Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii (Seed of Burdock) Reinforces Intestinal Barrier Function in Caco-2 Cell Monolayers Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:27:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/368105/ Fructus Arctii is used as a traditional herbal medicine to treat inflammatory diseases in oriental countries. This study aimed to investigate effect of F. Arctii extract on intestinal barrier function in human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells and to reveal the active component of F. Arctii. We measured transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) value (as an index of barrier function) and ovalbumin (OVA) permeation (as an index of permeability) to observe the changes of intestinal barrier function. The treatment of F. Arctii increased TEER value and decreased OVA influx on Caco-2 cell monolayers. Furthermore, we found that arctigenin as an active component of F. Arctii increased TEER value and reduced permeability of OVA from apical to the basolateral side but not arctiin. In the present study, we revealed that F. Arctii could enhance intestinal barrier function, and its active component was an arctigenin on the functionality. We expect that the arctigenin from F. Arctii could contribute to prevention of inflammatory, allergic, and infectious diseases by reinforcing intestinal barrier function. Hee Soon Shin, Sun Young Jung, Su Yeon Back, Jeong-Ryong Do, and Dong-Hwa Shon Copyright © 2015 Hee Soon Shin et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Korean Red Ginseng Compound Gintonin Inhibited Inflammation by MAPK and NF-κB Pathways and Recovered the Levels of mir-34a and mir-93 in RAW 264.7 Cells Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:34:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/624132/ The beneficial health promoting effects of ginseng from vitalizing the body to enhancing long life have been well explored very rapidly in the past few years. Up till now many ginsenosides have been discovered for their marvelous therapeutic effects. However during past three years, a novel ginseng compound has been discovered, called gintonin, that differs from other ginsenosides on the basis of its signal transduction and chemical nature. Gintonin has been widely studied for its anti-Alzheimer’s disease activities and other neuropathies. However, its anti-inflammatory activity remained unexplored. In our study we have reported for the first time the anti-inflammatory activity of gintonin on RAW 264.7 cells. We found that gintonin potently suppresses the nitric oxide production without any cytotoxicity at given doses and also efficiently suppressed the levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Moreover, it mediaes its signal transduction via MAPK and NF-κB pathways and revives the levels of mir-34a and mir-93. These findings are valuable for the anti-inflammatory effects of this new compound with particular reference to microRNA involvement in the ginseng family. Evelyn Saba, Bo Ra Jeon, Da-Hye Jeong, Kija Lee, Youn-Kyoung Goo, Dongmi Kwak, Suk Kim, Seong-Soo Roh, Sung Dae Kim, Seung-Yeol Nah, and Man Hee Rhee Copyright © 2015 Evelyn Saba et al. All rights reserved. Nonoperative Korean Medicine Combination Therapy for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Retrospective Case-Series Study Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:13:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/263898/ This is a retrospective case series exploring the therapeutic benefits and harm of nonoperative Korean medicine combination therapy for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). The medical records of a total of 33 LSS patients, who were treated as inpatients at Mokhuri Neck and Back Hospital, Republic of Korea, from November 2010 to January 2012, were reviewed first and telephone survey on these patients was conducted after one year. Body acupuncture, pharmacoacupuncture, Chuna, and oral administration of herbal medicines were offered to all patients. A Visual analogue scale (VAS) of pain and the walking duration without pain were used to assess the patients during the approximately 1-month treatment period. The average VAS score of pain and the walking duration improved significantly; the VAS score decreased from 9 (SD, 1.15) to 2.75 (2.22) (), and the walking duration increased from 5.5 (6.66) to 16.75 (13.00) minutes (). No adverse event was reported during the treatment. In addition, the decreased pain level and improved function continued for over one year. Although we did not find definitive evidence, the study results suggest that KM combination therapy may be beneficial for decreasing pain and improving function in LSS patients and may produce comparatively few adverse events. Kiok Kim, Yongjae Jeong, Yousuk Youn, Jeongcheol Choi, Jaehong Kim, Wonseok Chung, and Tae-Hun Kim Copyright © 2015 Kiok Kim et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Tai Chi and Walking Exercises on Weight Loss, Metabolic Syndrome Parameters, and Bone Mineral Density: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:10:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/976123/ Tai Chi and walking are both moderate-intensity physical activity (PA) that can be easily practiced in daily life. The objective of the study was to determine the effects of these two PAs on weight loss, metabolic syndrome parameters, and bone mineral density (BMD) in Chinese adults. We randomized 374 middle-aged subjects (45.8 ± 5.3 years) into 12-week training (45 minutes per day, 5 days per week) of Tai Chi or self-paced walking or control group . On average, Tai Chi and walking groups lost 0.50 and 0.76 kg of body weight and 0.47 and 0.59 kg of fat mass after intervention, respectively. The between-group difference of waist circumference (WC) and fasting blood glucose (FBG) was −3.7 cm and −0.18 mmol/L for Tai Chi versus control and −4.1 cm and −0.22 mmol/L for walking versus control. No significant differences were observed regarding lean mass, blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and BMD compared to control. Change in lean mass, not fat mass or total weight loss, was significantly correlated to the change in BMD. Our results suggest that both of these two PAs can