Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine
  • Daejeon, Daejeon, South Korea
Recent publications
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the lateral habenula (LHb) play roles in drug addiction and cognitive functions. Our previous studies have suggested that acupuncture at Shenmen (HT7) points modulates mesolimbic reward system in order to suppress drug‐induced addiction behaviours. To explore whether an mPFC‐LHb circuit mediates the inhibitory effects of acupuncture on addictive behaviours, we examined the projection from mPFC to LHb, excitation of mPFC neurons during acupuncture stimulation, the effects of optogenetic modulation of mPFC‐LHb on HT7 inhibition of cocaine‐induced locomotion and the effect of mPFC lesion on HT7 inhibition of nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine release. Acupuncture was applied at bilateral HT7 points for 20 s, and locomotor activity was measured in male Sprague–Dawley rats. Although cocaine injection significantly increased locomotor activity, HT7 acupuncture suppressed the cocaine‐induced locomotion. The inhibitory effect of HT7 on cocaine‐enhanced locomotion was blocked by optogenetic silencing of the mPFC‐LHb circuit. In vivo extracellular recordings showed that HT7 acupuncture evoked an increase in the action potentials of mPFC neurons. Optopatch experiment proved glutamatergic projections from mPFC to LHb. HT7 acupuncture suppressed NAc dopamine release following cocaine injection, which was blocked by electrolytic lesion of mPFC. These results suggest the mediation of mPFC‐LHb circuit in the inhibitory effects of acupuncture on cocaine psychomotor activity in rats.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an allergic, inflammatory skin disease caused by immune dysregulation. In this study, we investigated anti-atopic and anti-inflammatory activities of Sanguisorba hakusanensis ethanol extract (SHE) both in vivo using NC/Nga mice and in vitro using human HaCaT keratinocytes. Oral administration of SHE suppressed several atopic symptoms associated with house dust mites (induced with Dermatophagoides farinae extract) in NC/Nga mice and decreased serum levels of inflammatory mediators such as immunoglobulin E, histamine, and inflammatory chemokines. Additionally, SHE treatment reduced the infiltration of immune cells such as mast cells and macrophages in AD skin lesions. In vitro, interferon-γ- and tumor necrosis factor-α-stimulated HaCaT cells exhibited increased expression of T helper 1 and 2 chemokines; their expression was inhibited by SHE treatment. The anti-inflammatory effects of SHE treatment involved blocking of the mitogen-activated protein kinase and signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 signaling pathways. In conclusion, SHE exerts potent anti-atopic and anti-inflammatory effects and should be considered for the clinical treatment of AD.
Importance: When sham acupuncture is set as a control in evaluating acupuncture, the sham needling technique is usually different from acupuncture. However, the sham procedure is conducted either at the same points that are used for the acupuncture group or at nonindicated points. Objective: To assess whether the outcome of sham acupuncture varies according to the needling points in sham-controlled trials of acupuncture for chronic nonspecific low back pain (CLBP) as an example. Data sources: Searches of MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and the Allied and Complementary Medicine Database were conducted on February 12, 2023. Study selection: Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) assessing the outcomes of acupuncture in sham acupuncture-controlled or waiting list-controlled trials on CLBP were included. Data extraction and synthesis: Two researchers independently extracted data on study characteristics and outcomes and assessed quality. Sham acupuncture was classified according to whether it was conducted at the same acupuncture points used in the acupuncture group, referred to as sham acupuncture therapy (verum) (SATV) or at different points, referred to as sham acupuncture therapy (sham) (SATS). Clinical similarity, transitivity, and consistency tests were conducted, followed by a random-effects frequentist network meta-analysis (NMA). Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was pain, and the secondary outcome was back-specific function. The first assessment after the end of treatment was chosen for analysis. Effect sizes are reported as standardized mean differences (SMD) with 95% CIs. The risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool, and the certainty of evidence for findings was evaluated using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach. Results: Ten RCTs involving 4379 participants were included. In comparison with SATS, acupuncture was significantly associated with improvements in both pain (SMD, -0.33; 95% CI, -0.52 to -0.15) and function outcomes (SMD, -0.13; 95% CI, -0.25 to -0.02); however, there were no differences between acupuncture and SATV. In comparison with SATS, SATV was significantly associated with better pain (SMD, -0.45; 95% CI, -0.88 to -0.03) and function outcomes (SMD, -0.30; 95% CI, -0.56 to -0.05). The risk of bias that could affect the interpretation of the results was usually low, and the certainty of evidence was moderate to low. Conclusions and relevance: In this NMA, sham acupuncture needling at the same points as those in acupuncture was not a true placebo control for assessing the efficacy of acupuncture for CLBP and might underestimate the outcome of acupuncture in clinical settings.
Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure. Generally, women are twice as likely as men to have depression. Taurine, a type of amino acid, plays critical roles in neuronal generation, differentiation, arborization and formation of synaptic connections. Importantly, it enhances proliferation and synaptogenesis in the hippocampus. When injected into animals, taurine has an antidepressant effect. However, there is no in vivo evidence to show the association between taurine concentration in the human brain and development of MDD. Methods: Forty-one unmedicated young (aged 18-29) women with MDD and 43 healthy controls (HCs) matched for gender and age were recruited in South Korea. The taurine concentration was measured in the hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex and occipital cortex of the MDD and HC groups using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7T. Analysis of covariance was used to examine differences in taurine concentration, adjusted for age as a covariate. Results: The taurine concentration in the hippocampus was lower (F1,75 = 5.729, p = 0.019, Δη2 = 0.073) for MDD (mean (SEM), 0.91 (0.06) mM) than for HC (1.13 (0.06) mM). There was no significant difference in taurine concentration in the anterior cingulate cortex or occipital cortex between the two groups. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that a lower level of taurine concentration in the hippocampus may be a novel characteristic of MDD.
Four new 26-carboxylated ergostane-type sterols (Sarcodonol A-D) were isolated from 70% ethanol extracts of dried fruiting bodies of Sarcodon imbricatus. Their chemical structures were elucidated using 1D- and 2D-nuclear magnetic resonance and high-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, and confirmed by comparison with previously reported data. As far as we know, this is the first instance of isolating a 26-carboxylated ergostane-type sterol from nature. The determined antiviral efficacy of sarcodonol A-D (1-4) against HCoV-OC43 in MRC-5 cells confirmed that sarcodonol D (4) had significant antiviral activity. Notably, sarcodonol D (4) potently blocked virus infection at low-micromolar concentration and showed high SI (IC50 = 2.26 μM; CC50 > 100 μM; SI > 44.2). In addition, this research shows that the antiviral effect of sarcodonol D (4) via reduced apoptosis increased by viral infection is through mitochondrial stress regulation. This suggests that sarcodonol D (4) is a potential candidate for use as an antiviral treatment.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a degenerative brain disorder characterised by various neurological symptoms, including memory impairment and mood disorders, associated with the abnormal accumulation of amyloid b(Aβ) and tau proteins in the brain. There is still no definitive treatment available for AD, and the Aβ antibody drugs, which are expected to be approved by the FDA, have many limitations. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop low-molecular-weight therapeutic agents for the management of AD. In this study, we investigated whether pectolinarin, a flavonoid, regulates Aβ aggregation and Aβ-induced toxicity. Pectolinarin demonstrated concentration-dependent inhibition of Aβ aggregation and had the ability to break down pre-formed Aβ aggregates, thereby reducing their neurotoxicity. Furthermore, pectolinarin suppressed Aβ aggregates-induced reduction in long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus. Oral administration of pectolinarin in experimental animals inhibited memory impairment and LTP deficits induced by Aβ injection in the hippocampus. These results indicate that pectolinarin may reduce toxic Aβ species and Aβ-induced memory impairments and synaptic dysfunction.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by traumatic or frightening events, with intensified anxiety, fear memories, and cognitive impairment caused by a dysfunctional hippocampus. Owing to its complex phenotype, currently prescribed treatments for PTSD are limited. This study investigated the psychopharmacological effects of novel COMBINATION herbal medicines on the hippocampus of a PTSD murine model induced by combining single prolonged stress (SPS) and foot shock (FS). We designed a novel herbal formula extract (HFE) from Chaenomeles sinensis, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, and Atractylodes macrocephala. SPS+FS mice were administered HFE (500 and 1000 mg/kg) once daily for 14 days. The effects of HFE of HFE on the hippocampus were analyzed using behavioral tests, immunostaining, Golgi staining, and Western blotting. HFE alleviated anxiety-like behavior and fear response, improved short-term memory, and restored hippocampal dysfunction, including hippocampal neurogenesis alteration and aberrant migration and hyperactivation of dentate granule cells in SPS+FS mice. HFE increased phosphorylation of the Kv4.2 potassium channel, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and cAMP response element-binding protein, which were reduced in the hippocampus of SPS+FS mice. Therefore, our study suggests HFE as a potential therapeutic drug for PTSD by improving behavioral impairment and hippocampal dysfunction and regulating Kv4.2 potassium channel-related pathways in the hippocampus.
