Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Gene Expression Profile of Increased Heart Rate in Shensongyangxin-Treated Bradycardia Rabbits Thu, 27 Nov 2014 13:04:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/715937/ Aims. The present study tries to investigate the gene expression profile of bradycardia rabbits’ hearts after SSYX (SSYX, a traditional Chinese medicine) treatment. Methods. Eighteen adult rabbits were randomly assigned in three groups: sham, model, and SSYX treatment groups. Heart rate was recorded in rabbits and total RNA was isolated from hearts. Gene expression profiling was conducted and quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed to confirm the gene expression results. Patch clamp using human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes was applied to record the calcium current in the presence of SSYX. Results. The mean RR interval reduced after six weeks due to the injury of the sinoatrial node in the model group. This effect was partially reversed by 4-week SSYX treatment. cDNA microarray demonstrated that genes related with pacemaker current, calcium ion homeostasis, and signaling were altered by SSYX treatment. Results from patch clamp demonstrated that SSYX reduced the calcium current which is consistent with gene expression results. Conclusion. The present study shows mRNA remodeling of bradycardia and demonstrates that SSYX is effective in treating bradycardia by reversing altered gene expression in bradycardia models. Reduced calcium current by SSYX also confirmed the gene expression results. Zhouying Liu, Jian Huang, Roumu Hu, Youping Huo, Jing Gong, Yinhui Zhang, Cong Wei, and Jielin Pu Copyright © 2014 Zhouying Liu et al. All rights reserved. Neurobiological Mechanisms of Acupuncture 2014 Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:48:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/765068/ Lijun Bai, Richard E. Harris, Jian Kong, Lixing Lao, Vitaly Napadow, and Baixiao Zhao Copyright © 2014 Lijun Bai et al. All rights reserved. Transcriptome Profiling of Wheat Seedlings following Treatment with Ultrahigh Diluted Arsenic Trioxide Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:27:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/851263/ Plant systems are useful research tools to address basic questions in homeopathy as they make it possible to overcome some of the drawbacks encountered in clinical trials (placebo effect, ethical issues, duration of the experiment, and high costs). The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis whether 7-day-old wheat seedlings, grown from seeds either poisoned with a sublethal dose of As2O3 or unpoisoned, showed different significant gene expression profiles after the application of ultrahigh diluted As2O3 (beyond Avogadro’s limit) compared to water (control). The results provided evidence for a strong gene modulating effect of ultrahigh diluted As2O3 in seedlings grown from poisoned seeds: a massive reduction of gene expression levels to values comparable to those of the control group was observed for several functional classes of genes. A plausible hypothesis is that ultrahigh diluted As2O3 treatment induced a reequilibration of those genes that were upregulated during the oxidative stress by bringing the expression levels closer to the basal levels normally occurring in the control plants. Ilaria Marotti, Lucietta Betti, Valeria Bregola, Sara Bosi, Grazia Trebbi, Giovanni Borghini, Daniele Nani, and Giovanni Dinelli Copyright © 2014 Ilaria Marotti et al. All rights reserved. An fMRI Study of Neuronal Specificity in Acupuncture: The Multiacupoint Siguan and Its Sham Point Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:10:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/103491/ Clarifying the intrinsic mechanisms of acupuncture’s clinical effects has recently been gaining popularity. Here, we choose the Siguan acupoint (a combination of bilateral LI4 and Liv3) and its sham point to evaluate multiacupoint specificity. Thirty-one healthy volunteers were randomly divided into real acupoint (21 subjects) and sham acupoint (10 subjects) groups. Our study used a single block experimental design to avoid the influence of posteffects. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired during acupuncture stimulation. Results showed extensive increase in neuronal activities with Siguan acupuncture and significant differences between stimulation at real and sham points. Brain regions that were activated more by real acupuncture stimulation than by sham point acupuncture included somatosensory cortex (the superior parietal lobule and postcentral gyrus), limbic-paralimbic system (the calcarine gyrus, precuneus, cingulate cortex, and parahippocampal gyrus), visual-related cortex (the fusiform and occipital gyri), basal ganglia, and the cerebellum. In this way, our study suggests Siguan may elicit specific activities in human brain. Yi Shan, Zhi-qun Wang, Zhi-lian Zhao, Mo Zhang, Shi-lei Hao, Jian-yang Xu, Bao-ci Shan, Jie Lu, and Kun-cheng Li Copyright © 2014 Yi Shan et al. All rights reserved. Changes in Responses of Neurons in Spinal and Medullary Subnucleus Reticularis Dorsalis to Acupoint Stimulation in Rats with Visceral Hyperalgesia Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:10:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/768634/ The purpose of this study was to explore the mechanism of acupoints sensitization phenomenon at the spinal and medulla levels. Experiments were performed on adult male Sprague-Dawley rats and visceral noxious stimuli was generated by colorectal distension (CRD). The activities of wide dynamic range (WDR) and subnucleus reticularis dorsalis (SRD) neurons were recorded. The changes of the reactions of WDR and SRD neurons to electroacupuncture (EA) on acupoints of “Zusanli-Shangjuxu” before and after CRD stimulation were observed. The results showed that visceral nociception