produce moderate weight loss and significantly improve the WC and FBG in Hong Kong Chinese adults, with no additional effects on BMD. Stanley Sai-Chuen Hui, Yao Jie Xie, Jean Woo, and Timothy Chi-Yui Kwok Copyright © 2015 Stanley Sai-Chuen Hui et al. All rights reserved. Preliminary Phytochemical Screening and Biological Activities of Bulbine abyssinica Used in the Folk Medicine in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:01:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/617607/ Bulbine abyssinica A. Rich. is used in traditional medicine to treat rheumatism, dysentery, bilharzia, cracked lips, back pain, infertility, diabetes mellitus, and gastrointestinal, vaginal, and bladder infections. Therefore, preliminary phytochemical screening, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties of the whole plant (acetone and aqueous extracts) were determined using standard procedures. The in vitro antioxidant model assays revealed that the plant possesses free radical scavenging potential varying with free radical species. The species showed significant protein denaturation inhibitory activity with good protection against erythrocyte membrane lysis indicating anti-inflammatory potential. The results also showed that the species was active against the growth of all the selected eight diabetic status opportunistic bacteria except one. Moreover, the species is characterized by appreciable amounts of total phenols, flavonoids, flavanols, proanthocyanidins, and alkaloids. Traces amounts of saponins and tannins were also observed. Amongst the identified phytochemicals present, empirical searches identified them being antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial agents. The identification of these phytochemical constituents with their known pharmacological properties indicates that this plant is a good source of the free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial agents. These findings also account for the multipharmacological use of B. abyssinica in fork medicine. Cromwell Mwiti Kibiti and Anthony Jide Afolayan Copyright © 2015 Cromwell Mwiti Kibiti and Anthony Jide Afolayan. All rights reserved. A Systematic and Narrative Review of Acupuncture Point Application Therapies in the Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma during Dog Days Mon, 12 Oct 2015 06:18:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/846851/ Acupuncture point application therapies, including San-Fu-Tie and San-Fu-Jiu, have been widely employed to treat diseases with attacks in winter during dog days in China. The therapies combine Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture points with the nature. However, the previous studies were reported to be unsystematic and incomplete. To develop a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of acupuncture point application therapies on allergic rhinitis and asthma, a systematic review of the literature up to 2015 was conducted. After filtering, eighteen randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 1,785 subjects were included. This systematic and narrative review shows that acupuncture point application therapies have been extensively applied in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and asthma with advantages of favorable treatment effect, convenient operation, receiving patients’ good acceptability and compliance, and few side effects. Meanwhile, the study elaborated the operating process of San-Fu-Tie and San-Fu-Jiu in detail. The review may provide a reference for clinical application in future. However, the efficacy, safety, and mechanisms of San-Fu-Tie and San-Fu-Jiu in treating the above diseases need to be validated by more well-designed and fully powered RCTs in a larger population of patients. Cai-Yu-Zhu Wen, Ya-Fei Liu, Li Zhou, Hong-Xing Zhang, and Sheng-Hao Tu Copyright © 2015 Cai-Yu-Zhu Wen et al. All rights reserved. Acupuncture-Point Stimulation for Postoperative Pain Control: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials Mon, 12 Oct 2015 06:17:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/657809/ The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Acupuncture-point stimulation (APS) in postoperative pain control compared with sham/placebo acupuncture or standard treatments (usual care or no treatment). Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included. Meta-analysis results indicated that APS interventions improved VAS scores significantly and also reduced total morphine consumption. No serious APS-related adverse effects (AEs) were reported. There is Level I evidence for the effectiveness of body points plaster therapy and Level II evidence for body points electroacupuncture (EA), body points acupressure, body points APS for abdominal surgery patients, auricular points seed embedding, manual auricular acupuncture, and auricular EA. We obtained Level III evidence for body points APS in patients who underwent cardiac surgery and cesarean section and for auricular-point stimulation in patients who underwent abdominal surgery. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that APS is an effective postoperative pain therapy in surgical patients, although the evidence does support the conclusion that APS can reduce analgesic requirements without AEs. The best level of evidence was not adequate in most subgroups. Some limitations of this study may have affected the results, possibly leading to an overestimation of APS effects. Xian-Liang Liu, Jing-Yu Tan, Alex Molassiotis, Lorna K. P. Suen, and Yan Shi Copyright © 2015 Xian-Liang Liu et al. All rights reserved. Neuropharmacological Potential of Gastrodia elata Blume and Its Components Mon, 12 Oct 2015 06:11:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/309261/ Research has been conducted in various fields in an attempt to develop new therapeutic agents for incurable neurodegenerative diseases. Gastrodia elata Blume (GE), a traditional herbal medicine, has been used in neurological disorders as an anticonvulsant, analgesic, and sedative medication. Several neurodegenerative models are characterized by oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, which lead to cell death via multiple extracellular and intracellular signaling pathways. The blockade of certain signaling cascades may represent a compensatory therapy for injured brain tissue. Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory compounds isolated from natural resources have been investigated, as have various synthetic chemicals. Specifically, GE rhizome extract and its components have been shown to protect neuronal cells and recover brain function in various preclinical brain injury models by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. The present review discusses the neuroprotective potential of GE and its components and the related mechanisms; we also provide possible preventive and therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative disorders using herbal resources. Jung-Hee Jang, Yeonghoon Son, Seong Soo Kang, Chun-Sik Bae, Jong-Choon Kim, Sung-Ho Kim, Taekyun Shin, and Changjong Moon Copyright © 2015 Jung-Hee Jang et al. All rights reserved. Enhanced Protective Effect of the Combination of Uncaria and Semen Raphani on Vascular Endothelium in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats Sun, 11 Oct 2015 13:52:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/358352/ Endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation are closely associated with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. The combination of Uncaria (U) and Semen Raphani (R) is common in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of hypertension and heart diseases. We aimed to investigate the therapeutic effect of the combination of Uncaria and Semen Raphani on spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), and valsartan was used as a positive control. In the present study, all extracts decreased systolic pressure, diastolic pressure, and mean arterial pressure. U alone showed antihypertensive efficacy and effectively decreased CECs count, while R alone showed efficacy in relieving inflammatory level. The combination of U and R showed enhanced effectiveness at lowering activated CECs and improving endothelial integrity of thoracic aorta and mesenteric artery and normalized the level of plasma biomarkers of endothelial damage. The combination of U and R decreased the mRNA level of VCAM-1, Sel-L, TFPI, and Sel-P, while it elevated mRNA expression of FGF-1 and THBD of the thoracic aorta, which may be, at least in part, involved in the mechanism of protective effect on hypertensive endothelial injury. Yun-lun Li, Yue-Hua Jiang, Chuan-Hua Yang, Jing-Chang Sun, Miao-Miao Wang, and Wen-Qing Yang Copyright © 2015 Yun-lun Li et al. All rights reserved. A Modern Clinical Approach of the Traditional Korean Saam Acupuncture Sun, 11 Oct 2015 13:26:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/703439/ Saam acupuncture is one of the original therapeutic modalities representing traditional Korean medicine. It was originally described in a manuscript that is estimated to be published at some point between 1644 and 1742, in the middle of the Cho Sun dynasty, by a Korean Buddhist monk whose name is unknown. The principle of combining five shu points is based on the theory of Nan-jing. The treatment and diagnosis concepts in Saam acupuncture were mainly influenced by Dongeuibogam and Chimgoogyeong-heombang. The basic characteristic of combining five shu points in Saam acupuncture is the selection of the tonification and sedation points along the self-meridian and other meridians based on creation and governor relationships. Saam acupuncture clinical studies have mainly focused on musculoskeletal pain and autonomic nervous system regulation. From a neurophysiological perspective, Saam acupuncture, which involves five shu points as the main treatment aspect, has the advantage of increasing parasympathetic nerve activation and adjusting the balance of the autonomic nervous system. Inserting a needle into the skin layer while considering the respiratory phase and stimulating the needle gently and lightly could maximize the effect of Saam acupuncture. The specific Saam acupuncture prescribed should be identified on the basis of the neurobiological perspective. Manyong Park and Sungchul Kim Copyright © 2015 Manyong Park and Sungchul Kim. All rights reserved. Effect of a Traditional Herbal Prescription, Kyung-Ok-Ko, on Male Mouse Spermatogenic Ability after Heat-Induced Damage Sun, 11 Oct 2015 10:47:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/950829/ Kyung-Ok-Ko (KOK), a well-known traditional Korean medicinal formula, has long been used to invigorate the essential . This use of KOK may be associated with reproductive ability as a more modern concept. The protective effect of KOK was evaluated against deterioration of testicular function induced by heat exposure in male mice. Male fertility was disrupted by scrotal heat stress at 43°C for 5 weeks. KOK (0.25, 0.50, and 2.00 g/kg/day) was administered orally at 3 h after the stress. To evaluate the protective effect of KOK, body weight, testicular weight, sperm count, sperm motility, and histopathological changes in the testes were evaluated. KOK-treated mice significantly recovered their general health, as evidenced by body weight. KOK-treated mice also showed significantly higher testes weights, sperm counts, and sperm motility than did the heat stress group. KOK-treated mice significantly recovered the morphological appearance of the seminiferous tubules and seminiferous epithelium. Furthermore, KOK-treated mice significantly increased antioxidant enzyme activities and reduced the protein expressions of apoptosis in the testes. KOK significantly protects against heat-induced damage to testicular function in male mice by inhibiting oxidative stress and apoptosis, indicating that KOK may be an effective agent for treatment of heat-induced male infertility. Deok-Sang Hwang, Hyo Geun Kim, Sodam Park, Nam Doo Hong, Jong Hoon Ryu, and Myung Sook Oh Copyright © 2015 Deok-Sang Hwang et al. All rights reserved. Development and Preliminary Validation of the Questionnaire (the First Edition) Based on TCM for Detecting Health Status in China Sun, 11 Oct 2015 10:44:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/863685/ Background. More and more people come to realize the importance of healthcare and early detecting of health status before becoming much more serious. Self-perceived health is an easy, economic, and effective indicator of health, which