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

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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 04/2014; 42(02).
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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: Cyclophosphamide is one of the most widely used chemotherapeutic agents in treating cancers. Chemotherapy drug-induced oxidative stress produces side effects. The severity of myelosuppression increases with a high dose of cyclophosphamide. Chicken soup or chicken essence, a traditional Chinese aliment, is a popular health supplement for patients with cancers or other diseases in Asia. As a major functional component of chicken meat extract, carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine), a dipeptide of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine, has been shown to have strong antioxidant activities. In the present study, we investigated the effects of carnosine on hematopoietic suppression in mice treated with cyclophosphamide. As expected, we found that cyclophosphamide administration (with a single dose of 150 mg/kg) induced a rapid (within 24 hours) and severe hematopoietic suppression in mice. We further showed that carnosine administration (100 mg/kg/day or 200 mg/kg/day for continuous seven days) could substantially improve suppressed hematopoietic functions and accelerate the recovery of leukocyte counts, bone marrow spontaneous proliferation, colony stimulating activity (CSA) in serum, and production of endogenous cytokines such as interleukin-3 (IL-3) and stem cell factor (SCF). These results indicate that carnosine has the potential to promote the recovery from hematopoietic suppression induced by cyclophosphamide. Our data suggest that carnosine holds a potential in clinical application to minimize the side effects induced by chemotherapeutic agents such as cyclophosphamide and thus will substantially improve the overall anti-tumor effects of the standard chemotherapies.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):131-42.
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    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: 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: Osteoporosis is a common disease with wide prevalence, especially in the elderly population. Osteoporosis induced fractures not only decrease the patient's life quality, but also cause heavy financial burden to the society. Although current medications for osteoporosis are effective, numerous adverse effects have been observed accompanying their clinical applications. Effective prevention and therapy strategies with high safety are critical, which benefit both individual patients and the whole society. Traditional Chinese medicines have been used for thousands of years to treat bone related diseases in China and a number of modern preparations have been developed that are currently commercially available. In addition, several medicinal herbs demonstrated therapeutic effects against osteoporosis in animal models. This paper reviewed the anti-osteoporotic effects of traditional Chinese formulas, medicinal herbs and bioactive constituents based on clinical trials and in vivo animal studies. Due to the lack of rigorous studies to compare the effectiveness with conventional interventions, traditional formulas are recommended as alternative medications or supplements to treat osteoporosis at the current stage. Although there are abundant natural resources with anti-osteoporotic effects, either in the form of medicinal herbs or bioactive components, much work need to be accomplished before they are developed into potential drugs.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):1-22.
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a lethal solid cancer in adults. Temozolomide (TMZ) is a first-line chemotherapeutic agent but the efficacy is limited by intrinsic and acquired resistance in GBM. Triptolide (TPL), a derivative from traditional Chinese medicine, demonstrated anti-tumor activity. In this study, we explored the interaction of TPL and TMZ in glioma-initiating cells (GICs) and the potential mechanism. A GIC line (GIC-1) was successfully established. Cell viability of GIC-1 after treatment was measured using a CCK-8 assay. The interaction between TPL and TMZ was calculated from Chou-Talalay equations and isobologram. Self-renewal was evaluated with tumor sphere formation assay. Apoptosis was assessed with flow cytometry and western blot. Luciferase assay was employed to measure NF-κB transcriptional activity. The expression of NF-κB downstream genes, NF-κB nuclear translocalization and phoshorylation of IκBα and p65 were evaluated using western blot. We found that GIC-1 cells were resistant to TMZ, with the expected IC50 of 705.7 μmol/L. Co-treatment with TPL yielded a more than three-fold dose reduction of TMZ. TPL significantly increased the percentage of apoptotic cells and suppressed the tumor sphere formation when combined with TMZ. Phosphorylation of IκBα and p65 coupled with NF-κB nuclear translocalization were notably inhibited after a combined treatment. Co-incubation synergistically repressed NF-κB transcriptional activity and downstream gene expression. TPL sensitizes GICs to TMZ by synergistically enhancing apoptosis, which is likely resulting from the augmented repression of NF-κB signaling. TPL is therefore a potential chemosensitizer in the treatment of GBM.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):485-503.
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    ABSTRACT: The roots and rhizomes of Smilax riparia, called "Niu-Wei-Cai" in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), are believed to be effective in treating gout symptoms. However, it is not clear if the uricosuric mechanisms of S. riparia support its therapeutic activities. In this study, we examined the efficacy of S. riparia in reducing serum uric acid levels in a potassium oxonate-induced hyperuricemia mouse model. We observed that the total saponins of S. riparia could down-regulate renal mURAT1, resulting in the enhancement of urate excretion in the kidney of hyperuricemic mice. These results suggest that S. riparia could be an active anti-gout herbal medicine, which would contribute to the enhancement of uric acid excretion in the kidney.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):257-9.
