Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Molecular Signatures in the Prevention of Radiation Damage by the Synergistic Effect of N-Acetyl Cysteine and Qingre Liyan Decoction, a Traditional Chinese Medicine, Using a 3-Dimensional Cell Culture Model of Oral Mucositis Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:36:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/425760/ Qingre Liyan decoction (QYD), a Traditional Chinese medicine, and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) have been used to prevent radiation induced mucositis. This work evaluates the protective mechanisms of QYD, NAC, and their combination (NAC-QYD) at the cellular and transcriptional level. A validated organotypic model of oral mucosal consisting of a three-dimensional (3D) cell tissue-culture of primary human keratinocytes exposed to X-ray irradiation was used. Six hours after the irradiation, the tissues were evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) and a TUNEL assay to assess histopathology and apoptosis, respectively. Total RNA was extracted and used for microarray gene expression profiling. The tissue-cultures treated with NAC-QYD preserved their integrity and showed no apoptosis. Microarray results revealed that the NAC-QYD caused the upregulation of genes encoding metallothioneins, HMOX1, and other components of the Nrf2 pathway, which protects against oxidative stress. DNA repair genes (XCP, GADD45G, RAD9, and XRCC1), protective genes (EGFR and PPARD), and genes of the NFκB pathway were upregulated. Finally, tissue-cultures treated prophylactically with NAC-QYD showed significant downregulation of apoptosis, cytokines and chemokines genes, and constrained damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). NAC-QYD treatment involves the protective effect of Nrf2, NFκB, and DNA repair factors. Maria P. Lambros, Lavanya Kondapalli, Cyrus Parsa, Hari Chandana Mulamalla, Robert Orlando, Doreen Pon, Ying Huang, and Moses S. S. Chow Copyright © 2015 Maria P. Lambros et al. All rights reserved. Inhibition of Rat 5α-Reductase Activity and Testosterone-Induced Sebum Synthesis in Hamster Sebocytes by an Extract of Quercus acutissima Cortex Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:00:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/853846/ Objective. Bokusoku (BK) is an extract from the Quercus cortex used in folk medicine for treatment of skin disorders and convergence, and is present in jumihaidokuto, a traditional Japanese medicine that is prescribed for purulent skin diseases like acne vulgaris. The excess of sebum production induced by androgen is involved in the development of acne. Our aim is to examine whether BK and its constituents inhibit testosterone metabolism and testosterone-induced sebum synthesis. Methods. Measurements of 5α-reductase activity and lipogenesis were performed using rat liver microsomes and hamster sebocytes, respectively. Results. BK dose-dependently reduced the conversion of testosterone to a more active androgen, dihydrotestosterone in a 5α-reductase enzymatic reaction. Twenty polyphenols in BK categorized as gallotannin, ellagitannin, and flavonoid were identified by LC-MS/MS. Nine polyphenols with gallate group, tetragalloyl glucose, pentagalloyl glucose, eugeniin, 1-desgalloyl eugeniin, casuarinin, castalagin, stenophyllanin C, (−)-epicatechin gallate, and (−)-epigallocatechin gallate, inhibited testosterone metabolism. In particular, pentagalloyl glucose showed the strongest activity. BK and pentagalloyl glucose suppressed testosterone-induced lipogenesis, whereas they weakly inhibited the lipogenic action of insulin. Conclusions. BK inhibited androgen-related pathogenesis of acne, testosterone conversion, and sebum synthesis, partially through 5α-reductase inhibition, and has potential to be a useful agent in the therapeutic strategy of acne. Junichi Koseki, Takashi Matsumoto, Yosuke Matsubara, Kazuaki Tsuchiya, Yasuharu Mizuhara, Kyoji Sekiguchi, Hiroaki Nishimura, Junko Watanabe, Atsushi Kaneko, Tomohisa Hattori, Kazuya Maemura, and Yoshio Kase Copyright © 2015 Junichi Koseki et al. All rights reserved. Millimeter Wave Treatment Inhibits Apoptosis of Chondrocytes via Regulation Dynamic Equilibrium of Intracellular Free Ca2+ Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:33:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/464161/ The molecular mechanisms of TNF-α-induced apoptosis of chondrocyte and the role of Ca2+ mediating the effects of MW on TNF-α-induced apoptosis of chondrocytes remained unclear. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism underlying inhibiting TNF-α-induced chondrocytes apoptosis of MW. MTT assay, DAPI, and flow cytometry demonstrated that MW significantly increased cell activity and inhibited chromatin condensation accompanying the loss of plasma membrane asymmetry and the collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential. Our results also indicated that MW reduced the elevation of [Ca2+]i in chondrocytes by LSCM. Moreover, MW suppressed the protein levels of calpain, Bax, cytochrome c, and caspase-3, while the expressions of Bcl-2, collagen II, and aggrecan were increased. Our evidences indicated that MW treatment inhibited the apoptosis of chondrocytes through depression of [Ca2+]i. It also inhibited calpain activation, which mediated Bax cleavage and cytochrome c release and initiated the apoptotic execution phase. In addition, MW treatment increased the expression of collagen II and aggrecan of chondrocytes. Jinxia Ye, Guangwen Wu, Xihai Li, Zuanfang Li, Chunsong Zheng, Xianxiang Liu, and Hongzhi Ye Copyright © 2015 Jinxia Ye et al. All rights reserved. The Resin from Protium heptaphyllum Prevents High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity in Mice: Scientific Evidence and Potential Mechanisms Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:11:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/106157/ Herbal compounds rich in triterpenes