has been widely applied in measuring health. In this paper, the development and preliminary validation of the questionnaire (the First Edition) based on TCM theory were described and combined with Manual Mental Health Pattern for detecting health status in community of Tianjin, China. Methods. Questionnaire validity and reliability were evaluated in a small sample as a pilot study. Analyses included tests for reliability and internal consistency, exploratory factor analysis, and tests for discriminative ability and convergent validity. Results. Overall, 294 of 303 participants completed the questionnaire (97.3%). The questionnaire included 49 items. Cronbach’s α was 0.83. Factor analysis established 10 distinct domains. The Pearson’s rho correlation between the total scores and MHP (SCL) was statistically significant (, ). t-test revealed significant differences () in total scores between the healthy and unhealthy results distinguished by physical examination. Conclusions. Questionnaire reliability and validity were acceptable. Further work and larger sample would be warranted to refine items that measure the health status, to improve the reliability and discriminated validity of the questionnaire. Xuan Zhou, Fang Xu, Jian Gao, Shan Cao, Ziwei Zhao, Mingli Heng, Huaien Bu, Liqun Yin, and Hongwu Wang Copyright © 2015 Xuan Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Anxiety and Anger Symptoms in Hwabyung Patients Improved More following 4 Weeks of the Emotional Freedom Technique Program Compared to the Progressive Muscle Relaxation Program: A Randomized Controlled Trial Sun, 11 Oct 2015 10:23:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/203612/ Background. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a meridian-based psychological therapy. The present clinical trial investigates the effectiveness of EFT as a new treatment option for Hwabyung (HB) patients experiencing anger and compares the efficacy to the Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), the conventional meditation technique. Methods. The EFT and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) methods were performed on 27 HB patients, and their capacities to alleviate anxiety, anger, and emotional status were compared. After a 4-week program, a survey was conducted; patients then completed a self-training program for 4 weeks, followed by a second survey. Results. During the initial 4 weeks, the EFT group experienced a significant decrease in the HB symptom scale, anger state, and paranoia ideation (). Over the entire 9-week interval, there were significant decreases in the HB symptom scale, anxiety state, anger state, anger trait, somatization, anxiety, hostility, and so on in EFT group (). Conclusion. The EFT group showed improved psychological symptoms and physical symptoms greater than those observed in the PMR group. EFT more effectively alleviated HB symptoms compared to PMR. EFT group showed better maintenance during self-training, suggesting good model of self-control treatment in HB patients. Jin Woo Suh, Sun Yong Chung, Sang Young Kim, Jung Hwan Lee, and Jong Woo Kim Copyright © 2015 Jin Woo Suh et al. All rights reserved. Tongxinluo Prevents Endothelial Dysfunction Induced by Homocysteine Thiolactone In Vivo via Suppression of Oxidative Stress Sun, 11 Oct 2015 10:22:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/929012/ Aim. To explore whether Chinese traditional medicine, tongxinluo (TXL), exerts beneficial effects on endothelial dysfunction induced by homocysteine thiolactone (HTL) and to investigate the potential mechanisms. Methods and Results. Incubation of cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells with HTL (1 mM) for 24 hours significantly reduced cell viabilities assayed by MTT, and enhanced productions of reactive oxygen species. Pretreatment of cells with TXL (100, 200, and 400 μg/mL) for 1 hour reversed these effects induced by HTL. Further, coincubation with GW9662 (0.01, 0.1 mM) abolished the protective effects of TXL on HTL-treated cells. In ex vivo experiments, exposure of isolated aortic rings from rats to HTL (1 mM) for 1 hour dramatically impaired acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation, reduced SOD activity, and increased malondialdehyde content in aortic tissues. Preincubation of aortic rings with TXL (100, 200, and 400 μg/mL) normalized the disorders induced by HTL. Importantly, all effects induced by TXL were reversed by GW9662. In vivo analysis indicated that the administration of TXL (1.0 g/kg/d) remarkably suppressed oxidative stress and prevented endothelial dysfunction in rats fed with HTL (50 mg/kg/d) for 8 weeks. Conclusions. TXL improves endothelial functions in rats fed with HTL, which is related to PPARγ-dependent suppression of oxidative stress. Yi Zhang, Tiecheng Pan, Xiaoxuan Zhong, and Cai Cheng Copyright © 2015 Yi Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Serum Levels of Stress Hormones and Oxidative Stress Biomarkers Differ according to Sasang Constitutional Type Sun, 11 Oct 2015 10:21:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/737631/ Objectives. This study investigated whether Sasang constitutional type is associated with differences in the serum levels of stress hormones and oxidative stress. Methods. A total of 236 participants (77 males and 159 females) were enrolled. The serum levels of cortisol, adrenaline, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and malondialdehyde (MDA) were analyzed. Results. The distribution of Sasang constitutional types was as follows: Taeumin, 35.6%; Soumin, 33.0%; and Soyangin, 31.4%. The serum cortisol levels of Taeumin were significantly lower than Soumin ( in both sexes) and Soyangin ( in males and in females). The adrenaline levels were also significantly lower in Taeumin than in Soumin ( in males and in females) and Soyangin ( in males). Serum ROS levels were significantly higher in Soyangin than in Taeumin and Soumin ( in males), whereas MDA levels were significantly lower in Taeumin compared with Soumin and Soyangin ( in males and in females). Conclusion. Taeumin type may tolerate psychological or oxidative stress better than other types, which suggests a biological mechanism to explain the different pathophysiological features of Sasang constitutional