could facilitate the response of neurons to acupoints stimulation. In spinal dorsal horn, EA-induced activation of WDR neurons further increased to 106.84 ± 17.33% (1.5 mA) () and 42.27 ± 13.10% (6 mA) () compared to the neuronal responses before CRD. In medulla oblongata, EA-induced activation of SRD neurons further increased to 63.28 ± 15.96% (1.5 mA) () and 25.02 ± 7.47% (6 mA) () compared to that before CRD. Taken together, these data suggest that the viscerosomatic convergence-facilitation effect of WDR and SRD neurons may underlie the mechanism of acupoints sensitization. But the sensitizing effect of visceral nociception on WDR neurons is stronger than that on SRD neurons. Ling-Ling Yu, Liang Li, Pei-Jing Rong, Bing Zhu, Qing-Guang Qin, Hui Ben, and Guo-Fu Huang Copyright © 2014 Ling-Ling Yu et al. All rights reserved. Current Evidence on Auricular Therapy for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting in Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:09:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/430796/ Auricular therapy (AT) has been historically viewed as a convenient approach adjunct to pharmacological therapy for cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). The aim of this study was to assess the evidence of the therapeutic effect of AT for CINV management in cancer patients. Relevant randomized controlled trials were retrieved from 12 electronic databases without language restrictions. Meanwhile, manual search was conducted for Chinese journals on complementary medicine published within the last five years, and the reference lists of included studies were also checked to identify any possible eligible studies. Twenty-one studies with 1713 participants were included. The effect rate of AT for managing acute CINV ranged from 44.44% to 93.33% in the intervention groups and 15% to 91.67% in the control groups. For delayed CINV, it was 62.96% to 100% and 25% to 100%, respectively. AT seems to be a promising approach in managing CINV. However, the level of evidence was low and the definite effect cannot be concluded as there were significant methodological flaws identified in the analyzed studies. The implications drawn from the 21 studies put some clues for future practice in this area including the need to conduct more rigorously designed randomized controlled trials. Jing-Yu Tan, Alexander Molassiotis, Tao Wang, and Lorna K. P. Suen Copyright © 2014 Jing-Yu Tan et al. All rights reserved. Herbal Medicines for Cardiovascular Diseases Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:57:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/809741/ Xingjiang Xiong, Francesca Borrelli, Arthur de Sá Ferreira, Tabinda Ashfaq, and Bo Feng Copyright © 2014 Xingjiang Xiong et al. All rights reserved. Anatomo-Functional Correlation between Head Zones and Acupuncture Channels and Points: A Comparative Analysis from the Perspective of Neural Therapy Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:47:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/836392/ Background. Neural therapy and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are part of complementary and alternative medicine in western world. Both of them share characteristics in diagnosis and therapeutics in search of changes in tenderness, pain, and skin stiffness related to visceral disease, as well as therapeutic procedures with specific stimuli on the skin that generate local, segmental, or remote reactions. Head zones explain segmental viscerocutaneous relations in neural therapy; however, interference fields and remote reactions after infiltration of local anesthetic go beyond this segmental distribution. Methods. This descriptive research required review and analysis of texts of Henry Head and traditional Chinese medicine. Results. Anatomical and functional relationships were found between Head zones in body, and head and neck with 14 acupuncture channels and their points. Anatomical areas of strong correlations were found: Head zones of heart and lung with heart and pericardium channels; Head zones of genitals with bladder and kidney channels. Strong functional relations between all Head zones, channels, and acupoints were found when following the pattern of segmental dermatomes; 235 acupuncture points were found in concordance. Martha Liliana Beltrán Molano, Laura Bibiana Pinilla Bonilla, Eduardo Humberto Beltrán Dussan, and Carlos Alberto Vásquez Londoño Copyright © 2014 Martha Liliana Beltrán Molano et al. All rights reserved. Efficacy and Safety of Clearing Heat and Detoxifying Injection in the Treatment of Influenza: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:35:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/151235/ Objective. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of CHDI in the treatment of influenza infection. Method. A randomized double-blind, double dummy trial was conducted. Influenza patients with a positive influenza A rapid test diagnosis were randomized to receive CHDI or oseltamivir. Primary outcome was assessed by the median fever alleviation time and clearance time, and secondary outcome was total scores of influenza symptoms. Results. One hundred thirty-nine participants were screened and 34 had a RT-PCR laboratory confirmation of influenza virus infection. Fever alleviation time was 2.5 and 5 hours in CHDI and oseltamivir, respectively, and fever clearance time was 32.5 and 49 hours. The HR of fever alleviation and clearance time shows no significant difference between two groups. Total scores of influenza symptoms descended significantly in both groups after treatment and descended more in CHDI than oseltamivir on day 2. Similar to total symptoms severity score, fever severity score descend more significantly in CHDI than oseltamivir on day 2, and there were no differences on other symptoms. Conclusions. CHDI have a similar effect to oseltamivir in reducing the duration of influenza