Pharmaceutical Biology

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Online ISSN: 1744-5116
Print ISSN: 1388-0209
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Publishes open access research on natural medicines, biologically active natural products or their derivatives, and complex traditional medicine formulas.

Recent publications
Context Plastics can break down into millions of microplastic (MPs, < 5 mm) particles in the soil and ocean. These MPs can then affect the function of the reproductive system. There is currently no effective solution to this problem aside from traditional Chinese medicine. We have previously used Yishen Tongluo formula (YSTL) to treat sperm DNA damage caused by some toxic substances. Objective To investigate the mechanism underlying the repair of mouse sperm DNA fragmentation caused by polystyrene microplastics by YSTL. Materials and methods An animal model of polystyrene microplastic (PS-MP)-induced sperm DNA damage was replicated by gavage of SPF ICR (CD1) mice PS-MPs at 1 mg/d and treated with YSTL at 11.89, 23.78 and 47.56 g/kg, respectively, for 60 days. The Sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI) of each group was detected and compared. The target genes of YSTL identified by transcriptomic and proteomic analyses were validated by qRT-PCR and western blotting. Results The DFI of the PS group (20.66%) was significantly higher than that of the control group (4.23%). The medium and high doses of the YSTL group (12.8% and 11.31%) exhibited a significant repairing effect. The most enriched pathway was PI3K/Akt. TBL1X, SPARC, hnRNP0, Map7D1, Eps8 and Mrpl27 were screened and SPARC was validated. Discussion and conclusions The precise mechanism by which YSTL inhibits PD-MPs DNA damage may be associated with the PI3K/Akt pathway and SPARC. It provides a new direction for using traditional Chinese medicine to prevent and repair reproductive system injury caused by MPs.
Context The Tongmai Yangxin pill (TMYX) has potential clinical effects on no-reflow (NR); however, the effective substances and mechanisms remain unclear. Objective This study evaluates the cardioprotective effects and molecular mechanisms of TMYX against NR. Materials and methods We used a myocardial NR rat model to confirm the effect and mechanism of action of TMYX in alleviating NR. Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into Control (Con), sham, NR, TMYX (4.0 g/kg), and sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 5.0 mg/kg), and received their treatments once a day for one week. In vitro studies in isolated coronary microvasculature of NR rats and in silico network pharmacology analyses were performed to reveal the underlying mechanisms of TMYX and determine the main components, targets, and pathways of TMYX, respectively. Results TMYX (4.0 g/kg) showed therapeutic effects on NR by improving the cardiac structure and function, reducing NR, ischemic areas, and cardiomyocyte injury, and decreasing the expression of cardiac troponin I (cTnI). Moreover, the mechanism of TMYX predicted by network pharmacology is related to the HIF-1, NF-κB, and TNF signaling pathways. In vivo, TMYX decreased the expression of MPO, NF-κB, and TNF-α and increased the expression of GPER, p-ERK, and HIF-1α. In vitro, TMYX enhanced the diastolic function of coronary microvascular cells; however, this effect was inhibited by G-15, H-89, L-NAME, ODQ and four K⁺ channel inhibitors. Conclusions TMYX exerts its pharmacological effects in the treatment of NR via multiple targets. However, the contribution of each pathway was not detected, and the mechanisms should be further investigated.
Context Derazantinib—an orally bioavailable, ATP competitive, multikinase inhibitor—has strong activity against fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR)2, FGFR1, and FGFR3 kinases. It has preliminary antitumor activity in patients with unresectable or metastatic FGFR2 fusion-positive intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA). Objective This experiment validates a novel sensitive and rapid method for the determination of derazantinib concentration in rat plasma by ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS), and applies it to the study of drug-drug interaction between derazantinib and naringin in vivo. Materials and methods A Xevo TQ-S triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometer was used for mass spectrometry monitoring in selective reaction monitoring (SRM) mode with transitions of m/z 468 96 → 382.00 for derazantinib and m/z 488.01 → 400.98 for pemigatinib, respectively. The pharmacokinetics of derazantinib (30 mg/kg) was investigated in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats divided into two groups (with the oral pretreatment of 50 mg/kg naringin or not). Results The newly optimized UPLC-MS/MS method was suitable for the determination of derazantinib in rat plasma. It was also successfully employed to evaluate the effect of naringin on derazantinib metabolism in rats. After pretreatment with naringin, there was no significant difference in the pharmacokinetic parameters (AUC0→t, AUC0→∞, t1/2, CLz/F, and Cmax) of derazantinib when compared with derazantinib alone. Conclusion Co-administration of naringin with derazantinib was not associated with significant changes in pharmacokinetic parameters. Thus, this study suggests that the combination of derazantinib with naringin can safely be administered concomitantly without dose adjustment.
Context Previously, we found Alisma orientalis beverage (AOB), a classic traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulation, had the potential effect of treating atherosclerosis (AS). The underlying mechanism was still unclear. Objective As an extention of our previous work, to investigate the underlying mechanism of action of AOB in the treatment for AS. Materials and methods Network pharmacology was conducted using SwissTargetPrediction, GeneCards, DrugBank, Metascape, etc., to construct component-target-pathway networks. In vivo, AS models were induced by a high-fat diet (HFD) for 8 consecutive weeks in APOE−/− mice. After the administration of AOB (3.8 g/kg, i.g.) for 8 weeks, we assessed the aortic plaque, four indicators of blood lipids, and expression of the PI3K/AKT/SREBP-1 pathway in liver. Results Network pharmacology showed that PI3K/AKT/SREBP-1 played a role in AOB’s treatment for AS (PI3K: degree = 18; AKT: degree = 17). Moreover, we found that the arterial plaque area and four indicators of blood lipids were all significantly reversed by AOB treatment in APOE−/− mice fed with HFD (plaque area reduced by about 37.75%). In addition, phosphorylated expression of PI3K/AKT and expression of SREBP-1 were obviously increased in APOE−/− mice fed with HFD, which were all improved by AOB (PI3K: 51.6%; AKT: 23.6%; SREBP-1: 40.0%). Conclusions AOB had therapeutic effects for AS by improving blood lipids and inhibition of the PI3K/AKT/SERBP-1 pathway in the liver. This study provides new ideas for the treatment of AS, as well as new evidence for the clinical application of AOB.
Context Fibroblast senescence was reported to contribute to the pathological development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and baicalein is reported to attenuate IPF. Objective This study explores whether baicalein attenuates lung fibrosis by regulating lung fibroblast senescence. Materials and methods Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were randomly assigned to control, bleomycin (BLM), baicalein and BLM + baicalein groups. Lung fibrosis was established by a single intratracheal dose of BLM (3 mg/kg). The baicalein group received baicalein orally (100 mg/kg/day). Sirtuin 3 (Sirt3) siRNA (50 μg) was injected through the tail vein once a week for 2 weeks to explore its effect on the anti-pulmonary fibrosis of baicalein. Results BLM-treated mice exhibited obvious lung fibrosis and fibroblast senescence by showing increased levels of collagen deposition (27.29% vs. 4.14%), hydroxyproline (208.05 vs. 40.16 ng/mg), collagen I (25.18 vs. 9.15 μg/mg), p53, p21, p16, MCP-1, PAI-1, TNF-α, MMP-10 and MMP-12 in lung tissues, which were attenuated by baicalein. Baicalein also mitigated BLM-mediated activation of TGF-β1/Smad signalling pathway. Baicalein restored the BLM-induced downregulation of Sirt3 expression in lung tissues and silencing of Sirt3 abolished the inhibitory role of baicalein against BLM-induced lung fibrosis, fibroblast senescence and activation of TGF-β1/Smad signalling pathway. Conclusions Baicalein preserved the BLM-induced downregulation of lung Sirt3 expression, and thus the suppression of TGF-β1/Smad signalling pathway and lung fibrosis, which might provide an experimental basis for treatment of IPF.
Context The toxicity of atractyloside/carboxyatractyloside is generally well recognized and commonly ascribed to the inhibition of mitochondrial ADP/ATP carriers, which are pivotal for oxidative phosphorylation. However, these glycosides may 'paralyze' additional target proteins. Objective This review presents many facts about atractyloside/carboxyatractyloside and their plant producers, such as Xanthium spp. (Asteraceae), named cockleburs. Methods Published studies and other information were obtained from databases, such as 'CABI - Invasive Species Compendium', 'PubMed', and 'The World Checklist of Vascular Plants', from 1957 to December 2022. The following major keywords were used: 'carboxyatractyloside', 'cockleburs', 'hepatotoxicity', 'mitochondria', 'nephrotoxicity', and 'Xanthium'. Results In the third decade of the twenty first century, public awareness of the severe toxicity of cockleburs is still limited. Such toxicity is often only perceived by specialists in Europe and other continents. Interestingly, cocklebur is among the most widely distributed invasive plants worldwide, and the recognition of new European stands of Xanthium spp. is provided here. The findings arising from field and laboratory research conducted by the author revealed that (i) some livestock populations may instinctively avoid eating cocklebur while grazing, (ii) carboxyatractyloside inhibits ADP/GDP metabolism, and (iii) the direct/indirect target proteins of carboxyatractyloside are ambiguous. Conclusions Many aspects of the Xanthium genus still require substantial investigation/revision in the future, such as the unification of the Latin nomenclature of currently distinguished species, bur morphology status, true fruit (achene) description and biogeography of cockleburs, and a detailed description of the physiological roles of atractyloside/carboxyatractyloside and the toxicity of these glycosides, mainly toward mammals. Therefore, a more careful interpretation of atractyloside/carboxyatractyloside data, including laboratory tests using Xanthium-derived extracts and purified toxins, is needed.
Context Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease with aberrant Th17 cell differentiation. Panax notoginseng (Burk.) F. H. Chen (Araliaceae) saponins (PNS) have an anti-inflammatory effect and can suppress Th17 cell differentiation. Objective To investigate mechanisms of PNS on Th17 cell differentiation in RA, and the role of pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2). Materials and methods Naive CD4⁺T cells were treated with IL-6, IL-23 and TGF-β to induce Th17 cell differentiation. Apart from the Control group, other cells were treated with PNS (5, 10, 20 μg/mL). After the treatment, Th17 cell differentiation, PKM2 expression, and STAT3 phosphorylation were measured via flow cytometry, western blots, or immunofluorescence. PKM2-specific allosteric activator (Tepp-46, 50, 100, 150 μM) and inhibitor (SAICAR, 2, 4, 8 μM) were used to verify the mechanisms. A CIA mouse model was established and divided into control, model, and PNS (100 mg/kg) groups to assess an anti-arthritis effect, Th17 cell differentiation, and PKM2/STAT3 expression. Results PKM2 expression, dimerization, and nuclear accumulation were upregulated upon Th17 cell differentiation. PNS inhibited the Th17 cells, RORγt expression, IL-17A levels, PKM2 dimerization, and nuclear accumulation and Y705-STAT3 phosphorylation in Th17 cells. Using Tepp-46 (100 μM) and SAICAR (4 μM), we demonstrated that PNS (10 μg/mL) inhibited STAT3 phosphorylation and Th17 cell differentiation by suppressing nuclear PKM2 accumulation. In CIA mice, PNS attenuated CIA symptoms, reduced the number of splenic Th17 cells and nuclear PKM2/STAT3 signaling. Discussion and conclusions PNS inhibited Th17 cell differentiation through the inhibition of nuclear PKM2-mediated STAT3 phosphorylation. PNS may be useful for treating RA.
