Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Sympathetic Arousal during a Touch-Based Healing Ritual Predicts Increased Well-Being Sun, 05 Jul 2015 07:56:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/641704/ Objective. There is mounting evidence that more elaborate treatment rituals trigger larger nonspecific effects. The reasons for this remain unclear. In a pilot field study, we investigated the role of psychophysiological changes during a touch-based healing ritual for improvements in subjective well-being. Methods. Heart rate, respiratory rate, and skin conductance levels (SCL) were continuously assessed in 22 subjects before, during, and after a touch-based healing ritual. Participants rated their expectations and subjective well-being was assessed before and after the ritual by the “Short Questionnaire on Current Disposition”. Results. Subjective well-being increased significantly from before to after the ritual. The analysis of psychophysiological changes revealed a significant increase in respiratory rate from baseline to ritual, while skin conductance, heart rate, and heart rate variability did not change. Increases in SCL as well as decreases in respiratory rate from baseline to ritual were significantly associated with improvements in subjective well-being. Regression analyses showed increases in SCL to be the only significant predictor of improvements in well-being. Conclusion. Higher sympathetic arousal during a touch-based healing ritual predicted improvements in subjective well-being. Results suggest the occurrence of an anticipatory stress response, that is, a state of enhanced sympathetic activity that is known to precede relaxation. Karin Meissner and Anne Koch Copyright © 2015 Karin Meissner and Anne Koch. All rights reserved. Immediate Effects of Kinesiology Taping of Quadriceps on Motor Performance after Muscle Fatigued Induction Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:16:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/410526/ Objectives. The purpose of this cross-sectional single-blind study was to investigate the immediate effects of Kinesiology taping of quadriceps on motor performance after muscle fatigued induction. Design. Randomized controlled cross-sectional design. Subjects. Forty-five subjects participated in this study. Participants were divided into three groups: Kinesiology taping group, placebo taping group, and nontaping group. Methods. Subjects performed short-term exercise for muscle fatigued induction, followed by the application of each intervention. Peak torque test, one-leg single hop test, active joint position sense test, and one-leg static balance test were carried out before and after the intervention. Results. Peak torque and single-leg hopping distance were significantly increased when Kinesiology taping was applied (). But there were no significant effects on active joint position sense and single-leg static balance. Conclusions. We proved that Kinesiology taping is effective in restoring muscle power reduced after muscle fatigued induction. Therefore, we suggest that Kinesiology taping is beneficial for fatigued muscles. Ick Keun Ahn, You Lim Kim, Young-Hyeon Bae, and Suk Min Lee Copyright © 2015 Ick Keun Ahn et al. All rights reserved. Neuroprotective Activity of Coptisine from Coptis chinensis (Franch) Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:44:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/827308/ Coptis chinensis rhizomes (CR) are one important ingredient of traditional Chinese herbal formulas such as San-Huang-Xie-Xin-Tang which is used for treatment of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Recent studies suggest that the extract of CR might be a potential therapeutic agent for amelioration of neurological disorders associated with oxidative stress. In the present study we aimed at revealing the main active compound(s) of the CR extract and at investigating the mechanism of action. Four main alkaloids of the CR extract (berberine, coptisine, jatrorrhizine, and palmatine) were selected for this study. Results showed that out of those alkaloids only pretreatment with coptisine significantly attenuated tert-butylhydroperoxide induced reduction of cell viability, increased rate of apoptosis, and declined mitochondrial membrane potential. Elisa assay and quantitative real-time PCR analyses revealed that thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) gene expression was downregulated by coptisine, which could explain the neuroprotective effect, hypothetically, by strengthening the thioredoxin defense system against oxidative stress and attenuation of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase (Ask1) mediated apoptotic signaling. A comparison between coptisine and CR extract identified coptisine as the main single component responsible for the neuroprotective effect. Based on the results the CR extract and coptisine are promising candidate agents for prevention or improvement of diabetic neuropathy and neurodegenerative disorders. Thomas Friedemann, Udo Schumacher, Yi Tao, Alexander Kai-Man Leung, and Sven Schröder Copyright © 2015 Thomas Friedemann et al. All rights reserved. Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of the Essential Oils from Thymbra capitata and Thymus Species Grown in Portugal Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:28:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/851721/ The antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of the essential oils from Thymbra capitata and Thymus species grown in Portugal were evaluated. Thymbra and Thymus essential oils were grouped into two clusters: Cluster I in which carvacrol, thymol, p-cymene, α-terpineol, and γ-terpinene dominated and Cluster II in which thymol and carvacrol were absent and the main constituent was linalool. The ability for scavenging ABTS•+ and peroxyl free radicals as well as for preventing the growth of THP-1 leukemia cells was better in essential oils with the highest contents of thymol and carvacrol. These results show the importance of these two terpene-phenolic compounds as antioxidants and cytotoxic agents against THP-1 cells. Maria Graça Miguel, Custódia Gago, Maria Dulce Antunes, Cristina Megías, Isabel Cortés-Giraldo, Javier Vioque, A. Sofia Lima, and A. Cristina Figueiredo Copyright © 2015 Maria Graça Miguel et al. All rights reserved. Antidepressant-Like and Antioxidant Effects of Plinia trunciflora in Mice Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:00:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/601503/ The jaboticaba tree, Plinia trunciflora (O. Berg) Kausel, is popularly named “jabuticabeira” in Brazil and is used in folk medicine to treat diabetes and chronic inflammation of the tonsils, but studies evaluating the central effects of this species are limited. This study evaluated the antidepressant-like and antioxidant effects of P. trunciflora (PT) aqueous extract, in which five different anthocyanins were identified. PT showed significant ferric-reduction power and DPPH radical scavenging activity in vitro and reduced lipid peroxidation both in vitro and ex vivo. At the behavioural level, PT (400 and 800 mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently reduced immobility time in the tail suspension test in Swiss male mice. The identification of bioactive compounds accompanied by the in vitro and ex vivo antioxidant activity of PT suggests that these activities might be related to the antidepressant-like activity of P. trunciflora. Cassia Sacchet, Ricieri Mocelin, Adrieli Sachett, Fernanda Bevilaqua, Rafael Chitolina, Fernanda Kuhn, Aline Augusti Boligon, Margareth Linde Athayde, Walter Antonio Roman Junior, Denis Broock Rosemberg, Jacir Dal Magro, Greicy Michelle Marafiga Conterato, and Angelo L. Piato Copyright © 2015 Cassia Sacchet et al. All rights reserved. Research of Herb-Partitioned Moxibustion for Primary Dysmenorrhea Patients Based on the LC-MS Metabonomics Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:33:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/621490/ Objective. To explore the efficacy and mechanism of primary dysmenorrhea patients were treated with herb-partitioned moxibustion through metabonomics. Methods. 20 patients with primary dysmenorrhea were randomized into two groups, separately treated with herb-partitioned moxibustion at CV8 (shenque) and acupuncture at SP6 (sanyinjiao). After three menstrual cycles’ treatment, the intensity of menstrual pain using VAS and the changes of metabolites of plasma using LC-MS were observed. Results. The VAS of two groups decreased with different descending range. Herb-partitioned moxibustion upregulated 20α-dihydroprogesterone, pregnenolone, prostaglandin E2 and γ-aminobutyric acid and downregulated the content of estrone and prostaglandin H2, while acupuncture upregulated pregnenolone and 20α-dihydroprogesterone and downregulated 2-methoxyestradiol-3-methylether, 15-hydroxyeicosatrienoic acid and 6-keto-prostaglandin. Discussion. It was effective in relieving the abdominal pain by these two therapies. Herb-partitioned moxibustion is superior to acupuncture for primary dysmenorrhea, which could be related to regulating the endocrine hormone. Yu-xia Ma, Xing-yue Yang, Gang Guo, Dong-qing Du, Yan-pu Yu, and Shu-zhong Gao Copyright © 2015 Yu-xia Ma et al. All rights reserved. A Study on Effect of Electroacupuncture on Gene Expression in Hypothalamus of Rats with Stress-Induced Prehypertension Based on Gene Chip Technology Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:56:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/621237/ Objective. To explore the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on gene expression in the hypothalamus of rats with stress-induced prehypertension and try to reveal its biological mechanism with gene chip technology. Methods. The stress-induced hypertensive rat model was prepared by combining electric foot-shocks with generated noise. Molding cycle lasted for 14 days and EA intervention was applied on model + EA group during model preparation. Rat Gene 2.0 Array technology was used for the determination of gene expression profiles and the screened key genes were verified by real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR method. Results. Compared with the blank group, 234 genes were upregulated and 73 were downregulated in the model group. Compared with the model group, 110 genes were upregulated and 273 genes were downregulated in model + EA group. The PCR results of the key genes including HSPB1, P2RX4, PPP1R14A, and TH are consistent with that of gene chip test. Conclusion. EA could significantly lower blood pressure of stress-induced prehypertension rats and affect its gene expression profile in hypothalamus. Genes and their signal transduction pathway that related to the contraction of vascular smooth muscle, concentration of Ca2+, and excitability of sympathetic nerve may be involved in EA’s antihypertensive mechanism. Xiaojia Xie, Yan Guo, Qingguo Liu, Zhaoyang Wang, and Changqing Guo Copyright © 2015 Xiaojia Xie et al. All rights reserved. Electroacupuncture Ameliorates the Coronary Occlusion Related Tachycardia and Hypotension in Acute Rat Myocardial Ischemia Model: Potential Role of Hippocampus Mon, 29 Jun 2015 07:19:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/925987/ Mechanisms for electroacupuncture (EA) in disease treatments are still enigmatic. Here, we studied whether hippocampus was involved in the protection of EA stimulation on myocardial ischemia injury. Acute myocardial ischemia (AMI) model was produced. EA stimulation at heart meridian from Shenmen (HT7) to Tongli (HT5) was applied to rats 3 times a day for continuous three days. Coronary occlusion related tachycardia and hypotension, indicated by heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and