (IL-2, IFN-γ) and Th2 (IL-4) cytokines which suggest its mixed Th1/Th2 immunostimulatory activity. Comparatively at higher doses (100 mg/kg), significant down regulation of all these effector T-helper (Th) immune responses was observed. The study therefore suggests mixed biphasic immunostimulatory Th1/Th2 activity of ABEE that could support its immunoadjuvant potential.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):375-92.
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    ABSTRACT: Er-xian Decoction (EXD), containing Herba epimedii Maxim (HEP) and Curculigo orchioides Gaertn (XM) as principal drugs, is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formula prescribed for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. In the present study, the in vivo anti-osteoporosis effects of EXD, HEP and XM on four-month-old ovariectomized (OVX) Sprague-Dawley rats were investigated. Micro-computed tomography analysis showed that EXD could significantly improve the micro-architectural parameters (BMD, BV/TV, Tb.N, Tb.Th, and Tb.Sp) of trabecular bone in the distal femur and proximal tibia in OVX rats (p < 0.05). The biomechanical parameters of the distal femur in rats treated with EXD were also improved significantly (p < 0.05 vs. OVX group). The in vivo efficacy of EXD was found to be superior to HEP or XM alone in improving the bone properties of OVX rats. Treatment of rat osteoblastic-like UMR-106 cells with EXD, HEP, and XM significantly promoted the cell proliferation rate (p < 0.05) with the most promising effects observed in cells treated with EXD (p < 0.001). The proliferative effect in UMR-106 cells induced by EXD, HEP, and XM were abolished in the presence of the estrogen antagonist, ICI182780, suggesting that their effects were mediated by estrogen receptor (ER). Additionally, EXD could activate ER-α and ER-β mediated estrogen-response element (ERE)-dependent luciferase activity as well as phosphorylate ER-α at serine 118 in UMR-106 cells. Taken together, EXD offered better osteoprotective effects than its single principal herb, and the beneficial effects of EXD in preventing bone deteriorations are, at least partially, through the ER signaling pathway.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):409-26.
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    ABSTRACT: Cordyceps sinensis (C. sinensis) has long been considered to be an herbal medicine and has been used in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases. The present study examined the cytoprotective properties of C. sinensis on D(+)-galactosamine (GalN)/lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced fulminant hepatic failure. Mice were randomly assigned into control, GalN/LPS, CS 20 mg and CS 40 mg groups (C. sinensis, oral gavage, five days/week, four weeks). After receiving saline or C. sinensis, mice were intraperitoneally given GalN (800 mg/kg)/LPS (10 μg/kg). The effects of C. sinensis on TNF-α, IL-10, AST, NO, SOD, and apoptoticrelated proteins after the onset of endotoxin intoxication were determined. Data demonstrated that GalN/LPS increased hepatocyte degeneration, circulating AST, TNF-α, IL-10, and hepatic apoptosis and caspase activity. C. sinensis pre-treatment reduced AST, TNF-α, and NO and increased IL-10 and SOD in GalN/LPS induced fulminant hepatic failure. C. sinensis attenuated the apoptosis of hepatocytes, as evidenced by the TUNEL and capase-3, 6 activity analyses. In summary, C. sinensis alleviates GalN/LPS-induced liver injury by modulating the cytokine response and inhibiting apoptosis. C. sinensis could be used as a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic agent to reduce liver injury after the onset of sepsis.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):427-41.
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    ABSTRACT: Huanglian-Zhizi couplet medicine comes from classical prescription Huang-Lian-Jie-Du-Tang (HLJDT), which has been proven by previous researches to be an effective compound for cerebral ischemia. This paper explores the integrated pharmacokinetics of gardenia acid and geniposide-time-antioxidant efficacy after the oral administration of Huanglian-Zhizi couplet medicine from HLJDT in rats with middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). To investigate the differences in pharmacokinetics and antioxidant effect of Huanglian-Zhizi and HLJDT in MCAO rats, which have been scarcely reported, an oral dose, 24 crud drug g/kg, of Huanglian-Zhizi and 40 crud drug/kg of HLJDT were administered in two groups of normal rats and two groups of Sprague-Dawley (SD) MCAO rats, respectively. At different time points, concentrations of gardenia acid and geniposide were determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) were calculated by ELIASA. Pharmacokinetic parameters including AUC, MRT, t1/2, T max , C max were estimated by statistical moment analysis using a data analysis system (DAS) 2.0. An AUC based on weighting approach was used for integrating gardenia acid and geniposide. Finally, the concentration-time efficacy profiles were obtained. The integrated pharmacokinetics profiles of index components could reveal the pharmacokinetics behavior of Huanglian-Zhizi and HLJDT, corresponding to the antioxidant efficacy.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):393-407.
