Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Antiproliferative Effect of Rottlerin on Sk-Mel-28 Melanoma Cells Thu, 28 May 2015 13:38:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/545838/ Melanoma is the most aggressive and chemoresistant form of skin cancer. Mutated, constitutively active B-RAF is believed to play a crucial role, although the selective B-RAF inhibition has shown poor clinical success, since phenomena of resistance usually occur, likely arising from additional genetic aberrations, such as loss of function of p53 and PTEN, overexpression of cyclin D1, hyperactivation of NF-κB, and downregulation of p21/Cip1. Since all of them are present in the Sk-Mel-28 melanoma cells, this cell line could be an ideal, albeit hard to study, model to develop new therapeutic strategies. In the current study, we tested the cytostatic action of Rottlerin on Sk-Mel-28 melanoma cells, on the basis of the known Rottlerin effects on the main proliferative signaling pathways. We presented evidence that the drug inhibits cell growth by an Akt- and p21/Cip1-independent mechanism, involving the dual inhibition of ERK and NF-κB and downregulation of cyclin D1. In addition, we found that Rottlerin increases ERK phosphorylation, but, surprisingly, this resulted in decreased ERK activity. Pull-down experiments, using Rottlerin-CNBr-conjugated Sepharose beads, revealed that Rottlerin binds to ERK, independently from its phosphorylation status. This direct interaction could in part explain the paradoxical blockage of ERK downstream signaling and growth arrest. Elena Daveri, Giuseppe Valacchi, Roberta Romagnoli, Emilia Maellaro, and Emanuela Maioli Copyright © 2015 Elena Daveri et al. All rights reserved. Supplementation of Citrus maxima Peel Powder Prevented Oxidative Stress, Fibrosis, and Hepatic Damage in Carbon Tetrachloride (CCl4) Treated Rats Thu, 28 May 2015 12:12:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/598179/ Citrus maxima peel is rich in natural phenolic compounds and has a long use in the traditional medicine. HPLC-DAD analysis on Citrus maxima peel powder exhibited the presence of various phenolic compounds such as caffeic acid and (−)-epicatechin. To determine the plausible hepatoprotective activity of Citrus maxima peel powder, we used carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) treated rat model. Liver damage in rats was confirmed by measuring the AST, ALT, and ALP enzyme activities. In addition, lipid peroxidation products (MDA), nitric oxide, advanced protein oxidation products level (APOP), and catalase activities were also analyzed along with the histological profiling for the inflammatory cell infiltration, collagen, and iron deposition in liver. Dietary supplementation of Citrus maxima peel powder exhibited significant reduction of serum AST, ALT, and ALP activities in carbon tetrachloride treated rats. Moreover, Citrus maxima peel powder also showed a significant reduction of the oxidative stress markers (MDA, NO, and APOP level) and restored the catalase activity in CCl4 treated rats. Histological examination of the liver section revealed reduced inflammatory cells infiltration, collagen, and iron deposition in CCl4 treated rats. The results from this study demonstrated that Citrus maxima peel powder produced significant hepatoprotective action in CCl4 administered rats. Mohammed Riaz Hasan Chowdhury, Md Abu Taher Sagor, Nabila Tabassum, Md Abdullah Potol, Hemayet Hossain, and Md Ashraful Alam Copyright © 2015 Mohammed Riaz Hasan Chowdhury et al. All rights reserved. The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among Lebanese Adults: Results from a National Survey Wed, 27 May 2015 12:15:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/682397/ Objective. To examine the prevalence and correlates of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) use in Lebanon. Methods. A cross-sectional survey was conducted through face to face interviews on a nationally representative sample of 1,475 Lebanese adults. The survey questionnaire explored the sociodemographic and health related characteristics as well as the types and modes of CAM use. The main outcome in this study was the use of CAM during the last 12 months. Results. Prevalence of CAM use was 29.87% with “folk herbs” being the most commonly used (75%). Two out of five CAM users indicated using it as alternative to conventional therapies and only 28.4% of users disclosed the use of CAM to their physician. CAM use was significantly associated with higher income, presence of a chronic disease, and lack of access to needed health care. Lower odds of CAM use were observed among older adults and those with a higher education level. Conclusions. This study revealed a high prevalence of CAM use in Lebanon. Health policy and decision makers need to facilitate proper regulation and integration of CAM into mainstream medicine and