rate pressure product, were apparently impaired after AMI injury. By contrast, EA stimulating could ameliorate the impairments of heart function (). Interestingly, lesion of CA1 region of hippocampus abolished the protection of EA. Neuronal activity in CA1 area was affected by AMI. As evidenced, cell counts, cell types, and frequency of the discharged neurons were facilitated after AMI, while EA stimulation attenuated the abnormalities. Furthermore, c-Fos expression was significantly facilitated in CA1 area after AMI, which was reduced by EA stimulation. Correlations were established between c-Fos expression and cell counts of discharged neurons, as well as between heart function and cell counts of discharged neurons. Taken together, EA stimulation at heart meridian protects against heart dysfunction induced by AMI possibly through suppressing the neuronal activity in CA1 region. Shengbing Wu, Jian Cao, Tianning Zhang, Yiping Zhou, Keming Wang, Guoqi Zhu, and Meiqi Zhou Copyright © 2015 Shengbing Wu et al. All rights reserved. Autophagic Cell Death by Poncirus trifoliata Rafin., a Traditional Oriental Medicine, in Human Oral Cancer HSC-4 Cells Mon, 29 Jun 2015 07:14:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/394263/ Poncirus trifoliata Rafin. has long been used as anti-inflammatory and antiallergic agent to treat gastrointestinal disorders and pulmonary diseases such as indigestion, constipation, chest fullness, chest pain, bronchitis, and sputum in Korea. P. trifoliata extract has recently been reported to possess anticancer properties; however, its mechanisms of action remain unclear. In this study, its antiproliferative effects and possible mechanisms were investigated in HSC-4 cells. The methanol extract of P. trifoliata (MEPT) significantly decreased the proliferation of HSC-4 cells (inhibitory concentration (IC)50 = 142.7 μg/mL) in a dose-dependent manner. While there were no significant changes observed upon cell cycle analysis and ANNEXIN V and 7-AAD double staining in the MEPT-treated groups, the intensity of acidic vesicular organelle (AVO) staining and microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain (LC) 3-II protein expression increased in response to MEPT treatment. Furthermore, 3-methyladenine (3-MA, autophagy inhibitor) effectively blocked the MEPT-induced cytotoxicity of HSC-4 cells and triggered the activation of p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) proteins. Taken together, our results indicate that MEPT is a potent autophagy agonist in oral cancer cells with antitumor therapeutic potential that acts through the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Hye-Yeon Han, Bong-Soo Park, Guem San Lee, Seung-Hwa Jeong, Hyungwoo Kim, and Mi Heon Ryu Copyright © 2015 Hye-Yeon Han et al. All rights reserved. Effects of RuPeng15 Powder (RPP15) on Monosodium Urate Crystal-Induced Gouty Arthritis in Rats Sun, 28 Jun 2015 11:20:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/527019/ RuPeng15 Powder (RPP15) is a herbal multicompound remedy that originates from traditional Tibetan medicine and possesses antigout, anti-inflammatory, and antihyperuricemic properties based on the traditional conceptions. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the therapeutic effect of PRP15 in rat gouty arthritis induced by monosodium urate (MSU) crystals. In the present study, we found that treatment with RPP15 (0.4, 0.8, and 1.2 g/kg) in rats with gouty arthritis induced by MSU crystals significantly attenuated the knee swelling. Histomorphometric and immunohistochemistry analyses revealed that MSU-induced inflammatory cell infiltration and the elevated expressions of nuclear transcription factor-κB p65 (NF-κB p65) in synovial tissues were significantly inhibited, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) result showed that MSU-induced high levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) in synovial fluid were reduced by treatment with RPP15 (0.4, 0.8, and 1.2 g/kg). We conclude that RPP15 may be a promising candidate for the development of a new treatment for gout and its activity of antigout may be partially related to inhibiting TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-8, and NF-κB p65 expression in the synovial tissues. Y.-Y. Kou, Y.-F. Li, M. Xu, W.-Y. Li, M. Yang, and R.-L. Li Copyright © 2015 Y.-Y. Kou et al. All rights reserved. Integrated Treatment of Aqueous Extract of Solanum nigrum-Potentiated Cisplatin- and Doxorubicin-Induced Cytotoxicity in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells Sun, 28 Jun 2015 10:34:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/675270/ Chemotherapy is the main approach for treating advanced and recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but the clinical performance of chemotherapy is limited by a relatively low response rate, drug resistance, and adverse effects that severely affect the quality of life of patients. The aqueous extract of Solanum nigrum (AE-SN) is a crucial ingredient in some traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulas for treating cancer patients and exhibits antitumor effects in human HCC cells. Therefore, this study examined the tumor-suppression efficiency of AE-SN integrated with a standard chemotherapeutic drug, namely, cisplatin or doxorubicin, in human HCC cells, namely, Hep3B and HepJ5. The results suggested that the integrated treatment with AE-SN-potentiated cisplatin and doxorubicin induced cytotoxicity through the cleavage of caspase-7 and accumulation of microtubule-associated protein-1 light chain-3 A/1B II (LC-3 A/B II), which were associated with apoptotic and autophagic cell death, respectively, in both the Hep3B and HepJ5 cells. In conclusion, AE-SN can potentially be used in novel integrated chemotherapy with cisplatin or doxorubicin to treat HCC patients. Chien-Kai Wang, Yi-Feng Lin, Cheng-Jeng