illness. CHDI was well tolerated, with no serious adverse events noted during the study period. Yu Liu, Yuhong Huang, Baolin Wei, Xinqiao Liu, Yaqing Zhang, Xiaomin Huang, Yuping Tan, and Zengtao Sun Copyright © 2014 Yu Liu et al. All rights reserved. Sodium Hydrosulfide Relieves Neuropathic Pain in Chronic Constriction Injured Rats Tue, 25 Nov 2014 07:44:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/514898/ Aberrant neuronal activity in injured peripheral nerves is believed to be an important factor in the development of neuropathic pain (NPP). Channel protein pCREB of that activity has been shown to mitigate the onset of associated molecular events in the nervous system, and sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) could inhibit the expression of pCREB. However, whether NaHS could relieve the pain, it needs further experimental research. Furthermore, the clinical potential that NaHS was used to relieve pain was limited so it would be required. To address these issues, the rats of sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury (CCI) were given intraperitoneal injection of NaHS containing hydrogen sulfide (H2S). The experimental results showed that NaHS inhibited the reduction of paw withdrawal thermal latency (PWTL), mechanical withdrawal threshold (MWT), and the level of pCREB in CCI rats in a dose-dependent manner and they were greatly decreased in NaHSM group (P < 0.05). NaHS alleviates chronic neuropathic pain by inhibiting expression of pCREB in the spinal cord of Sprague-Dawley rats. Jian-qing Lin, Hui-qin Luo, Cai-zhu Lin, Jin-zhuan Chen, and Xian-zhong Lin Copyright © 2014 Jian-qing Lin et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Anethole in Nociception Experimental Models Tue, 25 Nov 2014 07:24:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/345829/ This study investigated the antinociceptive activity of anethole (anethole 1-methoxy-4-benzene (1-propenyl)), major compound of the essential oil of star anise (Illicium verum), in different experimental models of nociception. The animals were pretreated with anethole (62.5, 125, 250, and 500 mg/kg) one hour before the experiments. To eliminate a possible sedative effect of anethole, the open field test was conducted. Anethole (62.5, 125, 250, and 500 mg/kg) showed an antinociceptive effect in the writhing model induced by acetic acid, in the second phase of the formalin test (125 and 250 mg/kg) in the test of glutamate (62.5, 125, and 250 mg/kg), and expresses pain induced by ACF (250 mg/kg). In contrast, anethole was not able to increase the latency time on the hot plate and decrease the number of flinches during the initial phase of the formalin test in any of the doses tested. It was also demonstrated that anethole has no association with sedative effects. Therefore, these data showed that anethole, at all used doses, has no sedative effect and has an antinociceptive effect. This effect may be due to a decrease in the production/release of inflammatory mediators. Alessandra Mileni Versuti Ritter, Franciele Queiroz Ames, Fernando Otani, Rubia Maria Weffort de Oliveira, Roberto Kenji Nakamura Cuman, and Ciomar Aparecida Bersani-Amado Copyright © 2014 Alessandra Mileni Versuti Ritter et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Optimally Timed Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on Length of Hospital Stay in Moderate and Late Preterm Infants: Results from a RCT Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/243539/ Introduction. Little research has been conducted looking at the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) on preterm infants. Aim of the Study. This study hypothesized that osteopathic care is effective in reducing length of hospital stay and that early OMT produces the most pronounced benefit, compared to moderately early and late OMT. A secondary outcome was to estimate hospital cost savings by the use of OMT. Methods. 110 newborns ranging from 32- to 37-week gestation were randomized to receive either OMT or usual pediatric care. Early, moderately early, and late OMT were defined as <4, <9, and <14 days from birth, respectively. Result. Hospital stay was shorter in infants receiving late OMT (−2.03; 95% CI −3.15, −0.91; ) than controls. Subgroup analysis of infants receiving early and moderately early OMT resulted in shorter LOS (early OMT: −4.16; −6.05, −2.27; ; moderately early OMT: −3.12; −4.36, −1.89; ). Costs analysis showed that OMT significantly produced a net saving of €740 (−1309.54, −170.33; ) per newborn per LOS. Conclusions. This study shows evidence that the sooner OMT is provided, the shorter their hospital stay is. There is also a positive association of OMT with overall reduction in cost of care. Gianfranco Pizzolorusso, Francesco Cerritelli, Alessandro Accorsi, Chiara Lucci, Lucia Tubaldi, Jenny Lancellotti, Gina Barlafante, Cinzia Renzetti, Carmine D'Incecco, and Francesco Paolo Perri Copyright © 2014 Gianfranco Pizzolorusso et al. All rights reserved. Preparative Purification of Linarin Extracts from Dendranthema indicum Flowers and Evaluation of Its Antihypertensive Effect Sun, 23 Nov 2014 06:26:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/394276/ Background. Preliminary research showed that linarin (LIN) might have a relationship with the antihypertensive effect of Dendranthema indicum flowers. However, the preparative method for LIN enriched extract from Dendranthema indicum flowers was not clear and its antihypertensive effect was not confirmed. In this study, we designed a series of experiments to develop an efficient method for purification of LIN extracts and confirm the possibility of LIN extracts to be an antihypertensive drug. Materials and Methods. HPLC-VWD/DAD were used in the process of developing purification method. The antihypertensive effect of LIN extracts was tested by CODA Mouse & Rat Tail-Cuff Blood Pressure System; western blot and biochemical