are well known to regulate glucose and lipid metabolism and to have beneficial effects on metabolic disorders. The present study investigated the antiobesity properties of resin from Protium heptaphyllum (RPH) and the possible mechanisms in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 15 weeks. Mice treated with RPH showed decreases in body weight, net energy intake, abdominal fat accumulation, plasma glucose, amylase, lipase, triglycerides, and total cholesterol relative to their respective controls, which were RPH unfed. Additionally, RPH treatment, while significantly elevating the plasma level of ghrelin hormone, decreased the levels of insulin, leptin, and resistin. Besides, HFD-induced increases in plasma levels of proinflammatory mediators TNF-α, IL-6, and MCP-1 were significantly lowered by RPH. Furthermore, in vitro studies revealed that RPH could significantly inhibit the lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes (measured by Oil-Red O staining) at concentrations up to 50 μg/mL. These findings suggest that the antiobese potential of RPH is largely due to its modulatory effects on various hormonal and enzymatic secretions related to fat and carbohydrate metabolism and to the regulation of obesity-associated inflammation. Karine Maria Martins Bezerra Carvalho, José Delano Barreto Marinho Filho, Tiago Sousa de Melo, Ana Jérsia Araújo, Josiane da Silva Quetz, Maria do Perpétuo Socorro Saldanha da Cunha, Karina Moura de Melo, Armenio Andre de Carvalho Almeida da Silva, Adriana Rocha Tomé, Alexandre Havt, Said Gonçalves da Cruz Fonseca, Gerly Anne de Castro Brito, Mariana Helena Chaves, Vietla Satyanarayana Rao, and Flávia Almeida Santos Copyright © 2015 Karine Maria Martins Bezerra Carvalho et al. All rights reserved. Traditional Chinese Herb Combined with Surgery versus Surgery for Varicocele Infertility: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:07:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/689056/ Objective. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review to assess the effectiveness and safety of traditional Chinese herb combined with surgery for male varicocele infertility compared to surgery. Methods. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) data of traditional Chinese herbs combined with surgery for male varicocele fertility versus surgery were collected by searching the Cochrane Library, Embase, PubMed, and Chinese databases. The risk of bias was assessed using Cochrane Handbook. Study outcomes were presented as risk ratios (RRs) for dichotomous data. Results. Seventeen of 72 potentially relevant trials met the inclusion criteria. The methodological qualities of the RCTs were low. Compared with the surgery group, the traditional Chinese herb combined with surgery group had superiority in pregnancy rate at 3-month (, and ), 6-month (, and ), and 2-year (, and ) follow-ups. No RCT was found to describe the side effects. Conclusion. On considering the low methodological quality of RCTs, there was no enough evidence on traditional Chinese herb with surgery for male varicocele infertility, and more high-quality RCTs of large sample sizes are required. Rong-liang Dun, Min Yao, Long Yang, Xue-jun Cui, Jian-min Mao, Yu Peng, and Guang-chong Qi Copyright © 2015 Rong-liang Dun et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Green Tea Extracts on the Pharmacokinetics of Quetiapine in Rats Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:54:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/615285/ Quetiapine is an atypical antipsychotic, used clinically in the treatment of schizophrenia, acute mania in bipolar disorders, and bipolar depression in adults. In this study, the effect of green tea extracts (GTE) on the pharmacokinetics of quetiapine (substrate of CYP3A4) was investigated in rats. Male Wistar albino rats received GTE (175 mg/kg) or saline (control) by oral gavage for 7 days before a single intragastric administration of 25 mg/kg quetiapine. Plasma concentrations of quetiapine were measured up to 12 h after its administration by a validated ultraperformance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy. Pretreatment with GTE produced significant reductions in the maximum plasma concentration and area under the curve of quetiapine by 45% and 35%, respectively, compared to quetiapine alone. However, GTE did not produce significant change in elimination half-life and oral clearance of quetiapine. This study concluded that GTE may decrease the bioavailability of quetiapine when coadministered. Essam Ezzeldin, Yousif A. Asiri, and Muzaffar Iqbal Copyright © 2015 Essam Ezzeldin et al. All rights reserved. Icariin Prevents Amyloid Beta-Induced Apoptosis via the PI3K/Akt Pathway in PC-12 Cells Thu, 29 Jan 2015 06:29:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/235265/ Icariin is a prenylated flavonol glycoside derived from the Chinese herb Epimedium sagittatum that exerts a variety of pharmacological activities and shows promise in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of icariin against amyloid beta protein fragment 25–35 () induced neurotoxicity in cultured rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells and explored potential underlying mechanisms. Our results showed that icariin dose-dependently increased cell viability and decreased -induced apoptosis, as assessed by MTT assay and Annexin V/propidium iodide staining, respectively. Results of western blot analysis revealed that the selective phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002 suppressed icariin-induced Akt phosphorylation, suggesting that the protective effects of icariin are associated with activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. LY294002 also blocked the icariin-induced downregulation of proapoptotic factors Bax and caspase-3 and upregulation of antiapoptotic factor Bcl-2 in -treated PC12 cells. These findings provide further evidence for the clinical efficacy of icariin