Context Although Tongguan capsule (TGC) is used in the treatment of coronary atherosclerotic disease, the exact mechanism remains unclear. Objective Network pharmacology and experimental validation were applied to examine the mechanism of TGC for treating myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury (MIRI). Materials and methods The components and candidate targets were searched based on various databases such as TCMSP, TCMID, BATMAN-TCM. The binding ability was determined by molecular docking. The ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) model was constructed by ligating the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery. APOE-/- mice were divided into three groups (n = 6): Sham group, I/R group, and TGC group (1 g/kg/d). To further verification, HCAEC cells were subjected to hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R) to establish in vitro model. Results The compounds, such as quercetin, luteolin, tanshinone IIA, kaempferol and bifendate, were obtained after screening. The affinity values of the components with GSK-3β, mTOR, Beclin-1, and LC3 were all <-5 kcal/mol. In vivo, TGC improved LVEF and FS, reducing infarct size. In vitro, Hoechst 33258 staining result showed TGC inhibited apoptosis. Compare with the H/R model, TGC treatment increased the levels of GSK-3β, LC3, and Beclin1, while decreasing the expression of mTOR and p62 (p < 0.05). Discussion and Conclusion The findings revealed that TGC exerted a cardioprotective effect by up regulating autophagy-related proteins through the mTOR pathway, which may be a therapeutic option for MIRI. However, there are still some limitations in this research. It is necessary to search more databases to obtain information and further demonstrated through randomized controlled trials for generalization.
Context Morroniside (MOR) possesses antiosteoporosis (OP) effects, but its molecular target and relevant mechanisms remain unknown. Objective We investigated the effects of MOR on glucocorticoid-induced OP and osteoblastogenesis and its underlying mechanisms. Materials and methods The effects of MOR (10–100 μM) on the proliferation and differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells were studied in vitro. The glucocorticoid-induced zebrafish OP model was treated with 10, 20 and 40 μM MOR for five days to evaluate its effects on vertebral bone density and related osteogenic markers. In addition, molecular targets prediction and molecular docking analysis were carried out to explore the binding interactions of MOR with the target proteins. Results In cultured MC3T3-E1 cells, 20 μM MOR significantly increased cell viability (1.64 ± 0.12 vs. 0.95 ± 0.16; p < 0.01) and cell differentiation (1.57 ± 0.01 vs. 1.00 ± 0.04; p < 0.01) compared to the control group. MOR treatment significantly ameliorated vertebral bone loss in the glucocorticoid-induced OP zebrafish model (0.86 ± 0.02 vs. 0.40 ± 0.03; p < 0.01) and restored the expression of osteoblast-specific markers, including ALP, Runx2 and Col-І. Ligand-based target prediction and molecular docking revealed the binding interaction between MOR and the glucose pockets in sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2). Discussion and conclusions These findings demonstrated that MOR treatment promoted osteoblastogenesis and ameliorated glucocorticoid-induced OP by targeting SGLT2, which may provide therapeutic potential in managing glucocorticoid-induced OP.
Context Sanziguben (SZGB) is an empirical prescription used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat diabetic nephropathy (DN). As an abundant and primarily effective component of SZGB, Sanziguben polysaccharides (SZP) can be digested by flora to generate biological activity. Objective Our study aimed to clarify the potential mechanism of SZP in improving chronic DN. Materials and methods Male db/db mice were randomized into DN, SZP (500 mg/kg) and metformin (MET, 300 mg/kg) groups. Wild-type littermates served as the normal control (NC) group. The drug was orally administered for 8 weeks. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect the inflammatory factors. Proteins related to inflammation were evaluated using western blotting and immunohistochemical examination. Gut microbiota was analysed using 16S rRNA sequencing. Results SZP significantly reduced 24 h urine albumin (p < 0.05) of DN mice. Compared to DN group, SZP significantly decreased the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index, serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen levels (20.27 ± 3.50 vs. 33.64 ± 4.85, 19.22 ± 3.77 vs. 32.52 ± 3.05 μmol/L, 13.23 ± 1.42 vs. 16.27 ± 0.77 mmol/L, respectively), and mitigated renal damage. SZP also regulated gut microbiota and decreased the abundance of Gram-negative bacteria (Proteobacteria, Klebsiella and Escherichia-Shigella). Subsequently, SZP reduced lipopolysaccharides levels (1.06- to 1.93-fold) of DN mice. Furthermore, SZP inhibited the expression levels of TLR4, phospho-NF-κB p65, NLRP3 proteins and interleukin (IL)-18 and IL-1β. Conclusions These results demonstrated that SZP improved intestinal flora disorder and inhibited the TLR4/NF-κB/NLRP3 pathway to alleviate DN.
Context Kazinol B (KB), an isoprenylated flavan derived from Broussonetia kazinoki Sieb. (Moraceae) root, has long been used in folk medicine. Objective This study examines the protective effects of KB and its underlying mechanisms in hypoxia and reoxygenation (H/R)-induced cardiac injury in H9c2 rat cardiac myoblasts. Materials and methods H9c2 cells were incubated with various concentrations of KB (0, 0.3, 1, 3, 10 and 30 μM) for 2 h and then subjected to H/R insults. The protective effects of KB and its underlying mechanisms were explored. Results KB significantly elevated cell viability (1 μM, 1.21-fold; 3 μM, 1.36-fold, and 10 μM, 1.47-fold) and suppressed LDH release (1 μM, 0.77-fold; 3 μM, 0.68-fold, and 10 μM, 0.59-fold) in H/R-induced H9c2 cells. Further, 10 μM KB blocked apoptotic cascades, as shown by the Annexin-V/PI (0.41-fold), DNA fragmentation (0.51-fold), caspase-3 (0.52-fold), PARP activation (0.27-fold) and Bax/Bcl-2 expression (0.28-fold) assays. KB (10 μM) downregulated reactive oxygen species production (0.51-fold) and lipid peroxidation (0.48-fold); it upregulated the activities of GSH-Px (2.08-fold) and SOD (1.72-fold). KB (10 μM) induced Nrf2 nuclear accumulation (1.94-fold) and increased ARE promoter activity (2.15-fold), HO-1 expression (3.07-fold), AKT (3.07-fold) and AMPK (3.07-fold) phosphorylation. Nrf2 knockdown via using Nrf2 siRNA abrogated KB-mediated protective effects against H/R insults. Moreover, pharmacological inhibitors of AKT and AMPK also abrogated KB-induced Nrf2 activation and its protective function. Discussion and conclusions KB prevented H/R-induced cardiomyocyte injury via modulating the AKT and AMPK-mediated Nrf2 induction. KB might be a promising drug candidate for managing ischemic cardiac disorders.
Context Poziotinib and vonoprazan are two drugs mainly metabolized by CYP3A4. However, the drug-drug interaction between them is unknown. Objective To study the interaction mechanism and pharmacokinetics of poziotinib on vonoprazan. Materials and methods In vitro experiments were performed with rat liver microsomes (RLMs) and the contents of vonoprazan and its metabolite were then determined with UPLC-MS/MS after incubation of RLMs with vonoprazan and gradient concentrations of poziotinib. For the in vivo experiment, rats in the poziotinib treated group were given 5 mg/kg poziotinib by gavage once daily for 7 days, and the control group was only given 0.5% CMC-Na. On Day 8, tail venous blood was collected at different time points after the gavage administration of 10 mg/kg vonoprazan, and used for the quantification of vonoprazan and its metabolite. DAS and SPSS software were used for the pharmacokinetic and statistical analyses. Results In vitro experimental data indicated that poziotinib inhibited the metabolism of vonoprazan (IC50 = 10.6 μM) in a mixed model of noncompetitive and uncompetitive inhibition. The inhibitory constant Ki was 0.574 μM and the binding constant αKi was 2.77 μM. In vivo experiments revealed that the AUC(0-T) (15.05 vs. 90.95 μg/mL·h) and AUC(0-∞) (15.05 vs. 91.99 μg/mL·h) of vonoprazan increased significantly with poziotinib pretreatment. The MRT(0-∞) of vonoprazan increased from 2.29 to 5.51 h, while the CLz/F value decreased from 162.67 to 25.84 L/kg·h after pretreatment with poziotinib. Conclusions Poziotinib could significantly inhibit the metabolism of vonoprazan and more care may be taken when co-administered in the clinic.
Context Citrus aurantium L (Rutaceae) (Au) and Citrus reticulata Blanco (Rutaceae) (Ci) are commonly used as couplet prokinetics and Bupleurum chinense DC. (Umbelliferae) (Bup) is an herbal antidepressant in traditional Chinese medicine. Objective This study evaluates the synergistic prokinetic effects of Bup with Au and Ci in mice suffering from multistress-induced delayed gastric emptying (DGE). Materials and methods Kunming mice were divided into four groups: control, DGE, AuCi and AuCiBup. Mice were gavaged with AuCi (14.25 g/kg) or AuCiBup (22.13 g/kg) extract for 12 days. Gastric reminder rate, intestinal driving ratio, sucrose preference and open field test were examined, and serotonin (5-HT), motilin (MTL), substance P (SP), 5-HT4R and c-kit were assayed. Intracellular Ca²⁺ levels in primary cultured gastric smooth muscle cells (GSMCs) were determined. Results Both AuCi and AuCiBup treatment significantly reduced gastric residual rate (39.5% and 67.7%, p < 0.01). Higher serum levels of 5-HT, MTL and SP were observed in treatment groups (AuCi: 0.060 mg/L, AuCiBup: 0.089 mg/L, DGE: 0.025 mg/L, p < 0.01). The expression of 5-HT4R and c-kit in the antrum and duodenum was upregulated after treatment (AuCi and AuCiBup, 4.3-times, 2.8-times to DGE, p < 0.01). Medicated serums of AuCi and AuCiBup effectively increased the influx of Ca²⁺ into GSMCs in vitro (1.8-times, p < 0.01). In terms of 5-HT4R expression, circulatory contents of 5-HT and SP and Ca²⁺ influx, AuCiBup demonstrated better prokinetic effects than AuCi. Conclusions These findings indicate the potential for developing combination therapy with antidepressants and prokinetics in gastrointestinal dysmotility management.
Context Lappaol F (LAF), a natural lignan from Arctium lappa Linné (Asteraceae), inhibits tumor cell growth in vitro and in vivo. The underlying mechanism involves the suppression of the Yes-associated protein. However, the specific role of LAF in cell cycle regulation remains unknown. Objective This study determined the molecular mechanism by which LAF regulates cell cycle progression. Materials and methods Various colon cancer cell lines (SW480, HCT15, and HCT116) were treated with LAF (25, 50, and 75 μmol/L) for 48 h. The effects of LAF on cell proliferation and cell cycle were determined using sulforhodamine B and flow cytometry assays. Differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were identified using quantitative proteomics. Bioinformatic analysis of DEPs was conducted via Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses. Expression levels of DEPs in the cell cycle pathway were analyzed using RT-qPCR and western blotting. Results LAF suppressed the proliferation of SW480, HCT15, and HCT116 cells (IC50 47.1, 51.4, and 32.8 μmol/L, respectively) and induced cell cycle arrest at the S phase. A total of 6331 proteins were identified and quantified, of which 127 were differentially expressed between the LAF-treated and untreated groups. GO and KEGG enrichment analyses revealed that DEPs mainly participated in the cell cycle. CDKN1C/p57 showed the most significant differential expression, with the highest fold-change (3.155-fold). Knockdown of CDKN1C/p57 attenuated the S phase cell cycle arrest and proliferation inhibition induced by LAF. Conclusion LAF exerts antitumor effects via S phase arrest by activating CDKN1C/p57 in colorectal cancer cells.
