This study was undertaken to evaluate a possible effect of the extracts PY102 of Pygeum africanum (Hook), and UR 102 of Urtica dioica L. as well as their combination PHL-00801 (Prostatonin®) on the enzymes 5 α-reductase (5 α-RE) and aromatase (AR): Inhibition of 5 α-RE: Pygeum africanum extract PY 102, and Urtica dioica extract UR 102, inhibited the 5 α-RE activity in a concentration dependent manner. Whereas UR102 extract was only able to influence the enzyme activity at high concentrations (≥ 12mg/ml) and its ED(50) being calculated as 14.7mg/ml, the PY102 extract showed a much higher activity starting with low concentrations (0.1 mg/ml) its ED(50) being calculated as 0.78 mg/ml. When compared with the effects of UR 102, the combination of both extracts, PHL-00801 (Prostatonin®), led to a similar inhibition of the enzyme (ED(50) 14.15 mg/ml). Inhibition of AR: The PY 102 extract showed a concentration dependent and strong activity (ED(50) = 0.98 mg/ml). The activity of the UR 102 extract was also concentration dependent (ED(50) = 3.58 mg/ml). The combination of both extracts, PHL-00801 (Prostatonin®) showed a synergistic action and significantly (p = 0.05) increased the AR-inhibitory activity in concentrations as low as 0.1 mg/ml (ED(50) 0.24 mg/ml). These observations are an explanation for the beneficial effects of PHL-00801 (Prostatonin®) observed in the clinical studies on BPH.
A 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-generating system was used to evaluate the antioxidant properties of Korean medicinal plants that have been used widely as folk medicines for several disorders, as well as compounds isolated from them. Among the Rosaceae, Rosa rugosa and Rosa davurica showed strong DPPH radical-scavenging activity. The most effective medicinal plant from families other than Rosaceae was Cedrela sinensis, followed in order by Nelumbo nucifera, Eucommia ulmoides, Zanthoxylum piperitum, Cudrania tricuspidata and Houttuynia cordata. These results serve as a good index of the free radical-scavenging activities of Korean medicinal plants. Furthermore, the polyphenols isolated from these plants, procyanidin B-3, (+)-catechin, gallic acid, methyl gallate, quercetin, quercetin-3-O-beta-D-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-beta-galactoside, quercetin-3-O-rutinose and kaempferol, exerted strong DPPH radical-scavenging activity. These results suggest that the Korean medicinal plants and the polyphenols isolated from them that exhibited effective radical-scavenging activity may be promising agents for scavenging free radicals and treating diseases associated with excess free radicals.
A dichloromethane extract from the leaves of Lithraea molleoides (Anacardiaceae), an argentine medicinal plant, showed cytotoxicity on human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line. Bioassay guided fractionation of this extract led to the isolation of a new active 5-alkyl resorcinol: 1,3-dihydroxy-5-(tridec-4',7'-dienyl)benzene. Chemical structure was established based on spectroscopic data (UV, IR, MS, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, COSY). This compound presented cytotoxic activity on 3 human tumoral cell lines: hepatocellular carcinoma cell line-Hep G2 (IC50 +/- SD of 68 +/- 2 microM), mucoepidermoid pulmonary carcinoma cell line-H292 (IC50 +/- SD of 63 +/- 5 microM) and mammary gland adenocarcinoma cell line -MCF7 (IC50 +/- SD of 147 +/- 5).
Coccidiosis, caused by various Eimeria species, is a major parasitic disease in chicken. However the increasing resistance of these parasites to currently used anticoccidial drugs has stimulated the search for new methods of control. As part of this effort we investigated the root bark of Berberis lycium (barberry) as a potential source of compounds with anticoccidial activity. In the present study anticoccidial activity of different solvent extracts of the root bark of B. lycium and berberine was evaluated in vivo using broiler chicken. Results of the study demonstrated equipotent efficacy of pure berberine in comparison to that of standard drug amprolium on the basis of reduction in coccidian oocyst output, body weight gain of chicken and feed conversion ratio. Among the extracts crude methanolic extract showed highest anticoccidial activity tested at 300mg/kg body weight which could be due to the presence of alcohol-soluble active ingredients in root bark of B. lycium. Toxicological studies revealed that B. lycium extracts as well as berberine were not lethal up to dosage of 2000mg/kg body weight. LD(50) was not determined as mortalities were not recorded in any of the five groups of chicken. From the present study it can be concluded that root bark of B. lycium has the immense potential to contribute to the control of coccidian parasites of chicken. Our results corroborate the use of berberine for treatment of severe diarrhoea, amoebiasis and intestinal infections and could justify its use in folk medicine for treatment of haemorrhagic dysentery.
Previously, it was isolated from the fruiting bodies of the gilled mushroom Pholiota spumosa (Basidiomycetes, Strophariaceae), putrescine-1,4-dicinnamide, a phenylpropanoid derivative conjugated with polyamine putrescine never isolated before as a natural compound. Recently, polyamine analogs that are similar in structure to the natural polyamines but that cannot mimic their functions that are essential for cellular growth and differentiation, have shown antitumor activity in several types of human cancer cells. Therefore, we have now investigated the response of DU-145 cells, a well characterized androgen-independent human prostate cancer (PCA) cell line, to this phenylpropanoid derivative. The results presented here demonstrate that putrescine-1,4-dicinnamide, as suggested for polyamine analogs synthesized artificially, inhibits the cell growth of cancer cells inducing apoptosis cell death, mediated, at least in part, by the activation of caspase cascades, that at higher doses shift to necrosis, through the increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation.