analysis were used to investigate mechanism and toxicity. Results. The content and recovery of LIN reached % and %, respectively, through solid-liquid extraction. The composition of product was stable through the analysis of fingerprint. Chronic administration of LIN extracts reduced blood pressure obviously which had a relationship with the inhibition of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in kidney and the function indexes of kidney and liver had no variations. Conclusions. The preparation method was simple, low-cost, and stable, and it was fit for industrial application. The LIN prepared by this method had the potential to be an antihypertensive drug. Yin Qiaoshan, Chen Suhong, Su Minxia, Mi Wenjia, Li Bo, and Lv Guiyuan Copyright © 2014 Yin Qiaoshan et al. All rights reserved. Antifungal Activity of Decyl Gallate against Several Species of Pathogenic Fungi Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:25:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/506273/ This work aims to demonstrate that the gallic acid structure modification to the decyl gallate (G14) compound contributed to increase the antifungal activity against several species of pathogenic fungi, mainly, Candida spp., Cryptococcus spp., Paracoccidioides spp., and Histoplasma capsulatum, according to standardized microdilution method described by Clinical Laboratory Standard Institute (CLSI) documents. Moreover this compound has a particularly good selectivity index value, which makes it an excellent candidate for broad-spectrum antifungal prototype and encourages the continuation of subsequent studies for the discovery of its mechanism of action. Ana Carolina Alves de Paula e Silva, Caroline Barcelos Costa-Orlandi, Fernanda Patrícia Gullo, Fernanda Sangalli-Leite, Haroldo Cesar de Oliveira, Julhiany de Fátima da Silva, Liliana Scorzoni, Nayla de Souza Pitangui, Suélen Andrea Rossi, Tatiane Benaducci, Vanessa Gonçalves Wolf, Luis Octávio Regasini, Maicon Segalla Petrônio, Dulce Helena Siqueira Silva, Vanderlan S. Bolzani, Ana Marisa Fusco-Almeida, and Maria José Soares Mendes-Giannini Copyright © 2014 Ana Carolina Alves de Paula e Silva et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effect of Tea Polyphenol Ophthalmic Gel on Lens Epithelial Cells in Rabbits with Silicone Oil Tamponade after Vitrectomy Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/832381/ Purpose. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of tea polyphenols (TP) ophthalmic gel on lens epithelial cells (LECs) in rabbits with silicone oil tamponade after vitrectomy. Methods. In this study, unilateral vitrectomy with silicone oil tamponade was performed using 2-month-old New Zealand white rabbits (n = 72); meanwhile, age-matched nonoperated rabbits (n = 18) were used as controls. The TP ophthalmic gel was administered topically in the surgical eyes till they were sacrificed. On days 45 and 90 after operation, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), and apoptosis of LECs were analyzed, respectively. Meanwhile, caspase-3 mRNA and protein levels were also determined. Results. The results indicate that the levels of ROS and apoptosis were elevated for LECs in rabbits after operation, whereas ΔΨm was decreased. Caspase-3 was apparently increased at both mRNA and protein levels. Treatment of TP ophthalmic gel could reduce the generation of ROS, maintain ΔΨm, inhibit the overexpression of caspase-3, and thus decrease the apoptosis of LECs of rabbits after operation. Conclusions. TP ophthalmic gel can efficiently inhibit caspase-3 overexpression, reduce the apoptosis of LECs, and prevent LECs from damage. Our result provides a new approach to prevent the development of complicated cataract after vitrectomy. Xianzhen Ma, Dadong Guo, Hongsheng Bi, Xiaofeng Xie, Junguo Guo, and Yan Cui Copyright © 2014 Xianzhen Ma et al. All rights reserved. The Metabolism of Polysaccharide from Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz and Its Effect on Intestinal Microflora Wed, 19 Nov 2014 17:25:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/926381/ An active polysaccharide from the rhizome of Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz (PAM) was identified to improve and adjust disordered intestinal flora. High-performance gel permeation chromatography (HPGPC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were employed to identify the components of PAM as rhamnose, glucose, mannose, xylose, and galactose at a ratio of 0.03 : 0.25 : 0.15 : 0.41 : 0.15. PAM metabolized in gastrointestinal tract when incubated with artificial gastric and intestinal juices. Anaerobic incubation of PAM on intestinal flora confirmed that PAM promoted the ability of intestinal bacteria to digest reducing sugar. Based on the Shannon index and similarity coefficient index of enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-PCR (ERIC-PCR) fingerprinting of the total intestinal bacteria DNA, we concluded that PAM can significantly improve disordered intestinal flora and may be used as an oral adjuvant to regulate intestinal flora. Ruijun Wang, Guisheng Zhou, Mengyue Wang, Ying Peng, and Xiaobo Li Copyright © 2014 Ruijun Wang et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effect of Shen-Fu Injection on Neuronal Mitochondrial Function in a Porcine Model of Prolonged Cardiac Arrest Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:08:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/523847/ Background. Shen-Fu injection (SFI) following cardiac arrest exhibits neurological effects, but its effect on neurological dysfunction is unclear. This study sought to investigate the protective effect of SFI on nerve cells in a porcine model of cardiac arrest. Methods. After eight minutes of untreated ventricular fibrillation (VF) and 2 minutes of basic life support, 24 pigs were randomized and divided into three cardiopulmonary resuscitation groups, which received central