Tai, Chia-Wowi Wang, Yu-Jia Chang, Chen-Yen Choong, Chi-Shian Lin, Chen-Jei Tai, and Chun-Chao Chang Copyright © 2015 Chien-Kai Wang et al. All rights reserved. Plants Consumption and Liver Health Sun, 28 Jun 2015 10:31:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/824185/ The liver is a very important organ with a lot of functions for the host to survive. Dietary components are essential for and can be beneficial or detrimental to the healthy or diseased liver. Plants food is an essential part of the human diet and comprises various compounds which are closely related to liver health. Selected food plants can provide nutritional and medicinal support for liver disease. At the present, the knowledge of the effects of plants on the liver is still incomplete. The most urgent task at the present time is to find the best dietary and medicinal plants for liver health in an endless list of candidates. This review article updates the knowledge about the effects of plants consumption on the health of the liver, putting particular emphasis on the potential beneficial and harmful impact of dietary and medicinal plants on liver function. Yong-Song Guan and Qing He Copyright © 2015 Yong-Song Guan and Qing He. All rights reserved. Hypoglycemic Effect of Ethanol and Ethyl Acetate Extract of Phellinus baumii Fruiting Body in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice Sun, 28 Jun 2015 08:39:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/783460/ We investigated hypoglycemic effect of ethanol (EtOH) and ethyl acetate extract acetate (AcOEt) extracts in streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetic mice. Our data showed the maximum inhibitory effect on the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) level was detected in STZ-induced diabetic mice administered with 400 mg/kg AcOEt extract of P. baumii. A lower glycated albumin (GA) level and a higher insulin level were observed in 400 mg/kg AcOEt and EtOH extract groups. Moreover, 400 mg/kg AcOEt and EtOH extract exhibited a stronger effect on increasing size and cell number of islets. The insulin expression level of β-cells and integrated optical density (IOD) value were significantly increased by the administration of 400 mg/kg AcOEt and EtOH extracts. Taken together, AcOEt and EtOH extracts of P. baumii fruiting body exhibited considerable hypoglycemic effect on STZ-induced diabetic mice. Wen-Han Wang, Fei-Hua Wu, Yan Yang, Na Wu, Jing-Song Zhang, Na Feng, and Chuan-Hong Tang Copyright © 2015 Wen-Han Wang et al. All rights reserved. Huaier Aqueous Extract Induces Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells Arrest in S Phase via JNK Signaling Pathway Sun, 28 Jun 2015 07:44:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/171356/ Huaier aqueous extract, the main active constituent of Huaier proteoglycan, has antihepatocarcinoma activity in experimental and clinical settings. However, the potential and associated antihepatoma mechanisms of Huaier extract are not yet fully understood. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to elucidate the inhibitory proliferation effect of Huaier extract on apoptosis and cycle of HepG2 and Bel-7402 cells. Our data demonstrated that incubation with Huaier extract resulted in a marked decrease in cell viability dose-dependently. Flow cytometric analysis showed that a 48 h treatment of Huaier extract caused cell apoptosis. Typical apoptotic nucleus alterations were observed with fluorescence microscope after Hoechst staining. Immunoblot analysis further demonstrated that Huaier extract activated caspase 3 and PARP. Additionally, Huaier extract inhibited the activity of p-ERK, p-p38, and p-JNK in terms of MAPK. Furthermore, Huaier extract induced HCC cells arrest in S phase and decreased the cycle related protein expression of β-catenin and cyclin D1. Studies with JNK specific inhibitor, SP600125, showed that Huaier extract induced S phase arrest and decreased β-catenin and cyclin D1 expression via JNK signaling pathway. In conclusion, we verify that Huaier extract causes cell apoptosis and induces hepatocellular carcinoma cells arrest in S phase via JNK pathway, which advances our understanding on the molecular mechanisms of Huaier extract in hepatocarcinoma management. Chengshuo Zhang, Jialin Zhang, Xin Li, Ning Sun, Rui Yu, Bochao Zhao, Dongyang Yu, Ying Cheng, and Yongfeng Liu Copyright © 2015 Chengshuo Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Antibacterial Effects and Mode of Action of Selected Essential Oils Components against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus Sun, 28 Jun 2015 07:21:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/795435/ Bacterial resistance has been increasingly reported worldwide and is one of the major causes of failure in the treatment of infectious diseases. Natural-based products, including plant secondary metabolites (phytochemicals), may be used to surpass or reduce this problem. The objective of this study was to determine the antibacterial effect and mode of action of selected essential oils (EOs) components: carveol, carvone, citronellol, and citronellal, against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) were assessed for the selected EOs components. Moreover, physicochemical bacterial surface characterization, bacterial surface charge, membrane integrity, and leakage assays were carried out to investigate the antimicrobial mode of action of EOs components. Citronellol was the most effective molecule against both pathogens, followed by citronellal, carveol, and carvone. Changes in the hydrophobicity, surface charge, and membrane integrity with the subsequent leakage from E. coli and S. aureus were observed after exposure to EOs. This study demonstrates that the selected EOs have significant antimicrobial activity against the bacteria tested, acting on the cell surface and causing the disruption of the bacterial