in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Dongdong Zhang, Zhe Wang, Chenxia Sheng, Weijun Peng, Shan Hui, Wei Gong, and Shuai Chen Copyright © 2015 Dongdong Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effects of Total Saponins of Panax Notoginseng on Steroid-Induced Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head In Vivo and In Vitro Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:31:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/165679/ This research was designed to investigate the protective effects of TSPN on steroid-induced avascular necrosis of the femoral head (ANFH) and the likely mechanisms of those effects. As an in vivo study, TSPN was shown to be protective against steroid-induced ANFH due to the upregulation of VEGF-A. Furthermore, TSPN attenuated the apoptosis of osteocytes and reduced the expression of Caspase-3 relative to the model group. As an in vitro study, TSPN exerted a concentration-dependent protective effect against apoptosis in MC3T3-E1 cells. Moreover, TSPN (at a dose of 100 μg/mL) significantly reversed the dexamethasone-induced augmentation of Caspase-3 expression and activity. Therefore, our study demonstrated that TSPN had a protective effect against steroid-induced ANFH that was related to the upregulation of VEGF-A and the inhibition of apoptosis and Caspase-3 activation. Heng-feng Yuan, Jian-feng Pan, Shuo Li, Chang-an Guo, Shu-hao Liu, and Zuo-qin Yan Copyright © 2015 Heng-feng Yuan et al. All rights reserved. Hepatoprotective, Antioxidant, and Anticancer Effects of the Tragopogon porrifolius Methanolic Extract Wed, 28 Jan 2015 10:54:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/161720/ Tragopogon porrifolius (Asteraceae), commonly referred to as white salsify, is an edible herb used in Lebanese folk medicine to treat cancer and liver dysfunction. In this study, we investigated the antioxidant activity of Tragopogon porrifolius methanolic extract, both in vitro and in vivo, in addition to its hepatoprotective and anticancer activities. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents were measured and found to be  mg GAE/g and  mg QE/g dry weight, respectively. In vitro antioxidant assays revealed an FRAP value of  µmol Fe2+/g of extract and DPPH IC50 value 15.2 µg/mL. In rats subjected to CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity, significant increase in CAT, SOD, and GST levels was detected. The highest dose of the extract (250 mg/kg) recorded a fold increase of 1.68 for SOD, 2.49 for GST, and 3.2 for CAT. The extract also showed substantial decrease in AST (57%), ALT (56%), and LDH (65%) levels. Additionally, the extract caused a dose-dependent decrease in cell viability and proliferation. In conclusion, the methanolic extract of T. porrifolius displayed a relatively high antioxidant activity both in vitro and in vivo as well as hepatoprotective potential against liver toxicity in rats and anticancer effect on MDA-MB-231 and Caco-2 cells. Clara Tenkerian, Mirvat El-Sibai, Costantine F. Daher, and Mohamad Mroueh Copyright © 2015 Clara Tenkerian et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Spirituality on Cool Down Reactions, Work Engagement, and Life Satisfaction in Anthroposophic Health Care Professionals Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:29:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/754814/ This study aimed to analyse whether spirituality is a resource for health care professionals to deal with increasing stress and work burden, specifically to analyse associations between “cool down reactions” (which describe an emotional distancing towards patients and/or reduced engagement as a strategy to protect their own functionality), work burden, and life satisfaction. We specifically focussed on anthroposophic health care professionals because of their unique approach to distinct aspects of spirituality. In a cross-sectional survey using standardized questionnaires, 489 persons were enrolled (66% women, mean age 53 ± 10 years, 41% physicians, 12% nurses, and 47% other health care professionals). They scored very high on all measures of spirituality and moderate to low with respect to “cool down reactions.” Significant predictors of “cool down reactions” were low work vigor, perceived work burden, alcohol consumption, low life satisfaction, and religious orientation (). In contrast, their life satisfaction was explained best () by vigor, with further positive influences of being a physician, conscious interactions, and living with a partner on one hand and negative influences of “cool down reactions,” work burden, and transcendence convictions on the other hand. Thus, specific aspects of spirituality have only a small influence on anthroposophic health care professionals’ “cool down reactions,” but might buffer against a loss of vigor and dedication in their work. Arndt Büssing, Désirée Lötzke, Michaela Glöckler, and Peter Heusser Copyright © 2015 Arndt Büssing et al. All rights reserved. Topical Treatment with Xiaozheng Zhitong Paste (XZP) Alleviates Bone Destruction and Bone Cancer Pain in a Rat Model of Prostate Cancer-Induced Bone Pain by Modulating the RANKL/RANK/OPG Signaling Tue, 27 Jan 2015 10:45:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/215892/ To explore the effects and mechanisms of Xiaozheng Zhitong Paste (XZP) on bone cancer pain, Wistar rats were inoculated with vehicle or prostate cancer PC-3 into the tibia bone and treated topically with inert paste, XZP at 15.75, 31.5, or 63 g/kg twice per day for 21 days. Their bone structural damage, nociceptive behaviors, bone osteoclast and osteoblast activity, and the levels of OPG, RANL, RNAK, PTHrP, IGF-1, M-CSF, IL-8, and TNF-α were examined. In comparison with that in the placebo group, significantly reduced numbers of invaded cancer cells, decreased levels of bone damage and mechanical threshold and paw withdrawal latency, lower levels of serum TRACP5b, ICTP, PINP, and BAP, and less levels of bone osteoblast