[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Illicium verum Hook. fil. Illiciaceae (Illicium v.) has been traditionally used in herbal medicine for treating many inflammatory diseases, including skin inflammation and rheumatism. We investigated its use as a preventive agent against inflammatory and vascular diseases in a murine model of atherosclerosis using apolipoprotein E-knockout (ApoE (-/-)) mice fed on a high-fat diet (HFD).
We investigated the effect of Illicium v. on cytotoxicity, NF-κB activity, and adhesion molecule expression in TNF-α - stimulated HASMCs (Human Aortic smooth muscle cells). ApoE (-/-)mice, fed a HFD and treated daily for 12 weeks by oral administration of either Illicium v. (100 or 200 mg/kg) or atorvastatin (10 mg/kg), were evaluated for atherosclerotic lesions and inflammatory responses by performing Oil red O and iNOS staining, respectively. Expression of inflammatory cytokines (i.e., NF-κB, TNF-α, IL-1β, COX, IκB-α, Iκκ-α/β) and adhesion molecules in the aorta were measured by western blot analysis.
In TNF-α-stimulated HASMCs, Illicium v. treatment decreased NF-κB transcriptional activity, and NF-κB protein levels were reduced in a dose-dependent manner over a range of 10-100 μg/mL Illicium v. Also, Illicium v. attenuated the expression of adhesion molecules that are responsible for inflammation in these cells. In animal experiments, treatment with Illicium v. or atorvastatin counteracted the characteristic changes in body weight, blood pressure, and lipid levels seen in HFD-fed ApoE (-/-) mice. In addition, Illicium v. treatment reduced aortic atherosclerotic plaque lesions and the immunoreactivity of iNOS activation. The aortic expression of inflammatory adhesion molecules and cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, NF-κB, COX, IκB-α, Iκκ-α/β), which is characteristic of HFD-fed ApoE (-/-) mice, was attenuated by 12-week treatment with daily oral administration of Illicium v. or atorvastatin, and the most potent effect was seen with the herbal tincture.
The beneficial effects of Illicium v. are consistent with a significant decrease in the iNOS-mediated inflammatory response, resulting in reduction of inflammation-associated gene expression. Treatment with Illicium v. may be the basis of a novel therapeutic strategy for hyperlipidemia-atherosclerosis.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 07/2015; 15(1):232. DOI:10.1186/s12906-015-0750-0 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was designed to classify and identify closely related thistle species in the genus Cirsium, as well as Carduus and Cephalonoplos species, which are also thistles. The comprehensive and untargeted metabolite profiles of nine Korean thistles were determined using ultra high performance liquid chromatography combined with hybrid quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The difference in metabolite profiles among species was explored using principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering analysis. The significantly different metabolites (Bonferroni-corrected p-value < 0.001) were used to construct a partial least squares discriminant analysis model to predict the species of thistle. Nine species were successfully classified using a partial least squares discriminant analysis model and confirmed using a cross-validation method. Species with similar features were grouped based on unique patterns in variable clusters. The present study suggests that liquid chromatography with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry untargeted metabolomic profiling with chemometric analysis is an efficient and powerful tool for discriminating between different species of medicinal herbs.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ampelopsis japonica (AJ) is a well‑known traditional oriental herb with anti‑inflammatory and anticancer activities. However, the molecular mechanisms by which AJ inhibits metastasis in breast cancer cells remain to be elucidated. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of AJ ethanol extract (EAJ) on highly metastatic human MDA‑MB‑231 breast cancer cells in vitro. AJ was extracted and chemically characterized. Cell proliferation was determined using a CCK‑8 assay and migration was detected using a wound healing motility assay. A Transwell assay was used to evaluate the invasion and metastatic capabilities of the MDA‑MB‑231 cells. In addition, the mRNA expression levels of metalloproteinase (MMP)‑2 and MMP‑9 and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP)‑1 and TIMP‑2 were evaluated using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction in vitro. The results of the present study characterized the signaling cascades that mediated the antimetastatic activity of AJ in the human MDA‑MB‑231 breast cancer cell line. EAJ significantly suppressed the migration and invasion of MDA‑MB‑231 cells in vitro and inhibited the expression of metalloproteinase (MMP)‑2 and MMP‑9. These findings identified the biological activity of EAJ in an in vitro model of cancer metastasis and provided a rationale for further investigation.