membrane. Moreover, these molecules are interesting alternatives to conventional antimicrobials for the control of microbial infections. Julio Cesar Lopez-Romero, Humberto González-Ríos, Anabela Borges, and Manuel Simões Copyright © 2015 Julio Cesar Lopez-Romero et al. All rights reserved. Curative Effects of Fuzheng Huayu on Liver Fibrosis and Cirrhosis: A Meta-Analysis Sun, 28 Jun 2015 07:03:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/125659/ The Fuzheng Huayu (FZHY) formula is being used in antiliver fibrosis treatment in China. For systemic evaluation of the curative effects of FZHY on liver fibrosis and cirrhosis progress, a total of 1392 subjects (714 cases and 678 controls) were found to be eligible for meta-analysis in this study. Standard mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated for changes between FZHY groups and controls by employing fixed effects or random effects model. In the overall analysis, alanine transaminase (ALT) (, SMD = −0.87, 95% CI: −1.46 to −0.29), total bilirubin (TBil) (, SMD = −1.30, 95% CI: −2.10 to −0.50), hyaluronic acid (HA) (, SMD = −0.94, 95% CI: −1.30 to −0.58), laminin (LN) (, SMD = −0.80, 95% CI: −1.20 to −0.41), type III procollagen (PC-III) (, SMD = −1.27, 95% CI: −1.93 to −0.60), and type IV procollagen (IV-C) (, SMD = −0.78, 95% CI: −1.05 to −0.51) were decreased after FZHY treatment; however, albumin (ALB) was increased (, SMD = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.07 to 2.12) significantly. Furthermore, the Child-Pugh score was reduced significantly and the life quality was improved after FZHY treatment in cirrhosis patients. The results of this meta-analysis indicated that FZHY effectively improves the liver function, alleviates hepatic fibrosis, decreases Child-Pugh score, and relieves TCM symptoms caused by liver dysfunction, indicating that FZHY may contribute to the alleviation of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Shu Dong, Qi-Long Chen, and Shi-Bing Su Copyright © 2015 Shu Dong et al. All rights reserved. Dynamical Regulation Analysis Identifies Molecular Mechanisms of Fuzheng-Huayu Formula against Hepatitis B-Caused Liver Cirrhosis Sun, 28 Jun 2015 06:46:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/238495/ Fuzheng-Huayu (FZHY) tablet was formulated based on Chinese medicine theory in treating liver fibrosis. A clinical trial has indicated that FZHY can against hepatitis B-caused liver cirrhosis (HBC), but the underlying mechanism of FZHY efficacy is unclear. Here, we report that miRNA expression levels are remarkably changed when FZHY formula was used in HBC patient’s treatment as a paradigm of trials. Then, we functionally characterize the significant impact of potential kernel miRNAs by miRNA-target network analysis. Enrichment analysis show that the FZHY formula dramatically effecting the molecular regulated module in HBC. Thus, we infer that FZHY plays a critical function in HBC treatment process and directly regulated many important pathways, including but not limited to cell cycle, p53 signaling pathway, and TGF-β signaling pathway, suggesting a new strategy for investigating the molecular mechanism of FZHY treatment. Qi-Long Chen, Yi-Yu Lu, Jing-Hua Peng, Shu Dong, Bin Wei, Ya-Nan Song, Qian-Mei Zhou, Hui Zhang, Ping Liu, and Shi-Bing Su Copyright © 2015 Qi-Long Chen et al. All rights reserved. Intervening TNF-α via PPARγ with Gegenqinlian Decoction in Experimental Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Sun, 28 Jun 2015 06:09:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/715638/ This paper is to explore the effect and mechanism of Gegenqinlian decoction on experimental nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in vivo and in vitro. The final aim is to make clear whether Gegenqinlian decoction would impact NAFLD through improving PPARγ to suppress inflammation and regulate lipid. The data in this research suggested that Gegenqinlian decoction is a potent way to manage NAFLD through improving PPARγ to regulate lipid and suppress inflammation. Yun-liang Wang, Li-juan Liu, Wei-han Zhao, and Jun-xiang Li Copyright © 2015 Yun-liang Wang et al. All rights reserved. Liquiritigenin Protects Rats from Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Hepatic Injury through PGC-1α Pathway Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:35:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/649568/ The lack of effective treatment for liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinomas imposes serious challenges to the healthcare system. Here, we investigated the efficacy and mechanism of liquiritigenin involved in preventing or retarding the progression of liver diseases in a rat model with chronic carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) exposure. Sprague Dawley rats were given CCl4 and lliquiritigenin alone or simultaneously for 8 weeks before liver was harvested to check histological changes by Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) staining, apoptosis by TUNEL assay, ROS by dihydroethidium staining, antioxidant enzyme activities and malondialdehyde using specific kits, and gene expression by quantitative real-time PCR and western blot. Chronic CCl4 exposure caused profound changes in liver histology with extensive hepatocyte death (necrosis and apoptosis), fat accumulation, and infiltration of inflammatory cells, accompanied by depressed activities of antioxidant enzymes, increased oxidative stress, elevated expression of inflammation and fibrotic genes, and downregulation of PGC-1α, ND1, and Bcl-x in rat liver. All these changes were abolished or alleviated by lliquiritigenin. The results demonstrated that liquiritigenin is effective in protecting liver from injury or treating chronic liver diseases. The modulation of PGC-1α and its downstream genes might play a critical role in relieving CCl4-induced hepatic pathogenesis by liquiritigenin. Yiping