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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: 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: 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: Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is a plant of the Solanaceae family. It has been widely used as a remedy for a variety of ailments in India and Nepal. The plant has also been used as a controlling agent for dental diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the activity of the methanol extract of W. somnifera against the physiological ability of cariogenic biofilms and to identify the components of the extract. To determine the activity of the extract, assays for sucrose-dependent bacterial adherence, glycolytic acid production, acid tolerance, and extracellular polysaccharide formation were performed using Streptococcus mutans biofilms. The viability change of S. mutans biofilms cells was also determined. A phytochemical analysis of the extract was performed using TLC and LC/MS/MS. The extract showed inhibitory effects on sucrose-dependent bacterial adherence (≥ 100 μg/ml), glycolytic acid production (≥ 300 μg/ml), acid tolerance (≥ 300 μg/ml), and extracellular polysaccharide formation (≥ 300 μg/ml) of S. mutans biofilms. However, the extract did not alter the viability of S. mutans biofilms cells in all concentrations tested. Based on the phytochemical analysis, the activity of the extract may be related to the presence of alkaloids, anthrones, coumarines, anthraquinones, terpenoids, flavonoids, and steroid lactones (withanolide A, withaferin A, withanolide B, withanoside IV, and 12-deoxy withastramonolide). These data indicate that W. somnifera may be a potential agent for restraining the physiological ability of cariogenic biofilms.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):157-71.
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    ABSTRACT: Many Chinese medicines have the potential to be hepatoprotective and therefore can be used to treat acute and chronic liver diseases. The challenge is to identify the molecular target for their protective mechanism. This study investigated the induction of nuclear factor-erythroid 2(NF-E2)-related factor 2 (Nrf2) antioxidant genes and metallothionein as a common mechanism of hepatoprotective effects of Chinese medicines such as Piper puberulum. Mice were pretreated with Piper puberulum extract (PPE, 500 mg/kg, po) or vehicles for seven days, followed by intoxication with CCl 4 (25 μl/kg, ip for 16 h), D-galactosamine (800 mg/kg, ip for 8 h), or acetaminophen (400 mg/kg, ip for 8 h). Hepatotoprotection was evaluated by serum enzyme activities and histopathology. To determine the mechanism of protection, mice were given PPE (250-1000 mg/kg, po for seven days) and livers were collected to quantify the expression of Nrf2-targeted genes and metallothionein. Nrf2-null mice were also used to determine the role of Nrf2 in PPE-mediated hepatoprotection.PPE pretreatment protected against the hepatotoxicity produced by CCl 4, D-galactosamine, and acetaminophen, as evidenced by decreased serum enzyme activities and ameliorated liver lesions. PPE treatment increased the expression of hepatic Nrf2, NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase1 (Nqo1), heme oxygenase-1 (Ho-1), glutamate-cysteine ligases (Gclc), and metallothionein (MT), at both transcripts and protein levels. PPE protected wild-type mice from CCl 4 and acetaminophen hepatotoxicity, but not Nrf2-null mice, fortifying the Nrf2-dependent protection. In conclusion, induction of the Nrf2 antioxidant pathways and metallothionein appears to be a common mechanism for hepatoprotective herbs such as PPE.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):207-21.
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    ABSTRACT: Obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), which is characterized by hyperglycemia, are liable to more severe myocardial infarction. Semen Cassiae is proven to reduce serum lipid levels. This study investigated whether the Semen Cassiae extract (SCE) reduces myocardial ischemia and reperfusion (MI/R) injury with or without diabetes and the underlying mechanisms. The high-fat diet-fed streptozotocin (HFD-STZ) rat model was created as a T2DM model. Normal and DM rats received SCE treatment orally (10 mg/kg/day) for one week. Subsequently these animals were subjected to MI/R. Compared with the normal animals, DM rats showed increased plasma total cholesterol (TC) and triacylglycerol (TG), and more severe MI/R injury and cardiac functional impairment. SCE treatment significantly reduced the plasma TC and TG, improved the instantaneous first derivation of left ventricle pressure and reduced infarct size, decreased plasma creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase levels, and apoptosis index at the end of reperfusion in diabetic rats. Moreover, SCE treatment increased the antiapoptotic protein Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation levels. Pretreatment with a PI3K inhibitor wortmannin or an ERK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 not only blocked Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation respectively, but also inhibited the cardioprotective effects of SCE. However, SCE treatment did not show any effects on the MI/R injury in the normal rats. Our data suggest that SCE effectively improves myocardial function and reduces MI/R-induced injury in diabetic but not normal animals, which is possibly attributed to the reduced TC/TG levels and the triggered cell survival signaling Akt and ERK1/2.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):95-108.