Context Cisplatin, as a first-line treatment for ovarian cancer, is associated with debilitating adverse effects, including nephrotoxic and haematotoxic effects. Objective This study determines whether nanocurcumin, combined with cisplatin, would give additional benefit to kidney function and haematological parameters in rats with ovarian cancer. Materials and methods Twenty-five Wistar rats were divided into five untreated rats and 20-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced ovarian cancer rats. The 20 ovarian cancer rats were divided into four treatment groups: vehicle, cisplatin, cisplatin-curcumin, and cisplatin-nanocurcumin. Cisplatin was given at the dose of 4 mg/kg BW once weekly, while curcumin or nanocurcumin was administered at 100 mg/kg BW daily for four weeks. At the end of treatment, we analysed kidney function, haematological parameters, and inflammatory and oxidative stress markers from plasma. Results Nanocurcumin alleviates the increase in kidney function markers and abnormalities in haematological indices in rats treated with cisplatin. Compared to cisplatin-treated rats, plasma urea levels decreased from 66.4 to 47.7 mg/dL, creatinine levels lowered from 0.87 to 0.82 mg/dL, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) levels declined from 8.51 to 3.59 mIU/mg protein. Furthermore, the therapy increased glutathione activities (from 2.02 to 3.23 U/µL), reduced lipid peroxidation (from 0.54 to 0.45 nmol/mL), and decreased plasma TNF-α (from 270.6 to 217.8 pg/mL). Conclusions Cisplatin with nanocurcumin in an ovarian cancer rat model may provide additional benefits as a preventive agent against renal impairment and cisplatin-induced haematological toxicity. However, further research is required to prove that using nanocurcumin for a more extended time would not affect its anticancer properties.
Context Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer (Araliaceae) is a tonic herb used in ancient Asia. Objective This study investigated the antifatigue effect of P. ginseng on chronic fatigue rats. Materials and methods Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control, model and EEP (ethanol extraction of P. ginseng roots) (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg) groups (n = 8). The rats were subcutaneously handled with loaded swimming once daily for 26 days, except for the control group. The animals were intragastrically treated with EEP from the 15th day. On day 30, serum, liver and muscles were collected, and the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling pathway was evaluated. Results The swimming times to exhaust of the rats with EEP were significantly longer than that without it. EEP spared the amount of muscle glycogen, hepatic glycogen and blood sugar under the chronic state. In addition, EEP significantly (p < 0.05) decreased serum triglycerides (1.24 ± 0.17, 1.29 ± 0.04 and 1.20 ± 0.21 vs. 1.58 ± 0.13 mmol/L) and total cholesterol (1.64 ± 0.36, 1.70 ± 0.15 and 1.41 ± 0.19 vs. 2.22 ± 0.19 mmol/L) compared to the model group. Regarding the regulation of energy, EEP had a positive impact on promoting ATPase activities and relative protein expression of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Conclusions Our results suggested that EEP effectively relieved chronic fatigue, providing evidence that P. ginseng could be a potential dietary supplement to accelerate recovery from fatigue.
Context Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response caused by infection, with high morbidity and mortality. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) have reported biological activities. Objective This study explored the signaling pathways through which ω-3 PUFAs protect against sepsis-induced multiorgan failure. Materials and methods Septic Sprague-Dawley (SD) rat model was established by the cecum ligation perforation (CLP) method. Rats were divided into control, sham, model, parenteral ω-3 PUFAs (0.5 g/kg) treatment, ω-3 PUFAs (0.5 g/kg) + AMPK inhibitor Compound C (30 mg/kg) treatment, and ω-3 PUFAs (0.5 g/kg) + mTOR activator MHY1485 (10 mg/kg) treatment groups. The serum inflammatory cytokines were measured using ELISA. Organ damage-related markers cTnI, CK, CK-MB, Cr, BUN, ALT, and AST were measured using an automated chemical analyzer. The AMPK/mTOR pathway in liver, kidney, and myocardial tissues was detected using western blot and qRT-PCR methods. Results CLP treatment enhanced the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and multi-organ related markers, along with increased p-AMPK/AMPK ratio (from 0.47 to 0.87) and decreased p-mTOR/mTOR ratio (from 0.33 to 0.12) in rats. The inflammation response and multi-organ injury induced by CLP treatment could be partially counteracted by 0.5 g/kg parenteral ω-3 PUFA treatment. The activated AMPK/mTOR pathway in CLP-induced rats was further promoted. Finally, Compound C and MHY1485 could reverse the effects of parenteral ω-3 PUFA treatment on sepsis rats. Discussion and conclusion ω-3 PUFAs ameliorated sepsis development by activating the AMPK/mTOR pathway, serving as a potent therapeutic agent for sepsis. Further in vivo studies may validate potential clinical use.
Context Tripterygium glycosides (TG), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been used to treat chronic urticaria (CU) in China, and the evidence of TG for CU needs to be updated thoroughly. Objective To systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of TG combined with H1-antihistamine (H1-AH) in adults with CU. Methods Eligible randomized controlled trials were searched in eight databases until May 31, 2022, including CNKI, WanFang, VIP, SinoMed, PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, and Web of Science. The search terms included urticaria, Tripterygium, Lei Gong Teng, and Leigongteng. Rev Man 5.3 and Stata 12.0 were used for statistical analysis. Results A total of 27 studies with 2788 patients were included. The pooled results showed that TG plus H1-AH was superior to H1-AH alone in cure rate (RR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.15 to 1.63, p = 0.0003), total efficacy rate (RR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.30 to 1.50, p < 0.00001), pruritus (MD = −0.32, 95% CI = −0.54 to −0.11, p = 0.003), wheal number (MD = −0.31, 95% CI = −0.55 to −0.07, p = 0.01), wheal size (MD = −0.32, 95% CI = −0.46 to −0.19, p < 0.00001), and the serum level of immunoglobulin E (SMD = −1.39, 95% CI = −2.42 to −0.36, p = 0.008). Moreover, adverse events between two groups were mild, and their incidences were not significantly different. Conclusions The combination of TG and H1-AH is a promising and safe treatment for adults with refractory CU. Further high-quality studies are needed to confirm the evidence.
Context Guilu-Erxian-Glue (GLEXG) is a traditional Chinese formula used to improve male reproductive dysfunction. Objective To investigate the ferroptosis resistance of GLEXG in the improvement of semen quality in the oligoasthenospermia (OAS) rat model. Materials and methods Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were administered Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycoside, a compound extracted from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. (Celastraceae), at a dose of 40 mg/kg/day, to establish an OAS model. Fifty-four SD rats were randomly divided into six groups: sham, model, low-dose GLEXG (GLEXGL, 0.25 g/kg/day), moderate-dose GLEXG (GLEXGM, 0.50 g/kg/day), high-dose GLEXG (GLEXGH, 1.00 g/kg/day) and vitamin E (0.01 g/kg/day) group. The semen quality, structure and function of sperm mitochondria, histopathology, levels of oxidative stress and iron, and mRNA levels and protein expression in the Keap1/Nrf2/GPX4 pathway, were analyzed. Results Compared with the model group, GLEXGH significantly improved sperm concentration (35.73 ± 15.42 vs. 17.40 ± 4.12, p < 0.05) and motility (58.59 ± 11.06 vs. 28.59 ± 9.42, p < 0.001), and mitigated testicular histopathology. Moreover, GLEXGH markedly reduced the ROS level (5684.28 ± 1345.47 vs. 15500.44 ± 2307.39, p < 0.001) and increased the GPX4 level (48.53 ± 10.78 vs. 23.14 ± 11.04, p < 0.01), decreased the ferrous iron level (36.31 ± 3.66 vs. 48.64 ± 7.74, p < 0.05), and rescued sperm mitochondrial morphology and potential via activating the Keap1/Nrf2/GPX4 pathway. Discussion and conclusions Ferroptosis resistance from GLEXG might be driven by activation of the Keap1/Nrf2/GPX4 pathway. Targeting ferroptosis is a novel approach for OAS therapy.
Context Therapeutic effects of Qiangjing tablets (QJT) on sperm vitality and asthenozoospermia (AZS) have been confirmed. However, the mechanism of action remains unclear. Objective This study investigates the effects of QJT on AZS and the underlying mechanism of action. Materials and methods Sixty Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly divided into six groups: Control, ORN (ornidazole; 200 mg/kg), ORN + QJT-low (0.17 g/mL), ORN + QJT-middle (0.33 g/mL), ORN + QJT-high (0.67 g/mL), and ORN + QJT + Radicicol (0.67 g/mL QJT and 20 mg/kg radicicol) groups. Pathological evaluation and analysis of mitophagy were conducted by H&E staining and transmission electron microscopy, respectively. Reactive oxygen species were detected by flow cytometry. Protein expression was determined by Western blotting. Results QJT significantly improved ORN-treated sperm motility and kinematic parameters, as well as the pathological symptoms of testicular and epididymal tissues. In particular, QJT mitigated impaired mitochondrial morphology, and increased the PHB, Beclin-1, LC3-II protein, and ROS levels (p < 0.05), and reduced the protein expression levels of LC3-I and p62 (p < 0.05). Mechanistically, QJT antagonized the downregulation of SCF and Parkin protein levels (p < 0.05). Furthermore, QJT significantly increased the protein expressions levels of LKB1, AMPKα, p-AMPKα, ULK1 and p-ULK1 (p < 0.05). The ameliorative effect of QJT on pathological manifestations, mitochondrial morphology, and the expressions of mitophagy and mitochondrial ubiquitination-related proteins was counteracted by radicicol. Discussion and conclusions QJT improved AZS via mitochondrial ubiquitination and mitophagy mediated by the LKB1/AMPK/ULK1 signaling pathway. Our study provides a theoretical basis for the treatment of AZS and male infertility.
Context Due to the poor prognosis of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL), there is an urgent need to identify safer and more cost-effective drugs. Objective This study evaluated the antitumour activity of Shuanghuanglian (SHL) on T-ALL cells and elucidated the mechanism. Materials and methods Jurkat and Molt4 cells were treated with SHL (0.1, 0.2 and 0.4 mg/mL) for 24 and 48 h. The controls were treated with RPMI 1640 containing 10% foetal bovine serum. Cell viability was evaluated through Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. Patterns of death and signalling pathway alterations caused by SHL were identified by network pharmacology combined with GO enrichment analysis and then were verified by Hoechst 33342 staining, Annexin V-FITC/PI staining and Western blotting. Interactions of the active ingredients with targets were analysed by molecular docking. Results The IC50 values of SHL in Jurkat and Molt4 cells were 0.30 ± 0.10 and 0.48 ± 0.07 mg/mL, respectively, at 24 h and 0.27 ± 0.05 and 0.30 ± 0.03 mg/mL at 48 h. In T-ALL, 117 target genes of SHL were mainly enriched in the apoptosis and NOTCH signalling pathways. SHL induced apoptosis was confirmed by Hoechst 33342 staining and flow cytometry. The protein levels of cleaved caspase-7 and cleaved PARP were significantly increased but those of cleaved NOTCH1 and MYC were reduced. The active ingredients of SHL can interact with γ-secretase. Discussion and conclusions: SHL induces apoptosis in T-ALL cells via the NOTCH1-MYC pathway and may be a potential drug for the treatment of T-ALL.
a-MG protected against high-fat/high-glucose/low-dose streptozotocin (HF/HG/STZ) induced-insulin resistance (IR) rats on hepatic manifestations such as the reduced liver lipid levels, improved liver function tests, and improved protein expression of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) in the liver tissues of IR rats. The levels of liver cholesterol total (A), liver triglyceride (B), AST level in serum (C), ALT level in serum (D), protein expression of IRS-1 in the liver tissues (E), and protein expression of PI3K in the liver tissues (F). N: normal group, N þ a-MG 200: normal-treated a-MG at a dose of 200 mg/kg/day group, IR: vehicle-treated insulin resistance (IR) group, IR þ Met: metformin-treated insulin resistance group, IR þ a-MG 100: a-MG at a dose of 100 mg/kg/day-treated insulin resistance group, IR þ a-MG 200: a-MG at a dose of 200 mg/kg/day-treated insulin resistance group. Values are mean ± SD (n ¼ 6). ÃÃ p < 0.01 vs. N; § § p < 0.01 vs. N þ a-MG 200; † † p < 0.01 vs. IR.
a-MG regulates high-fat/high-glucose/low-dose streptozotocin (HF/HG/STZ) induced-IR rats on inflammation process in the liver tissues. Effect of a-MG on: (A) gene expression of Bax in the liver tissues, (B) gene expression of TNF-a in the liver tissues, (C) protein expression of TNF-a in the liver tissues, (D) gene expression of IL-1b in the liver tissues, and (E) protein expression of IL-6 in the liver tissues. Values are mean ± SD (n ¼ 6). Ã p < 0.05 vs. N; ÃÃ p < 0.01 vs. N; § p < 0.05 vs. N þ a-MG 200; § § p < 0.01 vs. N þ a-MG 200; † p < 0.05 vs. IR; † † p < 0.01 vs. IR.
a-MG increased the expression of AMPK and decreased the expression of SREBP-1 and ACC. (A) Western blots p-AMPK and its relative contents, (B) protein expression of SREBP-1c in the liver tissues, and (C) protein expression of ACC in the liver tissues. Values are mean ± SD (n ¼ 6). Ã p < 0.05 vs. N; ÃÃ p < 0.01 vs. N; § p < 0.05 vs. N þ a-MG 200; § § p < 0.01 vs. N þ a-MG 200; † † p < 0.01 vs. IR.
