To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.


Rotundine is a kind of organic alkaloid with analgesic activity extracted from traditional Chinese medicinal plant named Corydalis rhizoma. It has been used in a lot of countries as an alternative to anxiolytic and sedative drugs of the benzodiazepine group and analgesics such as opiates. Rotundine has potent effects on the central nervous system but has nothing to do with opioid receptors. Therefore, it has little addiction effects. Recent studies also found other pharmacology effects of Rotundine, such as cardiovascular protective effects and antitumor effects. Because of its low toxicity and less adverse reactions, Rotundine has attracted a lot of attention in pain management. It has great market prospects and deserves further development and utilization.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Costochondritis (ChC), especially chronic ChC, typically manifests as spontaneous vague pain in anterior chest area and often occurs in adolescents for unknown reasons; it has prevented many collegiate athletes from participating in physical training and competitions. A 21-year-old female collegiate taekwondo athlete suffering from chronic chest pain was sent by her coaches for diagnosis and treatment. Seated motion palpation was used to identify spontaneous and motion-involved pain areas. Palpation in the supine position was used to initially rule out breast diseases. X-ray, electrocardiogram, and cardiac Doppler ultrasound were used in conjunction with myocardial enzyme testing to rule out lung and cardiovascular diseases. The patient was treated using herbal medicines applied via an external patch. The medicine was comprised of Rhizoma Corydalis and borneol, and the treatment lasted for seven weeks. For five weeks patches were applied at a frequency of two or three times per day, followed by a two-week period of once per day. The patient reported that the pain was relieved after two weeks of external herb use, and the autonomic chest pain had resolved. Re-examination after one month showed that her upper limb range of motion was close to normal, and her psychological burden had almost disappeared. It is possible to seek more active medicinal treatment and more practical external products for young athletes who is suffering chronic ChC that affects the sport training and competitive performances. Please cite this article as: Zhang B, Jiang Y, Cheng CS, Lin H, Guo YP. External application of two unrestricted herbal medicines to treat costochondritis in a young collegiate athlete: A case report. J Integr Med. 2020; Epub ahead of print.
Full-text available
The restoration of blood flow following thrombolytic therapy causes ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury leading to blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption and subsequent brain edema in patients of ischemic stroke. Levo-tetrahydropalmatine (l-THP) occurs in Corydalis genus and some other plants. However, whether l-THP exerts protective role on BBB disrpution following cerebral I/R remains unclear. Male C57BL/6N mice (23 to 28 g) were subjected to 90 min middle cerebral artery occlusion, followed by reperfusion for 24 h. l-THP (10, 20, 40 mg/kg) was administrated by gavage 60 min before ischemia. We found I/R evoked Evans blue extravasation, albumin leakage, brain water content increase, cerebral blood flow decrease, cerebral infarction and neurological deficits, all of which were attenuated by l-THP treatment. Meanwhile, l-THP inhibited tight junction (TJ) proteins down-expression, Src kinase phosphorylation, matrix metalloproteinases-2/9 (MMP-2/9) and caveolin-1 activation. In addition, surface plasmon resonance revealed binding of l-THP to Src kinase with high affinity. Then we found Src kinase inhibitor PP2 could attenuate Evans blue dye extravasation and inhibit the caveolin-1, MMP-9 activation, occludin down-expression after I/R, respectively. In conclusion, l-THP attenuated BBB injury and brain edema, which were correlated with inhibiting the Src kinase phosphorylation.