Curcuma comosa Roxb. is ginger-family plant used to relieve menopausal symptoms. Previous work showed that C. comosa extracts protect mice from ovariectomy-induced osteopenia with minimal effects on reproductive organs, and identified the diarylheptanoid (3R)-1,7-diphenyl-(4E,6E)-4,6-heptadien-3-ol (DPHD) as the major active component of C. comosa rhizomes. At 1-10μM, DPHD increased differentiation in transformed mouse osteoblasts, but the effect of DPHD on normal bone cells was unknown. We examined the concentration dependency and mechanism of action of DPHD relative to 17β-estradiol in nontransformed human osteoblasts (h-OB). The h-OB were 10-100 fold more sensitive to DPHD than transformed osteoblasts: DPHD increased h-OB proliferation at 10nM and, at 100nM, activated MAP kinase signaling within 30min. In long-term differentiation assays, responses of h-OB to DPHD were significant at 10nM, and optimal response in most cases was at 100nM. At 7-21 days, DPHD accelerated osteoblast differentiation, indicated by alkaline phosphatase activity and osteoblast-specific mRNA production. Effects of DPHD were eliminated by the estrogen receptor antagonist ICI182780. During differentiation, DPHD promoted early expression of osteoblast transcription factors, RUNX2 and osterix. Subsequently, DPHD accelerated production of bone structural genes, including COL1A1 and osteocalcin comparably to 17β-estradiol. In h-OB, DPHD increased the osteoprotegerin to RANKL ratio and supported mineralization more efficiently than 10nM 17β-estradiol. We conclude that DPHD promotes human osteoblast function in vitro effectively at nanomolar concentrations, making it a promising compound to protect bone in menopausal women.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the chemical composition of the essential oil of the fruits of Eucalyptus globulus and to examine the potential application of the fruit oil against multidrug-resistant bacteria. GLC/MS analysis in the fruit oil showed that aromadendrene was the main compound followed by 1,8-cineole and globulol. The three most abundant components of the fruit oil were also tested individually against microorganisms. In addition, the synergistic effects of combinations of the major constituents (aromadendrene and 1,8-cineole) of the fruit oil were also investigated. All Gram-positive bacteria were susceptible to the fruit oil with different degrees of susceptibility as determined by microdilution method. The oil exerted a marked inhibition against multidrug-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) Enterococcus faecalis. The results indicated that aromadendrene might be responsible for the antimicrobial properties, whereas 1,8-cineole and globulol exhibited low activities. The checkerboard assay demonstrated that combinations of 1,8-cineole and aromadendrene reduce the MIC in most cases in an additive way, whereas the time-kill assay indicates a synergistic effect.
A number of clinically useful drugs were tested for their ability to inhibit the inflammatory edema induced by 1,8-cineole (cineole), a terpenoid oxide, in the hindpaw of rats. Paw edema was measured by plethysmography following subplantar injection of cineole (20 μl/paw). The edema inducing effect of cineol was rapid in its onset (early phase, 0.5-1 h); attained slowly its peak level at 2 h and thereafter remained relatively constant up to 5 h post-injection (late phase, 2-5 h). Rats pretreatad with the antiallergic drugs cyproheptadine, ketotifen and cromoglycate demonstrated significant inhibition at both the early and the late phases of paw edema, while the rats that received nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory compounds phenylbutazone, indomethacin, and piroxicam and steroidal anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone exhibited significant edema inhibition only at the late phase, suggesting that the anti-allergic drugs are more effective in this model of acute inflammation. However, all the drugs tested were found to inhibit the late phase edema effect of 1,8-cineole. The data indicate that 1,8-cineole-induced acute inflammation is a useful model to screen compounds that possess anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory potential.
Vasorelaxant effects of essential oil of Alpinia zerumbet (EOAZ) and its main constituent, 1,8-cineole (CIN) were studied. In rat isolated aorta preparations with intact endothelium, EOAZ (0.01-3000 microg/ml) induced significant but incomplete relaxation of the phenylephrine-induced contraction, an effect that was abolished by removal of vascular endothelium. However, at the same concentrations (0.01-3000 microg/ml corresponding to 0.0000647-19.5 mM), CIN induced a complete vasorelaxant effects (IC(50)=663.2+/-63.8 microg/ml) that were significantly reduced in endothelium-denuded rings (IC(50)=1620.6+/-35.7 microg/ml). Neither EOAZ nor CIN affected the basal tonus of isolated aorta. Vasorelaxant effects of both EOAZ and CIN remained unaffected by the addition of tetraethylamonium chloride (500 microM) or indomethacin (10 microM) into the bath, but were significantly reduced by N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (100 microM). It is concluded that EOAZ induces a potent vasorelaxant effect that could not be fully attributed to the actions of the main constituent CIN, and appears totally dependent on the integrity of a functional vascular endothelium. The data is novel and corroborate the popular use of A. zerumbet for the treatment of hypertension.
As part of our ongoing search for flavonoids that are bioactive in humans, it was determined that FRS 1000, a beverage containing flavonoids extracted from onion peel, showed unexpected improvement of male sexual function. An in vitro enzyme assay clearly showed that FRS 1000 has a strong phosphodiesterase 5A (PDE 5A) inhibitory activity, which is considered to be important for treatment of erectile dysfunction. Detailed assays of each major ingredient indicated that the antioxidative flavonoid quercetin was responsible for the activity. Results also suggested that PDE 5A inhibition is not directly related to the free radical scavenging activity of flavonoids.
Hot flashes are a disorder of thermoregulation due to the lack of estrogens and are the most common and characteristic climacteric complaint. Hormone replacement therapy is the gold standard treatment but now its use is limited due to several side effects. Need therefore arises to search for non-estrogenic alternatives. It is well established that extracts of Cimicifuga racemosa (CR) ease climacteric complaints but solid animal experimental data supporting such effects are not available. The availability of sensitive transponders which record subcutaneous temperature continuously enables nowadays experiments in rats to establish whether they have hot flashes following ovariectomy (Seidlova-Wuttke et al. 2003) and if so, whether they can be influenced by the extract of CR BNO 1055. Intact Sprague-Dawley rats (n=16) were acclimatized and their subcutaneous body temperature was measured in 5 min intervals and mean values from 3h recordings were calculated. Thereafter, the rats were ovx and fed either with soy free (sf) or CR BNO 1055 (25 mg/animal/day) food. Temperature was recorded again after acute and sub-acute application of CR. In individual intact animals temperature was stable over the 3h recording period. Following ovx temperature pulses appeared with peaks occurring every 20-40 min. These fluctuations were not seen in CR BNO 1055 treated animals resulting in significantly higher mean temperatures in ovx in comparison to intact or ovx CR BNO treated rats. This reduction of hot flashes by BNO 1055 outlasted the experimental period of 3 weeks. These results suggest that the ovx rats and the new temperature-sensitive device may be useful for the study of hot flashes. Furthermore the results prove that the CR BNO 1055 exerts hot flash reducing effects.