and osteoclast activity were detected in the XZP-treated rats (). Moreover, significantly increased levels of bone OPG but significantly decreased levels of RANL, RNAK, PTHrP, IGF-1, M-CSF, IL-8, and TNF-α were detected in the XZP-treated rats ( for all). Together, XZP treatment significantly mitigated the cancer-induced bone damage and bone osteoclast and osteoblast activity and alleviated prostate cancer-induced bone pain by modulating the RANKL/RANK/OPG pathway and bone cancer-related inflammation in rats. Yanju Bao, Yebo Gao, Maobo Du, Wei Hou, Liping Yang, Xiangying Kong, Honggang Zheng, Weidong Li, and Baojin Hua Copyright © 2015 Yanju Bao et al. All rights reserved. Effect of GuiXiong Xiaoyi Wan in Treatment of Endometriosis on Rats Tue, 27 Jan 2015 09:58:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/208514/ Objective. To evaluate the effect of GuiXiong Xiaoyi Wan (GXXYW) on the development of endometriosis in a rat model. Methods. Sprague-Dawley rats with surgically induced endometriosis were randomly treated with low-dose GXXYW, high-dose GXXYW, or vehicle (negative control) for 28 days. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess cell proliferation in the lesions. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase- (TdT-) mediated dUTP biotin nick end labelling (TUNEL) method was performed to analyse the apoptosis induced by GuiXiong Xiaoyi Wan. The percentages of CD3+ lymphocytes, CD4+ lymphocytes, and CD8+ lymphocytes in the spleens of the rats were evaluated using flow cytometric analysis. Results. Treatment with GXXYW significantly decreased the lesion size, inhibited cell proliferation, and induced apoptosis in endometriotic tissue. The spleens of GXXYW-treated rats also demonstrated a significant increase in the percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes and a significant decrease in the percentage of CD8+ lymphocytes. Conclusions. These results suggest that, in a rat model, GXXYW may be effective in the suppression of the growth of endometriosis, possibly through the inhibition of cell proliferation, the induction of apoptosis of endometriotic cells, and the regulation of the immune system. Zhixing Jin, Li Wang, and Zhiling Zhu Copyright © 2015 Zhixing Jin et al. All rights reserved. Neuroprotective Effect of Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi) on Ma Huang- (Herb Ephedra-) Induced Toxicity in Rats Treated with a Ma Huang-Gui Zhi Herb Pair Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:24:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/913461/ Herb Ephedra (Ma Huang in Chinese) and Ramulus Cinnamomi (Gui Zhi in Chinese) are traditional Chinese herbs, often used together to treat asthma, nose and lung congestion, and fever with anhidrosis. Due to the adverse effects of ephedrine, clinical use of Ma Huang is restricted. However, Gui Zhi extract has been reported to decrease spontaneous activity in rats and exert anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. The present study explored the possible inhibitory effect of Gui Zhi on Ma Huang-induced neurotoxicity in rats when the two herbs were used in combination. All Ma Huang and Ma Huang-Gui Zhi herb pair extracts were prepared using methods of traditional Chinese medicine and were normalized based on the ephedrine content. Two-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats ( rats/group) were administered Ma Huang or the Ma Huang-Gui Zhi herb pair extracts for 7 days (ephedrine = 48 mg/kg), and locomotor activity was measured. After 7 days, oxidative damage in the prefrontal cortex was measured. Gui Zhi decreased hyperactivity and sensitization produced by repeated Ma Huang administration and attenuated oxidative stress induced by Ma Huang. The results of this study demonstrate the neuroprotective potential of Gui Zhi in Ma Huang-induced hyperactivity and oxidative damage in the prefrontal cortex of rats when used in combination. Fang-hao Zheng, Ping Wei, Hui-ling Huo, Xue-feng Xing, Fei-long Chen, Xiao-mei Tan, and Jia-bo Luo Copyright © 2015 Fang-hao Zheng et al. All rights reserved. Hepatoprotective Effect of Terminalia chebula against t-BHP-Induced Acute Liver Injury in C57/BL6 Mice Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:17:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/517350/ We aimed to identify the hepatoprotective effects of Terminalia chebula water extract (TCW) and its corresponding pharmacological actions using C57/BL6 mice model of tert-butylhydroperoxide-(t-BHP-) induced acute liver injury. Mice were orally administered with TCW (0, 50, 100, or 200 mg/kg) or gallic acid (100 mg/kg) for 5 days before t-BHP (2.5 mM/kg) injection. Liver enzymes, histopathology, oxidative stress parameters, antioxidant components, and inflammatory cytokines were examined 18 h after t-BHP injection. t-BHP injection caused dramatic elevation of serum AST, ALT, and LDH level, while TCW pretreatment notably attenuated these elevations. Inflammatory cytokines including TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 were notably increased in hepatic tissues, and then these were efficiently attenuated by TCW pretreatment. t-BHP injection notably increased malondialdehyde, total reactive oxygen species, and nitric oxide in the liver tissue, while it markedly dropped the antioxidant activities including total antioxidant capacity, total glutathione contents, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase. TCW pretreatment remarkably ameliorated these alterations, and these effects were relevant to gene expressions. Histopathological examinations supported the above findings. Collectively, these findings well prove that TCW beneficially prevents acute and severe liver injury and clarify its corresponding mechanisms involved in the inhibition of oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines. Min-Kyung Choi, Hyeong-Geug Kim, Jong-Min Han, Jin-Seok Lee, Jong Suk Lee, Sun Ho Chung, and Chang-Gue Son Copyright © 2015 Min-Kyung Choi et al. All rights reserved. Biophysical and Clinical Research on Acupuncture and Moxibustion Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:16:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/518138/ Xueyong Shen, Lixing Lao, Yan Zhang, and Ke Cheng Copyright © 2015 Xueyong Shen et al. All rights reserved. Identifying Chinese Herbal Medicine Network for Eczema: Implications from a Nationwide Prescription Database Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:19:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/347164/ Eczema is a highly prevalent dermatological disease that can severely affect the patient’s quality of life. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is commonly used in combination for eczema due to the complicated pathogenesis. This study aimed to identify a CHM network for the treatment of eczema by using a nationwide database. During 2011, 381,282 CHM prescriptions made for eczema (ICD-9-CM 692.x) were obtained from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) in Taiwan and analyzed by using association rule mining and social network analysis. Among 661 available CHMs, 44 important combinations were identified. Among the CHM networks, seven clusters with the predominant traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pattern were recognized. The largest CHM cluster was used to treat the wind-dampness-heat pattern, and Xiao-Feng-San (24.1% of all prescriptions) was the core of this cluster with anti-inflammation, antioxidation, and antiallergic effects. Lonicera japonica (11.0% of all prescriptions) with Forsythia suspense (17.0% of all prescriptions) was the most commonly used CHM combination and was also the core treatment for treating the heat pattern, in which an antimicrobial effect is found. CHM network analysis is helpful for TCM doctors or researchers to choose candidates for clinical practice or further studies. Hsing-Yu Chen, Yi-Hsuan Lin, Sindy Hu, Sien-hung Yang, Jiun-liang Chen, and Yu-Chun Chen Copyright © 2015 Hsing-Yu Chen et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Rat Medicated Serum Containing Zuo Gui Wan and/or You Gui Wan on the Differentiation of Stem Cells Derived from Human First Trimester Umbilical Cord into Oocyte-Like Cells In Vitro Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:07:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/825805/ Zuo Gui Wan (ZGW) and You Gui Wan (YGW) are two classic formulas used in clinical treatment of infertility in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, the actions of the formulas remain to be proven at the cellular and molecular levels. In this study, we investigate whether the two formulas have any effect on germ cell formation and differentiation by culturing rat medicated serums containing YGW or ZGW with stem cells derived from human first trimester umbilical cord. Our results showed that while the normal rat serums had no significant effects, the rat medicated serums had significant effects on the differentiation of the stem cells into oocyte-like cells (OLCs) based on (1) cell morphological changes that resembled purative cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs); (2) expressions of specific markers that were indicative of germ cell formation and oocyte development; and (3) estradiol production by the COC-like cells. Furthermore, ZGW medicated serums exhibited more obvious effects on specific gene expressions of germ cells, whereas YGW medicated serums showed stronger effects on estradiol production. Accordingly, our study provides evidence demonstrating for the first time that one of molecular and cellular actions of YGW or ZGW in treating human reproductive dysfunctions may be through an enhancement of neooogenesis. Xiang Hu, Hua Lu, Yan-li Deng, Qian Wan, and Shang-mian Yie Copyright © 2015 Xiang Hu et al. All rights reserved. Effectiveness of Moxibustion Treatment in Quality of Life in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial Wed, 21 Jan 2015 12:50:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/569523/ Objective. To observe the effects of traditional Chinese moxibustion, compared with sham moxibustion, on the quality of life (QOL) in patients with chronic knee osteoarthritis (KOA). Methods. This is a randomized double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. 150 patients with KOA were randomly allocated to either a true moxibustion treatment (n = 77) or a sham moxibustion treatment (n = 73) three times a week for six weeks. The QOL of patients was evaluated with SF-36 at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 weeks after baseline. Results. 136 patients were available for analysis. Participants in the true moxibustion group experienced statistically significantly greater improvement in GH (general health) scores than the sham group at week 6 (P = 0.015) and week 12 (P = 0.029). Participants in the true moxibustion group experienced statistically significantly greater improvement in VT (vitality) scores than the sham group at week 12 (P = 0.042). No significant adverse effects were found during the trial. Conclusion. A 6-week moxibustion treatment seems to improve general health and vitality, which are associated with physical and mental quality of life, in patients with KOA up to 12 weeks, relative to credible sham moxibustion. This trial is registered with Clinicaltrials.gov ISRCTN68475405. Xiumei Ren, Chang Yao, Fan Wu, Zhao Li, Jinyun Xing, and Haimeng Zhang Copyright © 2015 Xiumei Ren et al. All rights reserved. The Effects of Tai Chi in Centrally Obese Adults with Depression Symptoms Wed, 21 Jan 2015 07:31:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/879712/ This study examined the effects of Tai Chi, a low-impact mind-body movement therapy, on severity of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms in centrally obese people with elevated depression symptoms. In total, 213 participants were randomized to a 24-week Tai Chi intervention program