(A-F) Hematoxylin & Eosin staining of liver tissue. Lipid accumulation was marked in the IR group compared to other groups. Treatment with a-MG at 100 and 200 mg/kg/day markedly suppressed lipid accumulation (Â400 magnification), (G) lipid quantification analysis in the liver tissues, (H-M) immunohistochemical staining with 4-HNE show lipid peroxidation with stained positive for 4-HNE (arrows). Treatment with a-MG at 100 and 200 mg/kg/day reduced 4-HNE (Â200 magnification).
Context α-Mangosteen (α-MG) attenuates insulin resistance (IR). However, it is still unknown whether α-MG could alleviate hepatic manifestations in IR rats. Objective To investigate the effect of α-MG on alleviating hepatic manifestations in IR rats through AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and sterol-regulatory element-binding protein-1 (SREBP-1) pathway. Materials and methods IR was induced by exposing male Sprague-Dawley rats (180–200 g) to high-fat/high-glucose diet and low-dose injection of streptozotocin (HF/HG/STZ), then treated with α-MG at a dose of 100 or 200 mg/kg/day for 8 weeks. At the end of the study (11 weeks), serum and liver were harvested for biochemical analysis, and the activity of AMPK, SREBP-1c, acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1, Bax and liver histopathology were analyzed. Results α-MG at both doses significantly lowered ALT, AST, triglyceride, and cholesterol total by 16.5, 15.7, 38, and 36%, respectively. These beneficial effects of α-MG are associated with the downregulation of the IR-induced inflammation in the liver. Furthermore, α-MG, at both doses, activated AMPK by 24–29 times and reduced SREBP-1c by 44–50% as well as ACC expression by 19–31% similar to metformin. All treatment groups showed liver histopathology improvement regarding fat deposition in the liver. Conclusions Based on the findings demonstrated, α-MG protected against HF/HG/STZ-induced hepatic manifestations of the IR rats, at least in part via the modulation of the AMPK/SREBP-1c/ACC pathway and it could be a potential drug candidate to prevent IR-induced hepatic manifestations.
Context Vitiligo is a common skin disease with a complex pathogenesis, and so far, no effective treatment is available. Lycium barbarum L. (Solanaceae) polysaccharide (LBP), the main active ingredient of goji berries, has been demonstrated to protect keratinocytes and fibroblasts against oxidative stress. Objective This study explored the effects and mechanism of LBP on monobenzone-induced vitiligo in mice. Materials and methods C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into five groups (n = 6): negative control that received vaseline, vitiligo model group induced by monobenzone that treated with vaseline, positive control that received tacrolimus (TAC), LBP groups that received 0.3 and 0.6 g/kg LBP, respectively. We quantified the depigmentation by visual examination and scores, detected the expression of CD8+ T cells, pro-inflammatory cytokines and analysed the STAT3-Hsp70-CXCL9/CXCL10 pathway. Results LBP 0.3 and 0.6 g/kg groups can significantly reduce depigmentation scores and the infiltration of local inflammatory cells in the skin lesions. Moreover, the expression of CXCL9, CXCL3, CXCL10 and HSP70 decreased by 54.3, 20.3, 48.5 and 27.2% in 0.3 g/kg LBP group, which decreased by 62.1, 26.6, 58.2 and 34.5% in 0.6 g/kg LBP group. In addition, 0.3 and 0.6 g/kg LBP decreased the release of IL-8 (9.7%, 22.8%), IL-6 (40.8%, 42.5%), TNF-α (25.7%, 35%), IFN-γ (25.1%, 27.6%) and IL-1β (23.7%, 33.7%) and inhibited the phosphorylation expression of STAT3 by 63.2 and 67.9%, respectively. Conclusion These findings indicated LBP might be recommended as a new approach for vitiligo which provide a theoretical basis for the clinical application of LBP in treating vitiligo patients.
Context Da-Yuan-Yin is a Chinese traditional prescription. Objective This study explores the therapeutic effects of the Da-Yuan-Yin decoction polyphenol fraction (DYY-4) on acute lung injury (ALI) in mice induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Materials and methods The mice (n = 10) were orally administrated with DYY-4 (15, 30, and 60 mg/kg) or DXM (5 mg/kg), half an hour after LPS (2 mg/kg) instilled intratracheally. The protein content and the levels of inflammatory factors, the levels of complements, the mRNA expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), the level of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), the expression of the IkB kinase (IKK) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), the lung wet-to-dry weight (W/D) ratio and lung tissue were evaluated, 24 h after LPS challenge. Network pharmacology predicted potential targets. Results DYY-4 (30, 60 mg/kg, p < 0.01, p < 0.01) decreased the lung W/D ratio, total protein concentration, the levels of C3, C3c and C5a, the levels of TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β, while increased the levels of IL-4 and IL-10. DYY-4 (60 mg/kg) decreased the levels of C5aR1, C5b-9 and COX-2 mRNA (p < 0.05), the levels of MPO and iNOS mRNA, the activation of the IKK/NF-κB pathway (p < 0.01), and increased the levels of IL-13 and SOD (p < 0.01). DYY-4 (60 mg/kg) relieved the lung tissue pathological changes and reduced the C3c deposition. Discussion and conclusions Network pharmacology combined with animal experiments revealed the targets of DYY-4 alleviating ALI.
Context Chaihu Shugan San (CHSGS) was effective in the treatment of functional dyspepsia (FD). Objective To investigate the mechanism of CHSGS in FD through dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp-1)-mediated interstitial cells of cajal (ICC) mitophagy. Materials and methods Forty Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into control, model, mdivi-1, mdivi-1 + CHSGS and CHSGS groups. Tail-clamping stimulation was used to establish the FD model. Mdivi-1 + CHSGS and CHSGS groups were given CHSGS aqueous solution (4.8 g/kg) by gavage twice a day. Mdivi-1 (25 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally once every other week for 4 w. Mitochondrial damage was observed by corresponding kits and related protein expressions were assessed by Immunofluorescence and (or) Western Blot. Results Compared with the mean value of the control group, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and citrate synthase (CS) in the model group were decreased by 11% and 35%; malondialdehyde (MDA) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were increased by 1.2- and 2.8-times; ckit fluorescence and protein expressions were decreased by 85% and 51%, co-localization expression of LC3 and voltage dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1), Drp-1 and translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane 20 (Tom20) were increased by 10.1- and 5.4-times; protein expressions of Drp-1, Beclin-1, and LC3 were increased by 0.5-, 1.4-, and 2.5-times whereas p62 was decreased by 43%. After mdivi-1 and (or) CHSGS intervention, the above situation has been improved. Discussion and conclusion CHSGS could improve mitochondrial damage and promote gastric motility in FD rats by regulating Drp-1-mediated ICC mitophagy.
Context Dolichos trilobus Linn (Leguminosae) is often used in Yi ethnic medicine to treat pain, fracture, and rheumatism. Objective To explore the therapeutic potential of doliroside B (DB) from D. trilobus and its disodium salt (DBDS) and the underlying mechanism in pain. Materials and methods In the writhing test, Kunming mice were orally treated with DB and DBDS at doses of 0.31, 0.62, 1.25, 2.5, and 5 mg/kg. Vehicle, morphine, indomethacin, and acetylsalicylic acid were used as negative and positive control on the nociception-induced models, respectively. In the hot plate test, mice were orally treated with DB and DBDS at doses of 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg. In the formalin test, mice were orally treated with DB and DBDS at doses of 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg. In the meanwhile, lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory model in RAW264.7 macrophages was adopted to study the mechanism of pain alleviation for DBDS. Results DBDS (5 mg/kg) inhibited the writhing number by 80.2%, which exhibited the highest antinociceptive activity in pain models. DBDS could selectively inhibite the activity of COX-1. Meanwhile, it also reduced the production of NO, iNOS, and IL-6 by 55.8%, 69.0%, and 49.9% inhibition, respectively. It was found that DBDS also positively modulated the function of GABAA1 receptor. Discussion and conclusions DBDS displayed antinociceptive activity by acting on both the peripheral and central nervous systems, which may act on multitargets. Further work is warranted for developing DBDS into a potential drug for the treatment of pain.
Context: Lysiphyllum strychnifolium (Craib) A. Schmitz (LS) (Fabaceae) has traditionally been used to treat diabetes mellitus. Objective: This study demonstrates the antidiabetic and antioxidant effects of aqueous extract of LS leaves in vivo and in vitro. Materials and methods: The effects of aqueous LS leaf extract on glucose uptake, sodium-dependent glucose cotransporter 1 (SGLT1) and glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) mRNA expression in Caco-2 cells, α-glucosidase, and lipid peroxidation were evaluated in vitro. The antidiabetic effects were evaluated using an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and a 28-day consecutive administration to streptozotocin (STZ)-nicotinamide (NA)-induced type 2 diabetic mice. Results: The extract significantly inhibited glucose uptake (IC50: 236.2 ± 36.05 µg/mL) and downregulated SGLT1 and GLUT2 mRNA expression by approximately 90% in Caco-2 cells. Furthermore, it non-competitively inhibited α-glucosidase in a concentration-dependent manner with the IC50 and Ki of 6.52 ± 0.42 and 1.32 µg/mL, respectively. The extract at 1000 mg/kg significantly reduced fasting blood glucose levels in both the OGTT and 28-day consecutive administration models as compared with untreated STZ-NA-induced diabetic mice (p < 0.05). Significant improvements of serum insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and GLUT4 levels were observed. Furthermore, the extract markedly decreased oxidative stress markers by 37–53% reduction of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) in muscle and malondialdehyde (MDA) in muscle and pancreas, which correlated with the reduction of MDA production in vitro (IC50: 24.80 ± 7.24 µg/mL). Conclusion: The LS extract has potent antihyperglycemic activity to be used as alternative medicine to treat diabetes mellitus.