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    ABSTRACT: Expression of cell adhesion molecules by the endothelium and the attachment of leukocytes to these cells play major roles in inflammation and cardiovascular disorders. Magnolol, a major active component of Magnolia officinalis, has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. In the present study, the effects of magnolol on the expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) and the related mechanisms were investigated. TNF-α induced VCAM-1 protein expression and mRNA stability were significantly decreased in HAECs pre-treated with magnolol. Magnolol significantly reduced the phosphorylation of ERK, JNK, and p38 in TNF-α-treated HAECs. The decrease in VCAM-1 expression in response to TNF-α treatment was affected by JNK and p38 inhibitors, not by an ERK inhibitor. Magnolol also attenuates NF-κB activation and the translocation of HuR (an RNA binding protein) in TNF-α-stimulated HAECs. The VCAM-1 expression was weaker in the aortas of TNF-α-treated apo-E deficient mice with magnolol treatment. These data demonstrate that magnolol inhibits TNF-α-induced JNK/p38 phosphorylation, HuR translocation, NF-κB activation, and thereby suppresses VCAM-1 expression resulting in reduced leukocyte adhesion. Taken together, these results suggest that magnolol has an anti-inflammatory property and may play an important role in the prevention of atherosclerosis and inflammatory responses.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(3):619-37.
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    ABSTRACT: Bufalin is a key component of a Chinese medicine (Chan Su) and has been proved effective in killing various cancer cells. Its role in inducing DNA damage and the inhibition of the DNA damage response (DDR) has been reported, but none have studied such action in lung cancer in detail. In this study, we demonstrated bufalin-induced DNA damage and condensation in NCI-H460 cells through a comet assay and DAPI staining, respectively. Western blotting indicated that bufalin suppressed the protein levels associated with DNA damage and repair, such as a DNA dependent serine/threonine protein kinase (DNA-PK), DNA repair proteins breast cancer 1, early onset (BRCA1), 14-3-3 σ (an important checkpoint keeper of DDR), mediator of DNA damage checkpoint 1 (MDC1), O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) and p53 (tumor suppressor protein). Bufalin could activate phosphorylated p53 in NCI-H460 cells. DNA damage in NCI-H460 cells after treatment with bufalin up-regulated its ATM and ATR genes, which encode proteins functioning as sensors in DDR, and also up-regulated the gene expression (mRNA) of BRCA1 and DNA-PK. But bufalin suppressed the gene expression (mRNA) of p53 and 14-3-3 σ, however, bufalin did not significantly affect the mRNA of MGMT. In conclusion, bufalin induced DNA damage in NCI-H460 cells and also inhibited its DNA repair and checkpoint function.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(3):729-42.
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) currently relies on the use of antiretroviral drugs. Little is known about Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) outcomes in patients living with AIDS. We conducted a cohort study to investigate long-term survival among CHM-treated AIDS patients. Patients were poor farmers who contracted HIV-1 infection when selling blood in the 1990s. Symptoms of AIDS included recurring respiratory tract infections with a clinical diagnosis of pneumonia, swollen lymph nodes and weight loss. 385 patients with AIDS were included and 165 of them used a 16-herb formula for 14 days to 9 months. The eight-year survival rate was 87% for the CHM users and 34% for the non-users (increased survival probability for CHM user, 9.6; 95% CI = 6.0-15.4; p < 0.0001). Survival probability further increased 14.6-fold (95% CI = 8.2-26.1), when excluding the users who received CHM for less than three months. Zero deaths were found in patients who used CHM for six to nine months. All the survivors regained their body weight and none of them experienced a relapse of AIDS or any severe adverse events. After the CHM treatment for an average of 3.6 months, the plasma HIV load was 74.7% lower (paired t-test, p = 0.151) and the number of blood CD4+ lymphocytes increased from 253 to 314 (paired t-test, p = 0.021). Without life-long medication, CHM may be beneficial for long-term survival of AIDS patients.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):261-74.
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    ABSTRACT: Siegesbeckia glabrescens (SG) Makino (Compositae) has been used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of allergic and inflammatory diseases. In the present study, we examined the effects and molecular mechanism of the ethanol extract of SG on cell proliferation and invasion in p53 wild-type A549 and p53-deficient H1299 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. SG treatment markedly inhibited the proliferation and invasion in both cell lines, independently of p53 expression. The anti-proliferative effect of SG on A549 cells was mediated by the inactivation of Akt and p70(S6K) as evidenced by treatment with LY294002 and rapamycin, respectively. In addition, anti-invasive activity of SG in A549 cells was found to be associated with the inhibition of p70(S6K). In contrast, in H1299 cells the inactivation of p38(MAPK) appeared to be involved in SG-mediated inhibition of cell proliferation and invasion. Collectively, these findings suggest that SG modulates cellular fates such as proliferation and invasion by differential regulation of signaling pathways, depending on the status of p53 expression in NSCLC, and support the development of SG as a potent therapeutic agent for the treatment of NSCLC.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):453-63.