This study aimed to investigate the mechanisms underlying the anti-proliferative effects of the ethanolic Cimicifuga racemosa extract BNO-1055 on prostate cells and evaluate its therapeutic potential. BNO-1055 dose-dependently attenuated cellular uptake and incorporation of thymidine and BrdU and significantly inhibited cell growth after long-time exposure. Similar results were obtained using saponin-enriched sub-fractions of BNO-1055. These inhibitory effects of BNO-1055 could be mimicked using pharmacological inhibitors and isoform-specific siRNAs targeting the equilibrative nucleoside transporters ENT1 and ENT2. Moreover, BNO-1055 attenuated the uptake of clinically relevant nucleoside analogs, e.g. the anti-cancer drugs gemcitabine and fludarabine. Consistent with inhibition of the salvage nucleoside uptake pathway BNO-1055 potentiated the cytotoxicity of the de novo nucleotide synthesis inhibitor 5-FU without significantly altering its uptake. Collectively, these data show for the first time that the anti-proliferative effects of BNO-1055 result from hindered nucleoside uptake due to impaired ENT activity and demonstrate the potential therapeutic use of BNO-1055 for modulation of nucleoside transport.
Extracts from black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa, CR) exert an anti-proliferative action in human breast cancer cell cultures, which has been attributed to an anti-estrogenic effect. However, CR constituents do not bind to either of the known estrogen receptors. Thus, the anti-tumor effect of CR me be mediated by mechanisms not involving these receptors. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are toxic environmental pollutants, which indirectly act as anti-estrogens by activating the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). The AhR is widely expressed in mammalian tissues and tumors. A recent screening study demonstrated activation of the AhR by a variety of herbal extracts, among others, CR. Since activation of the AhR causes inhibition of growth of prostate cancer cells, we addressed the question, whether CR may not only inhibit growth of breast cancer--but also of prostate cancer cells. In the AhR ligand assay, the CR extract BNO 1055 reduced tracer binding to 71% of the control demonstrating interaction of constituents of this extract with the receptor. Under basal as well as under estradiol- and dihydrotestosterone stimulated conditions, the CR extract dose dependently inhibited proliferation of LNCaP cells. A significant reduction of cell growth was observed at a concentration as low as 50 ng/ml. Thus, it is demonstrated for the first time that CR compounds potently inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells in vitro. This anti-proliferative effect may be mediated via the AhR.
In order to investigate the pharmacodynamic basis of the previously-established anticonvulsant properties of linalool, we examined the effects of this compound on behavioral and neurochemical aspects of glutamate expression in experimental seizure models. Specifically, linalool effects were investigated to determine its inhibition of (i) L-[3H]glutamate binding at CNS (central nervous system membranes), (ii) N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced convulsions, (iii) quinolinic acid (QUIN)-induced convulsions, and the behavioral and neurochemical correlates of PTZ-kindling. The data indicate that linalool modulates glutamate activation expression in vitro (competitive antagonism of L-[3H]glutamate binding) and in vivo (delayed NMDA convulsions and blockage of QUIN convulsions). Linalool partially inhibited and significantly delayed the behavioral expression of PTZ-kindling, but did not modify the PTZ-kindling-induced increase in L-[3H]glutamate binding.
Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKAB) from Boswellia serrata and B. carterii acts directly on purified 5-lipoxygenase of human blood leukocytes at a selective site for pentacyclic triterpenes that is different from the arachidonate substrate binding site. The pentacyclic triterpene ring is crucial for binding to the enzyme, whereas functional groups (11-keto function in addition to a hydrophilic group on C 4 of ring A) are essential for the 5-lipoxygenase activity.
Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA) from Boswellia serrata Roxb. and italics Boswellia carterii Birdw. is the first selective, direct, non-competitive and non-redox-type inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, the key enzyme for leukotriene biosynthesis (Safayhi et al., 1992). Previously, we showed that AKBA interacts with the 5-lipoxygenase via a pentacyclic triterpene selective effector site (Safayhi et al., 1995). In order to study the impact of AKBA's functional groups on enzyme inhibition, natural and synthetic analogues of this boswellic acid were tested for 5-lipoxygenase inhibition in intact rat neutrophils (Sailer et al., 1996 a). The results reveal that the carboxylic group of AKBA combined with the 11-keto-group is essential for enzyme inhibition, whereas the acetoxy-group on position C-3 α increases the affinity of AKBA to its effector site. Furthermore, other experiments demonstrated that minor structural modifications could cause a total loss of binding affinity and/or inhibitory activity of these compounds.
Boswellia serrata has been used in traditional medicine for treatment of inflammatory diseases since antiquity. However human kinetic studies are lacking for this. Hence to better elucidate its effects in humans and determine its optimal dosing, this study was planned.
Twelve healthy adult men volunteers were given capsule Wok Vel containing 333 mg of Boswellia Serrata Extract, orally, after a seven days washout period. Venous blood samples were drawn through indwelling canula from each volunteer prior to drug administration and at 30, 60, 120, 150, 180, 210, 240, 300, 360, 480, 600, 720, 840 minutes after drug administration. Plasma obtained after centrifuge was analyzed to measure concentration of 11-Keto beta-Boswellic Acid (KBA) by HPLC. Various kinetic parameters were then calculated from the plasma concentrations.