Spirodela polyrhiza (L.) SCHLEID. has been used to treat epidemic fever, dysuria, and various skin ailments, such as measles eruptions, eczema, and pruritus, in China, Japan, and Korea. In this study, the active compounds in S. polyrhiza and their target genes were identified by network-based analysis. Moreover, the study evaluated the effects of a 70% ethanolic extract of S. polyrhiza (EESP) on skin lesions, histopathological changes, inflammatory cytokines, and chemokines in mice with contact dermatitis (CD) induced by 1-fluoro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNFB), and examined the inhibitory effects of EESP on mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathways. In our results, 14 active compounds and 29 CD-related target genes were identified. Among them, tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were identified as hub genes, and luteolin and apigenin showed a strong binding affinity with TNF (<−8 kcal/mol) and IL-6 (<−6 kcal/mol). Our in vivo studies showed that topical EESP ameliorated DNFB-induced skin lesions and histopathological abnormalities, and reduced the levels of TNF-α, interferon (IFN)-ɣ, IL-6, and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 in inflamed tissues. In conclusion, our findings suggest the potential for dermatological applications of S. polyrhiza and suggest that its anti-dermatitis action is related to the inhibition of TNF and IL-6 by luteolin and luteolin glycosides.
Background: Cough-variant asthma (CVA), a precursor of typical asthma, is the main cause of chronic cough. We hypothesize that yukmijihwang-tang (YJT), which has been used for chronic cough in traditional medicine and has been reported to have an anti-inflammatory effect, could be an adjuvant to asthma treatment. Methods: We plan a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, phase 2 trial to investigate the efficacy and safety of YJT in CVA patients. A total of 60 patients with CVA will be recruited and randomly assigned to either a high-dose YJT group, standard-dose YJT group, or control group (placebo) in a 1:1:1 allocation ratio after a 2-week run-in period. For the run-in period, only inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) will be used, and the investigational drug will be administered once a day with concomitant ICS for 6 weeks. Data will be collected at baseline, week 3, and week 6, and the primary outcome measure will be the mean cough symptom score (CSS) change before and after medication. The secondary outcome measures will include the Leicester cough questionnaire-Korean version (LCQ-K) score, eosinophil count and eosinophil cationic protein level, pulmonary function test, and the number of uses of rescue medication, and so on. Conclusion: This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of YJT in concomitant treatment with ICS in patients with CVA and to determine the optimal dosage of YJT. The results are expected to provide evidence for the use of YJT as an adjuvant treatment for CVA. Unlabelled: Hintergrund Cough-Variant-Asthma (CVA), eine Frühform von typischem Asthma, ist die Hauptursache von chronischem Husten. Unserer Vermutung nach könnte Yukmijihwang-Tang (YJT), das in der traditionellen Medizin zur Behandlung von chronischem Husten eingesetzt wird und das Berichten zufolge einen entzündungshemmenden Effekt hat, unterstützend in der Asthma-Therapie wirken. Method en: Wir planen eine randomisierte, doppelblinde, placebokontrollierte, multizentrische Phase-2-Studie, um die Wirksamkeit und Sicherheit von YJT bei Patienten mit CVA zu untersuchen. Insgesamt werden 60 CVA-Patienten für die Studie rekrutiert und nach einer zweiwöchigen Run-in-Phase randomisiert im Verhältnis 1:1:1 einer Gruppe mit hochdosiertem YJT, einer Gruppe, die YJT in der Standarddosierung erhält oder einer Kontrollgruppe (Placebo) zugewiesen. Während der