Molecular Medicine Reports 01/2015; 11. DOI:10.3892/mmr.2015.3179 · 1.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Akebiae Caulis, ‘Mùtōng’ in Chinese, refers to the stem of Akebia quinata in the Korean modern pharmacopoeia. The stems of Aristolochia manshuriensis and Clematis armandii have also been traditionally used for clinical purposes, and are often marketed as ‘Mùtōng’ under the names ‘Guān-Mùtōng and Chuān-Mùtōng’, respectively. Furthermore, due to the morphological similarity of the herbal medicines, their correct identification by traditional subjective methods is difficult. Therefore, to develop a reliable method for discriminating these three herbal medicines, we applied the tools of molecular genetics, including random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and sequence characterized amplified region (SCAR) marker development using samples of Akebia quinata, Akebia trifoliata, Aristolochia manshuriensis, and Clematis armandii. By comparative analysis of RAPD polymorphisms, we identified several potential PCR products that can be used to distinguish the herbal materials of each species. Using these RAPD products, we developed unique sequence characterized amplified region (SCAR) markers for determination of the species of plant materials; the products were 590 bp for A. quinata, 300 bp for A. trifoliata, 373 bp for A. manshuriensis, and 432 bp for C. armandii. Furthermore, we optimized SCAR markers for simultaneous discrimination of the four species by multiplex-PCR. These markers allow efficient identification of closely related herbal medicines originating from Akebia, Aristolochia, and Clematis species, and have potential uses in preventing the distribution of adulterants, as they can be used to identify each species and distinguish them from inauthentic substitutes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer metastases are not always cured by chemotherapy. Conventional and alternative drugs, including Chinese herbal remedies, have been developed to target metastatic cancer cells. Smilax china L. (SCL), a member of the Smilacaceae family, exerts anti‑inflammatory, detoxification and anti‑cancer effects. However, the effect of SCL on breast cancer cell metastasis and the underlying mechanisms are yet to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a SCL ethanol extract (SCLE) on the proliferation and migration of MDA‑MB‑231 human breast cancer cells, as well as the expression of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), uPA receptor (uPAR) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Cell proliferation was assessed using the Cell Counting Kit‑8 and cell migration was determined by wound healing assay. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed to quantify the mRNA levels of uPA, uPAR and TIMPs. SCLE markedly inhibited the proliferation and migration of MDA‑MB‑231 cells, and reduced the mRNA levels of the extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation‑associated molecules uPA, uPAR. By contrast, SCLE significantly increased the mRNA levels of TIMP1 and TIMP2. These findings show that SCLE exerts an anti‑metastatic effect on human breast cancer cells, which may involve the modulation of ECM degradation.
Molecular Medicine Reports 10/2014; 11(1). DOI:10.3892/mmr.2014.2698 · 1.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Dohaekseunggi-tang (DHSGT) is a traditional plant-based medicine prescribed to promote blood circulation and to treat obesity and hypertension. The present study aimed to identify potential anti-obesity activities of DHSGT extract.
Anti-obesity, anti-hyperlipidemic, and anti-hypertensive effects of orally-administered DHSGT extract were evaluated in high-fat diet- (HFD)-induced obese mice. Serum biochemistry profiles and expression of diverse metabolic regulatory gene mRNAs in mouse visceral fat were assessed by RT-PCR. The effects of DHSGT on angiotensin-1 converting enzyme (ACE) and pancreatic lipase activities were determined using in vitro inhibition assays.