The results are expressed as mean +/- Standard Error of Mean. The peak plasma levels (2.72 x 10(-3) +/- 0.18 micromoles/ml) of BSE were reached at 4.5 +/- 0.55 h. The concentration declined with a mean elimination half life of 5.97 +/- 0.95 h. The apparent volume of distribution averaged 142.87 +/- 22.78 L and the plasma clearance was 296.10 +/- 24.09 ml/min. The AUC(0-infinity) was 27.33 x 10(-3) +/- 1.99 micromoles/ml h.
Elimination half life of nearly six hours suggests that the drug needs to be given orally at the interval of six hours. The plasma concentration will attain the steady state after approximately 30 hours. BSE is a safe drug and well tolerated on oral administration. No adverse effects were seen with this drug when administered as single dose in 333 mg.
Saireito (TJ-114) is a traditional Japanese herbal medicine that has been used for treating edema and inflammation in diseases such as nephritic disease. This study investigates the effect of TJ-114 on postoperative edema and inflammation after total hip arthroplasty (THA). Patients who underwent cementless THA were randomly divided into two groups: Group A consisted of 8 hips of 8 patients who were treated with TJ-114 at a dose of 9 g/day 2 days before surgery and for 2 weeks after surgery; Group B consisted of 9 hips of 9 patients who did not take TJ-114. Although no significant difference was observed between the two groups for lower extremity edema, it was found that swelling of the proximal leg in Group A was less than that in Group B. Furthermore, 3 weeks after surgery, every measuring point in the lower extremity showed that TJ-114 tended to decrease postoperative swelling compared to measurements of swelling of patients who did not take TJ-114. Serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels of 6 out of 8 patients in Group A decreased and became negative 2 weeks after surgery; however, there were no patients in Group B whose CRP levels became negative after 2 weeks. In conclusion, TJ-114 is safe and useful for the prevention and early recovery of postoperative leg edema after THA with an association of rapid CRP reduction.
Various assay methods have been developed to evaluate the effectiveness of substances against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). One of them is the Syncytia formation inhibition assay, which is based on the inhibition of the interaction between the HIV-1 envelope protein gp 120 and the cellular membrane protein CD4. A variation of this assay using recombinant virus vPE 16 and CD4(+) HeLa cell was developed to find anti-HIV compounds in natural products that inhibit gp 120-CD4 binding. VPE 16 expresses glycoprotein gp 160, which is glycosylated then processed into gp 120 and gp 41 on its envelope. A total of 50 plant extracts were screened with this system. Extracts from Calicarpa japonica and Sedum sarmentosum were among those that showed strong inhibition of the gp 120-CD4 interaction.
N-acetyltransferases (NATs) are recognized to play a key role in the primary step of arylamine compounds metabolism. Polymorphic NAT is coded for rapid or slow acetylators, which are being thought to involve cancer risk related to environmental exposure. Berberine has been shown to induce apoptosis and affect NAT activity in human leukemia cells. The purpose of this study is to examine whether or not berberine could affect arylamine NAT activity and gene expression (NAT mRNA) and the levels of NAT protein in mouse leukemia cells (L 1210). N-acetylated and non-N-acetylated AF were determined and quantited by using high performance liquid chromatography. NAT mRNA was determined and quantited by using RT-PCR. The levels of NAT protein were examined by western blotting and determined by using flow cytometry. Berberine displayed a dose-dependent inhibition to cytosolic NAT activity and intact mice leukemia cells. Time-course experiments indicated that N-acetylation of AF measured from intact mice leukemia cells were inhibited by berberine for up to 24 h. The NAT1 mRNA and NAT proteins in mouse leukemia cells were also inhibited by berberine. This report is the first demonstration, which showed berberine affect mice leukemia cells NAT activity, gene expression (NAT1 mRNA) and levels of NAT protein.
An 8-week randomized, reference-controlled, double-blind, multi-centre clinical trial investigated Kava-Kava LI 150 in Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD; ICD-10: F41.1).
129 out-patients received either 400 mg Kava LI 150, 10 mg Buspirone or 100 mg Opipramol daily for 8 weeks. At week 9, subjects were seen to check for symptoms of withdrawal or relapse. Primary outcome measures comprised the HAMA scale and the proportion of responders at week 8. Secondary measures were the Boerner Anxiety Scale (BOEAS), SAS, CGI, a self-rating scale for well-being (Bf-S), a sleep questionnaire (SF-B), a quality-of-life questionnaire (AL) and global judgements by investigator and patients.
In 127 patients (ITT) no significant differences could be observed regarding all efficacy and safety measures. About 75% of patients were classified as responders (50% reduction of HAMA score) in each treatment group, about 60% achieved full remission.
Kava-Kava LI150 is well tolerated and as effective as Buspirone and Opipramol in the acute treatment of out-patients suffering from GAD.
Pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP), a 29-kDa plant-derived protein isolated from Phytolacca americana, is a broad-spectrum antiviral agent. PAP shows unique clinical potential to become the active ingredient of a non-spermicidal microbicide because of its potent in vivo anti-HIV activity, non-interference with in vivo sperm functions, and lack of cytotoxicity to genital tract epithelial cells. Over 13 weeks the subchronic and reproductive toxicity potential of an intravaginally administered gel formulation of PAP was studied in mice to support its further development as a vaginal microbicide. Female B6C3F1 and CD-1 mice in subgroups of 20, were exposed intravaginally to a gel formulation containing 0, 0.025, 0.05, or 0.1% PAP, 5 days/week for 13 consecutive weeks. On a molar basis, these concentrations are 500- to 2000-times higher than the in vitro anti-HIV IC50 value. After 13 weeks of intravaginal treatment, B6C3F1 mice were evaluated for survival, body weight gain, and absolute and relative organ weights. Blood was analyzed for hematology and clinical chemistry profiles. Microscopic examination was performed on hematoxylin and eosin-stained tissue sections from each study animal. Placebo-control and PAP-dosed female CD-1 mice were mated with untreated males in order to evaluate if PAP has any deleterious effects on reproductive performance. There were no treatment-related mortalities. Mean body weight gain was not reduced by PAP treatment during the dosing period. The hemogram and blood chemistry profiles revealed lack of systemic toxicity following daily intravaginal instillation of PAP for 13 weeks. No clinically significant changes in absolute and relative organ weights were noted in the PAP dose groups. Extensive histopathological examination of tissues showed no increase in treatment-related microscopic lesions in any of the three PAP dose groups. Repeated intravaginal exposure of CD-1 mice to increasing concentrations of PAP for 13 weeks showed no adverse effect on their subsequent reproductive capability (100% fertile), neonatal survival (>90%) or pup development. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that repetitive intravaginal administration of PAP at concentrations as high as 2000 times its in vitro anti-HIV IC50 value was not associated with local or systemic toxicity and did not adversely affect the reproductive performance of mice. PAP may be useful as an active ingredient of a safe vaginal microbicide for prevention of the sexual transmission of viruses, particularly of HIV-1.