types. Hyeong Geug Kim, Yoon Jung Kim, Yo Chan Ahn, and Chang Gue Son Copyright © 2015 Hyeong Geug Kim et al. All rights reserved. Antihypertensive Effect of the GaMiSamHwangSaSimTang in Spontaneous Hypertensive Rats Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:57:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/802368/ The present study was designed to evaluate the antihypertensive effect of GaMiSamHwangSaSimTang (HVC1), a 30% ethanol extract of a mixture comprising Pruni Cortex, Scutellariae Radix, Coptidis Rhizoma, and Rhei Rhizoma, on spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHRs). The systolic blood pressure (SBP) was measured every 4 or 7 days using the noninvasive tail cuff system. The vasorelaxant effects on isolated aortic rings were evaluated. Aortic rings were contracted using phenylephrine (PE) or KCl, and the changes in tension were recorded via isometric transducers connected to a data acquisition system. In this study, oral administration of HVC1 decreased the SBP of SHRs over the experimental period. HVC1 induced concentration-dependent relaxation in the aortic rings that had been precontracted using PE or KCl. The vasorelaxant effects of HVC1 on endothelium-intact aortic rings were inhibited by pretreatment with Nω-Nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) or methylene blue. HVC1 inhibited the contraction induced by extracellular Ca2+ in endothelium-denuded rat aortic rings that had been precontracted using PE or KCl. In conclusion, HVC1 reduced the SBP of SHR and relaxed isolated SHR aortic rings by upregulating NO formation and the NO-cGMP pathway and blocking the entry of extracellular Ca2+ via receptor-operative Ca2+ channel and voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel. Kyungjin Lee, Bumjung Kim, Heseung Hur, Khanita Suman Chinannai, Inhye Ham, and Ho-Young Choi Copyright © 2015 Kyungjin Lee et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Compound Chuanxiong Capsule on Inflammatory Reaction and PI3K/Akt/NF-κB Signaling Pathway in Atherosclerosis Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:53:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/584596/ Compound Chuanxiong Capsule (CCC), a Chinese herbal compound, can exhibit antiatherosclerotic effect; however, its mechanism is still unclear. This study is designed to study the mechanism of CCC on atherosclerosis in the ApoE-knockout (ApoE−/−) mice fed with a high-fat diet. After 6 weeks of high-fat feeding, 40 ApoE−/− mice were randomized () and treated with lipitor, high-dose or low-dose CCC, or distilled water (ApoE−/− group) for 7 weeks. The blood lipids in serum and the plaque areas of the mice were measured and the mRNA expressions of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinases (PI3K), Akt, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) of the aortae were determined. The data showed that CCC can significantly decrease the levels of blood lipids, atherosclerosis index, and plaque areas and increase collagen proportion in plaques as compared with the untreated mice (, ). In addition, CCC can significantly reduce the mRNA expressions of PI3K, Akt, NF-κB, IL-6, and TNF-α in the mice fed with a high-fat diet (). Thus, we concluded that CCC can inhibit inflammatory reaction in the ApoE−/− mice fed with a high-fat diet. This mechanism may be attributed to regulating PI3K/Akt/NF-κB signaling pathway. Qunfu Kang, Weihong Liu, Hongxu Liu, and Mingxue Zhou Copyright © 2015 Qunfu Kang et al. All rights reserved. Tang-Tong-Fang Confers Protection against Experimental Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy by Reducing Inflammation Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:51:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/574169/ Tang-tong-fang (TTF) is a Chinese herbal formula that has been shown to be beneficial in diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), a common complication secondary to diabetic microvascular injury. However, the underlying mechanism of protection in nerve ischemia provided by TTF is still unclear. We hypothesized that TTF alleviates DPN via inhibition of ICAM-1 expression. Therefore, we tested the effect of TTF in a previously established DPN model, in which nerve injury was induced by ischemia/reperfusion in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. We found that the conduction velocity and amplitude of action potentials of sciatic nerve conduction were reduced in the DPN model group but were rescued by TTF treatment. In addition, TTF treatment also attenuated the effect of DPN on other parameters including histology and ultrastructural changes, expression of ICAM-1, MPO, and TNF-α in rat sciatic nerves, and plasma sICAM-1 and MPO levels. Together, our data suggest that TTF treatment may alleviate DPN via ICAM-1 inhibition. Mingdi Li, Da Huang, Xiaoxing Liu, and Lan Lin Copyright © 2015 Mingdi Li et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effect of Artemisia asiatica Extract and Its Active Compound Eupatilin against Cisplatin-Induced Renal Damage Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:50:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/483980/ The present study investigated the renoprotective effect of an Artemisia asiatica extract and eupatilin in kidney epithelial (LLC-PK1) cells. Although cisplatin is effective against several cancers, its use is limited due to severe nephrotoxicity. Eupatilin is a flavonoid compound isolated from the Artemisia plant and possesses antioxidant as well as potent anticancer properties. In the LLC-PK1 cellular model, the decline in cell viability induced by oxidative stress, such as that induced by cisplatin, was significantly and dose-dependently inhibited by the A. asiatica extract and eupatilin. The increased protein expressions of phosphorylated JNK and p38 by cisplatin in cells were markedly reduced after A. asiatica extract or eupatilin cotreatment. The elevated expression of cleaved caspase-3 was significantly reduced by A. asiatica extract and eupatilin, and the elevated percentage of apoptotic cells after cisplatin treatment in LLC-PK1 cells was markedly decreased by cotreatment with A. asiatica extract or eupatilin. Taken together, these results suggest that A. asiatica extract and eupatilin could