Context Da-Cheng-Qi Decoction (DCQD) has a significant effect on Severe Acute Pancreatitis-Associated Acute Lung Injury (SAP-ALI). Objective To explore the mechanism of DCQD in the treatment of SAP-ALI based on intestinal barrier function and intestinal lymphatic pathway. Materials and methods Forty-five Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups: sham operation, model, and DCQD. The SAP model was induced by a retrograde infusion of 5.0% sodium taurocholate solution (1 mg/kg) at a constant rate of 12 mL/h using an infusion pump into the bile-pancreatic duct. Sham operation and model group were given 0.9% normal saline, while DCQD group was given DCQD (5.99 g/kg/d) by gavage 1 h before operation and 1, 11 and 23 h after operation. The levels of HMGB1, RAGE, TNF-α, IL-6, ICAM-1, d-LA, DAO in blood and MPO in lung were detected using ELISA. The expression of HMGB1, RAGE, NF-κB p65 in mesenteric lymph nodes and lung were determined. Results Compared with SAP group, DCQD significantly reduced the histopathological scoring of pancreatic tissue (SAP, 2.80 ± 0.42; DCQD, 2.58 ± 0.52), intestine (SAP, 3.30 ± 0.68; DCQD, 2.50 ± 0.80) and lung (SAP, 3.30 ± 0.68; DCQD, 2.42 ± 0.52). DCQD reduced serum HMGB1 level (SAP, 134.09 ± 19.79; DCQD, 88.05 ± 9.19), RAGE level (SAP, 5.05 ± 1.44; DCQD, 2.13 ± 0.54). WB and RT-PCR showed HMGB1-RAGE pathway was inhibited by DCQD (p < 0.01). Discussion and conclusions DCQD improves SAP-ALI in rats by interfering with intestinal lymphatic pathway and reducing HMGB1-induced inflammatory response.
Context Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. et Zucc (Polygonaceae), the root of which is included in the Chinese Pharmcopoeia under the name ‘Huzhang', has a long history as a medicinal plant and vegetable. Polygonum cuspidatum has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of inflammation, hyperlipemia, etc. Objective This article reviews the pharmacological action and the clinical applications of Polygonum cuspidatum and its extracts, whether in vivo or in vitro. We also summarized the main phytochemical constituents and pharmacokinetics of Polygonum cuspidatum and its extracts. Methods The data were retrieved from major medical databases, such as CNKI, PubMed, and SinoMed, from 2014 to 2022. Polygonum cuspidatum, pharmacology, toxicity, clinical application, and pharmacokinetics were used as keywords. Results The rhizomes, leaves, and flowers of Polygonum cuspidatum have different phytochemical constituents. The plant contains flavonoids, anthraquinones, and stilbenes. Polygonum cuspidatum and the extracts have anti-inflammatory, antioxidation, anticancer, heart protection, and other pharmacological effects. It is used in the clinics to treat dizziness, headaches, traumatic injuries, and water and fire burns. Conclusions Polygonum cuspidatum has the potential to treat many diseases, such as arthritis, ulcerative colitis, asthma, and cardiac hypertrophy. It has a broad range of medicinal applications, but mainly focused on root medication; its aerial parts should receive more attention. Pharmacokinetics also need to be further investigated.
Context Alkaloid-enriched extract of Huperzia serrata (Thunb.) Trevis (Lycopodiaceae) (HsAE) can potentially be used to manage neuronal disorders. Objective This study determines the anti-neuroinflammatory effects of HsAE on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated BV-2 microglial cells and the underlying mechanisms. Materials and methods BV-2 cells were pre- or post-treated with different concentrations of HsAE (25-150 µg/mL) for 30 min before or after LPS induction. Cell viability was assessed using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay and no cytotoxicity was found. Nitric oxide (NO) concentration was determined using Griess reagent. The levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6 were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) were analyzed using western blotting. Results HsAE reduced LPS-induced NO production with half-maximal inhibitory concentration values of 99.79 and 92.40 µg/mL at pre- and post-treatment, respectively. Pre-treatment with HsAE at concentrations of 50, 100, and 150 µg/mL completely inhibited the secretion of PGE2, TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β compared to post-treatment with HsAE. This suggests that prophylactic treatment is better than post-inflammation treatment. HsAE decreased the expression levels of iNOS and COX-2 and attenuated the secretion of pro-inflammatory factors by downregulating the phosphorylation of p38 and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase in the MAPK signaling pathway. Discussion and Conclusions HsAE exerts anti-neuroinflammatory effects on LPS-stimulated BV-2 cells, suggesting that it may be a potential candidate for the treatment of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases.
Context Luteolin can affect multiple biological functions, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune enhancement processes. Luteolin can inhibit inflammation of T2-high asthma, but its role in neutrophilic asthma has been insufficently studied. Objective This study determines the effect of luteolin on IL-36γ secretion-mediated MAPK pathway signalling in neutrophilic asthma. Materials and methods The asthma model was established by using ovalbumin/lipopolysaccharide (OVA/LPS). Female 6–8-week-old C57BL/6 mice were divided into control, asthma, luteolin (20 mg/kg) and asthma + luteolin (20 mg/kg) groups. To explore the mechanism of anti-inflammatory effects of luteolin in neutrophilic asthma, Beas-2B cells were treated with luteolin (20 µmol/L), LPS (100 ng/mL), recombinant human IL-36γ protein (rhIL-36γ; 100 ng/mL) or IL-36γ siRNA. Results IL-36γ secretion and MAPK/IL-1β signalling were significantly increased in the asthma mouse model compared with the control (p < 0.05). However, the levels of IL-36γ secretion and MAPK/IL-1β signalling were reduced by luteolin (p < 0.05). In addition, luteolin inhibited IL-36γ and MAPK/IL-1β levels after LPS (100 ng/mL) stimulation of Beas-2B cells (p < 0.05). We found that in Beas-2B cells, luteolin inhibited activation of the MAPK pathway and IL-1β secretion following stimulation with rhIL-36γ (100 ng/mL; p < 0.05). Finally, IL-1β and phosphorylated MAPK levels were found to be lower in the IL-36γ siRNA + LPS (100 ng/mL) group than in the nonspecific control (NC) siRNA + LPS group (p < 0.05). Discussion and conclusions Luteolin alleviated neutrophilic asthma by inhibiting IL-36γ secretion-mediated MAPK pathways. These findings provided a theoretical basis for the application of luteolin in the treatment of neutrophilic asthma.
Context Salvia miltiorrhizae Bunge (Lamiaceae) is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for the treatment of ‘thoracic obstruction’. Transient receptor potential canonical channel 1 (TRPC1) is a important target for myocardial injury treatment. Objective This work screens the active component acting on TRPC1 from Salvia miltiorrhizae. Materials and methods TCM Systems Pharmacology Database and Analysis Platform (TCMSP) was used to retrieve Salvia miltiorrhiza compounds for preliminary screening by referring to Lipinski’s rule of five. Then, the compound group was comprehensively scored by AutoDock Vina based on TRPC1 protein. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) was used to determine the affinity of the optimal compound to TRPC1 protein. Western blot assay was carried out to observe the effect of the optimal compound on TRPC1 protein expression in HL-1 cells, and Fura-2/AM detection was carried out to observe the effect of the optimal compound on calcium influx in HEK293 cells. Results Twenty compounds with relatively good characteristic parameters were determined from 202 compounds of Salvia miltiorrhiza. Rosmarinic acid (RosA) was obtained based on the molecular docking scoring function. RosA had a high binding affinity to TRPC1 protein (KD value = 1.27 µM). RosA (50 μM) could reduce the protein levels (417.1%) of TRPC1 after oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R) in HL-1 cells and it could inhibit TRPC1-mediated Ca²⁺ influx injury (0.07 ΔRatio340/380) in HEK293 cells. Discussion and conclusions We obtained the potential active component RosA acting on TRPC1 from Salvia miltiorrhizae, and we speculate that RosA may be a promising clinical candidate for myocardial injury therapy.
Context Thai Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. var. pruriens (Fabaceae) or T-MP seed extract has been shown to improve sexual performance and sperm quality. Objective This study investigates the preventive effects of T-MP against seminal vesicle damage, apoptotic and Nrf2 protein expression in mice under chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). Materials and methods Forty-eight male ICR mice were divided into four groups: control, CUMS, T-MP300 + CUMS and T-MP600 + CUMS. Mice in control and CUMS groups received distilled water, while those in treated groups were pretreated with T-MP extract (300 or 600 mg/kg BW) for 14 consecutive days. The CMUS and co-treated groups were exposed to one random stressor (of 12 total) each day for 43 days. Components and histopathology of the seminal vesicle were examined, along with localization of androgen receptor (AR) and caspase 3. Expression of seminal AR, tyrosine phosphorylated (TyrPho), heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), caspases (3 and 9) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) proteins was investigated. Results T-MP extract at a dose of 600 mg/kg BW improved seminal epithelial damage and secretion of fluid containing essential substances and proteins in CUMS mice. It also increased the expression of AR and TyrPho proteins. Additionally, T-MP increased expression of Nrf2 and inhibited seminal vesicular apoptosis through the suppression of Hsp70 and caspase expression. Conclusion T-MP seeds have an antiapoptotic property in chronic stress seminal vesicle. It is possible to apply this extract for the enhancement of seminal plasma quality.
Inhibition of asiaticoside on the M2 phenotype macrophage polarization induced by IL-4/IL-13. (A) The molecular structure of asiaticoside (ATS). (B) THP-1 cells were treated with 0, 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, and 160 lM ATS for 24 h. The viability of THP-1 cells was determined using Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) analysis. (C) After the THP-1 monocytes were induced into M0 phenotype macrophages by incubation with 100 nM phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) for 24 h, the cells were induced to polarize to M2 phenotype macrophages with IL-4/IL-13, and the cells were treated with 5, 10, 20, and 40 lM doses of ATS for 24 h. The positive rates of CD14 þ CD86þ cells (M1 phenotype) and CD14 þ CD206þ cells (M2 phenotype) were assessed by flow cytometry. (D) After the THP-1 monocytes were induced into M0 phenotype macrophages by incubation with 100 nM PMA for 24 h, the cells were induced to polarize to M2 phenotype macrophages with IL-4/IL-13, and the cells were treated with 40 lM ATS for 24 h. The mRNA levels of M1 phenotype macrophages markers CD86, iNOS, and CCL5 were measured using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). (E) Analysis of the M2 phenotype macrophages markers CD206, CCL24, Arg-1, and IL-10 expression by qRT-PCR. (F) The protein levels of CD206, CCL24, Arg-1, and IL-10 were quantified using Western blot. Ã p < 0.05, ÃÃ p < 0.01 vs. control. # p < 0.05, ## p < 0.01 vs. IL-4/IL-13. Each assay was conducted in triplicate.
Impact of asiaticoside on the growth and invasion of osteosarcoma cells induced by M2 phenotype macrophages. M2 phenotype macrophages induced by IL-4/IL-13 were co-cultured with osteosarcoma cells, and the cells were treated with 40 lM ATS for 24 h. (A) The viability of U2OS cells was analyzed using a CCK-8 assay. (B) The invasion of U2OS cells was assessed by Transwell assay (magnification:200). (C) The quantitative results of cell invasion. (D) The protein levels of Ki-67, Bcl-2, Bax, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were measured using Western blot. Ã p < 0.05, ÃÃ p < 0.01 vs. control. # p < 0.05, ## p < 0.01 vs. co-culture. Each assay was conducted in triplicate.
Impact of TRAF6 on the inhibitory effect of asiaticoside on the growth and invasion of osteosarcoma cells induced by M2 phenotype macrophages. IL-4/IL-13-induced M2 phenotype macrophages were treated with 40 lM ATS and TRAF6 (0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 lg/mL). (A and B) The positive rate of M2 phenotype macrophages was assessed using flow cytometry. (C) The total P65 and p-P65 protein levels were determined by Western blot. (D) Detection of the CD206, CCL24, and Arg-1 expressions using qRT-PCR. (E) The TGF-b, MMP-9, and IL-10 contents were measured by ELISA. (F) M2 phenotype macrophages induced by IL-4/IL-13 were co-cultured with osteosarcoma cells, and the cells were treated with 40 lM ATS and 2 lg/mL TRAF6. Comparison of the U2OS cell viability using CCK-8 assay. (G and H) The invasion of U2OS cells was assessed by Transwell and the quantitative results of cell invasion (magnification: 200). (I) Comparison of the Ki-67, Bcl-2, Bax, and VEGF protein levels using Western blot. ÃÃ p < 0.01 vs. IL-4/IL-13. Ã p < 0.05, ÃÃ p < 0.01 vs. control. # p < 0.05, ## p < 0.01 vs. IL-4/IL-13 þ ATS or co-culture. $ p < 0.05, $$ p < 0.01 vs. co-culture þ ATS. Each assay was conducted in triplicate. NC, negative control.
