Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Akebia trifoliate (Thunb.) Koidz Seed Extract Inhibits the Proliferation of Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Lines via Inducing Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Mon, 20 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/192749/ Akebia Fructus has long been used for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in China, while the molecular mechanism remains obscure. Our recent work found that Akebia trifoliate (Thunb.) Koidz seed extract (ATSE) suppressed proliferation and induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in SMMC-7721. The present study aimed to throw more light on the mechanism. ER stress occurred after ATSE treatment in HepG2, HuH7, and SMMC-7721 cells, manifested as ER expansion, and SMMC-7721 was the most sensitive kind in terms of morphology. Cell viability assay showed that ATSE significantly inhibited cells proliferation. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that ATSE leads to an upward tendency of G0/G1 phase and a reduced trend of the continuous peak after G2/M phase in HepG2; ATSE promoted apoptosis in HuH7 and a notable reduction in G0/G1 phase; ATSE does not quite influence cell cycles of SMMC-7721. Western blot analysis showed an increased trend of the chosen ER stress-related proteins after different treatments but nonsignificantly; only HYOU1 and GRP78 were decreased notably by ATSE in HuH7. Affymetrix array indicated that lots of ER stress-related genes’ expressions were significantly altered, and downward is the main trend. These results suggest that ATSE have anticancer potency in HCC cells via partly inducing ER stress. Wen-Li Lu, Hong-Yan Ren, Cao Liang, Yuan-Yuan Zhang, Ji Xu, Zhi-Qiang Pan, Xiao-Mei Liu, Zhong-Hua Wu, and Zhao-Qin Fang Copyright © 2014 Wen-Li Lu et al. All rights reserved. Proof-of-Concept Randomized Controlled Study of Cognition Effects of the Proprietary Extract Sceletium tortuosum (Zembrin) Targeting Phosphodiesterase-4 in Cognitively Healthy Subjects: Implications for Alzheimer’s Dementia Sun, 19 Oct 2014 12:05:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/682014/ Introduction. Converging evidence suggests that PDE-4 (phosphodiesterase subtype 4) plays a crucial role in regulating cognition via the PDE-4-cAMP cascade signaling involving phosphorylated cAMP response element binding protein (CREB). Objective. The primary endpoint was to examine the neurocognitive effects of extract Sceletium tortuosum (Zembrin) and to assess the safety and tolerability of Zembrin in cognitively healthy control subjects. Method. We chose the randomized double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over design in our study. We randomized normal healthy subjects (total ) to receive either 25 mg capsule Zembrin or placebo capsule once daily for 3 weeks, in a randomized placebo-controlled 3-week cross-over design. We administered battery of neuropsychological tests: CNS Vital Signs and Hamilton depression rating scale (HAM-D) at baseline and regular intervals and monitored side effects with treatment emergent adverse events scale. Results. 21 subjects (mean age: 54.6 years ± 6.0 yrs; male/female ratio: 9/12) entered the study. Zembrin at 25 mg daily dosage significantly improved cognitive set flexibility () and executive function (), compared with the placebo group. Positive changes in mood and sleep were found. Zembrin was well tolerated. Conclusion. The promising cognitive enhancing effects of Zembrin likely implicate the PDE-4-cAMP-CREB cascade, a novel drug target in the potential treatment of early Alzheimer’s dementia. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01805518. Simon Chiu, Nigel Gericke, Michel Farina-Woodbury, Vladimir Badmaev, Hana Raheb, Kristen Terpstra, Joalex Antongiorgi, Yves Bureau, Zack Cernovsky, Jirui Hou, Veronica Sanchez, Marrissa Williams, John Copen, Mariwan Husni, and Liz Goble Copyright © 2014 Simon Chiu et al. All rights reserved. Yiqi Formula Enhances the Antitumor Effects of Erlotinib for Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Xenografts Sun, 19 Oct 2014 07:47:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/628712/ Yiqi formula (YF), a traditional herbal prescription, has long been used to treat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients. The present study aims to investigate the effects and the related mechanism of YF for treatment of TNBC xenografts. MDA-MB-231 (human TNBC) cells were subcutaneously injected into the second mammary fat pad of 40 female nude mice, which were divided into four groups: control, erlotinib (an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor), YF, and combination (YF plus erlotinib). All treatments were administered orally for 30 days. Inhibition rate of tumor weight by erlotinib, YF, and the combination was 26.47%, 17.24%, and 39.15%, respectively. Western blotting showed that YF, erlotinib, and the combination downregulated p-EGFR () and p-Akt1 (pT308) () and upregulated PTEN compared with control, and the combination was more efficacious than erlotinib alone (). Similar results were detected by immunohistochemistry. Real-time quantitative PCR showed that YF, erlotinib, and the combination increased PTEN mRNA (, ) compared with control, and the combination was more efficacious than erlotinib alone (). In conclusion, YF can regulate the main components of the PI3K/Akt pathway in TNBC xenografts. When YF was used in combination with erlotinib, it enhanced the antitumor effects of erlotinib on TNBC xenografts. These findings suggest that YF is suitable to use for the treatment of TNBC patients. Ming-juan Liao, Mei-na Ye, Rui-juan Zhou, Jia-yu Sheng, and Hong-feng Chen Copyright © 2014 Ming-juan Liao et al. All rights reserved. Compound Danshen Dripping Pill Pretreatment to Prevent Contrast-Induced Nephropathy in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:08:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/256268/ Background. Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) limits the outcome of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Objective. To investigate whether pretreatment with Compound Danshen Dripping Pills (CDDP) will decrease the incidence of CIN after PCI. Methods. A total of 229 patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) undergoing PCI were divided into the control group () and the CDDP (containing salvia miltiorrhiza and sanqi) group (; given 20 CDDP pills, three times daily before PCI). Serum creatinine, creatinine clearance (CrCl), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), P-selectin, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) were measured at admission and 24 and 48 h after PCI. Results. CrCl decreased after PCI but recovered after 48 h. In the CDDP group, CrCl recovered more rapidly (). The procedure increased the hsCRP, P-selectin, and ICAM-1 levels, but these levels were less in the CDDP group (). Conclusions. Pretreatment with CDDP can decrease the occurrence of CIN in patients undergoing PCI, suggesting that the early use of CDDP is an appropriate adjuvant pharmacological therapy before PCI. Rong Yang, Liang Chang, Bing-yan Guo, Yan-wei Wang, Ya-ling Wang, Xin Jin, Su-yun Liu, and Yong-jun Li Copyright © 2014 Rong Yang et al. All rights reserved. Ultrasound-Guided Miniscalpel-Needle Release versus Dry Needling for Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial Thu, 16 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/235817/ Objective. To compare ultrasound-guided miniscalpel-needle (UG-MSN) release versus ultrasound-guided dry needling (UG-DN) for chronic neck pain. Methods. A total of 169 patients with chronic neck pain were randomized to receive either UG-MSN release or UG-DN. Before treatment and at 3 and 6 months posttreatment, pain was measured using a 10-point visual analogue scale (VAS). Neck function was examined using the neck disability index. Health-related quality of life was examined using the physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) of the SF-36 health status scale. Results. Patients in the UG-MSN release had greater improvement on the VAS (by 2 points at 3 months and 0.9 points at 6 months) versus in the UG-DN arm; (both ). Patients receiving UG-MSN release also showed significantly lower scores on the adjusted neck disability index, as well as significantly lower PCS. No severe complications were observed. Conclusion. UG-MSN release was superior to UG-DN in reducing pain intensity and neck disability in patients with chronic neck pain and was not associated with severe complications. The procedural aspects in the two arms were identical; however, we did not verify the blinding success. As such, the results need to be interpreted with caution. Yongjun Zheng, Dongping Shi, Xiaotong Wu, Minghong Gu, Zisheng Ai, Kun Tang, Le Ye, and Xiangrui Wang Copyright © 2014 Yongjun Zheng et al. All rights reserved. Honey: A Potential Therapeutic Agent for Managing Diabetic Wounds Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:20:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/169130/ Diabetic wounds are unlike typical wounds in that they are slower to heal, making treatment with conventional topical medications an uphill process. Among several different alternative therapies, honey is an effective choice because it provides comparatively rapid wound healing. Although honey has been used as an alternative medicine for wound healing since ancient times, the application of honey to diabetic wounds has only recently been revived. Because honey has some unique natural features as a wound healer, it works even more effectively on diabetic wounds than on normal wounds. In addition, honey is known as an “all in one” remedy for diabetic wound healing because it can combat many microorganisms that are involved in the wound process and because it possesses antioxidant activity and controls inflammation. In this review, the potential role of honey’s antibacterial activity on diabetic wound-related microorganisms and honey’s clinical effectiveness in treating diabetic wounds based on the most recent studies is described. Additionally, ways in which honey can be used as a safer, faster, and effective healing agent for diabetic wounds in comparison with other synthetic medications in terms of microbial resistance and treatment costs are also described to support its traditional claims. Fahmida Alam, Md. Asiful Islam, Siew Hua Gan, and Md. Ibrahim Khalil Copyright © 2014 Fahmida Alam et al. All rights reserved. Ergosterol Is the Active Compound of Cultured Mycelium Cordyceps sinensis on Antiliver Fibrosis Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:31:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/537234/ Cultured mycelium Cordyceps sinensis (CMCS) is a Chinese herbal medicine, which is widely used for a variety of diseases including liver injury in clinic. The current study aims to investigate the protective effects of CMCS against liver fibrosis and to exploit its active antifibrotic substances in vivo and in vitro. For evaluating the antifibrotic effect of CMCS and ergosterol, male C57BL/6 mice were injected intraperitoneally with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and treated with CMCS (120 mg/kg/d) or ergosterol (50 mg/kg/d). Four weeks later, serum liver function, hepatic hydroxyproline (Hyp) content, liver inflammation, collagen deposition, and expression of alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in liver tissue were evaluated. Besides, toxicological effects of active compounds of CMCS on hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) were detected and expressions of permeability of the lysosomal membrane, EdU, F-actin, and α-SMA of activated HSCs were analyzed to screen the antifibrotic substance in CMCS in vitro. Our results showed that CMCS could significantly alleviate levels of serum liver functions, attenuate hepatic inflammation, decrease collagen deposition, and relieve levels of α-SMA in liver, respectively. Ergosterol, the active compound in CMCS that was detected by HPLC, played a dose-dependent inhibition role on activated HSCs via upregulating expressions of permeability of the lysosomal membrane and downregulating levels of EdU, F-actin, and α-SMA on activated HSCs in vitro. Moreover, ergosterol revealed the antifibrotic effect alike in vivo. In conclusion, CMCS is effective in alleviating liver fibrosis induced by CCl4 