Zhang, Yuanqiao He, Hongbo Yu, Fuying Ma, Jianguo Wu, and Xiaoyu Zhang Copyright © 2015 Yiping Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Oral Administration of Escin Inhibits Acute Inflammation and Reduces Intestinal Mucosal Injury in Animal Models Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:08:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/503617/ The present study aimed to investigate the effects of oral administration of escin on acute inflammation and intestinal mucosal injury in animal models. The effects of escin on carrageenan-induced paw edema in a rat model of acute inflammation, cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) induced intestinal mucosal injury in a mouse model, were observed. It was shown that oral administration of escin inhibits carrageenan-induced paw edema and decreases the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and cyclooxygenase- (COX-) 2. In CLP model, low dose of escin ameliorates endotoxin induced liver injury and intestinal mucosal injury and increases the expression of tight junction protein claudin-5 in mice. These findings suggest that escin effectively inhibits acute inflammation and reduces intestinal mucosal injury in animal models. Minmin Li, Chengwen Lu, Leiming Zhang, Jianqiao Zhang, Yuan Du, Sijin Duan, Tian Wang, and Fenghua Fu Copyright © 2015 Minmin Li et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Luteolin on 11Beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase in Rat Liver and Kidney Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:44:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/834124/ 11Beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD) enzymes control the glucocorticoid (GC) signaling, which is essential in regulating homeostasis. Our previous study revealed that Eclipta prostrata (EP) affected the activity and expression of 11β-HSD enzymes which might improve the efficacy and reduce the adverse drug effects of glucocorticoid in patients undergoing combinational therapy. However, it is still unclear which composition of EP plays a major role and how it works. In this paper, we chose Luteolin which is one of the main ingredients of EP and evaluated its effect and metabolism in combination with prednisone. The effects of different concentrations of Luteolin extract on prednisone/prednisolone metabolism indicated the enzyme activity of 11β-HSD, so the production rate (pmol/min per mg protein) of metabolites was used to indicate enzyme activity. Furthermore, we explored the influence of Luteolin on gene and protein expressions of 11β-HSD I/II in rat liver and kidney tissue. Our results showed that oral administration of Luteolin significantly increased the gene and protein expressions of hepatic 11β-HSD I and renal 11β-HSD II, which may improve the efficacy and reduce the adverse drug effect of glucocorticoid in clinical application. A potential clinical value of Luteolin would also be indicated in combination therapy with prednisone for the treatment of nephrotic syndrome. Lei Tang, Bin Deng, Lijuan Shi, Binghua Wei, Bin Ren, and Xiaohua Fu Copyright © 2015 Lei Tang et al. All rights reserved. The Determinants of Choosing Traditional Korean Medicine or Conventional Medicine: Findings from the Korea Health Panel Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:31:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/147408/ The purpose of this study is to identify key factors that determine a person’s decision to seek treatment from traditional Korean medicine (TKM) instead of conventional medicine through analysis of nationally representative data from Korea, where a dual healthcare system exists. The analysis is based on episodic data from the 2008 and 2009 Korea Health Panel. The main dependent variable is the selection between TKM and conventional medicine. We used a multiple logistic regression model to identify the determinants of TKM while controlling for clustered error. Approximately 5% of all doctor’s visits were characterized as TKM services. Urban residents were 1.441 times more likely to use TKM than rural residents . The probability of choosing TKM over conventional medicine for a range of conditions compared to the reference condition (gastrointestinal disease) was as follows: circulatory system diseases (OR 5.267, ), nervous system diseases (OR 12.054, ), musculoskeletal system diseases (OR 20.579, ), and neoplasms (OR 0.209, ). Certain diseases are significantly more likely to be treated by TKM than by conventional medicine. This suggests that many people view TKM as being additionally effective for specific diseases, particularly musculoskeletal disorders. Ji Heon Choi, Sungwook Kang, Chang Hoon You, and Young Dae Kwon Copyright © 2015 Ji Heon Choi et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Antidiabetic Effects of the Traditional Medicinal Plant Gynostemma pentaphyllum and the Possible Mechanisms of Insulin Release Tue, 23 Jun 2015 12:40:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/120572/ Aims. To evaluate the antidiabetic effects of Gynostemma pentaphyllum (GP) in Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rat, an animal model of type 2 diabetes, and to investigate the mechanisms of insulin release. Methods. Oral glucose tolerance test was performed and plasma insulin levels were measured. Results. An oral treatment with GP (0.3 g/kg of body weight daily) for two weeks in GK rats improved glucose tolerance versus placebo group (). Plasma insulin levels were significantly increased in the GP-treated group. The insulin release from GP-treated GK rats was 1.9-fold higher as compared to the control group (). GP stimulated insulin release in isolated GK rat islets at high glucose. Opening of ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channels by diazoxide and inhibition of calcium channels by nifedipine significantly decreased insulin response to