Run-in-Phase werden nur inhalative Corticosteroide (ICS) verwendet, und das Prüfpräparat wird über 6 Wochen einmal täglich gleichzeitig mit den ICS angewendet. Die Datenerhebung erfolgt bei Studienbeginn, in Woche 3 sowie in Woche 6, und das primäre Zielkriterium ist die Änderung des mittleren Hustenscores (cough symptom score, CSS) vor und nach der Anwendung der Medikamente. Zu den sekundären Zielkriterien gehören der Score des Leicester Hustenfragebogens - koreanische Version (LCQ-K), die Eosinophilenzahl und der Spiegel an eosinophilem kationischen Protein, Lungenfunktionstests sowie die Anzahl der Anwendungen von Bedarfsmedikation usw. Schlussfolgerung Ziel dieser Studie ist es, die Wirksamkeit und Sicherheit von YJT bei gleichzeitiger Behandlung mit ICS bei Patienten mit CVA zu bewerten und die optimale YJT-Dosis zu ermitteln. Es wird erwartet, dass die Ergebnisse Belege für die Anwendung von YJT als adjuvante Therapie bei CVA liefern werden. Registrierung der Studie WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, Clinical Research Information Service (CRIS), KCT0006994, registriert am 10. Februar 2022, https://cris.nih.go.kr/cris/search/detailSearch.do/21743 .
Davallia mariesii T. Moore ex Baker, a member of the section Trogostolon (Copel.) M. Kato and Tsutsumi (Davalliaceae M.R. Schomb.), is a lithophytic or epiphytic herb that grows on rocks and tree trunks in montane forests. This study analyzed the morphological, anatomical, micromorphological, and palynological characteristics of D. mariesii using a digital slide scanner and a field-emission scanning electron microscope and presented an expanded and updated description. A circumendo-dermal band was observed in the anatomical structure of the stipe, making D. mariesii the second species in the family Davalliaceae with such a band. The frond anatomical studies revealed that the epidermal cells of the indusium were thicker than those of the epidermis on both sides and that hypostomatic fronds with stomata chambers were present. Diacytic, anisocytic, and tetracytic stomatal complexes were observed on abaxial surfaces. The indusia covered numerous sporangia. Leptosporangium consisted of an apical cap, a basal cap, an annulus, and a stalk. The spore had an ellipsoidal outline, a monolete aperture, and verrucae with colliculate ornamentation. The obtained results provide systematic data for the phylogeny of Davalliaceae and establish a basis for future taxonomic delimitation of other taxa.
This study examined the alterations of segmental body composition in individuals with Alzheimer’s pathology (AD), including mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. A multifrequency bioimpedance analysis (BIA) was used to provide segmental water and impedance variables from 365 cognitively normal (CN), 123 MCI due to AD, and 30 AD dementia participants. We compared the BIA variables between the three groups, examined their correlations with neuropsychological screening test scores, and illustrate their 95% confidence RXc graphs. AD dementia participants were older, more depressive, and had worse cognitive abilities than MCI due to AD and CN participants. Although the BIA variables showed weak partial correlations with the cognitive test scores, we found patterns of an increasing water content in lean mass, increasing extra to intracellular water ratio, and decreasing reactance and phase angle in the lower extremities with effect sizes ranging from 0.26 to 0.51 in the groups of MCI and dementia due to AD compared with CN individuals. The RXc graphs upheld the findings with a significant displacement downward and toward the right, dominantly in the lower extremities. Individuals with AD pathology exhibit a reduced body cell mass or cell strength, an abnormal cellular water distribution, and an overhydration status in lean mass, especially in the lower extremities.