and ergosterol might be the efficacious antifibrotic substance in CMCS in vivo and in vitro. Yuan Peng, Yanyan Tao, Qinglan Wang, Li Shen, Tao Yang, Zulong Liu, and Chenghai Liu Copyright © 2014 Yuan Peng et al. All rights reserved. Glycyrrhizae Radix Methanol Extract Attenuates Methamphetamine-Induced Locomotor Sensitization and Conditioned Place Preference Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:29:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/152063/ Glycyrrhizae Radix modulates the neurochemical and locomotor alterations induced by acute psychostimulants in rodents via GABAb receptors. This study investigated the influence of methanol extract from Glycyrrhizae Radix (MEGR) on repeated methamphetamine- (METH-) induced locomotor sensitization and conditioned place preference (CPP). A cohort of rats was treated with METH (1 mg/kg/day) for 6 consecutive days, subjected to 6 days of withdrawal, and then challenged with the same dose of METH to induce locomotor sensitization; during the withdrawal period, the rats were administered MEGR (60 or 180 mg/kg/day). A separate cohort of rats was treated with either METH or saline every other day for 6 days in METH-paired or saline-paired chambers, respectively, to induce CPP. These rats were also administered MEGR (180 mg/kg) prior to every METH or CPP expression test. Pretreatment with MEGR (60 and 180 mg/kg/day) attenuated the expression of METH-induced locomotor sensitization dose-dependently, and 180 mg/kg MEGR significantly inhibited the development and expression of METH-induced CPP. Furthermore, administration of a selective GABAb receptor antagonist (SCH50911) prior to MEGR treatment effectively blocked the inhibitory effects of MEGR on locomotor sensitization, but not CPP. These results suggest that Glycyrrhizae Radix blocked repeated METH-induced behavioral changes via GABAb receptors. ZhengLin Zhao, Young Woo Kim, YuPeng Yang, Jie Zhang, Ji Yun Jung, Suchan Chang, Il Je Cho, FuBo Zhou, JunChang Zhao, Bong Hyeo Lee, Chae Ha Yang, Sang Chan Kim, and RongJie Zhao Copyright © 2014 ZhengLin Zhao et al. All rights reserved. The Effects of Uygur Herb Hyssopus officinalis L. on the Process of Airway Remodeling in Asthmatic Mice Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/710870/ It has been proved that Uygur herb Hyssopus offcinalis L. could affect the levels of some cytokines (such as IL-4, IL-6, IL-17, and IFN-γ) in asthmatic mice. By detection of the expressions of MMP-9 and TIMP-1 and the morphological changes, the aim of this research is to reveal the mechanism of Uygur herb Hyssopus offcinalis L. in the process of airway remodeling. It was observed that the expressions of MMP-9 and TIMP-1 increased, but the ratio of MMP-9/TIMP-1 decreased in airway remodeling group. However, the expression of both MMP-9 and TIMP-1 decreased after being treated with dexamethasone and Hyssopus offcinalis L., accompanied by the relieved pathological changes, including collagen deposition, mucus secretion, and smooth muscle proliferation. It is suggested that Uygur herb Hyssopus offcinalis L. could inhibit airway remodeling by correcting imbalance of MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio. Xiaojuan Ma, Xiumin Ma, Zhixing Ma, Zhan Sun, Wenyan Yu, Jing Wang, Fengsen Li, and Jianbing Ding Copyright © 2014 Xiaojuan Ma et al. All rights reserved. The Immunological Enhancement Activity of Propolis Flavonoids Liposome In Vitro and In Vivo Tue, 14 Oct 2014 08:30:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/483513/ The aim of this study was to investigate and assess the effects of propolis flavonoids liposome imposed on the immune system by comparing it to propolis flavonoids and blank liposome. In vitro, the effects of the above drugs on macrophages were assessed by measuring the phagocytic function and cytokine production. In vivo, the immunological adjuvant activity of propolis flavonoids liposome was compared with those of propolis flavonoids and blank liposome. The results showed that in vitro propolis flavonoids liposome can significantly enhance the phagocytic function of macrophages and the release of IL-1β, IL-6, and IFN-γ. In addition, subcutaneous administration of propolis flavonoids liposome with ovalbumin to mice could effectively activate the cellular and humoral immune response, including inducing higher level concentrations of IgG, IL-4, and IFN-γ in serum and the proliferation rates of splenic lymphocytes. These findings provided valuable information regarding the immune modulatory function of propolis flavonoids liposome and indicated the possibility of use of propolis flavonoids liposome as a potential adjuvant. Yang Tao, Deqing Wang, Yuanliang Hu, Yee Huang, Yun Yu, and Deyun Wang Copyright © 2014 Yang Tao et al. All rights reserved. Current Studies of Acupuncture in Cancer-Induced Bone Pain Animal Models Tue, 14 Oct 2014 08:06:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/191347/ Acupuncture is generally accepted as a safe and harmless treatment option for alleviating pain. To explore the pain mechanism, numerous animal models have been developed to simulate specific human pain conditions, including cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP). In this study, we analyzed the current research methodology of acupuncture for the treatment of CIBP. We electronically searched the PubMed database for animal studies published from 2000 onward using these search terms: (bone cancer OR cancer) AND (pain OR analgesia) AND (acupuncture OR pharmacopuncture OR bee venom). We selected articles that described cancer pain in animal models. We analyzed the methods used to induce cancer pain and the outcome measures used to assess the effects of acupuncture on CIBP in animal models. We reviewed articles that met our inclusion criteria. Injection of mammary cancer cells into the cavity of the tibia was the most frequently used method for inducing CIBP in the animal models. Among the eight selected studies, five studies demonstrated the effects of electroacupuncture on CIBP. The effects of acupuncture were assessed by measuring pain-related behavior. Future researches will be needed to ascertain the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating CIBP and to explore the specific mechanism of CIBP in animal models. Hee Kyoung Ryu, Yong-Hyeon Baek, Yeon-Cheol Park, and Byung-Kwan Seo Copyright © 2014 Hee Kyoung Ryu et al. All rights reserved. Treatment of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with Total Alkaloids in Rubus aleaefolius Poir through Regulation of Fat Metabolism Tue, 14 Oct 2014 07:52:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/768540/ Total alkaloids in Rubus aleaefolius Poir (TARAP) is a folk medicinal herb that has been used clinically in China to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) for many years. However, the mechanism of its anti-NAFLD effect is largely unknown. In this study, we developed a NAFLD rat model by supplying a modified high-fat diet (mHFD) ad libitum for 8 weeks and evaluated the therapeutic effect of TARAP in NAFLD rats as well as the underlying molecular mechanism. We found that TARAP could reduce the serum triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) levels and increase the serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) level in NAFLD rats. In addition, TARAP treatment reduced expression of fatty acid synthetase (FAS), and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and upregulated the expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT). Our results suggest that regulation of lipid metabolism may be a mechanism by which TARAP treats NAFLD. Ying Li, Jinyan Zhao, Haiyin Zheng, Xiaoyong Zhong, Jianheng Zhou, and Zhenfeng Hong Copyright © 2014 Ying Li et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Temperature on Chronic Trapezius Myofascial Pain Syndrome during Dry Needling Therapy Tue, 14 Oct 2014 07:32:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/638268/ The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of temperature on chronic trapezius myofascial pain syndrome during dry needling therapy. Sixty patients were randomized into two groups of dry needling (DN) alone (group A) and DN combined with heat therapy group (group B). Each patient was treated once and the therapeutic effect was assessed by the visual analogue scale (VAS), pressure pain threshold (PPT), and the 36-item short form health survey (SF-36) at seven days, one month, and three months after treatment. Evaluation based on VAS and PPT showed that the pain of patients in groups A and B was significantly relieved at seven days, one month, and three months after treatment Compared to before treatment. There was significantly less pain in group B than group A at one and three months after treatment. The SF-36 evaluation demonstrated that the physical condition of patients in both groups showed significant improvement at one month and three months after treatment than before treatment. Our study suggests that both DN and DN heating therapy were effective in the treatment of trapezius MPS, and that DN heating therapy had better long-term effects than DN therapy. Gang Wang, Qian Gao, Jingshan Hou, and Jun Li Copyright © 2014 Gang Wang et al. All rights reserved. Coadministration of Pinellia ternata Can Significantly Reduce Aconitum carmichaelii to Inhibit CYP3A Activity in Rats Tue, 14 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/734867/ Chuanwu (CW), the mother root of Aconitum carmichaelii Debx., is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for treating traumatic injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, and tumors. CW coadministered with banxia (BX), the root of Pinellia ternata, is also widely prescribed in clinical practice. However, the mechanism of this combination is yet deciphered. Current study aimed to investigate the effects of CW, including raw chuanwu (RCW) and processed chuanwu (PCW) alone, as well as CW coadministered with BX on CYP3A activity. Buspirone (BP) and testosterone (Tes) were used as specific probe substrates in vivo and ex vivo, respectively. CYP3A activity was determined by the metabolites formation ratios from the substrates. Compared with those in the control group, the metabolites formation ratios significantly decreased in the RCW and PCW alone groups, accompanied by a marked decrease in CYP3A protein and mRNA levels. However, there was a significant increase in those ratios in the RCW-BX and PCW-BX groups compared to the RCW and PCW alone groups. The results indicated that both RCW and PCW can inhibit CYP3A activity in rats because of downregulation of CYP3A protein and mRNA levels. Decreases in CYP3A activity can be reversed by coadministration with BX. Jinjun Wu, Zaixing Cheng, Lijun Zhu, Linlin Lu, Guiyu Zhang, Ying Wang, Ying Xu, Na Lin, and Zhongqiu Liu Copyright © 2014 Jinjun Wu et al. All rights reserved. P6 Electroacupuncture Improved QTc Interval Prolongation by Upregulation of Connexin43 in Droperidol Treated Rats Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:53:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/926423/ Aim. This study investigated the effect of P6 EA on droperidol-induced QTc interval prolongation and Cx43 expression in ventricular muscle of rats. Methods. Twenty-four rats were randomly divided into control group (C), droperidol group (D), or EA group (E). C group rats were injected with normal saline. D group rats were injected with droperidol 0.13 mg/kg. E group rats were pretreated with EA at left P6 acupoint for 30 min and then injected with droperidol (0.13 mg/kg). QTc intervals were recorded at lead II in ECG within 120 min. Cx43 expression was measured by RT-PCR and western blotting. Result. Droperidol significantly prolonged QTc intervals compared with controls at 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, and 30 min (). P6 EA could significantly abbreviate the prolongation of QTc interval compared with droperidol group at 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, and 30 min (). Cx43 mRNA and proteins were significantly increased by P6 EA compared with droperidol group at 120 min (). There were no significant differences in Cx43 mRNA and protein expression between droperidol and control group at 120 min (). Conclusion. P6 EA could improve QTc interval prolongation induced by droperidol, which may relate to upregulation of Cx43 mRNA and protein. Antiemetic dose of droperidol