cure or prevent cisplatin-induced renal toxicity without any adverse effect; thus, it can be used in combination with cisplatin to prevent nephrotoxicity. Jun Yeon Park, Dahae Lee, Hyuk-Jai Jang, Dae Sik Jang, Hak Cheol Kwon, Ki Hyun Kim, Su-Nam Kim, Gwi Seo Hwang, Ki Sung Kang, and Dae-Woon Eom Copyright © 2015 Jun Yeon Park et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Chung-Pae Inhalation Therapy on a Mouse Model of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:48:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/461295/ Chung-pae (CP) inhalation therapy is a method frequently used in Korea to treat lung disease, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study investigated the effects of CP inhalation on a COPD animal model. C57BL/6 mice received porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) alternately three times for 3 weeks to induce COPD. Then, CP (5 or 20 mg/kg) was administered every 2 h after the final LPS administration. The effect of CP was evaluated by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid analysis, histological analysis of lung tissue, and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis of mRNA of interleukin- (IL-) 1β, tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α, IL-6, and tumor growth factor- (TGF-) β. Intratracheal CP administration reduced the number of leukocytes and neutrophils in BAL fluid, inhibited the histological appearance of lung damage, and decreased the mRNA levels of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, and TGF-β. Intratracheal CP administration effectively decreased the chronic inflammation and pathological changes in a PPE- and LPS-induced COPD mouse model. Therefore, we suggest that CP is a promising strategy for COPD. Joon-Ho Hwang, Beom-Joon Lee, Hee Jae Jung, Kwan-Il Kim, Jun-Yong Choi, Myungsoo Joo, and Sung-Ki Jung Copyright © 2015 Joon-Ho Hwang et al. All rights reserved. Spatial Patterns of the Indications of Acupoints Using Data Mining in Classic Medical Text: A Possible Visualization of the Meridian System Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:46:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/457071/ The indications of acupoints are thought to be highly associated with the lines of the meridian systems. The present study used data mining methods to analyze the characteristics of the indications of each acupoint and to visualize the relationships between the acupoints and disease sites in the classic Korean medical text Chimgoogyeongheombang. Using a term frequency-inverse document frequency (tf-idf) scheme, the present study extracted valuable data regarding the indications of each acupoint according to the frequency of the cooccurrences of eight Source points and eighteen disease sites. Furthermore, the spatial patterns of the indications of each acupoint on a body map were visualized according to the tf-idf values. Each acupoint along the different meridians exhibited different constellation patterns at various disease sites. Additionally, the spatial patterns of the indications of each acupoint were highly associated with the route of the corresponding meridian. The present findings demonstrate that the indications of each acupoint were primarily associated with the corresponding meridian system. Furthermore, these findings suggest that the routes of the meridians may have clinical implications in terms of identifying the constellations of the indications of acupoints. Won-Mo Jung, Taehyung Lee, In-Seon Lee, Sanghyun Kim, Hyunchul Jang, Song-Yi Kim, Hi-Joon Park, and Younbyoung Chae Copyright © 2015 Won-Mo Jung et al. All rights reserved. Comparison of the Spasmolytic Effects of Jakyak-Gamcho Decoctions Derived via Different Extractants Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:45:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/270380/ Aim. To investigate whether differences in the amounts of effective index components in Jakyak-Gamcho decoctions derived via extraction with either water or ethanol were associated with differential spasmolytic effectiveness. Methods. The amounts of effective index components (paeoniflorin, benzoic acid, glycyrrhizin, and isoliquiritin) contained in water-extracted Jakyak-Gamcho decoction and 70% ethanol-extracted Jakyak-Gamcho decoction were compared by high-performance liquid chromatography. Muscle cramp reduction rates were compared between the two decoctions by comparing the degrees of muscle contraction, measured as the tension developed during electrical stimulation, before and 1 and 2 h after injection in rats. Results. The relative amounts of effective index components were, on average, about 43% higher in the 70% ethanol-extracted decoction than in the water-extracted decoction. Two hours after injection, 0.25 g/kg of 70% ethanol-extracted decoction produced a significantly greater spasmolytic effect than 0.25 g/kg of water-extracted Jakyak-Gamcho decoction or distilled water (both ). Conclusion. Differences in the amounts of effective index components resulting from the use of different extractants were associated with differences in spasmolytic effectiveness. Hence, it may be worthwhile to investigate alternative extraction methods in terms of extraction efficiency and in vivo effectiveness for various herbal medicines in the future. Dongwook Kwak, Changwoo Lee, Inseong Kong, JaeChul Lee, Donghee Choi, and Changsu Na Copyright © 2015 Dongwook Kwak et al. All rights reserved. Panax notoginseng Saponins Attenuate Phenotype Switching of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Induced by Notch3 Silencing Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:42:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/162145/ Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS) could maintain vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in stable phenotypes so as to keep blood vessel elasticity as well as prevent failing in endovascular treatment with stent. Downregulation of Notch3 expression in VSMCs could influence the phenotype of VSMCs under pathologic status. However, whether PNS is able to attenuate the Notch3 silencing induced phenotype switching of VSMCs remains poorly understood. Primary human VSMCs were transfected with a plasmid containing a small interfering RNA (siRNA) against Notch3 and then exposed to different doses of PNS. The control groups included cells not receiving any treatment and cells transfected with a control siRNA. Phenotypic switching was evaluated by observing cell morphology with confocal microscopy, as well as examining α-SM-actin, SM22α, and OPN using Western blot. Downregulated Notch3 with a siRNA induced apparent phenotype switching, as reflected by morphologic changes, decreased expression of α-SM-actin and SM22α and increased expression of OPN. These changes were inhibited by PNS in a dose-dependent manner. The phenotype switching of VSMCs induced by Notch3 knockdown could be inhibited by PNS in a dose-dependent manner. Our study provided new evidence for searching effective drug for amending stability of atherosclerotic disease. Nan Liu, Dazhi Shan, Ying Li, Hui Chen, Yonghong Gao, and Yonghua Huang Copyright © 2015 Nan Liu et al. All rights reserved. Essential Experimental Methods for Identifying Bonghan Systems as a Basis for Korean Medicine: Focusing on Visual Materials from Original Papers and Modern Outcomes Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:26:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/682735/ In the 1960s, through studies on Korean Medicine, Bonghan Kim proposed the Bonghan systems (BS) as the anatomical reality of the acupuncture meridians based on various experimental data. Since 2002, several groups, mainly led by a team at Seoul National University, who renamed the BS as the primo vascular system (PVS), have published around 70 papers showing biological structures corresponding to the BS. However, it is still difficult for other researchers to find them, especially under the skin, which Bonghan Kim first reported as acupuncture points, due to similar-looking biological tissues, for example, the lymphatic vessels, and such artifacts as blood clots or fascia debris. To solve these drawbacks, we examined the main methods for identifying the BS by comparing the original papers with the modern outcomes in terms of the common physical/chemical characteristics of the BS. In addition, effective methods of staining and microscopic observations discovered by modern teams are synthetically explained using visual materials such as diagrams and photos. Through the essentially organized methods in this review paper, we suggest that one can find the BS under the skin as putative acupuncture points by tracing the intraexternal BS, from which a new Korean Medicine will be born. Hoon-Gi Kim, Byung-Cheon Lee, and Ki-Bog Lee Copyright © 2015 Hoon-Gi Kim et al. All rights reserved. Intercultural Usage of Mori Folium: Comparison Review from a Korean Medical Perspective Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:26:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/379268/ Objectives. A review on studies related to the use of Mori folium, the leaves of Morus alba, was conducted with the goal of identifying new clinical applications in Korean medicine. Methods. Global literature search was conducted using three electronic databases up to January 2015 with the term Morus alba and its Korean terms. KM literatures including textbooks and standard pharmacopoeia were separately hand-searched and reviewed to provide comparison. Data were extracted according to predetermined criteria, and clinical uses were standardized with ICD-10 categories. Results. 159 potentially relevant studies were identified, and 18 articles including 12 ethnopharmacologic and 6 clinical studies were finally included in this analysis. Ethnopharmacologic studies from 8 countries provided 17 clinical uses. We found that five out of six clinical trials were related to diabetes and suggested a moderate short-term to mild long-term effect. And 43 Korean texts also provided 156 clinical uses in 35 categories including ocular and respiratory disorders. Discussion and Conclusions. Though majority of the clinical uses were also found in Korean medicine literature, treatment of infertility, jaundice, cognitive disorder, and hyperpigmentation was found to be effective and diabetes with Morus alba was recognized to have clinical importance. Byungjin Joh, Eun Sang Jeon, Su Hye Lim, Yu Lee Park, Wansu Park, and Han Chae Copyright © 2015 Byungjin Joh et al. All rights reserved. An Overview of Meta-Analyses of Danhong Injection for Unstable Angina Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:24:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/358028/ Objective. To systematically collect evidence and evaluate the effects of Danhong injection (DHI) for unstable angina (UA). Methods. A comprehensive search was conducted in seven electronic databases up to January 2015. The methodological and reporting quality of included studies was assessed by using AMSTAR and PRISMA. Result. Five articles were included. The conclusions suggest that DHI plus conventional medicine treatment was effective for UA pectoris treatment, could alleviate symptoms of angina and ameliorate electrocardiograms. Flaws of the original studies and systematic reviews weaken the strength of evidence. Limitations of the methodology quality include performing an incomprehensive literature search, lacking detailed characteristics, ignoring clinical heterogeneity, and not assessing publication bias and other forms of bias. The flaws of reporting systematic reviews included the following: not providing a structured summary, no standardized search strategy. For the pooled findings, researchers took statistical heterogeneity into consideration, but clinical and methodology heterogeneity were ignored. Conclusion. DHI plus conventional medicine treatment generally appears to be effective for UA treatment. However, the evidence is not hard enough due to methodological flaws in original clinical trials and systematic reviews. Furthermore, rigorous designed randomized controlled trials are also needed. The methodology and reporting quality of systematic reviews should be improved. Xiaoxia Zhang, Hui Wang, Yanxu Chang, Yuefei Wang, Xiang Lei, Shufei Fu, and Junhua Zhang Copyright © 2015 Xiaoxia Zhang et al. All rights reserved. The Clinical Relevance of Serum NDKA, NMDA, PARK7, and UFDP Levels with Phlegm-Heat Syndrome and Treatment Efficacy Evaluation of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Acute