venous injection of either Shen-Fu (SFI group; 1.0 ml/kg), epinephrine (EP group; 0.02 mg/kg), or saline (SA group). Surviving pigs were sacrificed at 24 h after ROSC and brains were removed for analysis for morphologic changes of mitochondria by electron microscopy, for mitochondrial transmembrane potential (MTP) by flow cytometry, and for opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) by mitochondrial light scattering. Results. Compared with the EP and SA groups, SFI treatment reduced opening of MPTP, showing higher MMP. In addition, animals treated with SFI showed slight cerebral ultrastructure damage under the electron microscopy. Conclusion. Shen-Fu injection alleviated brain injury, improved neurological ultrastructure, stabilized membrane potential, and inhibited opening of MPTP. Therefore, SFI could significantly attenuate postresuscitation cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury by modulating mitochondrial dysfunction of nerve cells. Wei Gu, XiaoMin Hou, Haijiang Zhou, and ChunSheng Li Copyright © 2014 Wei Gu et al. All rights reserved. Pien Tze Huang Overcomes Multidrug Resistance and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Human Colorectal Carcinoma Cells via Suppression of TGF-β Pathway Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:45:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/679436/ The traditional Chinese medicine formula Pien Tze Huang (PZH) has long been used as a folk remedy for cancer. To elucidate the mode of action of PZH against cancer, in the present study we used a 5-FU resistant human colorectal carcinoma cell line (HCT-8/5-FU) to evaluate the effects of PZH on multidrug resistance (MDR) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) as well as the activation of TGF-β pathway. We found that PZH dose-dependently inhibited the viability of HCT-8/5-FU cells which were insensitive to treatment of 5-FU and ADM, demonstrating the ability of PZH to overcome chemoresistance. Furthermore, PZH increased the intercellular accumulation of Rhodamine-123 and downregulated the expression of ABCG2 in HCT-8/5-FU cells. In addition, drug resistance induced the process of EMT in HCT-8 cells as evidenced by EMT-related morphological changes and alteration in the expression of EMT-regulatory factors, which however was neutralized by PZH treatment. Moreover, PZH inhibited MDR/EMT-enhanced migration and invasion capabilities of HCT-8 cells in a dose-dependent manner and suppressed MDR-induced activation of TGF-β signaling in HCT-8/5-FU cells. Taken together, our study suggests that PZH can effectively overcome MDR and inhibit EMT in human colorectal carcinoma cells via suppression of the TGF-β pathway. Aling Shen, Hongwei Chen, Youqin Chen, Jiumao Lin, Wei Lin, Liya Liu, Thomas J. Sferra, and Jun Peng Copyright © 2014 Aling Shen et al. All rights reserved. Comparison on the Effects and Safety of Tualang Honey and Tribestan in Sperm Parameters, Erectile Function, and Hormonal Profiles among Oligospermic Males Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:34:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/126138/ Introduction. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of Tualang honey on sperm parameters, erectile function, and hormonal and safety profiles. Methodology. A randomized control trial was done using Tualang honey (20 grams) and Tribestan (750 mg) over a period of 12 weeks. Sperm parameters including sperm concentration, motility, and morphology were analyzed and erectile function was assessed using IIEF-5 questionnaire. Hormonal profiles of testosterone, FSH, and LH were studied. The volunteers were randomized into two groups and the outcomes were analyzed using SPSS version 18. Results. A total of 66 participants were involved. A significant increment of mean sperm concentration , motility and morphology was seen in Tualang honey group. In Tribestan group, a significant increment of mean sperm concentration , and morphology was seen. No significant differences of sperm concentration, motility, and morphology were seen between Tualang honey and Tribestan group and similar results were also seen in erectile function and hormonal profile. All safety profiles were normal and no adverse event was reported. Conclusion. Tualang honey effect among oligospermic males was comparable with Tribestan in improving sperm concentration, motility, and morphology. The usage of Tualang honey was also safe with no reported adverse event. Shaiful Bahari Ismail, Mohd. Bustamanizan Bakar, Nik Hazlina Nik Hussain, Mohd Noor Norhayati, Siti Amrah Sulaiman, Hasnan Jaafar, Samsul Draman, Roszaman Ramli, and Wan Zahanim Wan Yusoff Copyright © 2014 Shaiful Bahari Ismail et al. All rights reserved. Antibiotic Use in Children with Acute Respiratory or Ear Infections: Prospective Observational Comparison of Anthroposophic and Conventional Treatment under Routine Primary Care Conditions Tue, 18 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/243801/ Children with acute respiratory or ear infections (RTI/OM) are often unnecessarily prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is a major public health problem and antibiotic prescription for RTI/OM should be reduced. Anthroposophic treatment of RTI/OM includes anthroposophic medications, nonmedication therapy and if necessary also antibiotics. This secondary analysis from an observational study comprised 529 children <18 years from Europe (AT, DE, NL, and UK) or USA, whose caregivers had chosen to consult physicians offering anthroposophic (A-) or conventional (C-) treatment for RTI/OM. During the 28-day follow-up antibiotics were prescribed to 5.5% of A-patients and 25.6% of C-patients (); unadjusted odds ratio for nonprescription in A- versus C-patients 6.58 (95%-CI 3.45–12.56); after adjustment for demographics and morbidity 6.33 (3.17–12.64). Antibiotic prescription rates in recent observational studies with similar patients in