Influence of Asiaticoside on osteosarcoma in vivo. U2OS cells (5 Â 10 6 ) were subcutaneously injected into the right hind legs of mice. After 5 days, 2.5, 5, or 10 mg/kg ATS was administered to mice by oral gavage every 2 days for 30 days. (A and B) Analysis of the tumour growth. (C) Body weight of mice. (D) Analysis of the tumour weight of mice. (E and F) The expression of Ki-67, Bcl-2, VEGF, and Bax was measured using an immunohistochemical assay. (G) Western blot analysis of TRAF6, total P65, and p-P65 protein levels. Ã p < 0.05, ÃÃ p < 0.01 vs. control.
Context M2 phenotype macrophage polarization is an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. Asiaticoside (ATS) has multiple pharmacological functions. Objective This study investigates the effect of ATS on M2 phenotype macrophage polarization in osteosarcoma. Materials and methods The differentiation of human THP-1 monocytes into M0 phenotype macrophages was induced by 100 nM phorbol myristate acetate for 24 h, and treated with 20 ng/mL IL-4 and 20 ng/mL IL-13 for 48 h to obtain M2 phenotype macrophages. The function of ATS on the growth and invasion was investigated by cell counting kit-8, transwell, and western blot under the co-culture of M2 phenotype macrophages and osteosarcoma cells for 24 h. The mechanism of ATS on osteosarcoma was assessed using molecular experiments. Results ATS reduced the THP-1 cell viability with an IC50 of 128.67 μM. Also, ATS repressed the M2 phenotype macrophage polarization induced by IL-4/IL-13, and the effect was most notably at a 40 μM dose. ATS (40 μM) restrained the growth and invasion of osteosarcoma cells induced by M2 phenotype macrophages. In addition, ATS reduced the tumour necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6)/NF-κB activity in osteosarcoma cells and the TRAF6 knockdown reduced the growth and invasion of osteosarcoma cells induced by M2 phenotype macrophages. TRAF6 (2 μg/mL) attenuated the inhibitory effect of ATS on the growth and invasion of osteosarcoma cells caused by M2 phenotype macrophages. In vivo studies further confirmed ATS (2.5, 5, or 10 mg/kg) repressed osteosarcoma tumour growth. Discussion and conclusions ATS reversed M2 phenotype macrophage polarization-evoked osteosarcoma cell malignant behaviour by reducing TRAF6/NF-κB activity, suggesting ATS might be a promising drug for the clinical treatment of osteosarcoma.
Characteristics of the included studies.
Quality of the included studies.
Subgroup analysis of bone mineral density according to the dose and duration of osthole treatment.
Context Cnidium monnieri Cusson (Apiaceae) has been used in traditional Asian medicine for thousands of years. Recent studies showed its active compound, osthole, had a good effect on osteoporosis. But there was no comprehensive analysis. Objective This meta-analysis evaluates the effects of osthole on osteoporotic rats and provides a basis for future clinical studies. Methods Chinese and English language databases (e.g., PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, Embase, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Data Knowledge Service Platform, Weipu Chinese Sci-tech periodical full-text database, and Chinese BioMedical Literature Database) were searched from their establishment to February 2021. The effects of osthole on bone mineral density, osteoclast proliferation, and bone metabolism markers were compared with the effects of control treatments. Results To our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis to evaluate osthole for the treatment of osteoporosis in rats. We included 13 randomized controlled studies conducted on osteoporotic rats. Osthole increased bone mineral density (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 3.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.08–4.09), the subgroup analysis showed that BMD significantly increased among rats in osthole <10 mg/kg/day and duration of osthole treatment >2 months. Osthole improved histomorphometric parameters and biomechanical parameters, also inhibited osteoclast proliferation and bone metabolism. Conclusions Osthole is an effective treatment for osteoporosis. It can promote bone formation and inhibit bone absorption.
Context Aidi injection (ADI), a traditional Chinese medicine antitumor injection, is usually combined with doxorubicin (DOX) for the treatment of malignant tumours. The cardiotoxicity of DOX is ameliorated by ADI in the clinic. However, the relevant mechanism is unknown. Objective To investigate the effects of ADI on DOX-induced cardiotoxicity and its mechanism. Materials and methods ICR mice were randomly divided into six groups: control, ADI-L, ADI-H, DOX, DOX + ADI-L and DOX + ADI-H. DOX (i.p., 0.03 mg/10 g) was administered in the presence or absence of ADI (i.p., 0.1 or 0.2 mL/10 g) for two weeks. Heart pathology and levels of AST, LDH, CK, CK-MB and BNP were assessed. H9c2 cells were treated with DOX in the presence or absence of ADI (1, 4, 10%). Cell viability, caspase-3 activity, nuclear morphology, and CBR1 expression were then evaluated. DOX and doxorubicinol (DOXol) concentrations in heart, liver, kidneys, serum, and cells were analysed by UPLC-MS/MS. Results High-dose ADI significantly reduced DOX-induced pathological changes and the levels of AST, LDH, CK, CK-MB and BNP to normal. Combined treatment with ADI (1, 4, 10%) improved the cell viability, and IC50 increased from 68.51 μM (DOX alone) to 83.47, 176.9, and 310.8 μM, reduced caspase-3 activity by 39.17, 43.96, and 61.82%, respectively. High-dose ADI inhibited the expression of CBR1 protein by 32.3%, reduced DOXol levels in heart, serum and H9c2 cells by 59.8, 72.5 and 48.99%, respectively. Discussion and Conclusions ADI reduces DOX-induced cardiotoxicity by inhibiting CBR1 expression, which provides a scientific basis for the rational use of ADI.
Context Chlorogenic acid (CGA) has good antioxidant effects, but its explicit mechanism in cerebral ischaemia-reperfusion injury is still uncertain. Objective We studied the effect of CGA in human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) under OGD/R damage. Materials and methods HBMECs in 4 groups were treated with oxygen-glucose deprivation/re-oxygenation (OGD/R) (4 + 24 h), normal no CGA treatment and different concentrations (20, 40 or 80 μM) of CGA. Male C57BL/6J mice were classified as sham, middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), and MCAO + CGA (30 mg/kg/day) groups. Mice in the sham group were not subjected to MCAO. Cell viability, apoptosis, angiogenesis and related protein levels were investigated by CCK-8, flow cytometry, TUNEL staining, tube formation and western blot assays. Infarct volume of brain tissues was analyzed by TTC staining. Results CGA curbed apoptosis (from 32.87% to 13.12% in flow cytometry; from 34.46% to 17.8% in TUNEL assay) but accelerated cell angiogenesis of HBMECs with OGD/R treatment. Moreover, CGA augmented activation of the PI3K-Akt signalling (p-PI3K/PI3K level, from 0.39 to 0.49; p-Akt/Akt level, from 0.52 to 0.81), and the effect of CGA on apoptosis and angiogenesis was abolished by an inhibitor of PI3K-Akt signalling. Furthermore, CGA attenuated infarct (from 41.26% to 22.21%) and apoptosis and promoted angiogenesis and activation of the PI3K/Akt signalling in MCAO-induced mice. Conclusions CGA effectively repressed apoptosis and promoted angiogenesis in OGD/R-treated HBMECs and MCAO-treated mice by modulating PI3K-Akt signalling. Our research provides a theoretical basis for the use of CGA in the treatment of ischaemic stroke.
Dose-response and IC 50 values of aaptamine and donepezil against AChE and BuChE.
(A) The binding model between aaptamine and AChE. (B) Binding model between aaptamine and BuChE. Orange dashed line: p-p conjugate effect; Yellow dashed line: hydrogen bond. Yellow sticks structure: compound aaptamine; Green sticks structure: protein AChE; Magenta sticks structure: protein BuChE.
(A) Lineweaver-Burk plot for the inhibition of AChE by aaptamine at different concentrations for substrate ATChI. (B) Secondary plot for calculation of the steady-state inhibition constant (Ki ¼ 1.74 ± 0.04 lM against AChE) of aaptamine. (C) Lineweaver-Burk plot for the inhibition of BuChE by aaptamine at different concentrations for substrate BTChI. (D) Secondary plot for calculation of the steady-state inhibition constant (Ki ¼ 1.59 ± 0.02 lM against BuChE) of aaptamine.
(A) Biacore analysis of aaptamine binding to AChE. (B) Steady state of affinity fitting of aaptamine -AChE interaction. (C) Biacore analysis of aaptamine binding to BuChE. (D) Steady state of affinity fitting of aaptamine -BuChE interaction.
(A,B) The effect of aaptamine on motility distance of AD zebrafish ### p < 0.001 vs. Control group, ÃÃ p < 0.01 vs. AlCl 3 group. (C,D) Effect of aaptamine on speed change in AD zebrafish. ### p < 0.001 vs. Control group, ÃÃ p < 0.01 vs. AlCl 3 group.
Context Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) are promising therapeutic targets for AD. Objective To evaluate the inhibitory effects of aaptamine on two cholinesterases and investigate the in vivo therapeutic effect on AD in a zebrafish model. Materials and methods Aaptamine was isolated from the sponge Aaptos suberitoides Brøndsted (Suberitidae). Enzyme inhibition, kinetic analysis, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and molecular docking assays were used to determine its inhibitory effect on AChE and BuChE in vitro. Zebrafish were divided into six groups: control, model, 8 μM donepezil, 5 , 10 and 20 μM aaptamine. After three days of drug treatment, the behaviour assay was performed. Results The IC50 values of aaptamine towards AChE and BuChE were 16.0 and 4.6 μM. And aaptamine directly inhibited the two cholinesterases in the mixed inhibition type, with Ki values of 6.96 ± 0.04 and 6.35 ± 0.02 μM, with Kd values of 87.6 and 10.7 μM. Besides, aaptamine interacts with the crucial anionic sites of AChE and BuChE. In vivo studies indicated that the dyskinesia recovery rates of 5 , 10 and 20 μM aaptamine group were 34.8, 58.8 and 60.0%, respectively, and that of donepezil was 63.7%. Discussion and conclusions Aaptamine showed great potential to exert its anti-AD effects by directly inhibiting the activities of AChE and BuChE. Therefore, this study identified a novel medicinal application of aaptamine and provided a new structural scaffold for the development of anti-AD drugs.
SalB repressed ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced apoptosis and oxidative stress in AC16 cells. I/R-injured AC16 cells were treated with different concentrations of SalB. (A) Apoptotic detection was performed using a flow cytometry. (B) ROS level was detected with DCFH-DA probe. (C) SOD activity was detected using xanthine oxidase method. (D) MDA level was detected using TBA methods. ÃÃÃ p < 0.001 and ÃÃÃÃ p < 0.0001 vs. Control; #p < 0.05, ## p < 0.01, and ### p < 0.001 vs. I/R.
SalB inhibited ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced up-regulation of TRIM8 expression. I/R-injured AC16 cells were treated with different concentrations of SalB. (A) The mRNA levels of TRIM8, TRIM11, TRIM32, and TRIM33 were detected by RT-qPCR. (B) The protein levels of TRIM8, TRIM11, TRIM32, and TRIM33 were detected by western blotting. ÃÃÃ p < 0.001 and ÃÃÃÃ p < 0.0001 vs. Control; # p < 0.05, ## p < 0.01, and ### p < 0.001 vs. I/R. ns: not significant.