Full-text available
l-Tetrahydropalmatine (l-THP) is an active ingredients of Corydalis yanhusuo W.T. Wang, which protects against acute global cerebral ischaemia-reperfusion injury. In this study, we show that l-THP is cardioprotective in myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury and examined the mechanism. Rats were treated with l-THP (0, 10, 20, 40 mg/kg b.w.) for 20 min before occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery and subjected to myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion (30 min/6 h). Compared with vehicle-treated animals, the infarct area/risk area (IA/RA) of l-THP (20, 40 mg/kg b.w.) treated rats was reduced, whilst l-THP (10 mg/kg b.w.) had no significant effect. Cardiac function was improved in l-THP-treated rats whilst plasma creatine kinase activity declined. Following treatment with l-THP (20 mg/kg b.w.), subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase p85, serine(473) phosphorylation of Akt and serine(1177) phosphorylation of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) increased in myocardium, whilst expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) decreased. However, the expression of HIF-1α and VEGF were increased in I(30 min)R(6 h), but decreased to normal level in I(30 min)R(24 h), while treatment with l-THP (20 mg/kg b.w.) enhanced the levels of these two genes in I(30 min)R(24 h). Production of NO in myocardium and plasma, activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO) in plasma and the expression of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in myocardium were decreased by l-THP. TUNEL assay revealed that l-THP (20 mg/kg b.w.) reduced apoptosis in myocardium. Thus, we show that l-THP activates the PI3K/Akt/eNOS/NO pathway and increases expression of HIF-1α and VEGF, whilst depressing iNOS-derived NO production in myocardium. This effect may decrease the accumulation of inflammatory factors, including TNF-α and MPO, and lessen the extent of apoptosis, therefore contributing to the cardioprotective effects of l-THP in myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury.
Full-text available
In anesthetized rats, intravenous administration of dl-tetrahydropalmatine (dl-THP, 1-10 mg/kg) elicited proportional hypotension, bradycardia and decreases in hypothalamic serotonin (5-HT) release (measured by carbon-fiber electrodes in combination with voltammetry). In addition, postsynaptic blockade of 5-HT2 receptors with cyproheptadine (2-5 mg/kg, i.v.) or ketanserin (2-5 mg/kg, i.v.) produced both hypotension and bradycardia, while stimulation of 5-HT2 receptors with 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI) (10-250 mg/kg, i.v.) produced both hypertension and tachycardia. The dl-THP-induced hypotension and bradycardia could be reversed by DOI treatment. The data indicate that dl-THP decreases both arterial pressure and heart rate through a serotonergic release process in the hypothalamus.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Xiang-Fu-Si-Wu Decoction (XFSWD) has been widely used to treat primary dysmenorrhea in clinical practice for hundreds of years and shown great efficacy. One fraction of XFSWD, which was an elution product by macroporous adsorption resin from aqueous extract solution with 60% ethanol (XFSWE), showed great analgesic effect. The present study was conducted to investigate the possible pharmacokinetic and tissue distribution profiles of four major bioactive constituents (berberine, protopine, tetrahydrocoptisine and tetrahydropalmatine) after oral administration of XFSWE in dysmenorrheal symptom rats, and to compare the difference between normal and dysmenorrheal symptom rats. Materials and methods: Estradiol benzoate and oxytocin were used to produce dysmenorrheal symptom rat model. The experimental period was seven days. At the final day of experimental period, both normal and dysmenorrheal symptom rats were orally administrated with XFSWE, and then the blood and tissues samples were collected at different time points. Berberine, protopine, tetrahydrocoptisine and tetrahydropalmatine in blood and tissue samples were determined by LC-MS/MS. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated from the plasma concentration-time data using non-compartmental methods. The differences of pharmacokinetic parameters among groups were tested by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results: There were statistically significant differences (P<0.05) in Cmax, Tmax, AUC(0-t), AUC(0-∞), MRT(0-t), MRT(0-∞) and CL/F between normal and dysmenorrheal symptom rats that orally administered with same dosage of XFSWE. In tissue distribution study, the results showed that the overall trend was C(Spleen)>C(Liver)>C(Kidney)>C(Uterus)>C(Heart)>C(Lung)>C(Ovary)>C(Brain)>C(Thymus), C(M-60 min)>C(M-120 min)>C(M-30 min)>C(C-60 min)>C(C-120 min)>C(C-30 min). The contents of protopine in liver, spleen and uterus were more than that in other tissues of dysmenorrheal symptom rats. Compared to normal rats, partial contents of the compounds in dysmenorrheal symptom rats׳ tissues at different time points had significant difference (P<0.05). Conclusions: This study was the first report about pharmacokinetic and tissue distribution investigation in dysmenorrheal symptom animals. The results indicated that berberine, protopine, tetrahydrocoptisine and tetrahydropalmatine have higher uptake and slower elimination in the rats with dysmenorrheal syndrome, which suggests that the rate and extent of drug metabolism were altered in dysmenorrheal syndrome rats. And the results also demonstrated that berberine, protopine and tetrahydropalmatine in normal and dysmenorrheal symptom rats had obvious differences in some organs and time points, suggesting that the blood flow and perfusion rate of the organ were altered in dysmenorrheal symptom animals.