GP. Furthermore, the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H89 decreased the insulin response to GP (). In addition, GP-induced insulin secretion was decreased after preincubation of GK islets with pertussis toxin to inhibit exocytotic proteins (). Conclusion. The antidiabetic effect of GP is associated with the stimulation of insulin release from the islets. GP-induced insulin release is partly mediated via K-ATP and L-type Ca2+ channels, the PKA system and also dependent on pertussis toxin sensitive -protein. Ezarul Faradianna Lokman, Harvest F. Gu, Wan Nazaimoon Wan Mohamud, and Claes-Göran Östenson Copyright © 2015 Ezarul Faradianna Lokman et al. All rights reserved. Tissue Pharmacology of Da-Cheng-Qi Decoction in Experimental Acute Pancreatitis in Rats Tue, 23 Jun 2015 10:00:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/283175/ Objectives. The Chinese herbal medicine Da-Cheng-Qi Decoction (DCQD) can ameliorate the severity of acute pancreatitis (AP). However, the potential pharmacological mechanism remains unclear. This study explored the potential effective components and the pharmacokinetic characteristics of DCQD in target tissue in experimental acute pancreatitis in rats. Methods. Acute pancreatitis-like symptoms were first induced in rats and then they were given different doses of DCQD (6 g/kg, 12 g/kg, and 24 g/kg body weight) orally. Tissue drug concentration, tissue pathological score, and inflammatory mediators in pancreas, intestine, and lung tissues of rats were examined after 24 hours, respectively. Results. Major components of DCQD could be found in target tissues and their concentrations increased in conjunction with the intake dose of DCQD. The high-dose compounds showed maximal effect on altering levels of anti-inflammatory (interleukin-4 and interleukin-10) and proinflammatory markers (tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin-6) and ameliorating the pathological damage in target tissues . Conclusions. DCQD could alleviate pancreatic, intestinal, and lung injury by altering levels of inflammatory cytokines in AP rats with tissue distribution of its components. Xianlin Zhao, Yumei Zhang, Juan Li, Meihua Wan, Shifeng Zhu, Hui Guo, Jin Xiang, Edwin C. Thrower, and Wenfu Tang Copyright © 2015 Xianlin Zhao et al. All rights reserved. Bavachalcone Enhances RORα Expression, Controls Bmal1 Circadian Transcription, and Depresses Cellular Senescence in Human Endothelial Cells Tue, 23 Jun 2015 09:56:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/920431/ The circadian clock regulates many aspects of (patho)physiology in the central nervous system and in the peripheral tissues. RAR-related orphan receptor α (RORα), an orphan nuclear receptor, is involved in circadian rhythm regulation, including regulation of cardiovascular function. Bavachalcone, a prenylchalcone, is a major bioactive chalcone isolated from Psoralea corylifolia. This natural ingredient activated RORα1 luciferase reporter activity on drug screening. In addition, bavachalcone induced RORα1 expression in mRNA and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner and enhanced the circadian amplitude of Bmal1 mRNA expression after serum shock. Moreover, bavachalcone suppressed senescence in human endothelial cells and mRNA expression of (a marker of replicative senescence) and IL-1α (a proinflammatory cytokine of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype). These inhibitory effects were partially reversed by the RORα inhibitor VPR-66. Our results demonstrate that bavachalcone, as a natural medicine ingredient, has a pharmacological function in regulating RORα1. Yanqi Dang, Shuang Ling, Jing Ma, Rongzhen Ni, and Jin-Wen Xu Copyright © 2015 Yanqi Dang et al. All rights reserved. Thread Embedding Acupuncture Inhibits Ultraviolet B Irradiation-Induced Skin Photoaging in Hairless Mice Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:49:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/539172/ Thread embedding acupuncture (TEA) is an acupuncture treatment applied to many diseases in Korean medical clinics because of its therapeutic effects by continuous stimulation to tissues. It has recently been used to enhance facial skin appearance and antiaging, but data from evidence-based medicine are limited. To investigate whether TEA therapy can inhibit skin photoaging by ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation, we performed analyses for histology, histopathology, in situ zymography and western blot analysis in HR-1 hairless mice. TEA treatment resulted in decreased wrinkle formation and skin thickness (Epidermis; versus UV) in UVB irradiated mice and also inhibited degradation of collagen fibers ( versus normal) by inhibiting proteolytic activity of gelatinase matrix-metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). Western blot data showed that activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) induced by UVB ( versus normal group) was significantly inhibited by TEA treatment ( versus UV) with subsequent alleviation of MMP-9 activation ( versus UV). These results suggest that TEA treatment can have anti-photoaging effects on UVB-induced skin damage by maintenance of collagen density through regulation of expression of MMP-9 and related JNK signaling. Therefore, TEA therapy may have potential roles as an alternative treatment for protection against skin damage from aging. Yoon-Jung Kim, Ha-Neui Kim, Mi-Sook Shin, and Byung-Tae Choi Copyright © 2015 Yoon-Jung Kim et al. All rights reserved. Protective and Therapeutic Effects of Chinese Medicine Formula Jiajian Yunvjian on Experimental Cardiac Remodeling after Myocardial Infarction Induced by Coronary Artery Ligation Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:39:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/949656/ Introduction. This study was designed to explore the effect and mechanism of a classic Chinese medicine