Ischemic Stroke Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:17:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/270498/ According to the methods of Patient-Reported Outcome (PRO) based on the patient reports internationally and referring to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guide, some scholars developed this PRO of stroke which is consistent with China’s national conditions, and using it the feel of stroke patients was introduced into the clinical efficacy evaluation system of stoke. “Ischemic Stroke TCM Syndrome Factor Diagnostic Scale (ISTSFDS)” and “Ischemic Stroke TCM Syndrome Factor Evaluation Scale (ISTSFES)” were by “Major State Basic Research Development Program of China (973 Program) (number 2003CB517102).” ISTSFDS can help to classify and diagnose the CM syndrome reasonably and objectively with application of syndrome factors. Six syndrome factors, internal-wind syndrome, internal-fire syndrome, phlegm-dampness syndrome, blood-stasis syndrome, qi-deficiency syndrome, and yin-deficiency syndrome, were included in ISTSFDS and ISTSFES. TCM syndrome factor was considered to be present if the score was greater than or equal to 10 according to ISTSFDS. In our study, patients with phlegm-heat syndrome were recruited, who met the diagnosis of both “phlegm-dampness” and “internal-fire” according to ISTSFDS. ISTSFES was used to assess the syndrome severity; in our study it was used to assess the severity of phlegm-heat syndrome (phlegm-heat syndrome scores = phlegm-dampness syndrome scores + internal-fire syndrome scores). Xiuxiu Han, Yonghong Gao, Bin Ma, Ying Gao, Yikun Sun, Ru Jiang, and Yayun Wang Copyright © 2015 Xiuxiu Han et al. All rights reserved. Trigonellae Semen Enhances Sperm Motility and the Expression of the Cation Sperm Channel Proteins in Mouse Testes Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:10:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/817324/ Genetic defects during spermatogenesis can lead to a reduction in sperm motility and cause male infertility. The cation channels of sperm (CatSper) play a role in the regulation of hyperactivated sperm motility in mouse testes. The effect of Trigonellae Semen (TS) on the male reproductive system and CatSper protein in mouse testes during spermatogenesis was examined. C57BL/c mice were divided into the following five groups: normal, cyclophosphamide- (CP-) only treated (control group), and three groups treated with varying concentrations of TS with CP (100, 500, and 1000 mg/kg TS and 100 mg/kg CP). Real-time PCR, western blot analysis, and a testosterone immunoassay were performed to assess CatSper protein levels in the five groups. Additionally, sperm cell counts and motility were examined. Results indicate that sperm motility and sperm counts increased in the TS treated groups in a dose-dependent manner . CatSper levels were also significantly higher in the TS treated groups compared to that of the control group . Therefore, TS treatment could enhance sperm function by promoting spermatogenesis and the expression of CatSper proteins in mouse testes. Do Rim Kim, Hyu Young Kim, Ha Young Kim, Mun Seog Chang, and Seong Kyu Park Copyright © 2015 Do Rim Kim et al. All rights reserved. Discrimination and Proper Use of Polygoni Multiflori Radix, Cynanchi Wilfordii Radix, and Cynanchi Auriculati Radix in Korea: A Descriptive Review Sun, 11 Oct 2015 07:55:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/827380/ Polygoni Multiflori Radix (PMR), Cynanchi Wilfordii Radix (CWR), and Cynanchi Auriculati Radix (CAR) are very popular herbal medicines in Traditional Korean Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Kampo Medicine. However, the plant origins, efficacies, and traditional uses of these herbal medicines differ. In Korea, PMR is called Ha Su O (He Shou Wu in China), and CWR is called Baek Ha Su O or Baek Su O (Bai Shou Wu in China). Baek Su O refers to CWR in Korea and CAR in China. CAR has not been used as a traditional herbal medicine, and it cannot be legally used as a food or food ingredient in Korea. However, CAR is cultivated in Korea and imported from China. Because the morphology of CWR and CAR is very similar, they are often confused and misused in Korea. This review discusses the reasons for the confusion and misuse of these substances in Korea and provides the exact plant origins, efficacies, uses, components, and toxicities of PMR, CWR, and CAR so that they can be correctly understood and used. Beom-Joon Lee and Kyungjin Lee Copyright © 2015 Beom-Joon Lee and Kyungjin Lee. All rights reserved. Resistance to Antibiotics and Antifungal Medicinal Products: Can Complementary and Alternative Medicine Help Solve the Problem in Common Infection Diseases? The Introduction of a Dutch Research Consortium Sun, 11 Oct 2015 07:50:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/521584/ The increase of antibiotic resistance worldwide, rising numbers of deaths and costs associated with this, and the fact that hardly any new antimicrobial drugs have been developed during the last decade have increased the interest in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapeutic interventions, if proven safe and effective. Observational studies on clinical CAM practices demonstrate positive effects of treatment of infections with CAM therapies (clinical effects, patient satisfaction) in combination with small percentages of antibiotics prescription. However, Cochrane reviews and other studies demonstrate that in most instances the quality of clinical trials on CAM treatment of infections is currently too low to provide sufficient evidence. Therefore a Dutch consortium on (in vitro and clinical) scientific research on CAM and antibiotic resistance has been formed. The aim and objective of the consortium is to establish an enduring partnership and to develop expertise to further develop and investigate safe and effective CAM treatments for infectious diseases of humans (and animals). A first ongoing project on the development of safe and effective biobased CAM antimycotics in women with (recurrent) vaginal candidiasis infection is introduced. Esther T. Kok, Miek C. Jong, Barbara Gravendeel, Willem B. Van Leeuwen, and Erik W. Baars Copyright © 2015 Esther T. Kok et al. All rights reserved.