similar settings, ranged from 31.0% to 84.1%. Compared to C-patients, A-patients also had much lower use of analgesics, somewhat quicker symptom resolution, and higher caregiver satisfaction. Adverse drug reactions were infrequent (2.3% in both groups) and not serious. Limitation was that results apply to children of caregivers who consult A-physicians. One cannot infer to what extent antibiotics might be avoided in children who usually receive C-treatment, if they were offered A-treatment. Harald J. Hamre, Anja Glockmann, Reinhard Schwarz, David S. Riley, Erik W. Baars, Helmut Kiene, and Gunver S. Kienle Copyright © 2014 Harald J. Hamre et al. All rights reserved. Gyejigachulbu-Tang Relieves Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathic Cold and Mechanical Hypersensitivity in Rats via the Suppression of Spinal Glial Activation Mon, 17 Nov 2014 08:22:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/436482/ Activation of spinal glial cells plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. An administration of oxaliplatin, an important anticancer drug, often induces acute neuropathic cold hypersensitivity and/or mechanical hypersensitivity in patients. Gyejigachulbu-tang (GBT), a herbal formula comprising Cinnamomi Cortex, Paeoniae Radix, Atractylodis Lanceae Rhizoma, Zizyphi Fructus, Glycyrrhizae Radix, Zingiberis Rhizoma, and Aconiti Tuber, has been used in East Asia to treat various pain symptoms, especially in cold patients. This study investigated whether and how GBT alleviates oxaliplatin-induced cold and mechanical hypersensitivity in rats. The behavioral signs of cold and mechanical hypersensitivity were evaluated by a tail immersion test in cold water (4°C) and a von Frey hair test, respectively. The significant cold and mechanical hypersensitivity were observed 3 days after an oxaliplatin injection (6 mg/kg, i.p.). Daily oral administration of GBT (200, 400, and 600 mg/kg) for 5 days markedly attenuated cold and mechanical hypersensitivity. Immunoreactivities of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, astrocyte marker) and OX-42 (microglia marker) in the spinal dorsal horn were significantly increased by an oxaliplatin injection, which were restored by GBT administration. These results indicate that GBT relieves oxaliplatin-induced cold and mechanical hypersensitivity in rats possibly through the suppression of spinal glial activation. Byung-Soo Ahn, Seong-Kyu Kim, Ha Neul Kim, Ji-Hye Lee, Ji-Hwan Lee, Deog Sang Hwang, Hyunsu Bae, Byung-Il Min, and Sun Kwang Kim Copyright © 2014 Byung-Soo Ahn et al. All rights reserved. In Vitro Assessment of Cytotoxicity, Antioxidant, and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae) Leaf Extracts Sun, 16 Nov 2014 08:47:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/625961/ Ricinus communis has been utilized traditionally as medicine to treat inflammatory related diseases including wounds, sores, and boils. The leaves of R. communis were sequentially extracted with n-hexane, dichloromethane, acetone, and methanol using serial exhaustive extraction method. Antioxidant activity of all crude extracts was quantitatively measured against 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) free radical molecules using ABTS+ assay. Cytotoxic effect and anti-inflammatory activity of R. communis leaves extracts were evaluated on Human Caucasian skin fibroblast and Raw 264.7 macrophage cell lines, respectively. Methanol extract had the highest percentage free radical (ABTS+) scavenging activity of 95% at 2.50 mg/mL, acetone 91%, dichloromethane 62%, and hexane the least (50%). Percentage scavenging activity of ABTS+ free radical molecules increases with increase in concentrations of the plant extracts. Hexane and dichloromethane extracts had more than 90% cell viability at 100 µg/mL after 24 and 48 hours of exposure. Methanol extract had LC50 of 784 µg/mL after 24-hour exposure, hexane had 629.3 µg/mL and dichloromethane 573.6 µg/mL, and 544.6 µg/mL was the lowest with acetone extract. The study present the first report on the scavenging activity of R. communis leaf extracts against ABTS+ radicals and cytotoxic effects on human Caucasian skin fibroblast cell lines. Vhutshilo Nemudzivhadi and Peter Masoko Copyright © 2014 Vhutshilo Nemudzivhadi and Peter Masoko. All rights reserved. Novel Antidepressant-Like Activity of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Is Mediated by Enhanced Glucocorticoid Receptor Function in the Hippocampus Sun, 16 Nov 2014 08:30:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/646039/ Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an active component of propolis that has a variety of potential pharmacological effects. Although we previously demonstrated that propolis has antidepressant-like activity, the effect of CAPE on this activity remains unknown. The present study assessed whether treatment with CAPE (5, 10, and 20 µmol/kg for 21 days) has an antidepressant-like effect in mice subjected to chronic unpredictable stress via tail suspension (TST) and forced swim (FST) tests. CAPE administration induced behaviors consistent with an antidepressant effect, evidenced by decreased immobility in the TST and FST independent of any effect on serum corticosterone secretion. Western blots, conducted subsequent to behavioral assessment, revealed that CAPE significantly decreased glucocorticoid receptor phosphorylation at S234 (pGR(S234)), resulting in an increased pGR(S220/S234) ratio. We also observed negative correlations between pGR(S220)/(S234) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) phosphorylation, which was decreased by CAPE treatment. These findings suggest that CAPE treatment exerts an antidepressant-like effect via downregulation of p38MAPK phosphorylation, thereby contributing to enhanced GR function. Mi-Sook Lee, Young Han Kim, Bo-ram Lee, Seung-Hae Kwon, Won-Jin Moon, Kwan-Su Hong, Yun Seon Song, Kyoji