Dyslipidemia is a multifactorial disorder that is a causative factor and risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The incidence of dyslipidemia is expected to increase because of the presence of comorbidities. Although several lipid-lowering drugs have been developed and approved, they are not completely effective and are associated with side effects. Traditional herbal medicine (THM) represents an alternative and complementary approach for managing dyslipidemia because of its low toxicity and beneficial effects, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. This review focuses on our current understanding of the antidyslipidemic effect of THMs and discusses the associated regulatory mechanisms. The current findings indicate that THM may lead to the development of novel therapeutic regimens for dyslipidemia.
Background: The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a transcription factor that plays a crucial role in regulating the immune system and maintaining skin barrier function. AhR signaling is pivotal in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis (AD), and the absence of AhR ligands further contributes to the progression or worsening of AD symptoms. Methods: AD was induced with 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB), and Bojungikgi-tang (BJIKT) was administered orally daily for 10 weeks. Serum IgE, splenocyte IL-4, and IFN-γ levels, skin barrier genes, and AhR target gene expressions were analyzed using RNA-sequencing analysis. Spleen tissues were extracted for fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis to analyze the effect of BJIKT on immune responses. A correlation analysis was conducted to analyze the correlation between immune markers and skin barrier genes and AhR target genes. Results: BJIKT effectively improved AD symptoms in AD mice fed a low AhR ligand diet by reducing neutrophil and eosinophil counts, lowering IgE levels in the blood, and decreasing IL-4 and IFN-γ levels in the splenocytes. Additionally, BJIKT significantly reduced epithelial skin thickness and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) values and reversed the decreased expression of skin barrier genes. BJIKT also considerably altered the expression of AhR target genes, including Ahr, Ahrr, cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1), and CYP1B1. Furthermore, AhR target pathway genes were negatively correlated with immune cell subtypes, including CD4 + and CD8 + T cells and macrophages (CD11b + F4/80 +) at the systemic level. Conclusions: BJIKT can regulate AhR activation and may help reduce inflammation in AD by regulating the expression of skin barrier genes and immune responses.
Thuja orientalis Folium (TOF) has been prescribed traditionally as an expectorant for inflammatory airway disease. In this study, we evaluated the anti-influenza A virus (IAV) activity of TOF by detecting GFP expressed by influenza A virus (A/PR/8/34-GFP) infection. The fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis showed that TOF potently inhibited IAV infection, dose-dependently. Consistently, immunofluorescence and Q-PCR analysis results confirmed TOF significantly represses IAV protein and RNA expression. TOF inhibited IAV infection at the binding and entry step upon viral infection and interferes with HA protein. Further, TOF exhibited a virucidal effect and inhibited the neuraminidase activity of IAV. Additionally, TOF prevented the cytopathic effect caused by H1N1 and H3N2 IAV infection. Amentoflavone among the constituents in TOF exerted the strongest anti-IAV effect. Myricetin, quercetin, and quercitrin also inhibited IAV infection. However, the potent anti-IAV effect of TOF may be related to the synergistic effect of constituents, not by a single specific compound. Our results suggest TOF exhibits a significant inhibitory effect against IAV infection at multi-stages via the blockage of viral attachment and entry, inhibition of neuraminidase, and induction of virucidal effects.