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    ABSTRACT: The seeds of Cuscuta chinensis, Cuscutae Semen, are commonly used as a medicinal material for treating the aching and weakness of the loins and knees, tonifying the defects of the liver and the kidney, and treating the diarrhea due to hypofunction of the kidney and the spleen. Since aching and inflammation are highly correlated with such diseases, the aim of this study is to investigate the possible antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of the seeds of C. chinensis. The antinociceptive effect of the seeds of C. chinensis was evaluated via the acetic acid-induced writhing response and formalin-induced paw licking methods. The anti-inflammatory effect was evaluated via the λ-carrageenan induced mouse paw edema method. The results found that 100 and 500 mg/kg of the methanol extract of the seeds of C. chinensis( CC MeOH ) significantly decreased (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively) the writhing response in the acetic acid assay. Additionally, 20-500 mg/kg of CC MeOH significantly decreased licking time at the early (20 and 100 mg/kg, p < 0.001) and late phases (100 mg/kg, p < 0.01; 500 mg/kg, p < 0.001) of the formalin test, respectively. Furthermore, CC MeOH (100 and 500 mg/kg) significantly decreased (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively) edema paw volume four hours after λ-carrageenan had been injected. The results in the following study also revealed that the anti-inflammatory mechanism of CC MeOH may be due to declined levels of NO and MDA in the edema paw by increasing the activities of SOD, GPx and GRd in the liver. In addition, CC MeOH also decreased IL-1β, IL-6, NF-κB, TNF-α, and COX-2 levels. This is the first study to demonstrate the possible mechanisms for the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of CC MeOH in vivo. Thus, it provides evidence for the treatment of Cuscutae Semen in inflammatory diseases.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):223-42.
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    ABSTRACT: Edible plants constitute a potential source for controlling postprandial hyperglycemia and oxidative stress. The objective of this study was to investigate in vitro antioxidant and intestinal α-glucosidase inhibitory activities of Mesona chinensis (MC). In addition, the acute effect of MC on postprandial glucose and plasma antioxidant status after the consumption of a high carbohydrate (HC) meal by overweight subjects was also determined. The results showed that total phenolic and flavonoid contents in the extract were 212.37 ± 5.64 mg gallic acid equivalents/g dried extract and 23.44 ± 2.50 mg catechin equivalents/g dried extract, respectively. MC extract markedly inhibited the intestinal maltase and sucrose with the IC50 values of 4.66 ± 0.22 mg/mL and 1.30 ± 0.43 mg/mL, respectively. However, MC extract had no inhibitory activity against pancreatic α-amylase. In addition, MC extract had antioxidant properties including DPPH radical scavenging activity, superoxide radical scavenging activity (SRSA), hydroxyl radical scavenging activity (HRSA), trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), and ferrous ion cheating activity (FICP). The significant decrease in postprandial plasma glucose, triglyceride and malondialdehyde levels, and the increase in plasma antioxidant capacity (FRAP and ORAC) were observed in overweight subjects receiving a HC meal together with MC extract (1 g). The finding supports that MC helps normalize and enhance antioxidant defense induced by a HC meal, suggesting that MC may have the potential for the prevention of chronic conditions and diseases associated with overweight and obesity.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):315-36.
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies demonstrate that estradiol can prevent arterial calcification. However, little is known regarding the effect of puerarin, a phytoestrogen extracted from Radix Puerariae, on arterial calcification. The aim of the present study was to determine whether puerarin reduced osteoblastic differentiation of calcifying vascular smooth muscle cells (CVSMCs). The CVSMCs were isolated from mice aorta and treated with different concentrations of puerarin. The alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, osteocalcin secretion and Runx2 expression were determined. To examine whether estrogen receptors (ERs) PI3K and Akt play a role in this effect, ICI182789, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, LY294002, or the Akt inhibitor, 1L-6-hydroxymethyl-chiro-inositol 2-(R)-2-O-methyl-3-O-octadecylcarbonate (HIMO) was used. Our results showed puerarin could inhibit ALP activity, osteocalcin secretion and Runx2 expression in CVSMCs. Puerarin could induce the activation of Akt. Furthermore, pretreatment of ICI182780, LY294002, HIMO could abolish the effect of puerarin on ALP activity in CVSMCs. Our experiment demonstrated that puerain could attenuate the osteoblastic differentiation of VSMCs through the ER/PI3K-Akt signal pathway.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(2):337-47.
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    ABSTRACT: A variety of flavonoids are suggested to be useful for the treatment of brain-related disorders, including dementia and depression. An investigation on the characteristics of the extracted compounds of Iris tenuifolia Pall. (IT) is of much interest, as this plant has been used as a traditional medicine. In the present study, we examined the effect of total flavonoids obtained from IT on cultured cortical neurons under oxidative-stress and found that pretreatment with IT flavonoids significantly inhibited H 2 O 2-induced cell death in cortical neurons. Such a survival-promoting effect by IT flavonoids was partially blocked by inhibitors for extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt (PI3K/Akt) cascades, both of which are known as survival-promoting signaling molecules. Furthermore, the phosphorylation of Src homology-2 (SH2) domain-containing phosphatase2 (Shp2) was induced by IT flavonoids, and the protective effect of IT flavonoids was abolished by NSC87877, an inhibitor for Shp2, suggesting the involvement of Shp2-mediated intracellular signaling in flavonoid-dependent neuroprotection.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2014; 42(1):119-30.

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