had minor effects on Cx43 mRNA and protein expression at 120 min. Feng Zhao, Suyang Cui, and Libing Huang Copyright © 2014 Feng Zhao et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Wound Closure Activity of Nigella sativa, Melastoma malabathricum, Pluchea indica, and Piper sarmentosum Extracts on Scratched Monolayer of Human Gingival Fibroblasts Mon, 13 Oct 2014 07:42:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/190342/ Nigella sativa, Melastoma malabathricum, Pluchea indica, and Piper sarmentosum are common Asian traditional medicines to treat minor wounds. This study aimed to investigate the in vitro wound healing properties of aqueous extracts of these plants using human gingival fibroblast (HGF) monolayer as study model. DPPH scavenging activity of the extracts was evaluated and effect on HGF proliferation was determined. Their effect on HGF’s function to synthesize collagen was indicated by the level of hydroxyproline produced and effect on wound healing activity was assessed using an in vitro scratch assay. The influence of the extracts on expression of bFGF and TGF-β was also determined. Results revealed all four extracts to exhibit low free radical scavenging activity. The extract from N. sativa (NSSE) compared to the others showed favourable enhancement of HGF proliferation with EC50 of  µg/mL () with accelerated wound closure activity despite its nonsignificant effect on collagen synthesis. In addition to the elevated level of bFGF by up to 15% at 100 µg/mL of NSSE, a slightly better effect was observed on the expression of TGF-β. NSSE thus showed that promising wound healing properties and data obtained may contribute towards validation of its traditional use for the healing of oral wounds. Mas Rizal Ab Rahman, Fathilah Abdul Razak, and Marina Mohd Bakri Copyright © 2014 Mas Rizal Ab Rahman et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Temperature on Pressurised Hot Water Extraction of Pharmacologically Important Metabolites as Analysed by UPLC-qTOF-MS and PCA Mon, 13 Oct 2014 07:31:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/914759/ Metabolite extraction methods have been shown to be a critical consideration for pharmacometabolomics studies and, as such, optimization and development of new extraction methods are crucial. In the current study, an organic solvent-free method, namely, pressurised hot water extraction (PHWE), was used to extract pharmacologically important metabolites from dried Moringa oleifera leaves. Here, the temperature of the extraction solvent (pure water) was altered while keeping other factors constant using a homemade PHWE system. Samples extracted at different temperatures (50, 100, and 150°C) were assayed for antioxidant activities and the effect of the temperature on the extraction process was evaluated. The samples were further analysed by mass spectrometry to elucidate their metabolite compositions. Principal component analysis (PCA) evaluation of the UPLC-MS data showed distinctive differential metabolite patterns. Here, temperature changes during PHWE were shown to affect the levels of metabolites with known pharmacological activities, such as chlorogenic acids and flavonoids. Our overall findings suggest that, if not well optimised, the extraction temperature could compromise the “pharmacological potency” of the extracts. The use of MS in combination with PCA was furthermore shown to be an excellent approach to evaluate the quality and content of pharmacologically important extracts. B. S. Khoza, L. Chimuka, E. Mukwevho, P. A. Steenkamp, and N. E. Madala Copyright © 2014 B. S. Khoza et al. All rights reserved. Effect of the Herbal Drug Guilu Erxian Jiao on Muscle Strength, Articular Pain, and Disability in Elderly Men with Knee Osteoarthritis Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:40:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/297458/ Background. Guilu Erxian Jiao (GEJ) is a widely used Chinese herbal remedy for knee osteoarthritis, but its clinical efficacy is unknown. Methods. We enrolled 42 elderly male patients with knee OA, including 21 patients who received the herbal drug GEJ as the case group and 21 patients who did not receive GEJ as the control group. The effects of 12 weeks of GEJ treatment on muscle strength of lower limbs were measured by a Biodex dynamometer, with disability evaluated on the Lequesne index and articular pain measured on the visual analog scale (VAS) between the two groups on the baseline and after treatment. Results. There were significant increases in the levels of muscle strength of TQ/BW-ext-dominant and TQ/BW-flex-dominant between the two groups after treatment (). There were also significant increases in muscle strength of knee extensor muscles in the GEJ-treated group () self-controlled before and after 12 weeks of treatment (all ). There were significant decreases in articular pain () and Lequesne index scores () in the GEJ-treated group when compared to the non-GEJ-treated group. Conclusions. Our results showed that GEJ is effective and is tolerated well in elderly men with knee OA. Chen-Chen Tsai, Yin-Yi Chou, Yi-Ming Chen, Yih-Jing Tang, Hui-Ching Ho, and Der-Yuan Chen Copyright © 2014 Chen-Chen Tsai et al. All rights reserved. Effect of a Comprehensive Health Care Program by Korean Medicine Doctors on Medical Care Utilization for Common Infectious Diseases in Child-Care Centers Thu, 11 Sep 2014 07:40:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/781675/ As the role of traditional medicine in community health improvement increases, a comprehensive health care program for infectious diseases management in child-care centers by Korean medicine doctors was developed. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of the program intervention on infection-related medical care utilization among children. The study used a quasi-experimental design with nonequivalent control group, comparing pre- and post-intervention data of the same children. The program implemented interventions in terms of management, education, and medical examination for the teachers, parents, and children in 12-week period. The frequency of utilization, cost, and prescription days of drugs and antibiotics due to infectious diseases prior to the intervention were compared with those during the 3-month intervention, using health insurance claim data. A panel analysis was also conducted to support the findings. A significant reduction (12%) in infection-related visit days of hospitals was observed with the intervention (incident rate ratio = 0.88, ). And medical cost, drug prescription days, and antibiotics prescription days were decreased, although not statistically significant. A further cost-effectiveness analysis in terms of social perspectives, considering the opportunity costs for guardians to take children to medical institutions, would be needed. Minjung Park, Jimin Park, and Soonman Kwon Copyright © 2014 Minjung Park et al. All rights reserved. Two Years versus One Year of Tianjiu Therapy in Sanfu Days for Chronic Asthma: A Clinical Efficacy Observation Trial Thu, 11 Sep 2014 07:02:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/807598/ Background. Tianjiu therapy has established efficacy against chronic asthma with related symptoms or the medication need during asthma attack. This study aimed to explore the optimal duration of Tianjiu therapy for asthma. Methods. This study was a self-comparison-to-the-baseline study, which comparing treatment with Tianjiu therapy for 1 year and 2 years in the same 102 chronic asthma patients. Totally 6 sessions of Tianjiu treatment were provided, 3 sessions in a year as a course of treatment and totally two years treatment. The primary endpoint was the number of asthma related symptoms which frequently appeared in asthma patients and the frequency of bronchodilator used during asthma attack. Results. The frequency of bronchodilator used during asthma attack significantly improved (, ). But the number of asthma related symptoms which frequently appeared in asthma patients added by 1.38 points (95% CI, 0.25 to 2.51), in 1-year group and in the 2-years group (). Conclusions. The effect of 2 years Tianjiu therapy was not as effective as 1 year such treatment for asthma, but the second year Tianjiu therapy was still needed because it has a role to consolidate the curative effect of Tianjiu therapy for asthma. Li Bing Zhu, Wei Zhang, Vivian Wong, Ziea Eric, Kwai Ching Lo, Wai Chung Chan, To Yau, and Lei Li Copyright © 2014 Li Bing Zhu et al. All rights reserved. Inhibition of Adipogenesis by Oligonol through Akt-mTOR Inhibition in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:18:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/895272/ Polyphenols have recently become an important focus of study in obesity research. Oligonol is an oligomerized polyphenol, typically comprised of catechin-type polyphenols from a variety of fruits, which has been found to exhibit better bioavailability and bioreactivity than natural polyphenol compounds. Here, we demonstrated that Oligonol inhibits 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation by reducing adipogenic gene expression. During adipogenesis, Oligonol downregulated the mRNA levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins α (C/EBPα), and δ (C/EBPδ) in a dose-dependent manner and the expression of genes involved in lipid biosynthesis. The antiadipogenic effect of Oligonol appears to originate from its ability to inhibit the Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway by diminishing the phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K), a downstream target of mTOR and forkhead box protein O1 (Foxo1). These results suggest that Oligonol may be a potent regulator of obesity by repressing major adipogenic genes through inhibition of the Akt signaling pathway, which induces the inhibition of lipid accumulation, ultimately inhibiting adipogenesis. Jae-Yeo Park, Younghwa Kim, Jee Ae Im, Seungkwon You, and Hyangkyu Lee Copyright © 2014 Jae-Yeo Park et al. All rights reserved. Balance Performance in Irradiated Survivors of Nasopharyngeal Cancer with and without Tai Chi Qigong Training Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/719437/ This cross-sectional exploratory study aimed to compare the one-leg-stance time and the six-minute walk distance among TC Qigong-trained NPC survivors, untrained NPC survivors, and healthy individuals. Twenty-five survivors of NPC with TC Qigong experience, 27 survivors of NPC without TC Qigong experience, and 68 healthy individuals formed the NPC-TC Qigong group, NPC-control group, and healthy-control group, respectively. The one-leg-stance (OLS) timed test was conducted to assess the single-leg standing balance performance of the participants in four conditions: (1) standing on a stable surface with eyes open, (2) standing on a compliant surface with eyes open, (3) standing on a stable surface with eyes closed, and (4) standing on a compliant surface with eyes closed. The six-minute walk test (6MWT) was used to determine the functional balance performance of the participants. Results showed that the NPC-control group had a shorter OLS time in all of the visual and supporting surface conditions than the healthy control group . The OLS time of the TC Qigong-NPC group was comparable to that of the healthy control group in the somatosensory-challenging condition (condition 3) only. Additionally, there was no significant difference in the 6MWT distance among the three groups . TC Qigong may be a rehabilitation exercise that improves somatosensory function and OLS balance performance among survivors of NPC. Shirley S. M. Fong, Louisa M. Y. Chung, William W. N. Tsang, Joyce C. Y. Leung, Caroline Y. C. Charm, W. S. Luk, Lina P. Y. Chow, and Shamay S. M. Ng Copyright © 2014 Shirley S. M. Fong et al. All rights reserved. Mindfulness-Based Therapies in the Treatment of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Meta-Analysis Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/140724/ Background. Functional gastrointestinal disorders are highly prevalent and standard treatments are often unsatisfactory. Mindfulness-based therapy has shown benefit in conditions including chronic pain, mood, and somatization disorders. Objectives. To assess the quality and effectiveness reported in existing literature, we conducted a meta-analysis of mindfulness-based therapy in functional gastrointestinal disorders. Methods. Pubmed, EBSCO, and