Background: Herbal medicines traditionally target organs for treatment based on medicinal properties, and this theory is widely used for prescriptions. However, the scientific evidence explaining how herbs act on specific organs by biological methods has been still limited. This study used bioinformatic tools to identify the target organ locations of Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae (RAB), a blood-activating herb that nourishes the liver and kidney, strengthens bones, and directs prescription to the lower body. Methods: RAB’s active compounds and targets were collected and predicted using databases such as TCMSP, HIT2.0, and BATMAN-TCM. Next, the RAB’s target list was analyzed based on two approaches to obtain target organ locations. DAVID and Gene ORGANizer enrichment-based approaches were used to enrich an entire gene list, and the BioGPS and HPA gene expression-based approaches were used to analyze the expression of core genes. Results: RAB’s targets were found to be involved in whole blood, blood components, and lymphatic organs across all four tools. Each tool indicated a particular aspect of RAB’s target organ locations: DAVID-enriched genes showed a predominance in blood, liver, and kidneys; Gene ORGANizer showed the effect on low body parts as well as bones and joints; BioGPS and HPA showed high gene expression in bone marrow, lymphoid tissue, and smooth muscle. Conclusion: Our bioinformatics-based target organ location prediction can serve as a modern interpretation tool for the target organ location theory of traditional medicine. Future studies should predict therapeutic target organ locations in complex prescriptions rather than single herbs and conduct experiments to verify predictions.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has developed into an important health concern worldwide. The discovery of phlorotannins and their efficacy in the treatment of T2DM has become a hotspot for research in various fields. In this study, the potential phlorotannins and mechanism of six brown algae against T2DM were in-depth investigated using biological activity assays, LC-MS, and network pharmacology. First, the ethyl acetate fraction (EA frac.) showed high polyphenolic content and possessed significantly antioxidant and enzyme inhibitory abilities. Further, a total of fifty-nine peaks were obtained from six EA fracs. via UPLC-QE-MS/MS analysis, and fifteen of them were identified as phlorotannins and their isomers or derivatives. In detail, the chemical structures of six phlorotannins were inferred as dibenzodioxine-1,3,6,8-tetraol, bifuhalol, dioxinodehydroeckol, eckol, fucofurodiphlorethol, and fucotriphlorethol; three phlorotannin isomers were deduced to be fucophlorethol, trifucol, triphlorethol A, or triphlorethol B; and the phlorotannin derivative of m/z 263 was determined to be dibenzodioxine-1,2,3,6,8-pentanol or dibenzodioxine-1,2,4,5,7-pentanol. Moreover, 43 T2DM-related targets acted on by these chemicals were identified, and the function of phlorotannin to prevent and treat T2DM was elucidated in a holistic way based on the established compound-target-disease network, and GO function and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis.
Background: The stability index estimation algorithm was derived and applied to develop and implement a balance ability diagnosis system that can be used in daily life. Methods: The system integrated an approach based on sensory function interaction, called the clinical test of sensory interaction with balance. A capacitance and resistance sensing type force mat was fabricated, and a stability index prediction algorithm was developed and applied using the center of pressure variables. The stability index prediction algorithm derived a center of pressure variable for 103 elderly people by Nintendo Wii Balance Board to predict the stability index of the balance system (Biodex SD), and the accuracy of this approach was confirmed. Results: As a result of testing with the test set, the linear regression model confirmed that the r-value ranged between 0.943 and 0.983. To confirm the similarity between the WBB and the flexible force mat, each measured center of pressure value was inputted and calculated in the developed regression model, and the result of the correlation coefficient validation confirmed an r-value of 0.96. Conclusion: The system developed in this study will be applicable to daily life in the home in the form of a floor mat.
Loss of skeletal muscle mass and function has detrimental effects on quality of life, morbidity, and mortality, and is particularly relevant in aging societies. The enhancement of mitochondrial function has shown promise in promoting muscle differentiation and function. Ginsenoside Rc (gRc), a major component of ginseng, has various pharmacological activities; however, its effect on muscle loss remains poorly explored. In this study, we examined the effects of gRc on the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced reduction of cell viability in C2C12 myoblasts and myotubes and H2O2-induced myotube degradation. In addition, we investigated the effects of gRc on the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial superoxide, ATP generation, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma co-activator 1α (PGC-1α) activity in myoblasts and myotubes under H2O2 treatment. Furthermore, to elucidate the mechanism of action of gRc, we conducted a transcriptome analysis of myotubes treated with or without gRc under H2O2 treatment. gRc effectively suppressed H2O2-induced cytotoxicity, intracellular ROS, and mitochondrial superoxide production, restored PGC-1α promoter activity, and increased ATP synthesis. Moreover, gRc significantly affected the expression levels of genes involved in maintaining mitochondrial mass and biogenesis, while downregulating genes associated with muscle degradation in C2C12 myotubes under oxidative stress. We provide compelling evidence supporting the potential of gRc as a promising treatment for muscle loss and weakness. Further investigations of the pharmacological effects of gRc under various pathological conditions of muscle loss will contribute to the clinical development of gRc as a therapeutic intervention.
