Points - Recent Research
Electro-Acupuncture at Acupoint ST36 Ameliorates Inflammation and Regulates Th1/Th2 Balance in Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity
The Effect of Chinese Herbs and its Effective Components on Coronary Heart Disease through PPARs-PGC1α Pathway
β-Asarone Rescues Pb-Induced Impairments of Spatial Memory and Synaptogenesis in Rats

Electro-Acupuncture at Acupoint ST36 Ameliorates Inflammation and Regulates Th1/Th2 Balance in Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity

Wang Z1, et al.

Increasing evidence indicates anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory effects of electro-acupuncture (EA) therapy. However, its underlying mechanism on delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH), a classic allergic inflammatory disease, still remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to explore the immunomodulatory mechanism of EA intervention in a mouse model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced DTH. Mice were randomly divided into four groups: Control, OVA-DTH, DTH + EA, DTH + Sham. "Zusanli" acupoint (ST36) was used for DTH + EA, whereas a non-acupoint (localized 5 mm below the "Zusanli" acupoint) was selected for DTH + Sham. Footpad thickness was checked, and the infiltration of inflammatory cells was estimated by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Levels of IgG and IgE in serum of different groups and inflammatory cytokines in the supernatants from homogenized footpads, including IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4, and IL-5, were determined by ELISA. Cell proliferation of spleen lymphocytes was assayed by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT). The frequency of CD4+IFN-γ+ and CD4+IL-4+ T cells was analyzed with flow cytometry. In addition, the mRNA and protein expression of T-bet and GATA-3 were evaluated by real-time PCR and Western blotting, respectively. Our data showed EA treatment at acupoint ST36 relieved the pathological progression of DTH responses via reduction in footpad swelling, infiltration of inflammatory cells, levels of IgG and IgE as well as decreased production of IFN-γ and TNF-α in homogenized footpad tissue. Moreover, detailed studies were performed revealing that EA attenuated the percentage of CD4+IFN-γ+ T cells and prevented Th cells differentiation into Th1 cells, and this results from inhibiting secretion of IFN-γ and suppressing expression of T-bet, an IFN-γ transcription factor. The results indicated that EA treatment improved Th1-mediated allergic skin inflammation via restoring Th1/Th2 balance by curbing Th1 differentiation. These findings suggested that EA at acupoint ST36 might be a useful and promising therapeutic for allergic inflammatory as well as Th1-mediated inflammation response.

Inflammation. 2016 Dec 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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The Effect of Chinese Herbs and its Effective Components on Coronary Heart Disease through PPARs-PGC1α Pathway

Wang Q1, et al.

BACKGROUND: DanQi pill (DQP) is prescribed widely in China and has definite cardioprotective effect on coronary heart disease. Our previous studies proved that DQP could effectively regulate plasma levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). However, the regulatory mechanisms of DQP and its major components Salvianolic acids and Panax notoginseng saponins (DS) on lipid metabolism disorders haven't been comprehensively studied so far.
METHODS: Rat model of coronary heart disease was induced by left anterior descending (LAD) artery ligation operations. Rats were divided into sham, model, DQP treated, DS treated and positive drug (clofibrate) treated groups. At 28 days after surgery, cardiac functions were assessed by echocardiography. Expressions of transcription factors and key molecules in energy metabolism pathway were measured by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction or western blotting.
RESULTS: In ischemic heart model, cardiac functions were severely injured but improved by treatments of DQP and DS. Expression of LPL was down-regulated in model group. Both DQP and DS could up-regulate the mRNA expression of LPL. Membrane proteins involved in lipid transport and uptake, such as FABP4 and CPT-1A, were down-regulated in ischemic heart tissues. Treatment with DQP and DS regulated lipid metabolisms by up-regulating expressions of FABP4 and CPT-1A. DQP and DS also suppressed expression of cytochrome P450. Furthermore, transcriptional factors, such as PPARα, PPARγ, RXRA and PGC-1α, were down-regulated in ischemic model group. DQP and DS could up-regulate expressions of these factors. However, DS showed a better efficacy than DQP on PGC-1α, a coactivator of PPARs. Key molecules in signaling pathways such as AKT1/2, ERK and PI3K were also regulated by DQP and DS simultaneously.
CONCLUSIONS: Salvianolic acids and Panax notoginseng are the major effective components of DanQi pill in improving lipid metabolism in ischemic heart model. The effects may be mediated by regulating transcriptional factors such as PPARs, RXRA and PGC-1α.

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Dec 12;16(1):514.

Source: PubMed

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β-Asarone Rescues Pb-Induced Impairments of Spatial Memory and Synaptogenesis in Rats

Yang QQ1, et al.

Chronic lead (Pb) exposure causes cognitive deficits. This study aimed to explore the neuroprotective effect and mechanism of β-asarone, an active component from Chinese Herbs Acorus tatarinowii Schott (Shi Chang Pu), to alleviate impairments of spatial memory and synaptogenesis in Pb-exposed rats. Both Sprague-Dawley developmental rat pups and adult rats were used in the study. Developmental rat pups were exposed to Pb throughout the lactation period and β-asarone (10, 40mg kg-1, respectively) was given intraperitoneally from postnatal day 14 to 21. Also, the adult rats were exposed to Pb from embryo stage to 11 weeks old and β-asarone (2.5, 10, 40mg kg-1, respectively) was given from 9 to 11 weeks old. The level of β-asarone in brain tissue was measured by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. The Morris water maze test and Golgi-Cox staining method were used to assess spatial memory ability and synaptogenesis. The protein expression of NR2B subunit of NMDA receptor, Activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) and Wnt family member 7A (Wnt7a) in hippocampus, as well as mRNA expression of Arc/Arg3.1 and Wnt7a, was also explored. We found that β-asarone could pass through the blood brain barrier quickly. And β-asarone effectively attenuated Pb-induced reduction of spine density in hippocampal CA1 and dentate gyrus areas in a dose-dependent manner both in developmental and adult rats, meanwhile the Pb-induced impairments of learning and memory were partially rescued. In addition, β-asarone effectively up-regulated the protein expression of NR2B, Arc and Wnt7a, as well as the mRNA levels of Arc/Arg3.1 and Wnt7a, which had been suppressed by Pb exposure. The results suggest the neuroprotective properties of β-asarone against Pb-induced memory impairments, and the effect is possibly through the regulation of synaptogenesis, which is mediated via Arc/Arg3.1 and Wnt pathway.

PLoS One.2016 Dec 9;11(12):e0167401. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167401. eCollection 2016.

Source: PubMed

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