Oral Uncaria Rhynchophylla (UR) Reduces
Kainic Acid-Induced Epileptic Seizures and Neuronal Death accompanied by Attenuating Glial Cell
Proliferation and S100B Proteins in Rats
Lin YW, et al. Graduate Institute of Acupuncture
Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; Acupuncture Research Center, China Medical
University, Taichung, Taiwan.
AIM OF THE STUDY: Epilepsy is a common clinical syndrome
with recurrent neuronal discharges in cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Here we aim to determine the
protective role of Uncaria rhynchophylla (UR), an herbal drug belong to Traditional Chinese Medicine
(TCM), on epileptic rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: To address this issue, we tested the effect of UR on
kainic acid (KA)-induced epileptic seizures and further investigate the underlying mechanisms. RESULTS:
Oral UR successfully decreased neuronal death and discharges in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. The
population spikes (PSs) were decreased from 4.1±0.4mV to 2.1±0.3mV in KA-induced epileptic seizures and
UR-treated groups, respectively. Oral UR protected animals from neuronal death induced by KA treatment
(from 34±4.6 to 191.7±48.6 neurons/field) through attenuating glial cell proliferation and S100B protein
expression but not GABAA and TRPV1 receptors. CONCLUSIONS: The above results provide detail mechanisms
underlying the neuroprotective action of UR on KA-induced epileptic seizure in hippocampal CA1 neurons.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Mar 11.
A New TCM Formula FTZ Lowers Serum
Cholesterol by Regulating HMG-CoA Reductase and CYP7A1 in Hyperlipidemic Rats
Guo J, et al. Key Unit of Modulating Liver to Treat Hyperlipemia SATCM (State
Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine),SATCM Level 3 Lab of Lipid Metabolism, Institute of
Chinese Medicinal Sciences, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre,
Guangzhou, 510006, P.R.China.
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Based on a theory of Chinese Medicine, Regulating Gan (liver) to lower
lipids that is in brief to regulate the lipid metabolic related factors in the liver will improve serum
lipid profile, we have developed Fufang Zhenzhu Tiao Zhi (FTZ) which includes eight herbs that are quality
assured. FTZ has been developed with the potential to correct abnormal lipid metabolism. This Chinese
herbal medicine has been prescribed for 20years, which has been issued patent and clinically proven for
use in the treatment of dyslipidemia. AIM OF THE STUDY: To investigate the cholesterol-lowering effect and
the mode of action of FTZ extract on high lipid diet induced hyperlipidemic rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The FTZ was prepared by alcohol and water extraction of eight herbs that have been quality-controlled
according to the protocol. The cholesterol-lowering effect of FTZ was evaluated on SD rats fed with
high-lipid diet. RT-PCR and Western blot were used to analyze the gene expression of cholesterol
metabolism-related enzymes including HMG-CoA reductase and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase(CYP7A1) in the
livers of the rats. The activity of HMG-CoA reductase and CYP7A1 were assessed by colorimetrical method
and by quantification of the cholesterol metabolite of CYP7A1 using HPLC analysis respectively.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: FTZ significantly decreased the levels of serum total cholesterol (TC),
triglycerides (TG) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), whilst elevated the serum high-density
lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and decreased serum atherogenic index (A.I.) values in high lipid diet
induced hyperlipidemic rats. Furthermore, FTZ showed significant antihyperlipidemic effect by at least
three pathways in the high lipid diet induced hyperlipidemic rats: (1) upregulating the gene expression
and activity of CYP7A1 which promotes the conversion of cholesterol into bile acid; (2) downregulating
the gene expression and activity of HMG-CoA reductase to reduce de novo synthesis of cholesterol; (3)
increasing the cholesterol excretion from feces. In these three pathways, HMG-CoA reductase and CYP7A1
are two pivotal enzymes in lipid cholesterol metabolism and are expressed mainly in hepatic cells, which
support our new TCM treatment strategy: Modulating Liver to Treat Hyperlipemia.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Mar 9.
Shikonin Extracted from Medicinal Chinese Herbs
(Zi Cao) Exerts Anti-Inflammatory Effect Via Proteasome Inhibition
Lu L, et al. Protein Modification and Degradation Lab, Department
of Pathophysiology, Guangzhou Medical College, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.
Shikonin, extracted from medicinal Chinese herb (Lithospermum erythrorhizo), was
reported to exert anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects both in vitro and in vivo. We have found that
proteasome was a molecular target of shikonin in tumor cells, but whether shikonin targets macrophage
proteasome needs to be investigated. In the current study, we report that shikonin inhibited inflammation
in mouse models as efficiently as dexamethasone. Shikonin at 4μM reduced the Lipopolysaccharides
(LPS)-mediated TNFα release in rat primary macrophage cultures, and blocked the translocation of p65-NF-κB
from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, associated with decreased proteasomal activity. Consistently, shikonin
accumulated IκB-α, an inhibitor of NF-κB, and ubiquitinated proteins in rat primary macrophage cultures,
demonstrating that the proteasome is a target of shikonin under inflammatory conditions. Shikonin also
induced macrophage cell apoptosis and cell death. These results demonstrate for the first time that
proteasome inhibition by shikonin contributes to its anti-inflammatory effect. The novel finding about
macrophage proteasome as a target of shikonin suggests that this medicinal compound has great potential
to be developed into an anti-inflammatory agent.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Mar 7.