Points - Recent Research
Extract of Polygala tenuifolia (Yuan Zhi) Alleviates Stress-Exacerbated Atopy-Like Skin Dermatitis through the Modulation of Protein Kinase A and p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Signaling Pathway
Clinical Effectiveness of Acupuncture on Parkinson Disease
Hypoglycemic Effects of Trichosanthes kirilowii and its Protein Constituent in Diabetic Mice: the Involvement of Insulin Receptor Pathway

Extract of Polygala tenuifolia (Yuan Zhi) Alleviates Stress-Exacerbated Atopy-Like Skin Dermatitis through the Modulation of Protein Kinase A and p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Signaling Pathway

Sur B1, et al.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) and stress create a vicious cycle: stress exacerbates atopic symptoms, and atopic disease elicits stress and anxiety. Targeting multiple pathways including stress and allergic inflammation is, therefore, important for treating AD. In this study, we investigated the remedial value of Polygala tenuifolia Willd. (PTW) for treating immobilization (IMO) stress-exacerbated atopy-like skin dermatitis and its underlying mechanism. Trimellitic anhydride (TMA) was applied to dorsal skin for sensitization and subsequently both ears for eliciting T-cell-dependent contact hypersensitivity in mice, which underwent 2 h-IMO stress and PTW administration for the latter 6 and 9 days in the ear exposure period of TMA, respectively. To elicit in vitro degranulation of human mast cell line-1 (HMC-1), 10 M substance P (SP) and 200 nM corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) were sequentially added with 48 h-interval. PTW extract (500 g/mL) was added 30 min before CRF treatment. IMO stress exacerbated TMA-induced scratching behavior by 252%, and increased their blood corticosterone levels by two-fold. Treatment with 250 mg/kg PTW significantly restored IMO stress-exacerbated scratching behavior and other indicators such as skin inflammation and water content, lymph node weights, and serum histamine and immunoglobulin E (lgE) levels. Furthermore, it also reversed TMA-stimulated expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-4 mRNAs in ear tissues. PTW significantly inhibited SP/CRF-stimulated degranulation of HMC-1 cells, subsequent tryptase secretion, and protein kinase A (PKA) activity. PTW also selectively inhibited p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation in SP/CRF-treated HMC-1 cells. PTW significantly inhibited HMC-1 cell degranulation and alleviated IMO stress-exacerbated atopic dermatitis symptoms by modulating the PKA/p38 MAPK signaling pathway.

Int J Mol Sci.2017 Jan 18;18(1). pii: E190. doi: 10.3390/ijms18010190.

Source: PubMed

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Clinical Effectiveness of Acupuncture on Parkinson Disease

Lee SH1, et al.

BACKGROUND: Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second-most-common chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disease. The long-term use of levodopa leads to a loss of efficacy and to complications. Therefore, many patients with PD have turned to complementary therapies to help relieve their symptoms. Acupuncture is most commonly used as a complementary therapy in patients with PD. This paper presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of acupuncture for patients with PD. This study was performed to summarize and evaluate evidence regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture in the relief of PD symptoms.
METHODS: Seven databases, namely, MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure [CNKI], and three Korean medical databases, were searched from their inception through August 2015 without language restrictions. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included if they contained reports of acupuncture compared with no treatment and conventional treatment alone or acupuncture plus conventional treatment compared with conventional treatment alone for PD symptoms. Assessments were performed with the unified PD rating scales (UPDRS) I, II, III, and IV and the total score, the Webster scale, and effectiveness rating. Methodological quality was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale and the Cochrane risk of bias (ROB).
RESULTS: In all, 982 potentially relevant articles were identified; 25 RCTs met our inclusion criterion, 19 of 25 RCTs were high-quality studies (i.e., a score of 6 or higher). The included RCTs showed favorable results for acupuncture plus conventional treatment compared with conventional treatment alone in the UPDRS II, III, and IV and the total score. Acupuncture was effective in relieving PD symptoms compared with no treatment and conventional treatment alone, and acupuncture plus conventional treatment had a more significant effect than conventional treatment alone.
CONCLUSIONS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the use of acupuncture for relief of PD symptoms and found that acupuncture has significant positive effects. Acupuncture can be considered as a combination treatment with conventional treatment for patients with PD. Further studies on this topic should be carried out according to rigorous methodological designs in both the East and the West.

Medicine (Baltimore).2017 Jan;96(3):e5836. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000005836.

Source: PubMed

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Hypoglycemic Effects of Trichosanthes kirilowii (Tian Hua Fen) and its Protein Constituent in Diabetic Mice: the Involvement of Insulin Receptor Pathway

Lo HY1, et al.

BACKGROUND: Diabetes is a serious chronic metabolic disorder. Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim. (TK) is traditionally used for the treatment of diabetes in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, the clinical application of TK on diabetic patients and the hypoglycemic efficacies of TK are still unclear.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted to analyze the usage of Chinese herbs in patients with type 2 diabetes in Taiwan. Glucose tolerance test was performed to analyze the hypoglycemic effect of TK. Proteomic approach was performed to identify the protein constituents of TK. Insulin receptor (IR) kinase activity assay and glucose tolerance tests in diabetic mice were further used to elucidate the hypoglycemic mechanisms and efficacies of TK.
RESULTS: By a retrospective cohort study, we found that TK was the most frequently used Chinese medicinal herb in type 2 diabetic patients in Taiwan. Oral administration of aqueous extract of TK displayed hypoglycemic effects in a dose-dependent manner in mice. An abundant novel TK protein (TKP) was further identified by proteomic approach. TKP interacted with IR by docking analysis and activated the kinase activity of IR. In addition, TKP enhanced the clearance of glucose in diabetic mice in a dose-dependent manner.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, this study applied a bed-to-bench approach to elucidate the hypoglycemic efficacies and mechanisms of TK on clinical usage. In addition, we newly identified a hypoglycemic protein TKP from TK. Our findings might provide a reasonable explanation of TK on the treatment of diabetes in TCM.

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Jan 18;17(1):53. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1578-6.

Source: PubMed

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