Cochrane databases were searched from inception to May 2014. Study inclusion criteria included randomized, controlled studies of adults using mindfulness-based therapy in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Study quality was evaluated using the Cochrane risk of bias. Effect sizes were calculated and pooled to achieve a summary effect for the intervention on symptom severity and quality of life. Results. Of 119 records, eight articles, describing seven studies, met inclusion criteria. In six studies, significant improvements were achieved or maintained at the end of intervention or follow-up time points. The studies had an unclear or high risk of bias. Pooled effects were statistically significant for IBS severity (0.59, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.86) and quality of life (0.56, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.79). Conclusion. Studies suggest that mindfulness based interventions may provide benefit in functional gastrointestinal disorders; however, substantial improvements in methodological quality and reporting are needed. Monique Aucoin, Marie-Jasmine Lalonde-Parsi, and Kieran Cooley Copyright © 2014 Monique Aucoin et al. All rights reserved. Lipid Lowering Effect of Punica granatum L. Peel in High Lipid Diet Fed Male Rats Wed, 10 Sep 2014 08:17:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/432650/ Many herbal medicines have been recommended for the treatment of dyslipidemia. The antilipidemic effect of hydroethanolic extract of pomegranate peel (Punica granatum L.) was investigated in high lipid diet fed male rats. Intraperitoneally administration of pomegranate peel extract (50, 100, 200, and 300 mg/kg body weight) for 23 days on the levels of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, HDL, alkaline phosphatase (AP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in high lipid diet fed male rats was evaluated. Treatment of pomegranate extract decreased body weight in treated rats, significantly. Administration of the plant extract significantly decreased serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-C, alkaline phosphatise, AST, and ALT levels, whereas it increased serum HDL-C in high lipid diet fed rats in comparison to saline control group. Also, histopathological study showed that treatment of pomegranate peel extract attenuates liver damage in high lipid diet fed rats in comparison to saline group. It is concluded that the plant should be considered as an excellent candidate for future studies on dyslipidemia. Alireza Sadeghipour, Maryam Eidi, Ali Ilchizadeh Kavgani, Reza Ghahramani, Saleh Shahabzadeh, and Ali Anissian Copyright © 2014 Alireza Sadeghipour et al. All rights reserved. In Vivo Antiprotozoal Activity of the Chloroform Extract from Carica papaya Seeds against Amastigote Stage of Trypanosoma cruzi during Indeterminate and Chronic Phase of Infection Mon, 08 Sep 2014 07:19:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/458263/ In order to evaluate the antiprotozoal activity of the chloroform extract of Carica papaya seeds during the subacute and chronic phase of infection of Trypanosoma cruzi, doses of 50 and 75 mg/kg were evaluated during the subacute phase, including a mixture of their main components (oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids). Subsequently, doses of 50 and 75 mg/kg in mice during the chronic phase of infection (100 dpi) were also evaluated. It was found that chloroform extract was able to reduce the amastigote nests numbers during the subacute phase in 55.5 and 69.7% (P > 0.05) as well as in 56.45% in animals treated with the mixture of fatty acids. Moreover, the experimental groups treated with 50 and 75 mg/kg during the chronic phase of the infection showed a significant reduction of 46.8 and 53.13% respectively (P < 0.05). It is recommended to carry out more studies to determine if higher doses of chloroformic extract or its administration in combination with other antichagasic drugs allows a better response over the intracellular stage of T. cruzi in infected animal models and determine if the chloroform extract of C. papaya could be considered as an alternative for treatment during the indeterminate and chronic phase of the infection. Matilde Jimenez-Coello, Karla Y. Acosta-Viana, Antonio Ortega-Pacheco, Salud Perez-Gutierrez, and Eugenia Guzman-Marin Copyright © 2014 Matilde Jimenez-Coello et al. All rights reserved. Optimization of Cat’s Whiskers Tea (Orthosiphon stamineus) Using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide and Selective Chemotherapeutic Potential against Prostate Cancer Cells Sun, 07 Sep 2014 09:16:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/396016/ Cat’s whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus) leaves extracts were prepared using supercritical CO2 (SC-CO2) with full factorial design to determine the optimum extraction parameters. Nine extracts were obtained by varying pressure, temperature, and time. The extracts were analysed using FTIR, UV-Vis, and GC-MS. Cytotoxicity of the extracts was evaluated on human (colorectal, breast, and prostate) cancer and normal fibroblast cells. Moderate pressure (31.1 MPa) and temperature (60°C) were recorded as optimum extraction conditions with high yield (1.74%) of the extract (B2) at 60 min extraction time. The optimized extract (B2) displayed selective cytotoxicity against prostate cancer (PC3) cells (IC50 28 µg/mL) and significant antioxidant activity (IC50 42.8 µg/mL). Elevated levels of caspases 3/7 and 9 in B2-treated PC3 cells suggest the induction of apoptosis through nuclear and mitochondrial pathways. Hoechst and rhodamine assays confirmed the nuclear condensation and disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential in the cells. B2 also demonstrated inhibitory effects on motility and colonies of PC3 cells at its subcytotoxic concentrations. It is noteworthy that B2 displayed negligible toxicity against the normal cells. Chemometric analysis revealed high content of essential oils, hydrocarbon, fatty acids, esters, and aromatic sesquiterpenes in B2. This study highlights the therapeutic potentials of SC-CO2 extract of cat’s whiskers in targeting prostate carcinoma. Fouad Saleih R. Al-Suede, Mohamed B. Khadeer Ahamed, Aman S. Abdul Majid, Hussin M. Baharetha, Loiy E. A. Hassan, Mohd Omar A. Kadir, Zeyad D. Nassar, and Amin M. S. Abdul Majid Copyright © 2014 Fouad Saleih R. Al-Suede et al. All rights reserved. Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Dangguijagyagsan on Serum Lipid Levels and Blood Flow Improvement in Ovariectomized Rats Sun, 07 Sep 2014 07:49:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/497836/ Dangguijagyagsan (DJS), a traditional herbal prescription, has long been used to treat menopause-related symptoms. We identified the cardioprotective effects of an aqueous extract of DJS using an ovariectomized (OVX) and ferric chloride- (FeCl-) induced carotid thrombosis rat model. Female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were ovariectomized or Sham-operated (Sham-control). The ovariectomized rats were divided into three groups: OVX with saline (OVX-control), aspirin 30 mg/kg/day (OVX-ASA), and DJS 100 mg/kg/day (OVX-DJS). The treatments were administered for 5 weeks. Then, blood samples were collected to analyze the serum lipid levels and platelet aggregation. The topical application of 40% FeCl3 induced intravascular thrombosis, which was used to test thrombotic occlusion and for histological examination. Body weight and the levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) increased in the OVX rats. These effects were reduced by ASA and DJS treatment. In addition, ASA and DJS treatment significantly inhibited platelet aggregation. These treatments also increased time to occlusion and decreased both thrombus size and the presence of collagen fibers in surrounding vessel walls compared with the Sham-control and OVX-control groups. These results suggest that DJS has beneficial effects in terms of preventing cardiovascular disease in menopausal woman because it can reduce the serum lipid levels and improve blood flow by inhibiting platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. In Sil Park, Hye Won Lee, Jin Ah Ryuk, and Byoung Seob Ko Copyright © 2014 In Sil Park et al. All rights reserved. The Rhizome Mixture of Anemarrhena asphodeloides and Coptidis chinensis Ameliorates Acute and Chronic Colitis in Mice by Inhibiting the Binding of Lipopolysaccharide to TLR4 and IRAK1 Phosphorylation Wed, 03 Sep 2014 12:43:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/809083/ In the previous study, the mixture of the rhizome of Anemarrhena asphodeloides (AA, family Liliaceae) and the rhizome of Coptidis chinensis (CC, family Ranunculaceae) (AC-mix) improved TNBS- or oxazolone-induced colitis in mice. Therefore, to investigate its anticolitic mechanism, we measured its effect in acute and chronic DSS-induced colitic mice and investigated its anti-inflammatory mechanism in peritoneal macrophages. AC-mix potently suppressed DSS-induced body weight loss, colon shortening, myeloperoxidase activity, and TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 expressions in acute or chronic DSS-stimulated colitic mice. Among AC-mix ingredients, AA, CC, and their main constituents mangiferin and berberine potently inhibited the expression of proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β, as well as the activation of NF-κB in LPS-stimulated peritoneal macrophages. AA and mangiferin potently inhibited IRAK phosphorylation, but CC and berberine potently inhibited the binding of LPS to TLR4 on macrophages, as well as the phosphorylation of IRAK1. AC-mix potently inhibited IRAK phosphorylation and LPS binding to TLR4 on macrophages. Based on these findings, AC-mix may ameliorate colitis by the synergistic inhibition of IRAK phosphorylation and LPS binding to TLR4 on macrophages. Jin-Ju Jeong, Se-Eun Jang, Supriya R. Hyam, Myung Joo Han, and Dong-Hyun Kim Copyright © 2014 Jin-Ju Jeong et al. All rights reserved. Erratum to “Decursin Isolated from Angelica gigas Nakai Rescues PC12 Cells from Amyloid β-Protein-Induced Neurotoxicity through Nrf2-Mediated Upregulation of Heme Oxygenase-1: Potential Roles of MAPK” Wed, 03 Sep 2014 05:12:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/473967/ Li Li, Ji-kun Du, Li-yi Zou, Tie Wu, Yong-woo Lee, and Yong-ho Kim Copyright © 2014 Li Li et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Blueberry Juice in Mouse Azoxymethane-Induced Aberrant Crypts and Oxidative Damage Wed, 03 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/379890/ Blueberry is a plant with a number of nutritional and biomedical capabilities. In the present study we initially evaluated the capacity of its juice (BJ) to inhibit the number of aberrant crypts (AC) induced with azoxymethane (AOM) in mouse. BJ was administered daily by the oral route to three groups of animals during four weeks (1.6, 4.1, and 15.0 μL/g), respectively, while AOM (10 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally injected to the mentioned groups, twice a week, in weeks two and three of the assay. We also included two control groups of mice, one administered distilled water and the other the high dose of BJ. A significant increase of AC was observed in the AOM treated animals, and a mean protection of 75.6% was determined with the two low doses of BJ tested; however, the high dose of the juice administered together with AOM increased the number of crypts more than four times the value observed in animals administered only AOM. Furthermore, we determined the antioxidant potential of BJ with an ex vivo DPPH assay and found a dose-dependent decrease with a mean of 19.5%. We also determined the DNA oxidation/antioxidation by identifying 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine adducts and found a mean decrease of 44.3% with the BJ administration with respect to the level induced by AOM. Our results show a complex differential effect of BJ related to the tested doses, opening the need to further evaluate a number of factors so as to determine the possibility of a cocarcinogenic potential. Isela Álvarez-González, Fernando Garcia-Melo, Verónica R. Vásquez-Garzón, Saúl Villa-Treviño, E. Osiris Madrigal-Santillán, José A. Morales-González, Jorge A. Mendoza-Pérez, and Eduardo Madrigal-Bujaidar Copyright © 2014 Isela Álvarez-González et al. All rights reserved.