Morita, Dae Hyun Hahm, Insop Shim, and Song Her Copyright © 2014 Mi-Sook Lee et al. All rights reserved. Observation of the Primo Vessel Approaching the Axillary Lymph Node with the Fluorescent Dye, DiI Sun, 16 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/287063/ The primo vascular system (PVS) floating in lymph fluid has mostly been observed in large caliber ducts around the caudal vena cava and the thoracic duct of rabbits, rats, and mice. But the PVS has not been traced up to the lymph nodes. It has not been established whether the PVS leaves the lymph vessel through the lymph vessel wall or it enters the lymph nodes. Therefore, observing the PVS entering a lymph node, for example, the axillary node, is desirable. In the current work, we traced the PVS approaching up to the surface of axillary node of a rat. The method used for this study was based upon a method that was recently developed to detect the PVS in the lymph duct from the inguinal to the axillary nodes in the skin of a rat by injecting Alcian blue into the inguinal node. However, the Alcian blue blurred near the lymph nodes and tracing the PVS up to the lymph nodes has not been possible. The current method clearly showed the PVS approaching the axillary node. Su Youn Park, Byung-Soo Chang, Seung Hwan Lee, Ju Hwan Yoon, Sungchul Kim, and Kwang-Sup Soh Copyright © 2014 Su Youn Park et al. All rights reserved. Policosanol Attenuates Statin-Induced Increases in Serum Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9 When Combined with Atorvastatin Sun, 16 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/926087/ Objective. Statin treatment alone has been demonstrated to significantly increase plasma proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) levels. The effect of policosanol combined with statin on PCSK9 is unknown. Methods. Protocol I: 26 patients with atherosclerosis were randomly assigned to receive either atorvastatin 20 mg/d or policosanol 20 mg/d + atorvastatin 20 mg/d for 8 weeks. Protocol II: 15 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to either policosanol 20 mg/d or a control group for 12 weeks. Serum levels of PCSK9 were determined at day 0 and the end of each protocol. Results. Protocol I: atorvastatin 20 mg/d significantly increased serum PCSK9 level by 39.4% (256 ± 84 ng/mL versus 357 ± 101 ng/mL, ). However, policosanol 20 mg/d + atorvastatin 20 mg/d increased serum PCSK9 level by only 17.4% without statistical significance (264 ± 60 ng/mL versus 310 ± 86 ng/mL, ). Protocol II: there was a trend toward decreasing serum PCSK9 levels in the policosanol group (289 ± 71 ng/mL versus 235 ± 46 ng/mL, ). Conclusion. Policosanol combined with statin attenuated the statin-induced increase in serum PCSK9 levels. This finding indicates that policosanol might have a modest effect of lowering serum PCSK9 levels. Yuan-Lin Guo, Rui-Xia Xu, Cheng-Gang Zhu, Na-Qiong Wu, Zhi-Ping Cui, and Jian-Jun Li Copyright © 2014 Yuan-Lin Guo et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Da-Cheng-Qi Decoction on the Repair of the Injured Enteric Nerve-Interstitial Cells of Cajal-Smooth Muscle Cells Network in Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome Thu, 13 Nov 2014 11:55:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/596723/ Wistar rats were randomly divided into control group, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) group, and Da-Cheng-Qi decoction (DCQD) group. The network of enteric nerves-interstitial cells of Cajal- (ICC-) smooth muscle cells (SMC) in small intestine was observed using confocal laser scanning microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The results showed that the numbers of cholinergic/nitriergic nerves, and the deep muscular plexus of ICC (ICC-DMP) and connexin43 (Cx43) in small intestine with MODS were significantly decreased. The network integrity of enteric nerves-ICC-SMC was disrupted. The ultrastructures of ICC-DMP, enteric nerves, and SMC were severely damaged. After treatment with DCQD, the damages were repaired and the network integrity of enteric nerves ICC-SMC was significantly recovered. In conclusion, the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal motility dysfunction in MODS in part may be due to the damages to enteric nerves-ICC-SMC network and gap junctions. The therapeutic mechanism of DCQD in part may be that it could repair the damages and maintain the integrity of enteric nerves ICC-SMC network. Mu-Cang Liu, Ming-Zheng Xie, Bin Ma, and Qing-Hui Qi Copyright © 2014 Mu-Cang Liu et al. All rights reserved. In Vivo and In Vitro Antitumor Effects of Platycodin D, a Saponin Purified from Platycodi Radix on the H520 Lung Cancer Cell Thu, 13 Nov 2014 08:39:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/478653/ Platycodin D is a major pharmacological constituent of Platycodi radix and has showed various pharmacological activities through oxidative stress defense mechanisms. Here, possible antitumor, anticachexia, and immunomodulatory activities of platycodin D were observed on the H520 tumor cell-bearing athymic nude mice after confirming the in vitro cytotoxicity. Platycodin D was orally administered at dose levels of 200, 100, and 50 mg/kg, once a day for 35 days from 15 days after implantation. The results were compared with gemcitabine 160 mg/kg intraperitoneally treated mice (7-day intervals). Platycodin D showed favorable cytotoxic effects on the H520 cells, and also dose-dependently decreased the tumor volumes and weights with increases of apoptotic cells (caspase-3 and PARP immunopositive cells), iNOS and TNF-α immunoreactivities, decreases of COX-2 immunoreactivities in tumor masses. Platycodin D also showed dose-dependent immunostimulatory and anticachexia effects. Gemcitabine showed favorable cytotoxity against H520 tumor cell and related in vivo antitumor effects but aggravated the cancer related cachexia and immunosuppress in H520 tumor cell-bearing