or a wait-list control group. Assessments were conducted at baseline and 12 and 24 weeks. Outcomes were severity of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, leg strength, central obesity, and other measures of metabolic symptom. There were statistically significant between-group differences in favor of the Tai Chi group in depression (mean difference = −5.6 units, ), anxiety (−2.3 units, ), and stress (−3.6 units, ) symptom scores and leg strength (1.1 units, ) at 12 weeks. These changes were further improved or maintained in the Tai Chi group relative to the control group during the second 12 weeks of follow-up. Tai Chi appears to be beneficial for reducing severity of depression, anxiety, and stress and leg strength in centrally obese people with depression symptoms. More studies with longer follow-up are needed to confirm the findings. This trial is registered with ACTRN12613000010796. Xin Liu, Luis Vitetta, Karam Kostner, David Crompton, Gail Williams, Wendy J. Brown, Alan Lopez, Charlie C. Xue, Tian P. Oei, Gerard Byrne, Jennifer H. Martin, and Harvey Whiteford Copyright © 2015 Xin Liu et al. All rights reserved. The Protective Effect of Lacidipine on Myocardial Remodeling Is Mediated by the Suppression in Expression of GPR78 and CHOP in Rats Wed, 21 Jan 2015 06:22:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/945076/ Lacidipine (LAC) is now widely used for the treatment of hypertension and further can prevent cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling. However, the underlying mechanism has not been fully understood. In this study, we examined the protective effects of LAC on cardiac remodeling in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and investigated the possible mechanism. Four weeks after administration of the designated drugs, blood pressure, left ventricular mass index (LVMI), and rterial pressure (MAP) were measured. The endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) parameters such as GRP78 and CHOP expressions in cardiomyocytes were also detected by immunohistochemistry. Results showed that the MAP in 0.36 and 0.72 mg/kg LAC groups was markedly lowered compared with that of the SHR control group ( or ). Moreover, 0.72 mg/kg LAC could also significantly decrease the LVMI (). Simultaneously, the results of immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the expression of GRP78 and CHOP was significantly decreased by 0.72 mg/kg LAC (), respectively. Our present study suggested that LAC could lower blood pressure and could prevent left ventricular hypertrophy accompanied by inhibiting expression of GRP78 and CHOP in ERS. Yingxiao Ge, Gang Li, Baoxin Liu, Huixin Guo, Dongzhi Wang, Qiqiang Jie, Wenliang Che, Lei Hou, and Yidong Wei Copyright © 2015 Yingxiao Ge et al. All rights reserved. Sitting Tai Chi Improves the Balance Control and Muscle Strength of Community-Dwelling Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries: A Pilot Study Wed, 21 Jan 2015 06:03:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/523852/ Objective. To investigate the effects of sitting Tai Chi on muscle strength, balance control, and quality of life (QOL) among survivors with spinal cord injuries (SCI). Methods. Eleven SCI survivors participated in the sitting Tai Chi training (90 minutes/session, 2 times/week for 12 weeks) and eight SCI survivors acted as controls. Dynamic sitting balance was evaluated using limits of stability test and a sequential weight shifting test in sitting. Handgrip strength was also tested using a hand-held dynamometer. QOL was measured using the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Scale. Results. Tai Chi practitioners achieved significant improvements in their reaction time (); maximum excursion (); and directional control () in the limits of stability test after training. In the sequential weight shifting test, they significantly improved their total time to sequentially hit the 12 targets (). Significant improvement in handgrip strength was also found among the Tai Chi practitioners (). However, no significant within and between-group differences were found in the QOL outcomes (). Conclusions. Twelve weeks of sitting Tai Chi training could improve the dynamic sitting balance and handgrip strength, but not QOL, of the SCI survivors. William W. N. Tsang, Kelly L. Gao, K. M. Chan, Sheila Purves, Duncan J. Macfarlane, and Shirley S. M. Fong Copyright © 2015 William W. N. Tsang et al. All rights reserved. Translational Research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:38:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/427508/ Wei Jia, Aiping Lu, Kelvin Chan, Mats G. Gustafsson, and Ping Liu Copyright © 2015 Wei Jia et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties of Alchornea laxiflora (Benth.) Pax. & Hoffman Mon, 19 Jan 2015 09:57:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/684839/ Alchornea laxiflora leaf extract was tested against a range of microorganisms using standard microbiological methods for antimicrobial activities. The extract inhibited the growth of all the bacterial and 15 fungal isolates tested. The zones of inhibition exhibited against the test bacteria ranged between 12 mm and 24 mm and between 11 mm and 24 mm for the extract and the antibiotic streptomycin, respectively. The zones of inhibition observed against the fungal isolates by the extract ranged between 12 mm and 23 mm. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and the minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) exhibited by the extract against test bacteria ranged between 0.78 mg/mL–25 mg/mL and 1.56 mg/mL–25 mg/mL, respectively, while the MICs and minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFCs) values for the test fungi ranged between 8.75 mg/mL–35.00 mg/mL and 8.75 mg/mL–35.00 mg/L, respectively. The preliminary phytochemical screening of the extract revealed the presence of alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, and reducing sugars as major phytoconstituents in the extract. A. laxiflora leaf extract is a potent source of antibacterial and antifungal compounds; further studies on the extract are ongoing in our laboratories to elucidate the probable mechanism(s) of action on bacteria and fungi found to be susceptible to the extract. David A. Akinpelu, Emmanuel O. Abioye, Olayinka A. Aiyegoro, Oluseun F. Akinpelu, and Anthony I. Okoh Copyright © 2015 David A. Akinpelu et al. All rights reserved. Urinary Metabolite Profiling Offers Potential for Differentiation of Liver-Kidney Yin Deficiency and Dampness-Heat Internal Smoldering Syndromes in Posthepatitis B Cirrhosis Patients Sun, 18 Jan 2015 08:50:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/464969/ Zheng is the basic theory and essence of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in diagnosing diseases. However, there are no biological evidences to support TCM Zheng differentiation. In this study we elucidated the biological alteration of cirrhosis with TCM “Liver-Kidney Yin Deficiency (YX)” or “Dampness-Heat Internal Smoldering (SR)” Zheng and the potential of urine metabonomics in TCM Zheng differentiation. Differential metabolites contributing to the intergroup variation between healthy controls and liver cirrhosis patients were investigated, respectively, and mainly participated in energy metabolism, gut microbiota metabolism, oxidative stress, and bile acid metabolism. Three metabolites, aconitate, citrate, and 2-pentendioate, altered significantly in YX Zheng only, representing the abnormal energy metabolism. Contrarily, hippurate and 4-pyridinecarboxylate altered significantly in SR Zheng only, representing the abnormalities of gut microbiota metabolism. Moreover, there were significant differences between two TCM Zhengs in three metabolites, glycoursodeoxycholate, cortolone-3-glucuronide, and L-aspartyl-4-phosphate, among all differential metabolites. Metabonomic profiling, as a powerful approach, provides support to the understanding of biological mechanisms of TCM Zheng stratification. The altered urinary metabolites constitute a panel of reliable biological evidence for TCM Zheng differentiation in patients with posthepatitis B cirrhosis and may be used for the potential biomarkers of TCM Zheng stratification. Xiaoning Wang, Guoxiang Xie, Xiaoyan Wang, Mingmei Zhou, Huan Yu, Yan Lin, Guangli Du, Guoan Luo, and Ping Liu Copyright © 2015 Xiaoning Wang et al. All rights reserved. A Metabolomics Approach to Stratify Patients Diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus into Excess or Deficiency Syndromes Sun, 18 Jan 2015 06:22:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/350703/ The prevalence of type 2 diabetes continuously increases globally. The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can stratify the diabetic patients based on their different TCM syndromes and, thus, allow a personalized treatment. Metabolomics is able to provide metabolite biomarkers for disease subtypes. In this study, we applied a metabolomics approach using an ultraperformance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with quadruple-time-of-flight (QTOF) mass spectrometry system to characterize the metabolic alterations of different TCM syndromes including excess and deficiency in patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM). We obtained a snapshot of the distinct metabolic changes of DM patients with different TCM syndromes. DM patients with excess syndrome have higher serum 2-indolecarboxylic acid, hypotaurine, pipecolic acid, and progesterone in comparison to those patients with deficiency syndrome. The excess patients have more oxidative stress as demonstrated by unique metabolite signatures than the deficiency subjects. The results provide an improved understanding of the systemic alteration of metabolites in different syndromes of DM. The identified serum metabolites may be of clinical relevance for subtyping of diabetic patients, leading to a personalized DM treatment. Tao Wu, Ming Yang, Tao Liu, Lili Yang, and Guang Ji Copyright © 2015 Tao Wu et al. All rights reserved. Cytotoxic and Antimigratory Activities of Phenolic Compounds from Dendrobium brymerianum Thu, 15 Jan 2015 11:11:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/350410/ Chromatographic separation of a methanol extract prepared from the whole plant of Dendrobium brymerianum led to the isolation of eight phenolic compounds. Among the isolated compounds (1–8), moscatilin (1), gigantol (3), lusianthridin (4), and dendroflorin (6) showed appreciable cytotoxicity against human lung cancer cell lines with IC50 values of 196.7, 23.4, 65.0, and 125.8 μg/mL, respectively, and exhibited antimigratory property at nontoxic concentrations. This study is the first report on the biological activities of this plant. Pornprom Klongkumnuankarn, Kesarin Busaranon, Pithi Chanvorachote, Boonchoo Sritularak, Vichien Jongbunprasert, and Kittisak Likhitwitayawuid Copyright © 2015 Pornprom Klongkumnuankarn et al. All rights reserved. Pien Tze Huang Inhibits Hypoxia-Induced Angiogenesis via HIF-1α/VEGF-A Pathway in Colorectal Cancer Thu, 15 Jan 2015 06:35:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/454279/ Hypoxia-induced angiogenesis plays an important role in the development and metastasis of solid tumors and is highly regulated by HIF-1α/VEGF-A pathway. Therefore, inhibiting tumor angiogenesis via suppression of HIF-1α/VEGF-A signaling represents a promising strategy for anticancer treatment. As a traditional Chinese medicine formula, Pien Tze Huang (PZH) has long been used as a folk remedy for cancer in China and Southeast Asia. Previously, we reported that PZH inhibits colorectal cancer (CRC) growth both in vivo and in vitro. To elucidate the antitumor mechanisms of PZH, in the present study we used human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and colorectal carcinoma HCT-8 cells to evaluate the effects of PZH on hypoxia-induced angiogenesis