We have found that several lupane-type triterpenes, including lupeol, its acetate, betulin and betulinic acid, inhibit 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced inflammation, and that betulinic acid inhibits tumor promotion in two-stage carcinogenesis in mice. Among seven lupane-type triterpenes assayed, these compounds inhibited the inflammatory activity induced by TPA in mice. The 50 % inhibitory dose of these compounds for TPA-induced inflammation was 0.4-4.0 μmol. Furthermore, topical application of lupeol, lupeol 3-acetate and betulin markedly suppressed the tumor-promoting effect of TPA (1 μg/mouse) in mouse skin initiated with 7,12-dimethyl-benz[a]anthracene (50 μg/mouse), at a grade corresponding to that of betulinic acid.
Seventeen triterpenes isolated from cacti and the 10 derivatives were examined for the inhibition of tumor promoter-induced effects in vitro, such as stimulation of 32Pi-incorporation into phospholipids of cultured cells. Betulinic acid (1), cochalic acid (15), erythrodiol (16), oleanolic acid (21) and queretaroic acid (24) inhibited 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) stimulated 32Pi-incorporation into phospholipids of the cultured cells.
Two hydroxy taraxastane-type triterpenes, faradiol and heliantriol C, have been isolated from the ligulate flowers of Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat. var. sinense Makino fa. esculentum Makino, the edible Chrysanthemum. These compounds showed strong inhibitory activity against 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-aetate (TPA)-induced inflammation in mice. At 0.2 μmol/mouse, these compounds markedly inhibited the promoting effect of TPA (1 μg/mouse) on skin tumor formation followed by 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (50 μg/mouse).
TPA is a potent regulator of cell growth, including cell proliferation and differentiation. In this study, we determined the effect of silibinin on TPA-induced growth arrest in breast cancer cells. Silibinin increased growth arrest of the G2/M phase in a dose-dependent fashion. Silibinin decreased the basal level of cyclin B1 and cdc2 expression, which is involved in S phase and G2/M transition. In addition, TPA-induced G2/M phase arrest was increased by silibinin. Under the same conditions, TPA-induced down-regulation of cyclin B1 and cdc2 was decreased by silibinin. In contrast, TPA-induced p21 expression was further increased by silibinin. To determine the regulatory mechanism of TPA-induced growth arrest, we pretreated cells with various inhibitors, such as UO126, SB203580, and LY294002. Interestingly, TPA-induced growth arrest was significantly increased by LY294002, but not by UO126 and SB203580. In addition, TPA-induced down-regulation of cyclin B1 was inhibited by LY294002; however, the basal level of p21 was increased by TPA and TPA-induced p21 expression was further increased by LY294002. Finally, adenoviral constitutively active-Akt (Ad-CA-Akt) overexpression regulated the up-regulation of cyclin B1 and the down-regulation of p21. Therefore, we have demonstrated that silibinin has an additive effect on TPA-induced growth arrest through the PI-3-kinase/Akt-dependent pathway.
Seventy-eight male and female patients between the ages of 45 and 73, who were affected by chronic heart failure defined as NYHA functional class II, were treated either with Crataegus extract or with a placebo preparation. The extract LI 132 was administered to the patients in the form of 3 dragées a day (verum preparation) corresponding to a daily dose of 600 mg. Treatment was continued over a period of 8 weeks, with a wash-out phase of one week. The confirmatory parameter used to asses the efficacy of the preparation was the patients' working capacity which was measured using an ergometer bicycle. Before the start of the study, an increase in the patients' working capacity of at least half an exercise step on the ergometer bicycle (12.5 watt) was determined to be clinically relevant. Apart from the compatibility of the preparation, a score system was used to assess the severity level of the typical symptoms. From day 0 to day 56 of the trial, the median values obtained for the working capacity of the patients treated with the verum preparation were found to have increased by 28 watt, while the increase in the working capacity of the placebo patients was as little as 5 watt. The difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Apart from that, a significant reduction of the systolic blood pressure, of the heart rate and of the pressure/rate product was observed for the patients treated with the verum preparation, compared to the patients treated with the placebo preparation. Also, the clinical symptoms (score system) were found to have improved significantly. There were no severe side effects observed.
Polyhydroxy pregnane glycoside (PPG), a steroidal glycoside was isolated from Wattakaka volubilis Linn. (Stap.f.). PPG was evaluated for in vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory activity using acute inflammation and chronic model of inflammation in rats and LPS-induced RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. PPG seemed to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity in the studied models. PPG at dose level of both 5 and 10mg/kg significantly reduced the edema induced by the carrageenan in acute model of inflammation. It also showed significant anti-proliferative effect (dry pellet weight basis) in chronic model of inflammation. Cellular content of granuloma was measured by assaying activity of N-acetyl glucosaminidase (NAG) and total nucleic acid content. PPG at 5 and 10mg/kg significantly suppressed the cellular infiltration measured by total nucleic acid content. In contrast, NAG activity decreased over a period of 10 days resulting in inhibition of granuloma weight gain. PPG had a more effective response than the reference drug diclofenac sodium in both the models of inflammation. Wattakaka volubilis steroidal glycoside mixture (WVSM) and PPG (1-50μM) significantly inhibited the COX-2 and iNOS enzymes resulting in low levels of PGE2 and NO in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. Hence the study supports the traditional use of Wattakaka volubilis and its constituent PPG in treatment of inflammatory disorders.