formula Jiajian Yunvjian (JJYNJ) on cardiac remodeling. Cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI) model was achieved by coronary artery ligation (CAL). Methodology. When dosed orally once daily, the effects of JJYNJ on hemodynamics, left ventricular weight index (LVWI), heart weight index (HWI), concentration, and gene expression of neuroendocrine factors as well as the histomorphological observation were determined. Results. After 4 weeks, mild cardiac remodeling in CAL group was characterized compared with sham group, but after 4 weeks of treatment of JJYNJ, hemodynamics improved, HWI reduced, and circulating angiotensin II (Ang II), endothelin-1 (ET-1), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and hydroxyproline (Hyp) concentrations as well as Ang II receptor type 1 (AT1R) mRNA, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) mRNA, and TNF-α mRNA levels in myocardium were lower than in CAL group. Decreased plasma aldosterone (ALD) concentration, cross-sectional area of cardiomyocyte, collagen volume fraction (CVF), collagen types I and III, perivascular collagen area (PVCA), and upregulated nitric oxide (NO) levels were observed at the same time. Conclusions. These findings suggest that JJYNJ may have a protective and therapeutic function on cardiac remodeling related to MI. Jun Du, Wei-liang Gu, Chang-xun Chen, Ying Wang, and Jian Lv Copyright © 2015 Jun Du et al. All rights reserved. Randomized Clinical Trial of the Innovative Bilayered Wound Dressing Made of Silk and Gelatin: Safety and Efficacy Tests Using a Split-Thickness Skin Graft Model Mon, 22 Jun 2015 10:10:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/206871/ We developed the novel silk fibroin-based bilayered wound dressing for the treatment of partial thickness wounds. And it showed relevant characteristics and accelerated the healing of full-thickness wounds in a rat model. This study is the clinical evaluation of the bilayered wound dressing to confirm its safety and efficacy for the treatment of split-thickness skin donor sites. The safety test was performed using a patch model and no evidence of marked and severe cutaneous reactions was found. The efficacy test of the bilayered wound dressing was conducted on 23 patients with 30 split-thickness skin graft donor sites to evaluate healing time, pain score, skin barrier function, and systemic reaction in comparison to Bactigras. We found that the healing time of donor site wounds treated with the bilayered wound dressing (11 ± 6 days) was significantly faster than those treated with Bactigras (14 ± 6 days) (). The wound sites treated with the bilayered wound dressing showed significantly less pain and more rapid skin functional barrier recovery than those treated with Bactigras (). Therefore, these results confirmed the clinical safety and efficacy of the bilayered wound dressing for the treatment of split-thickness skin graft donor sites. Sukhontha Hasatsri, Apichai Angspatt, and Pornanong Aramwit Copyright © 2015 Sukhontha Hasatsri et al. All rights reserved. Rhein: A Review of Pharmacological Activities Mon, 22 Jun 2015 09:24:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/578107/ Rhein (4, 5-dihydroxyanthraquinone-2-carboxylic acid) is a lipophilic anthraquinone extensively found in medicinal herbs, such as Rheum palmatum L., Cassia tora L., Polygonum multiflorum Thunb., and Aloe barbadensis Miller, which have been used medicinally in China for more than 1,000 years. Its biological activities related to human health are being explored actively. Emerging evidence suggests that rhein has many pharmacological effects, including hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and antimicrobial activities. The present review provides a comprehensive summary and analysis of the pharmacological properties of rhein, supporting the potential uses of rhein as a medicinal agent. Yan-Xi Zhou, Wei Xia, Wei Yue, Cheng Peng, Khalid Rahman, and Hong Zhang Copyright © 2015 Yan-Xi Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Cytotoxic Activities of Propolis from the Stingless Bee Tetragonisca fiebrigi (Jataí) Mon, 22 Jun 2015 05:56:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/296186/ Propolis from stingless bees Tetragonisca fiebrigi found in Brazil is used in folk medicine by their nutritional and therapeutic properties. However, there are no scientific records evidencing such properties. The present study was designed to investigate the chemical composition and the biological properties of propolis from T. fiebrigi. For this, the chemical composition of the ethanol extract of propolis (EEP) was determined by GC-MS and presented phenolic compounds, alcohol, and terpenes as its major class compounds. The antimicrobial activity was accessed in gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and in fungi, isolated from different biological fluids and reference strains. The EEP was active against all microorganisms and showed antioxidant activity by scavenging free radicals, inhibiting hemolysis and lipid peroxidation in human erythrocytes incubated with an oxidizing agent. The anti-inflammatory potential of the EEP was confirmed by inhibition of the hyaluronidase enzyme. The cytotoxic activity was concentration-dependent against K562 cells, with a predominance of death by necrosis. Taken together, these results show that propolis from T. fiebrigi has important therapeutic activities, which suggest its potential application in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as in health foods, beverages, and nutritional supplements. Jaqueline Ferreira Campos, Uilson Pereira dos Santos, Paola dos Santos da Rocha, Marcio José Damião, José Benedito Perrella Balestieri, Claudia Andrea Lima Cardoso, Edgar Julian Paredes-Gamero, Leticia Miranda Estevinho, Kely de Picoli Souza, and Edson Lucas dos Santos Copyright © 2015 Jaqueline Ferreira Campos et al. All rights reserved.