Tetrahydropalmatine (THP), with one chiral centre, is one of the major constituents of Rhizoma corydalis. THP is considered to possess analgesic, sedative, hypnotic actions and cardiac protection. The aim of this study was to elucidate the stereoselective interaction between THP and ABC transporters. The present study investigated three most important ABC transporters, including P-glycoprotein (P-gp), multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP1) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP). The intracellular accumulation and bidirectional transport suggested THP enantiomers were inhibitors of P-gp, but not of MRP1 or BCRP. The IC(50) values of (-)-THP and (+)-THP on rhodamine 123 (P-gp substrate) efflux were 48.6 and 20.0 µM, respectively, which showed obvious stereoselective difference. In the bidirectional transport, THP enantiomers showed high passive permeability and the contribution of P-gp could not be testified. The western blot and real-time RT-PCR assays showed that THP enantiomers reduced the protein expression of P-gp, but did not affect its mRNA expression. In in vitro cytotoxicity test, THP enantiomers showed the potential of increasing the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin in P-gp-mediated multidrug resistant tumour cells. The present study showed the stereoselective interaction between THP enantiomers and P-gp, which should be considered in clinical practice.
To observe the effects of the separate and joint use of salvianolic acid B (SalB) and tetrahydropalmatine (THP) on the L-type calcium channel of rat ventricular myocytes. Single isolated ventricular myocytes of rats were obtained using acute enzymolysis separation. The current of the L-type calcium channel was recorded using whole-cell patch clamp technique. Changes of the current peak value of the calcium channel (the vertical distance between the peak value point after activation of the calcium electric current and the electric current track after complete inactivation) were observed before and after medication. The inhibition rate of using SalB (at the dose of 1, 10, and 100 micromol/L) alone on the current peak value of the calcium channel was respectively (25.3 +/- 16.4)% (n=4), (44.6 +/- 24.0)% (n=6), and (86.0 +/- 20.4)% (n =4). That of using THP (at the dose of 10, 30, and 100 micromol/L) alone on the current peak value of the calcium channel was respectively (22.2 +/- 6.4)% (n=5), (27.4 +/- 1.6)% (n= 3), and (51.0 +/- 23.0)% (n=9). The inhibition potency of joint use of SalB (1 micromol/L) and THP (10 micromol/L) on the current peak value of the calcium channel was stronger than using SalB (1 micromol/L) alone or THP (10 micromol/L) alone, showing statistical difference ( P< 0.05). Atropine hydrochloric acid (14 mmol/L) could reverse the inhibition of THP on the L-type calcium channel, while strengthening the inhibition of SalB. Both SalB and THP showed inhibition on the L-type calcium channel of rat ventricular myocytes. They could generate synergistic effects. Besides, their action mechanisms for regulating the L-type calcium channel were different.
The tetrahydroprotoberberines (THPBs) are compounds isolated from Chinese herbs that possess a unique pharmacological profile as D2 dopamine receptor antagonists and D1 receptor agonists. l-Tetrahydropalmatine (l-THP) and l-stepholidine (SPD), members of the THPB family, were shown to have potential clinical use in the treatment of pain. However, their mechanism of action is not clear. In the past decades, Chinese scientists have made a great deal of effort to explore the mechanisms by which the THPBs and its analogues elicit antinociception and their potential utility in treating drug abuse. It is now clear that the antinociception produced by l-THP is related to inhibition of D(2) dopamine receptors. The present review focuses on the recent progress made in understanding the mechanisms of l-THP- and l-SPD-mediated antinociception and the sequel of drug addiction.
Research progress of pharmacology and clinical application of rotundine
  • Y D Du
  • Zyz
  • ZYZ YD Du
The studies on several traditional Chinese medicines
  • C G Zhao
  • CG Zhao
Advances in pharmacological studies of L-tetrahydropalmatine and its second-generation new drug
  • G Z Jin
  • GZ Jin