In a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study the clinical efficacy and safety of Crataegus extract WS 1442, standardised to 18.75% oligomeric procyanidines, were investigated in 40 female and male outpatients suffering from congestive heart failure NYHA class II. Following a wash-out period of up to seven days, the patients were randomised to be treated for 12 weeks with either WS 1442 (3 x 1 capsule) or placebo. The primary outcome variable was exercise tolerance determined with bicycle exercise testing; as a secondary outcome variable the difference of the double product was calculated. On average, the exercise tolerance increased by 66.3 W x min (10.8%) in the WS 1442 group while in the placebo group a reduction of 105.3 W x min (16.9%) was measured. This difference between the groups was borderline statistically significant (p = 0.06). During the three month therapy the difference of the double product (heart rate x systolic blood pressure x 10(-2)) decreased by 14.4 mmHg s(-1) (26.8%) in the WS 1442 group and by 1.3 mmHg s(-1) (2.7%) in the placebo group, respectively. Recording of laboratory parameters and adverse events showed that WS 1442 was safe and well tolerated. The data show that Crataegus extract WS 1442 is clinically effective in patients with congestive heart failure corresponding to NYHA class II.
Aging is associated with a markedly increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases due, in part, to the development of vascular endothelial dysfunction. The present study has evaluated whether the Crataegus special extract WS(®)1442 prevents the development of aging-related endothelial dysfunction in rats, and, if so, to determine the underlying mechanisms. Wistar rats received either a control diet or the same diet containing 100 or 300 mg/kg/day of WS(®)1442 from week 25 until week 65. Vascular reactivity was assessed in mesenteric artery rings using organ chambers, oxidative stress by dihydroethidine staining and cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and -2 (COX-2) expression by immunohistochemistry. Acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxations in mesenteric artery rings were blunted in 65-week-old rats compared to 16-week-old rats. This effect was associated with a marked reduction of the endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) component whereas the nitric oxide (NO) component was not affected. Aging was also associated with the induction of endothelium-dependent contractile responses to acetylcholine. Both aging-related impairment of endothelium-dependent relaxations and the induction of endothelium-dependent contractile responses were improved by the Crataegus treatment and by COX inhibitors. An excessive vascular oxidative stress and an upregulation of COX-1 and COX-2 were observed in the mesenteric artery of old rats compared to young rats, and these effects were improved by the Crataegus treatment. In conclusion, chronic intake of Crataegus prevented aging-related endothelial dysfunction by reducing the prostanoid-mediated contractile responses, most likely by improving the increased oxidative stress and the overexpression of COX-1 and COX-2.
WS(®) 1442 is a special extract of hawthorn leaves with flowers used for the treatment of mild cardiac failure. The activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) has been shown to contribute to its vasodilating properties. Quite recently it has been demonstrated that red blood cells (RBCs) express a functional NO-synthase (rbcNOS) and rbcNOS activation has been associated with increased RBC deformability. The aim of the present study was to determine whether WS(®) 1442 is able to activate rbcNOS, to induce NO-formation in RBC and to alter RBC-deformability. Blood from healthy volunteers was incubated with WS(®) 1442 (25-100 μg/ml) for up to 30 min. RbcNOS activation was detected by immunohistochemical staining of phosphorylated rbcNOS and NO-formation was examined by diaminofluorescein (DAF) fluorescence. RBC deformability was measured by a laser assisted optical rotational cell analyzer. Serine 1177 of RbcNOS (rbcNOS Ser(1177)) was time- and concentration-dependently phosphorylated by WS(®) 1442. Rates of rbcNOS Ser(1177) phosphorylation were up to 149% higher in RBCs treated with WS(®) 1442 in comparison to control (DMSO 0.05%). WS(®) 1442 induced a time-dependent increase in NO-formation in RBCs which reached its maximum after 5 min. An increase in shear stress (0.3-50 Pa) caused an increase in RBC deformability. WS(®) 1442 did not change either basal or maximal RBC-deformability or shear stress sensitivity of RBC at normoxia.
WS(®) 1442 activates rbcNOS and causes NO-formation in RBCs. WS(®) 1442-dependent NO-formation however does not affect RBC-deformability at normoxia.
The nuts of Semicarpus anacardium (Anacardiaceae) are one of the most favoured medicine in the Indian System of Medicine for the management of arthritis and several other free radical mediated diseases. It is also recommended for the management of the breast cancer. In this report we have investigated its role on the cell cycle and cell viability on the DU-145 cells (transformed prostate cells) by flow cytometric technique. It was observed that the plant extract significantly arrests the cell cycle at G-1 stage, and induced apoptosis. On higher concentrations, it affects the cell viability. The response was dose dependent.
The efficacy and tolerability of 150 mg/d Kava special extract WS 1490 were investigated in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind multicenter study in patients suffering from neurotic anxiety (DSM-III-R diagnoses 300.02, 300.22, 300.23, 300.29, or 309.24). 141 adult, male and female out-patients received 3 x 1 capsule of 50 mg/d WS 1490 or placebo for four weeks, followed by two weeks of observation without study-specific treatment. During randomized treatment the total score of the Anxiety Status Inventory (ASI) observer rating scale showed more pronounced decreases in the WS 1490 group than in the placebo group. Although a treatment group comparison of the post-treatment ASI scores was not significant (p > 0.05), an exploratory analysis of variance across the differences between treatment end and baseline, with center as a second factor, showed superiority of the herbal extract over placebo (p < 0.01, two-sided). 73% of the patients treated with WS 1490 exhibited ASI score decreases > 5 points versus baseline, compared to 56% for placebo. Significant advantages for WS 1490 were also evident in a structured well-being self-rating scale (Bf-S) and the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI), while the Erlangen Anxiety, Tension and Aggression Scale (EAAS) and the Brief Test of Personality Structure (KEPS) showed only minor treatment group differences. Although the results show consistent advantages for WS 1490 over placebo in several psychiatric scales and indicate significant improvements in the patients' general well-being, the differences versus placebo were not as large as in previous trials which employed 300 mg/d of the same extract. WS 1490 was well tolerated, with no influence on liver function tests and only one trivial adverse event (tiredness) attributable to the study drug.