Oral DHSGT treatment reduced obese HFD C57BL/6 J mouse body weight, liver and adipose tissue mass, adipocyte size, and blood pressure versus untreated HFD mice. DHSGT also decreased serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, and leptin concentrations, and increased HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin levels in HFD mice. Furthermore, DHSGT markedly increased mRNA expression of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-gamma, uncoupling protein-2, and adiponectin in visceral adipose tissue of HFD mice. In vitro tests revealed that DHSGT effectively inhibited porcine pancreatic lipase and ACE activities, with IC50 values of 7.58 mg/ml and 0.56 mg/ml, respectively.
These results validate traditional knowledge and suggest that DHSGT may be potentially useful for managing hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and obesity.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 10/2014; 14(1):372. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-14-372 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: p-Anisaldehyde and anethole, the main constituents of the fruit of star anise (Illicium verum Hook.f.), were analyzed by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography with a diode array detector. The optimum extraction conditions for the two components were determined with response surface methodology, and the experimental factors were planned using central composite design. The adequacy model of this experimental design for p-anisaldehyde and anethole was verified by analysis of variance, and the adjusted regression coefficients (R 2) were calculated as 0.837 and 0.884, respectively. The p values of lack of fit for p-anisaldehyde and anethole were determined as 0.777 and 0.657, respectively. The maximum yields of the two compounds were predicted to be 0.402 and 7.996 % when the extraction was carried out at 63 °C for 15 min in 81 % ethanol. In the same condition, actual maximum yields of p-anisaldehyde and anethole were 0.422 (±0.008) and 8.017 % (±0.119), respectively.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Morus alba leaf (MAL), also known as Mori folium when used as a herbal medicine, has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine to treat diabetes, protect the liver and lower blood pressure. In the present study, MAL was collected from various regions in Korea and the antioxidant activity, total polyphenol contents and main flavonoid contents was investigated. MAL were collected from various areas in Korea and extracted with methanol. The total polyphenol contents were evaluated based on the Folin-Ciocalteu method using a spectrophotometer. The antioxidant activities were determined by a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging assay method. The identification and quantification of three main polyphenol constituents was performed using high-performance liquid chromatography/diode array detection analysis. The total polyphenol contents of the MAL extracts varied between 23.2 and 55.4 mg gallic acid equivalent/g. The radical scavenging activity (SC50) of the MAL extracts ranged between 584 and 139 μg/ml. Three flavonol compounds (rutin, isoquercitrin and astragalin) were identified as main polyphenol constituents. These contents varied from 0.68-12.7, 0.69-9.86 and 0.05-3.55 mg/g, respectively. The average of the total was 9.52 mg/g, which was similar to that of commercial MAL extracts (10.58 mg/g). Among the three flavonol compounds, isoquercitrin showed the highest content (5.68 mg/g) followed by rutin (3.1 mg/g) and astragalin (2.4 mg/g). In the present study, the radical scavenging activity, polyphenol content and flavonol content of MAL were significantly different according to growing area. These three flavonol compounds were identified as main constituents of MAL in this study, and are known to have various biological activities, as well as strong antioxidant activities. Therefore, the sum of these three flavonol compounds was indicated as a good marker for the quality control of Mori folium.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ethnopharmacological relevance: Gardenia jasminoides Ellis has been used in traditional medicine for treatment of inflammation, edema, and dermaitis. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism by which Gardenia jasminoides extract (GJE) elicits anti-allergic effects in mast cells and in mice with atopic dermatitis (AD). Materials and methods: We investigated the effects of GJE and its fractions on compound 48/80-induced histamine release from MC/9 cells and Dermatophagoides farinae-exposed NC/Nga mice. The effects of its constituents on histamine release from MC/9 cells were also investigated. Results: GJE and its ethyl acetate fraction (GJE-EA) inhibited compound 48/80-induced histamine release from MC/9 mast cells. The topical application of GJE or GJE-EA to Dermatophagoides farinae-exposed NC/Nga mice reduced the symptoms of AD, inhibited the infiltration of inflammatory cells, and lowered the serum levels of immunoglobulin E and histamine. Both GJE and GJE-EA reduced the expression of cytokines (interleukin [IL]-4, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and adhesion molecules (intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1) in ear lesions. In addition, the quantitative analysis of GJE and GJE-EA by high-performance liquid chromatography revealed the presence of crocin and geniposide. Geniposide, but not crocin, inhibited the release of histamine from mast cells, which may contribute to the anti-allergic effect of GJE and GJE-EA. Conclusions: These results suggest that GJE and GJE-EA can suppress mast cell degranulation-induced histamine release, and geniposide may be potential therapeutic candidates for AD.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 08/2014; 156. DOI:10.1016/j.jep.2014.07.060 · 3.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Houttuynia cordata Thunb. (Saururaceae) has been used in traditional medicine for treatment of inflammatory diseases. This study evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of an ethyl acetate fraction derived from a Houttuynia cordata extract (HCE-EA) on the production of inflammatory mediators and the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages.