Knock-down of TRIM8 alleviated ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced apoptosis and oxidative stress in AC16 cells. I/R-injured AC16 cells were transduced with lentivirus siTRIM8. (A) Apoptotic detection was performed using a flow cytometry. (B) ROS level was detected with DCFH-DA probe. (C) SOD activity was detected using xanthine oxidase method. (D) MDA level was detected using TBA method. (E) TRIM8 protein level was determined. ÃÃÃÃ p < 0.0001 vs. Control; ### p < 0.001 vs. I/R þ siNC.
Context Salvianolic acid B (SalB) can attenuate myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, but the mechanisms are not entirely known. Objective Our study investigates if SalB protects cardiomyocytes against I/R injury by regulating Tripartite motif (TRIM) protein. Materials and methods AC16 cardiomyocytes were treated with I/R, and then with SalB (10, 25 and 50 μM) for 24 h, while control cells were cultured under normal conditions. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to I/R injury, and then intravenously injected with 20, 40, or 60 mg/kg SalB or saline, as a control, rats received sham operation and saline injection. Results Upon treatment, apoptotic rate, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and malondialdehyde (MDA) were increased 10-, 3.8-, and 1.3-fold, respectively, while superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was reduced by 62.1% compared to control cells. I/R treatment elevated the mRNA and protein expression of TRIM8. SalB treatment remarkably abolished the above-mentioned effects of I/R treatment. TRIM8 knock-down could partially alleviate I/R-induced myocardial injury. TRIM8 overexpression promoted cardiomyocyte injury, which was alleviated by SalB. Moreover, TRIM8 negatively regulated protein expression of antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1). TRIM8 protein interacted with GPX1 and TRIM8 overexpression promoted GPX1 ubiquitnation. GPX1 knock-down abolished the protective effects of SalB on I/R-injured cardiomyocytes. Our in vivo experiments confirmed the effects of SalB on I/R-induced myocardial injury. Discussion and conclusions SalB protected cardiomyocytes from I/R-induced apoptosis and oxidative stress in vitro and in vivo, which was partly mediated by the TRIM8/GPX1 axis. This suggests that down-regulation of TRIM8 expression may ameliorate I/R-induced myocardial injury.
Context Danggui Niantong Granules (DGNTG) are a valid and reliable traditional herbal formula, commonly used in clinical practice to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the mechanism of its effect on RA remains unclear. Objective An investigation of the therapeutic effects of DGNTG on RA. Materials and methods Twenty-four male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into four groups: control, model, DGNTG (2.16 g/kg, gavage), methotrexate (MTX) (1.35 mg/kg, gavage) for 28 days. The morphology of synovial and ankle tissues was observed by haematoxylin-eosin staining. The responses of mitochondrial apoptosis were assessed by qPCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemical staining. Rat faeces were analysed by 16S rRNA sequencing. Results Our results showed that DGNTG treatment reduced AI scores (7.83 ± 0.37 vs. 4.67 ± 0.47, p < 0.01) and paw volumes (7.63 ± 0.17 vs. 6.13 ± 0.11, p < 0.01) compared with the model group. DGNTG also increased the expression of Bax (0.34 ± 0.03 vs. 0.73 ± 0.03, p < 0.01), cytochrome c (CYTC) (0.24 ± 0.02 vs. 0.64 ± 0.01, p < 0.01) and cleaved caspase-9 (0.24 ± 0.04 vs. 0.83 ± 0.08, p < 0.01), and decreased bcl-2 (1.70 ± 0.11 vs. 0.60 ± 0.09, p < 0.01) expression. DGNTG treatment regulated the structure of gut microbiota. Discussion and conclusions DGNTG ameliorated RA by promoting mitochondrial apoptosis, which may be associated with regulating gut microbiota structure. DGNTG can be used as a supplement and alternative drug for the treatment of RA; its ability to prevent RA deserves further study.
Context Asthma is a common respiratory system disease. Louki Zupa decoction (LKZP), a traditional Chinese medicine, presents a promising efficacy against lung diseases. Objective To investigate the pathogenic mechanism of asthma and reveal the intervention mechanism of LKZP. Materials and methods Forty-eight female Balb/c mice were randomly divided into 6 groups: normal control group (NC), ovalbumin (OVA)/saline asthma model group, OVA/LL group, OVA/LM group, OVA/LH group and OVA/DEX group (n = 8 per group). The asthmatic mice were modelled through intraperitoneal injecting and neutralizing OVA. LKZP decoction was administrated by gavage at the challenge stage for seven consecutive days (2.1, 4.2 and 8.4 g/kg/day). We investigated the change in lung function, airway inflammation, mucus secretion and TH-1/TH-2-related cytokines. We further verify the activated status of the IL-33/ST2/NF-κB/GSK3β/mTOR signalling pathway. Results LKZP was proved to improve asthmatic symptoms, as evidenced by the down-regulated airway resistance by 36%, 58% and 53% (p < 0.01, p < 0.001 vs. OVA/saline group), up-regulated lung compliance by 102%, 114% and 111%, decreased airway inflammation and mucus secretion by 33%, 40% and 33% (p < 0.001 vs. OVA/saline group). Moreover, the content of cytokines in BALF related to airway allergy (such as IgE) and T helper 1/T helper 2 cells (like IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, TNF-α and IFN-γ), were also markedly reduced by 13–65% on LKZP intervention groups compared with model group. Mechanistic research revealed that the IL-33/ST2-NF-κB/GSK3β/mTOR signalling pathway was activated in the OVA/saline group and LKZP significantly down-regulated this pathway. Discussion and conclusion LKZP improves lung function, airway inflammation, mucus secretion and correct immune imbalance by intervening with the IL-33/ST2-NF-κB/GSK3β/mTOR signalling pathway, presenting a promising therapeutic choice for asthma.
Context Polygonum multiflorum Thunb. (Polygonaceae) (PM) can cause potential liver injury which is typical in traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs)-induced hepatotoxicity. The mechanism involved are unclear and there are no sensitive evaluation indicators. Objective To assess PM-induced liver injury, identify sensitive assessment indicators, and screen for new biomarkers using sphingolipidomics. Materials and methods Male Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into four groups (control, model with low-, middle- and high-dose groups, n = 6 each). Rats in the three model groups were given different doses of PM (i.g., low/middle/high dose, 2.7/8.1/16.2 g/kg) for four months. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels in the plasma and liver were quantitatively analyzed. Fixed liver tissue sections were stained with haematoxylin and eosin and examined under a light microscope. The targeted sphingolipidomic analysis of plasma was performed using high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Results The maximal tolerable dose (MTD) of PM administered intragastrically to mice was 51 g/kg. Sphingolipid profiling of normal and PM-induced liver injury SD rats revealed three potential biomarkers: ceramide (Cer) (d18:1/24:1), dihydroceramide (d18:1/18:0)-1-phosphate (dhCer (d18:1/18:0)-1P) and Cer (d18:1/26:1), at 867.3–1349, 383.4–1527, and 540.5–658.7 ng/mL, respectively. A criterion for the ratio of Cer (d18:1/24:1) and Cer (d18:1/26:1) was suggested and verified, with a normal range of 1.343–2.368 (with 95% confidence interval) in plasma. Conclusions Three potential biomarkers and one criterion for potential liver injury caused by PM that may be more sensitive than ALT and AST were found.
Context Toddalolactone, the main component of Toddalia asiatica (L.) Lam. (Rutaceae), has anticancer, antihypertension, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal activities. Objective This study investigated the metabolic characteristics of toddalolactone. Materials and methods Toddalolactone metabolic stabilities were investigated by incubating toddalolactone (20 μM) with liver microsomes from humans, rabbits, mice, rats, dogs, minipigs, and monkeys for 0, 30, 60, and 90 min. The CYP isoforms involved in toddalolactone metabolism were characterized based on chemical inhibition studies and screening assays. The effects of toddalolactone (0, 10, and 50 µM) on CYP1A1 and CYP3A5 protein expression were investigated by immunoblotting. After injecting toddalolactone (10 mg/kg), in vivo pharmacokinetic profiles using six Sprague–Dawley rats were investigated by taking 9-time points, including 0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 h. Results Monkeys showed the greatest metabolic capacity in CYP-mediated and UGT-mediated reaction systems with short half-lives (T1/2) of 245 and 66 min, respectively, while T1/2 of humans in two reaction systems were 673 and 83 min, respectively. CYP1A1 and CYP3A5 were the major CYP isoforms involved in toddalolactone biotransformation. Induction of CYP1A1 protein expression by 50 μM toddalolactone was approximately 50% greater than that of the control (0 μM). Peak plasma concentration (Cmax) for toddalolactone was 0.42 μg/mL, and Tmax occurred at 0.25 h post-dosing. The elimination t1/2 was 1.05 h, and the AUC0–t was 0.46 μg/mL/h. Conclusions These findings demonstrated the significant species differences of toddalolactone metabolic profiles, which will promote appropriate species selection in further toddalolactone studies.
Context Paclitaxel (PTX) leads to chemotherapy brain (chemo-brain) which is characterised by cognitive impairment. It has been reported that necroptosis is associated with cognitive impairment in some neurodegenerative diseases, but it is not clear whether it is related to the development of chemo-brain. Objective To investigate the role of necroptosis and related changes in PTX-induced cognitive impairment. Materials and methods C57bl/6n mice were randomly divided into five groups: control, vehicle, and different concentrations of PTX (6, 8, 10 mg/kg). Two additional groups received pre-treatment with Gdcl3 or PBS through Intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection before PTX-treatment. Cognitive function, necroptosis, synaptic plasticity and microglia polarisation were analysed. Results PTX (10 mg/kg) induced significant cognitive impairment, accompanied by changes in synaptic plasticity, including decreased density of PSD95 (0.65-fold), BDNF (0.44-fold) and dendritic spines (0.57-fold). PTX induced necroptosis of 53.41% (RIP3) and 61.91% (MLKL) in hippocampal neurons, with high expression of RIP3 (1.58-fold) compared with the control group. MLKL (1.87-fold) exhibited the same trend, reaching a peak on the 14th day. The increased expression of iNOS (1.63-fold) and inflammatory factors such as TNF-α (1.85-fold) and IL-β (1.89-fold) compared to the control group suggests that M1 polarisation of microglia is involved in the process of cognitive impairment. Pre-treatment with Gdcl3 effectively reduced the number of microglia (0.50-fold), inhibited the release of TNF-α (0.73-fold) and IL-β (0.56-fold), and improved cognitive impairment. Conclusion We established a stable animal model of PTX-induced cognitive impairment and explored the underlying pathophysiological mechanism. These findings can guide the future treatment of chemo-brain.
Context Jiedutongluotiaogan formula (JTTF), a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), could promote islet function. However, the potential effect of JTTF on endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) and autophagy have not been reported. Objective This study explores the potential effect of JTTF on ERS and autophagy in the pancreas. Materials and methods The Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats were randomised into five groups, control, model, JTTF (1, 3, 5 g/kg/day for 12 weeks). LPS induced pancreatic β-cells were treated with JTTF (50, 100, 200 μg/mL). LPS was used to induce pancreatic β-cell injury, with cell viability and insulin secretion evaluated using MTT, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) assays, and PCR. Intracellular Ca²⁺ concentration was measured using flow cytometry, while ERS and autophagy levels were monitored via Western blotting and/or immunostaining. Results Compared with the model group, body weight, FGB, HbA1c, IPGTT, FINs, and HOMA-IR in JTTF treatment groups were significantly reduced. In islets cells treated with JTTF, the pancreatic islet cells in the JTTF group were increased, lipid droplets were reduced, and there was a decrease in Ca²⁺ (16.67%). After JTTF intervention, PERK, p-PERK, IRE1α, p- IRE1α, ATF6, eIF2α, GRP78, p-ULK1, LC3 and p62 expression decreased, whereas Beclin1and p-mTOR expression increased. In addition, the expression of proteins related to apoptosis in the JTTF groups were lower than those in the control group. Discussion and conclusions JTTF may alleviate pancreatic β-cell injury by inhibiting ER stress and excessive autophagy in diabetic rats. This provides a new direction for treating diabetes and restoring pancreatic dysfunction by TCM.