We investigated the effects of crocin, a pharmacologically active constituent of Crocus sativus L., in isoproterenol (ISO)-induced cardiotoxicity with reference to hemodynamic, antioxidant, histopathological and ultrastructural parameters. Rats were administered crocin (5, 10 and 20mg/kg/day) or vehicle orally for 21 days along with ISO (85mg/kg, subcutaneously, at 24h interval) on 20th and 21st day. On 22nd day ISO-control rats showed cardiac dysfunction as indicated by lowering of systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressures. In addition, a significant decrease in maximum positive and negative rate of developed left ventricular pressure (+/-LVdp/dt(max)) and an increase in left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) were observed. Furthermore, a marked reduction in the activities of myocardial creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) isoenzyme, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels along with an increase in content of malondialdehyde (MDA) were observed. Myocardial necrosis, edema and inflammation were evident from the light microscopic and ultrastructural changes. Crocin at the dose of 20mg/kg/day significantly modulated hemodynamic and antioxidant derangements. The preventive role of crocin on ISO-induced MI was reconfirmed by histopathological and ultrastructural examinations. The effect at the dose of 20mg/kg/day of crocin was more pronounced than that of other two doses (5 and 10mg/kg/day). The results suggest that crocin may have cardioprotective effect in ISO-induced cardiac toxicity through modulation of oxidative stress in such a way that maintains the redox status of the cell.
EPs7630(®) a water alcohol extract of the roots from Pelargonium sidoides contains several secondary metabolites including highly oxygenated coumarins, various phenolics and polyphenols. Using the DPPH assay to measure antioxidant activity a free radical scavenging activity of 14.7±0.85μg/ml (IC50) was determined. As an in vivo model Caenorhabditis elegans was applied to study the effect of EPs7630(®) on stress resistance. EPs7630(®) treatment reduces intracellular hsp-16.2::GFP expression (induced by the pro-oxidant juglone) indicating that the secondary metabolites of EPs7630(®) are bioavailable and exhibit antioxidant activities in vivo. Application of EPs7630(®) (50μg/ml) to the transgenic mutant TJ356 induced the migration of the transcription factor DAF-16 from cytosol to the nucleus, suggesting a prominent role of DAF-16/FOXO in the daf-2 pathway for stress resistance.
The antiplatelet and antithrombotic effects of ent-16β,17-dihydroxy-kauran-19-oic acid (DDKA) isolated from Siegesbeckia pubescens were investigated with different methods both in vitro and in vivo. We tested the antithrombotic activity of DDKA in arterio-venous shunt model. The effects of DDKA on adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-, Thrombin-, Arachidonic acid-induced rat platelets aggregation were tested in vitro. We also assessed its bleeding side effect by measuring coagulation parameters after intravenous administration for 5 days and investigated the potential mechanisms underlying such activities. In vivo, DDKA significantly reduced thrombus weight in the model of arterio-venous shunt. Meanwhile, DDKA increased plasma cAMP level determined by radioimmunoassay in the same model. Notably, DDKA prolonged PT and APTT in rats after intravenous administration DDKA for successive 5 days. In vitro, pretreatment with DDKA on washed rat platelets significantly inhibited various agonists stimulated platelet aggregation and caused an increase in cAMP level in platelets activated by ADP. These findings support our hypothesis that DDKA possesses antiplatelet and antithrombotic activities. The mechanisms underlying such activities may involve the anticoagulatory effect and cAMP induction.
Antimicrobial activity of the 18 prenylated flavonoids, which were purified from five different medicinal plants, was evaluated by determination of MIC using the broth microdilution methods against four bacterial and two fungal microorganisms (Candida albicans, Saccaromyces cerevisiae, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus epidermis and S. aureus). Papyriflavonol A, kuraridin, sophoraflavanone D and sophoraisoflavanone A exhibited a good antifungal activity with strong antibacterial activity. Kuwanon C, mulberrofuran G, albanol B, kenusanone A and sophoraflavanone G showed strong antibacterial activity with 5-30 microg/ml of MICs. Morusin, sanggenon B and D, kazinol B, kurarinone, kenusanone C and isosophoranone were effective to only gram positive bacteria, and broussochalcone A was effective to C. albicans. IC50 values of papyriflavonol A, kuraridin, sophoraflavanone D, sophoraisoflavanone A and broussochalcone A in HepG2 cells were 20.9, 37.8, 39.1, 22.1, and 22.0 microg/ml, respectively. These results support the use of prenylated flavonoids in Asian traditional medicine to treat microbial infection and indicate a high potential for prenylated flavonoids as antimicrobial agents as well as anti-inflammatory agents.
Glucocorticoids are widely used in the clinical setting as remedies for inflammatory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, the constant increase in the number of patients suffering from glucocorticoid resistance could present a serious problem for clinicians. In these cases, it may be reasonable to use additional treatments to restore the therapeutic effect of glucocorticoids. Glycyrrhizic acid (GA) and 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (18βGA) are bioactive compounds in licorice that have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine to treat coughs. We showed that GA and 18βGA exhibit potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. GA and 18βGA induced dual specificity protein phosphatase 1 (DUSP1) expression, and this effect was unchanged by the addition of RU486, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. The stimulation of DUSP1 expression by GA and 18βGA occurred via both glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and PI3K signaling, and the simultaneous activation of transcription elements, such as AP1 (activator protein 1), CRE (cAMP response element), GRE (glucocorticoid receptor element) and NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T-cells), was confirmed. Furthermore, we designed an in vitro glucocorticoid resistance model to verify the effects of GA and 18βGA on glucocorticoid resistance that was induced by ROS. The data showed that these two phytochemicals restored glucocorticoid sensitivity by depleting ROS through HO-1 expression. p38 and NO, which are factors that are induced by reactive oxygen species and caused depletion of GR signaling, were inhibited by GA and 18βGA treatment. This phenomenon was considered to be related to the coordinated modulation of GR and PI3K signaling by GA and 18βGA, in conjugation with AP1, CRE, GRE and NFAT activation. This study provides a possible strategy for enhancing the efficacy of glucocorticoids and may improve the prognosis of patients with serious inflammatory diseases.