athymic nude mice. Taken together, it is considered that oral treatment of platycodin D has potent antitumor activities on H520 cells through direct cytotoxic effects, increases of apoptosis in tumor cells, and immunostimulatory effects and can be control cancer related cachexia. Jae Chan Park, Young Joon Lee, Hae Yun Choi, Yong Kook Shin, Jong Dae Kim, and Sae Kwang Ku Copyright © 2014 Jae Chan Park et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effects of Berberine on Isoproterenol-Induced Acute Myocardial Ischemia in Rats through Regulating HMGB1-TLR4 Axis Thu, 13 Nov 2014 07:31:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/849783/ Berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid originally isolated from the Chinese herb Coptis chinensis (Huanglian), has been shown to display a wide array of pharmacological activities. The present study was to investigate the effects of berberine against myocardial ischemia produced in rats by isoproterenol. 50 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized equally into five groups: a control group, an untreated model group, berberine (30, 60 mg/kg) treatment, or propranolol (30 mg/kg). Rats were treated for 12 days and then given isoproterenol, 85 mg/kg for 2 consecutive days by subcutaneous injection. ST-segment elevation was measured after the last administration. Serum levels of creatine kinase isoenzyme (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured after the rats were sacrificed. The hearts were excised for determining heart weight index, microscopic examination, high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), toll-like receptor (TLR4), prodeath protein (Bax), antideath protein (Bcl-2), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) protein were determined by western blot. Berberine decreased the ST elevation induced by acute myocardial ischemia, and decreased serum levels of CK-MB, LDH, TNF-α, and IL-6. Berberine increased total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) activity and decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) content in myocardial tissue. Berberine can regulate HMGB1-TLR4 axis to protect myocardial ischemia. Tianzhu Zhang, Shihai Yang, and Juan Du Copyright © 2014 Tianzhu Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Qigong and Fibromyalgia: Randomized Controlled Trials and Beyond Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:34:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/379715/ Introduction. Qigong is currently considered as meditative movement, mindful exercise, or complementary exercise and is being explored for relief of symptoms in fibromyalgia. Aim. This narrative review summarizes randomized controlled trials, as well as additional studies, of qigong published to the end of 2013 and discusses relevant methodological issues. Results. Controlled trials indicate regular qigong practice (daily, 6–8 weeks) produces improvements in core domains for fibromyalgia (pain, sleep, impact, and physical and mental function) that are maintained at 4–6 months compared to wait-list subjects or baselines. Comparisons with active controls show little difference, but compared to baseline there are significant and comparable effects in both groups. Open-label studies provide information that supports benefit but remain exploratory. An extension trial and case studies involving extended practice (daily, 6–12 months) indicate marked benefits but are limited by the number of participants. Benefit appears to be related to amount of practice. Conclusions. There is considerable potential for qigong to be a useful complementary practice for the management of fibromyalgia. However, there are unique methodological challenges, and exploration of its clinical potential will need to focus on pragmatic issues and consider a spectrum of trial designs. Mechanistic considerations need to consider both system-wide and more specific effects. Jana Sawynok and Mary Lynch Copyright © 2014 Jana Sawynok and Mary Lynch. All rights reserved. Effect of “Deqi” during the Study of Needling “Wang’s Jiaji” Acupoints Treating Spasticity after Stroke Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:02:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/715351/ Background. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce spasticity and prevent the onset of spasticity after stroke. The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of “Deqi” during needling “Wang’s Jiaji” acupoints treating spasticity in the early stage of stroke. Methods. This study is a multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled trial. 238 patients with stroke (<21 days) participated and were randomly allocated to the verum-acupuncture () group or sham-acupuncture group (). The verum-acupuncture group received verum acupuncture required to produce the sense of “Deqi” while the sham-acupuncture group received sham acupuncture without “Deqi.” Patients in both groups followed the same 30 min acupuncture regimen 5 times per week for a period of 4 weeks. Scales of MAS, FMA, ADL, MBI, NIHSS, SS-QOL, and MRS were measured at baseline and at 2, 4, and 12 weeks after intervention. Results. Significant differences were observed between two groups. The MRS rating composition has the statistical difference after 4 weeks (). The score of MAS, FMA, Barthel, and SSQOL in verum-acupuncture group has increased significantly compared with the sham-acupuncture group after 12 weeks. There was 14% reduction of higher muscle tension in the verum-acupuncture group. Conclusion. Acupuncture “Wang’s Jiaji” points with sensation of “Deqi” in the early stage may reduce the occurrence and decrease the severity of spasticity after stroke. Huanqin Li, Huilin Liu, Cunzhi Liu, Guangxia Shi, Wei Zhou, Chengmei Zhao, Tao Zhang, Xuefei Wang, Guiling Wang, Yin Zhao, Jingqing Sun, Jing Wang, and Linpeng Wang Copyright © 2014 Huanqin Li et al. All rights reserved.