To measure the effects of HCE-EA on pro-inflammatory cytokine and inflammatory mediator’s expression in RAW 264.7 cells, we used the following methods: cell viability assay, Griess reagent assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting analysis.
HCE-EA downregulated nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin (IL-6) production in the cells, as well as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression. Furthermore, HCE-EA suppressed nuclear translocation of the NF-κB p65 subunit, which correlated with an inhibitory effect on IκBα (nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha) phosphorylation. HCE-EA also attenuated the activation of MAPKs (p38 and JNK).
Our results suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of HCE-EA may stem from the inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators via suppression of NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 07/2014; 14(1):234. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-14-234 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viola mandshurica W. Becker has been used as an expectorant, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory agent. We evaluated the effects of V. mandshurica ethanol extract (VME) on high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity in mice. HPLC analysis showed that the VME contained 11.95 ± 0.37 mg/g esculetin and 0.13 ± 0.01 mg/g scopoletin. Orally administered VME decreased the body weight, adipose tissue mass, adipocyte size, and triglyceride and leptin serum concentrations. In contrast, VME increased serum adiponectin concentrations and adiponectin expression levels in epididymal adipose tissues. VME also significantly reversed the HFD-induced elevation of the mRNA and protein levels of lipogenic genes such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c, fatty-acid synthase, and adipocyte protein 2. Moreover, VME reversed the HFD-induced inhibition of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-coA carboxylase phosphorylation in epididymal adipose tissues. Furthermore, treatment of VME and esculetin in 3T3-L1 cells inhibited adipocyte differentiation and fat accumulation. These results suggest that VME exerts anti-obesity effects in HFD-induced obese mice by activating AMPK and suppressing PPARγ expression in adipose tissues.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Curcuma, a genus of rhizomatous herbaceous species, has been used as a spice, traditional medicine, and natural dye. In this study, the metabolite profile of Curcuma extracts was determined using gas chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (GC/TOF MS) and ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/Q-TOF MS) to characterize differences between Curcuma aromatica and Curcuma longa grown on the Jeju-do or Jin-do islands, South Korea. Previous studies have performed primary metabolite profiling of Curcuma species grown in different regions using NMR-based metabolomics. This study focused on profiling of secondary metabolites from the hexane extract of Curcuma species. Principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) plots showed significant differences between the C. aromatica and C. longa metabolite profiles, whereas geographical location had little effect. A t-test was performed to identify statistically significant metabolites, such as terpenoids. Additionally, targeted profiling using UPLC/Q-TOF MS showed that the concentration of curcuminoids differed depending on the plant origin. Based on these results, a combination of GC- and LC-MS allowed us to analyze curcuminoids and terpenoids, the typical bioactive compounds of Curcuma, which can be used to discriminate Curcuma samples according to species or geographical origin.