and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms. We found that PZH could inhibit hypoxia-induced migration and tube formation of HUVEC cells in a dose-dependent manner, although the low concentrations of PZH had no effect on HUVEC viability. Moreover, PZH inhibited hypoxia-induced activation of HIF-1α signaling and the expression of VEGF-A and/or VEGFR2 in both HCT-8 and HUVEC cells. Collectively, our findings suggest that PZH can inhibit hypoxia-induced tumor angiogenesis via suppression of HIF-1α/VEGF-A pathway. Hongwei Chen, Jianyu Feng, Yuchen Zhang, Aling Shen, Youqin Chen, Jiumao Lin, Wei Lin, Thomas J. Sferra, and Jun Peng Copyright © 2015 Hongwei Chen et al. All rights reserved. Bioactive Polyphenols from the Methanol Extract of Cnicus arvensis (L.) Roth Demonstrated Antinociceptive and Central Nervous System Depressant Activities in Mice Wed, 14 Jan 2015 09:12:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/794729/ Cnicus arvensis is used by many ethnic groups for inflammation, pain, and other ailments. In this study, reducing sugar, carbohydrate, alkaloid, steroid, tannin, flavonoid, and saponin groups were identified using standard chromogenic method. In high-performance liquid chromatography, vanillic acid and epicatechin were identified in the extract. Antinociceptive test by acetic acid induced writhing inhibition resulted 43.17 and 95.08% inhibition for 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight, comparing with standard diclofenac Na with 74.86% inhibition for 25 mg/kg body weight. In formalin induced paw licking test for antinociceptive activity, the extract inhibited 69.87 and 75.55% licking for 150 and 300 mg/kg body weight comparing with the inhibition (68.56%) of diclofenac Na for 10 mg/kg body weight at first phase. At late phase, the extract showed 73.12 and 87.46% licking comparing with licking inhibition (71.69%) by diclofenac Na at the same dose. In open field test for CNS depressant activity, the extract showed depression of locomotor activity for 150 and 300 mg/kg body weight comparing with diazepam for 10 mg/kg body weight. All results were statistically significant . The identified polyphenols are reputed for antinociceptive and CNS depressant activity. The present findings support the use of this plant in pain. Mahmudur Rahman, Amina Khatun, Mst. Luthfun Nesa, Hemayet Hossain, and Ismet Ara Jahan Copyright © 2015 Mahmudur Rahman et al. All rights reserved. Artocarpin Induces Apoptosis in Human Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma HSC-1 Cells and Its Cytotoxic Activity Is Dependent on Protein-Nutrient Concentration Wed, 14 Jan 2015 08:03:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/236159/ Artocarpin, a natural prenylated flavonoid, has been shown to have various biological properties. However, its effects on human cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) have not been previously investigated. We set out to determine whether artocarpin has cytotoxic effects on SCC cells and whether its pharmacological activity is dependent on protein-nutrient concentration. Our results showed that treatment of HSC-1 cells (a human cutaneous SCC cell line) with artocarpin decreased cell viability and induced cell apoptosis by increasing caspase 3/7 activity. These effects were more pronounced at low fetal bovine serum (FBS) concentrations. Artocarpin induced an increase in the level of phospho-p38 and a decrease in the levels of phospho-ERK, phospho-JNK, phospho-Akt, phospho-mTOR, and phospho-S6K. High FBS concentrations in the culture media inhibited and delayed the uptake of artocarpin from the extracellular compartment (culture media) into the intracellular compartment, as determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis. In conclusion, artocarpin induces apoptosis in HSC-1 cells through modulation of MAPK and Akt/mTOR pathways. Binding of artocarpin to proteins in the FBS may inhibit cellular uptake and reduce the cytotoxic activity of artocarpin on HSC-1 cells. Therefore, artocarpin may have potential use in the future as a form of treatment for cutaneous SCC. Stephen Chu-Sung Hu, Chi-Ling Lin, Hui-Min Cheng, Gwo-Shing Chen, Chiang-Wen Lee, and Feng-Lin Yen Copyright © 2015 Stephen Chu-Sung Hu et al. All rights reserved. Liver Damage Associated with Polygonum multiflorum Thunb.: A Systematic Review of Case Reports and Case Series Mon, 12 Jan 2015 06:52:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/459749/ Objective. To summarize the characteristics and analysis of relevant factors and to give references for prevention and further study of liver damage associated with Polygonum multiflorum Thunb. (HSW), we provide a systematic review of case reports and case series about liver damage associated with HSW. Methods. An extensive search of 6 medical databases was performed up to June 2014. Case reports and case series involving liver damage associated with HSW were included. Results. This review covers a total of 450 cases in 76 articles. HSW types included raw and processed HSW decoction pieces and many Chinese patent medicines that contain HSW. Symptoms of liver damage occur mostly a month or so after taking the medicine, mainly including jaundice, fatigue, anorexia, and yellow or tawny urine. Of the 450 patients, two cases who received liver transplantation and seven who died, the remaining 441 cases recovered or had liver function improvement after discontinuing HSW products and conservative care. Conclusion. HSW causes liver toxicity and may cause liver damage in different degrees and even lead to death; most of them are much related to long-term and overdose of drugs. Liver damage associated with HSW is reversible, and, after active treatment, the majority can be cured. People should be alert to liver damage when taking HSW preparations. Xiang Lei, Jing Chen, Jingtian Ren, Yan Li, Jingbo Zhai, Wei Mu, Li Zhang, Wenke Zheng, Guihua Tian, and Hongcai Shang Copyright © 2015 Xiang Lei et al. All rights reserved.