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    ABSTRACT: Factors that enhance the intrinsic growth potential of neurons play a major role in the regeneration and repair of adult neurons following an injury. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) is one of the key players in the origin and growth of neuronal and glial cells through autocrine and paracrine signaling. Water extract of Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis (fingered citron, foshou), which is been used effectively as a Chinese herbal medicine, was found to activate the FGF-2 promoter in transgenic luciferase expression models. Foshou treatment on Schwann cells (RSC96) transfected with luciferase reporter plasmid under a FGF-2 promoter was found to induce the FGF-2 promoter and showed enhanced luciferase expression. The FGF-2 expression was accompanied with an increase in the expression of proteins involved in cell migration and cell proliferation in a dose dependent manner. Therefore, foshou potentially enhances nerve regeneration by inducing the Schwann cell proliferation and migration.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):443-52.
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    ABSTRACT: Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) injection is widely used to treat angina pectoris in China. This overview aims to systematically summarize the general characteristics of systematic reviews (SRs) on TCM injection in treating angina, and assess the methodological and reporting quality of these reviews. We searched PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library and four Chinese databases from inception until March 2013. Data were extracted according to a preset form. The AMSTAR and PRISMA checklists were used to explore the methodological quality and reporting characteristics of included reviews, respectively. All data analyses were descriptive. 46 SRs involving over 57,463 participants with angina reviewing 23 kinds of TCM injections were included. The main outcomes evaluated in the reviews were symptoms (43/46, 93.5%), surrogate outcomes (42/46, 91.3%) and adverse events (41/46, 87.0%). Few reviews evaluated endpoints (7/46, 15.2%) and quality of life (1/46, 2.2%). One third of the reviews (16/46, 34.8%) drew definitely positive conclusions while the others (30/46, 65.2%) suggested potential benefits mainly in symptoms, electrocardiogram and adverse events. With many serious flaws such as lack of a protocol and inappropriate data synthesis, the overall methodological and reporting quality of the reviews was limited. While many SRs of TCM injection on the treatment of angina suggested potential benefits or definitely positive effects, stakeholders should not accept the findings of these reviews uncritically due to the limited methodological and reporting quality. Future SRs should be appropriately conducted and reported according to international standards such as AMSTAR and PRISMA, rather than published in large numbers.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):37-59.
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    ABSTRACT: Cichoric acid extract (CAE) from Echinacea purpurea L. was used to investigate the anti-arthritic effect by using collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rat model. The hind paw swelling volume and the body weight were measured and recorded. All the drug solutions were administered orally to rats for a total of 28 days. On day 28, the rats were anaesthetized and decapitated. The thymus and spleen were weighed for the determination of the organ index. The concentration of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE-2) in the serum was measured using commercially available ELISA kits. Total and phosphor-NF-κB and Cox-2 protein expression in synovial tissues were determined by histological slides quantification and western blot analysis. Our data showed that administration of all doses of CAE (8, 16, and 32 mg/kg) significantly decreased the paw swelling, restored body weight gain and decreased the organ index of the thymus and spleen compared with that of the CIA group. CAE (8, 16, and 32 mg/kg) treatment significantly reduced the levels of TNFα, IL-1β and PGE-2 in serum compared with the CIA group. Histopathological analysis demonstrated that CAE has obvious anti-arthritic activity. In addition, CAE (32 mg/kg) significantly decreased the levels of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), TNFα and cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox-2) in synovium tissues of the ankle joint compared with the CIA group. Furthermore, CAE administration significantly decreased the protein expression of phosphor-NF-κB and Cox-2 in synovium tissues of the knee joint compared with the CIA group. The results suggest that the anti-inflammatory activity of CAE may account for its anti-arthritic effect, and CAE could be a potential therapeutic drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(3):679-92.
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    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to evaluate the analgesic effect of wrist-ankle acupuncture (WAA) for patients with primary liver cancer (PLC) after transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE). Sixty PLC patients with post-TACE visual analog pain intensity scores greater than 3 were divided equally into two groups receiving either WAA or oral morphine sulphate (MOR) for post-TACE pain. Pain intensity scores were reassessed at 1, 2, 4, and 6 h after analgesic intervention. Patients were also monitored for adverse reactions to analgesic treatment. Pain scores recorded when the patients first felt pain after TACE showed no statistical difference between the two groups (p > 0.05). WAA and MOR had indistinguishable degrees of pain relief 1, 2, and 4 h after analgesic intervention (p > 0.05). At 6 h after intervention, the WAA group experienced significantly greater pain relief than the MOR group (p < 0.05). Incidence of abdominal distension was lower in the WAA group than in the MOR group (p < 0.05). The results suggest that WAA not only had an analgesic effect equal to or greater than MOR in PLC patients with moderate to severe post-TACE pain, but also reduced the incidence of post-operative abdominal distention.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):289-302.