Cisplatin is a potent chemotherapeutic drug for ovarian cancer (OC) treatment. However, its efficacy is significantly limited due to the development of cisplatin resistance. Although the acquisition of cisplatin resistance is a complex process involving various molecular alterations within cancer cells, the increased reliance of cisplatin-resistant cells on glycolysis has gained increasing attention. Isoalantolactone, a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from Inula helenium L., possesses various pharmacological properties, including anticancer activity. In this study, isoalantolactone was investigated as a potential glycolysis inhibitor to overcome cisplatin resistance in OC. Isoalantolactone effectively targeted key glycolytic enzymes (e.g., lactate dehydrogenase A, phosphofructokinase liver type, and hexokinase 2), reducing glucose consumption and lactate production in cisplatin-resistant OC cells (specifically A2780 and SNU-8). Importantly, it also sensitized these cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Isoalantolactone–cisplatin treatment regulated mitogen-activated protein kinase and AKT pathways more effectively in cisplatin-resistant cells than individual treatments. In vivo studies using cisplatin-sensitive and resistant OC xenograft models revealed that isoalantolactone, either alone or in combination with cisplatin, significantly suppressed tumor growth in cisplatin-resistant tumors. These findings highlight the potential of isoalantolactone as a novel glycolysis inhibitor for treating cisplatin-resistant OC. By targeting the dysregulated glycolytic pathway, isoalantolactone offers a promising approach to overcoming drug resistance and enhancing the efficacy of cisplatin-based therapies.
Purpose: Chronic lower back pain (LBP) is a major global health concern. Pharmacopuncture has been widely used to treat LBP in Korea; however, randomized clinical trials (RCT) or active control have not been conducted to evaluate its effectiveness. Therefore, this RCT aimed to compare the effectiveness of pharmacopuncture and physical therapy (PT) for the treatment of chronic LBP. Patients and methods: A two-arm, parallel, and multicenter RCT was conducted at four hospitals of Korean medicine. Participants with chronic LBP were randomly assigned at a 1:1 ratio using block randomization to undergo 10 sessions of pharmacopuncture or PT over 5 weeks and followed up for 25 weeks. The numerical rating scale (NRS) and visual analog scale scores of LBP and radiating leg pain and the Oswestry disability index (ODI), 5-level EuroQol-5 dimension (EQ-5D-5L), and the patient global impression of change were recorded at baseline and at 6, 13, and 25 weeks. An intention-to-treat analysis was conducted as the primary analysis using a linear mixed model. Results: One-hundred patients (mean age, 49.27 years; 58 women) were recruited. At 6 weeks after randomization, pharmacopuncture showed statistically superior results compared with PT in LBP (difference in NRS, 1.54; 95% CI, 0.94-2.13), function (difference in ODI, 4.52%; 95% CI, 0.93-8.11%), and quality of life (difference in EQ-5D-5L) scores (-0.05; 95% CI, -0.08 to -0.01). This effect persisted for 25 weeks. In the survival analysis for participants with at least a 50% reduction in the NRS scores of LBP during the 182-day follow-up, the pharmacopuncture group showed significantly faster recovery than the PT group (P<0.001, Log rank test). Conclusion: Pharmacopuncture significantly reduced pain and improved functional outcomes and quality of life in patients with low back pain compared with physical therapy. Based on the findings of this study, pharmacopuncture could be recommended as a treatment for patients with chronic low back pain.
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118 members
Myeong Soo Lee
  • Clinical Research Division
Youngseop Lee
  • KM Health Technology Research Group
Youn-Hwan Hwang
  • KM-Based Herbal Drug Research Group
Jaeuk Kim
  • KM Fundamental Research Division
Jun-Hwan Lee
  • Clinical Medicine Division
305-811, Daejeon, Daejeon, South Korea