Characteristic chromatogram of reference substances (a) and WYP extracting solution (b). 1-Chlorogenic acid, 2-Ellagic acid, 3-Hyperoside, 4-Verbascoside, 5-Isoquercitrin, 6-Astragalin, 7-Quercetin, 8-Kaempferol, 9-Schisandrin.
Total ion chromatograms of mouse serum in each group under different ion modes by UPLC-Q-TOF-MS.
The results of multivariate data analysis. n ¼ 8 rats/group.
Scatter plots of OPLS-DA and permutation tests of OPLS-DA models for CG vs. MG.
Context Wuzi Yanzong Prescription (WYP) has long been used to treat male infertility, with convincing clinical evidence. However, its mechanism of action is not clear. Objective WYP chemical components were quantified by HPLC, and the effect on oligoasthenozoospermia rats was explored based on UPLC-Q-TOF-MS metabonomics technology. Materials and methods The solution was extracted by alcohol and water; the content of eight components in the extracting solution was determined by HPLC. Twenty-four Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into control (CG), model (MG) and administration (PG) groups. Oligoasthenozoospermia was induced for 30 days in all, but the CG with daily oral doses of 20 mg/kg Tripterysium glycosides (TG). PG was given daily oral doses of WYP solution (1.08 g/kg), CG and MG received the same volume of distilled water, all administered for 30 days. After the last administration, the serum samples were collected and detected by UPLC-Q-TOF-MS. Results An HPLC method for simultaneous determination of chlorogenic acid (0.081%), ellagic acid (0.021%), hyperoside (0.032%), verbascoside (0.011%), isoquercitrin (0.041%), astragalin (0.026%), kaempferol (0.009%) and schisandrin (0.014%) was established. Moreover, the 74 potential biomarkers and eight metabolic pathways related to oligoasthenozoospermia were identified by multivariate analysis and metabolite profiling. WYP can regulate 36 markers, mainly involving amino acid metabolism, lipid metabolism and nucleotide metabolism. Discussion and conclusions This is a simple and accurate method for quality control of WYP. It further enriches the potential mechanism of WYP in the treatment of oligoasthenozoospermia. It can provide a theoretical basis for the rational application of WYP.
Context Zhishi Rhubarb Soup (ZRS) is a traditional Chinese medicine formula used in the clinic to treat acute cerebral infarction (ACI) for many years. However, the exact mechanism of the treatment remains unclear. Objective This study elucidates the multitarget mechanisms underlying the effects of ZRS on ACI using network pharmacology analysis and verify its effect by performing animal experiments. Materials and methods Using the network pharmacology approach, the multiple components, critical targets and potential mechanisms of ZRS against ACI were investigated. Six herbal names of ZRS and ‘acute cerebral infarction’ were used as keywords to search the relevant databases. In addition, we established the MCAO model to verify the results of network pharmacology enrichment analysis. ZRS (10 g crude drug/kg) was gavaged once per day for 7 consecutive days beginning 3 h after model establishment. After ZRS treatment, TTC staining, Western blot analysis, IHC and ELISA were conducted to further explore the mechanism of ZRS intervention in ACI. Results The network pharmacology approach identified 69 key targets, 10 core genes and 169 signalling pathways involved in the treatment of ACI with ZRS. In vivo experiment showed that ZRS treatment significantly reduced cerebral infarction volume (42.76%). It also reduced the expression level of AGE, RAGE and P65; and inhibited the expression of inflammatory MMP-9 and IFN-γ. Conclusions This study demonstrated that ZRS improved cerebral ischaemic injury by inhibiting neuroinflammation partly via the AGE-RAGE signalling pathway. It provides a theoretical basis for the clinical application of ZRS in the treatment of ACI.
Context Zuojin Pill (ZJP) has been used to treat gastrointestinal problems in China for hundreds of years. Objective To discover more potential active ingredients and evaluate the gastroprotective mechanisms of ZJP. Materials and methods An approach involving UPLC-Q-Orbitrap HRMS and serum pharmacochemistry was established to screen the multiple chemical constituents of ZJP. Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into six groups: normal control, ulcer control, omeprazole (30 mg/kg), and three ZJP groups (1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 g/kg). After oral treatment with ZJP or omeprazole for 7 days, all groups except the normal control group were orally administered 5 mL/kg ethanol to induce gastric ulceration. Histopathological assessment of gastric tissue was performed by haematoxylin and eosin staining. Antioxidant parameters and inflammatory mediators were determined using ELISA Kit and immunohistochemical analysis. Results Ninety components were identified in ZJP. Among them, 23 prototypes were found in rat serum after oral administration of ZJP. The ulcer inhibition was over 90.0% for all the ZJP groups. Compared with the ulcer control rats, ZJP (4.0 g/kg) enhanced the antioxidant capacity of gastric tissue: superoxide dismutase (1.33-fold), catalase (2.61-fold), glutathione (2.14-fold), and reduced the malondialdehyde level (0.48-fold). Simultaneously, the ZJP meaningfully lowered the content of tumour necrosis factor-α (0.76-fold), interleukin-6 (0.66-fold), myeloperoxidase (0.21-fold), and nuclear factor kappa B (p65) (0.62-fold). Discussion and conclusions This study showed ZJP could mitigate ethanol-induced rat gastric ulcers, which might benefit from the synergistic actions of multiple ingredients. The findings could support the quality control and clinical trials of ZJP.
XN4 induced gastric cancer (GC) cell death. The molecular structure of XN4 (A). After SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells were treated with different concentrations of XN4, cell viability was tested by MTT assay (B, C), and cell death was probed by the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay (D, E). Cell viability of GES-1 cells treated with various concentrations of XN4 was detected by MTT assay (F). The cell death of GES-1 cells treated with various concentrations of XN4 was measured by the LDH release assay (G). Ã p < 0.05, ÃÃ p < 0.01, ÃÃÃ p < 0.001 vs. the XN4 (0 lmol/L) group.
Iron orchestrated XN4-indued gastric cancer (GC) cell death. The levels of intracellular Fe 2þ were tested by an iron assay kit after SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells were separately treated with different concentrations of XN4 (A, B). After SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells were treated with deferoxamine mesylate (DFO) or/and XN4, the levels of Fe 2þ were monitored by the iron assay kit (C, D), cell viability was probed by MTT assay (E, F), and cell death was determined by the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay (G, H). Western blot was used to detect the expression of transferrin (TF), transferrin receptor (TFR), ferritin H (FTH), ferritin L (FTL), and ferroportin (FPN) in XN4-treated GC cells (I). The mitochondrial membrane potential of XN4-treated GC cells was measured by flow cytometry (J). Ã p < 0.05, ÃÃ p < 0.01, ÃÃÃ p < 0.001 vs. the XN4 (0 lmol/L) group, the control group, or the XN4 group.
XN4 promoted lipid peroxidation in gastric cancer (GC) cells. The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) were assayed by a lipid peroxidation (MDA) assay kit after SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells were separately treated with different concentrations of XN4 (A, B). Following treatment of SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells with liproxstatin-1 or/and XN4, the levels of MDA were measured by the lipid peroxidation (MDA) assay kit (C, D); cell viability was evaluated by MTT assay (E, F), and cell death was observed by the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay (G, H). The levels of hydrogen peroxide (I, J) and GSH (K, L) in XN4-treated SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells were assessed using corresponding kits. The level of ROS in XN4-treated SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells was measured using the flow cytometer (M, N, Â 200). Ã p < 0.05, ÃÃ p < 0.01, ÃÃÃ p < 0.001 vs. the XN4 (0 lmol/L) group, the control group, or the XN4 group.
Context A novobiocin derivative, XN4, has been shown to promote cell apoptosis in chronic myeloid leukaemia. Objective This study explores the mechanism by which XN4 promotes ferroptosis of gastric cancer (GC) cells. Materials and methods Human GC SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells were treated with different XN4 concentrations (0, 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, 5.0, and 10.0 μmol/L) to evaluate effects of XN4. Additionally, cells were pre-treated for 24 h with si-NOX4, for 1 h with the iron chelator deferoxamine mesylate (DFO) or for 1 h with the lipid peroxidation inhibitor liproxstatin-1 before being treated with XN4 to analyse the mechanism of XN4. Results XN4 increased cell death (IC50 values of XN4 on SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells: 1.592 ± 0.14 μmol/L and 2.022 ± 0.19 μmol/L) and Fe²⁺ levels in SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells. These effects of 2.0 μmol/L XN4 were abolished by 100 μmol/L DFO treatment. XN4 enhanced transferrin and transferrin receptor expression to induce Fe²⁺ accumulation. XN4 decreased mitochondrial membrane potentials in GC cells, similar to erastin. Additionally, XN4 increased MDA, hydrogen peroxide, and ROS levels, but diminished total glutathione levels. Liproxstatin-1 (200 nmol/L) nullified the effects of XN4 (2.0 μmol/L) on MDA levels and cell death. Moreover, GPX4 levels decreased, but NOX4 and ferroptosis-related protein PTGS2 levels increased in GC cells following XN4 treatment, which was nullified by NOX4 knockdown. Discussion and conclusions The pro-ferroptotic role of XN4 in GC might enable it to become a promising drug for GC treatment in the future despite the need for extensive research.
Context Fibraurea recisa Pierre. (Menispermaceae) (FR) is a traditional Chinese medicine known as “Huangteng.” The total alkaloids of FR (AFR) are the main active ingredients. However, the pharmacological effects of AFR in the treatment of depression have not been reported. Objectives This study investigates the antidepressant effects of AFR by network pharmacology and verification experiments. Materials and methods Compound-Target-Pathway (C-P-T) network of FR and depression was constructed through network pharmacology. In vitro, HT-22 cells were treated with corticosterone (CORT) solution (0.35 mg/mL), then AFR (0.05 mg/mL) solution and inhibitor AZD6244 (14 μM/mL) or BAY11-7082 (10 μM/mL) were added, respectively. The cell viability was detected by CCK-8. In vivo, C57BL/6 mice were divided into 5 groups, namely the normal group, the CUMS group, the AFR (400 mg/kg) group, and the 2 groups that were simultaneously administered the inhibitory group AZD6244 (8 mg/kg) and BAY11-7082 (5 mg/kg). Western blotting was used to assess the expression level of the proteins. Results AFR could protect HT-22 cells from CORT-induced damage and increase the cell viability from 49.12 ± 3.4% to 87.26 ± 1.5%. Moreover, AFR significantly increased the levels of BDNF (1.3, 1.4-fold), p-ERK (1.4, 1.2-fold) and p-CERB (1.6, 1.3-fold), and decreased the levels of NLRP3 (11.3%, 31.6%), ASC (19.2%, 34.2%) and caspase-1 (18.0%, 27.6%) in HT-22 cells and the hippocampus, respectively. Discussion and conclusions AFR can improve depressive-like behaviours and can develop drugs for depression treatment. Further studies are needed to validate its potential in clinical medicine.
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43 days
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3.889 (2021)
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Top-cited authors
Kundan Bora
Hong Zhang
  • Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Ilkay Erdogan Orhan
  • Gazi University, Faculty of Pharmacy
Berrin Ozçeli̇k
Subhash Laxmanrao Bodhankar
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth's College of Pharmacy