The aim of this study was to determine the immunological adjuvant effect of 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) isolated from Glycyrrhizae radix. In the experiments, BALB/c mice were immunized on days 1 and 22 intraperitoneally (i.p.) with an emulsion form of Candida albicans surface mannan extract (SM) mixed with either Incomplete Freund's Adjuvant [SM/IFA], or Complete Freund's Adjuvant [SM/CFA] or GA mixed with IFA [SM/GA/IFA]. One week after the second immunization, polyclonal sera were collected from these animals in order to determine IgG isotypes and cytokine profiles in the sera. After the collection, the spleen samples were collected to determine the degree of T cell proliferation. Additionally, the DTH (delayed type hypersensitivity) response was examined by measuring the footpad swelling of immunized mice. Data resulting from the T cell proliferation test showed that SM/GA/IFA enhanced the proliferation the most. The enhancement was about 85% more compared to SM/IFA (p<0.05). IgG isotypes and cytokine profiles displayed that SM/GA/IFA induced the most abundant production of total IgG with the highest IgG2a/IgG1 ratio (1.31) and greatest IFN-γ secretion. In contrast, SM/CFA resulted in an IgG2a/IgG1 ratio less than 1 and SM/IFA produced a dominant induction of IL-4, but almost no IFN-γ secretion. Together, these observations revealed that GA developed a greater Th1 immune response than Th2 response. The DTH determination confirmed that GA-addition induced dominant Th1 immunity - displaying the highest footpad-swelling followed by SM/CFA and BSA/IFA, respectively. All of this data indicates that GA has a Th1-immunological adjuvant activity, which would be beneficial in the treatment of Th1-disordered disease due to C. albicans.
The general pharmacological properties of TJ-19 extracts were orally investigated in various experimental animals. TJ-19 extracts showed no effect on general behavior and on central nervous system such as spontaneous locomotor activity, proconvulsant and anti-convulsant responses, analgesic activity, body temperature and hexobarbital sleeping time at all doses of 0.5, 1 and 2 g/kg in mice. Further, TJ-19 extracts showed no effect on contractile responses of isolated guinea pig ileum induced by acetylcholine, histamine and BaCl2 at concentrations of 10(-6), 10(-5), and 10(-4) g/ml. TJ-19 extracts, however, increased the respiratory rate, heart rate, blood pressure, systolic pressure, diastolic pressure, and decreased the blood flow in dogs at all doses of 0.5, 1 and 2 g/kg via duodenal administration. Further, TJ-19 extracts decreased the interval of PR and QT of EKG parameters in dogs at doses of 1 and 2 g/kg. TJ-19 extracts increased the intestinal transport of charcoal meal in rats at doses of 1 and 2 g/kg. TJ-19 increased the urinary Na+ excretion at all doses of 0.5, 1, and 2 g/kg, and increased the urinary K+ and Cl- excretion at 1 and 2 g/kg, although it showed no effect on urine volume output in rats. These data suggest that TJ-19 stimulates the sympathetic nervous system function at a pharmacological dose of under 0.5 g/kg, and has possibility to increase the intestinal peristalsis and urinary electrolyte excretion at higher doses.
Bakumondoto (TJ-29) is a traditional herbal medicine that has been used in Japan for the treatment of bronchitis, bronchial asthma, and cough. This study investigated the effect of TJ-29 for the treatment of post-infectious prolonged cough. We performed a multicenter randomized controlled trial treating patients without (group A, n=11) or with TJ-29 (group B, n=8) for a total of 2 weeks using a beta 2 stimulant as the basal agent. Efficacy and safety were compared by a cough diary, VAS and sleeping questionnaire. At 4 and 5 days after treatment, the cough score of group B showed significant improvement compared with group A, demonstrating an early antitussive effect. At the assessment 2 weeks after treatment start, both groups showed similar levels of improvement in the cough score. No significant difference was observed in the VAS and the sleeping questionnaire items. In conclusion, oral TJ-29 administration could be useful and safe for the treatment of post-infectious prolonged cough.
We retrospectively examined the summaries of all admission records of patients from 1979 to 1999 in our department, and selected for further study all liver injuries suspected of being related to Kampo medicines. Among 2,496 summaries, 30 summaries described liver disorders suspected of being related to Kampo medicines. Whether there was a causal relationship between the use of Kampo medication and the occurrence of liver injury was assessed according to the criteria described by Haller and Benowitz (2000), independently of the results of the lymphocyte transformation test (LTT). Among 30 events, we concluded that 9 were definitely unrelated, and 6 were probably unrelated to the use of Kampo medicines. Nine events (0.36% of 2,496 patient admissions and 0.06% of 14,616 outpatients) were considered possibly related, and only 6 events (0.24% of 2,496 patient admissions and 0.04% of 14,616 outpatients) were judged to be definitely or probably related to Kampo medicines. Low-grade eosinophilia was observed in a few patients of these "related" groups, and no fever or rash was observed in these "related" groups. Other clinical features, including type of liver injury, duration of Kampo medicine-use, recovery period and laboratory data, were not different from liver injuries associated with western drugs. Most patients in the definitely "unrelated" group were positive in the LTT for the suspect Kampo medicine, suggesting that the LTT may be unreliable for the diagnosis of Kampo-medicine-induced liver injury. From 1979 to 1999, our use of Kampo medicines to treat patients resulted in a low rate of liver injury and no fatalities.