educate health care providers and the public alike on the safe and effective use of CAM therapies. F. Naja, M. Alameddine, L. Itani, H. Shoaib, D. Hariri, and S. Talhouk Copyright © 2015 F. Naja et al. All rights reserved. Fucoxanthin: A Promising Medicinal and Nutritional Ingredient Wed, 27 May 2015 09:34:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/723515/ Fucoxanthin, an allenic carotenoid, can be isolated from edible brown seaweeds. Recent studies have reported that fucoxanthin has many physiological functions and biological properties, such as antiobesity, antitumor, antidiabetes, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective activities, as well as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular protective effects. Therefore, fucoxanthin can be used as both medicinal and nutritional ingredient to prevent and treat chronic diseases. Although fucoxanthin possesses many medicinal ingredient and nutritional qualities, studies indicated that its structure was unstable. In this paper, we consulted the current documents and reviewed structural properties and factors affecting the stability of fucoxanthin. We also reported the metabolism, safety, pharmacological activities, and the methods of improving the bioavailability of fucoxanthin. Based on these studies providing essential background knowledge, fucoxanthin can be developed into marine drugs and nutritional products. Hui Zhang, Yibo Tang, Ying Zhang, Shuofeng Zhang, Jing Qu, Xu Wang, Ran Kong, Chunchao Han, and Zhenquan Liu Copyright © 2015 Hui Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Propolis: A Complex Natural Product with a Plethora of Biological Activities That Can Be Explored for Drug Development Wed, 27 May 2015 08:12:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/206439/ The health industry has always used natural products as a rich, promising, and alternative source of drugs that are used in the health system. Propolis, a natural resinous product known for centuries, is a complex product obtained by honey bees from substances collected from parts of different plants, buds, and exudates in different geographic areas. Propolis has been attracting scientific attention since it has many biological and pharmacological properties, which are related to its chemical composition. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have been performed to characterize and understand the diverse bioactivities of propolis and its isolated compounds, as well as to evaluate and validate its potential. Yet, there is a lack of information concerning clinical effectiveness. The goal of this review is to discuss the potential of propolis for the development of new drugs by presenting published data concerning the chemical composition and the biological properties of this natural compound from different geographic origins. Ricardo Silva-Carvalho, Fátima Baltazar, and Cristina Almeida-Aguiar Copyright © 2015 Ricardo Silva-Carvalho et al. All rights reserved. In Vitro Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antibiofilm, Antioxidant, and Anticancer Properties of Isosteviol Isolated from Endangered Medicinal Plant Pittosporum tetraspermum Tue, 26 May 2015 14:30:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/164261/ This study aimed to investigate the in vitro antibacterial, antifungal, antibiofilm, antioxidant, and anticancer properties of isosteviol isolated from endangered medicinal plant Pittosporum tetraspermum. Pure compound was obtained and characterized by column chromatography followed by 1H NMR, 13C NMR, IR, and mass spectral analysis. The antimicrobial activities of the compound were assessed by the broth microdilution method and the antioxidant properties were determined using reducing ability assay, DPPH scavenging assay, hydroxyl radical scavenging activity, and superoxide radical scavenging assay. Anticancer study was evaluated by following MTT assay. Column purification and spectrocopical analysis lead to identifying isosteviol from the crude ethyl acetate extract. The compound exhibited significant activity against bacteria such as Staphylococcus epidermidis (125 µg/mL), Staphylococcus aureus (125 µg/mL), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (62.5 µg/mL). The MIC of the compound against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes was 62.5, 125, and 500 µg/mL, respectively. The compound showed comparatively better antibiofilm activity against E. coli, S. typhi, and P. aeruginosa. Furthermore, it exhibited good antioxidant properties. Anticancer properties of the compound against Vero and MCF7 cell lines were its advantage. Novel isosteviol would be useful to reduce the infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms or slow the progress of various oxidative stress-related diseases. Naif Abdullah Al-Dhabi, Mariadhas Valan Arasu, and Thankappan Sarasam Rejiniemon Copyright © 2015 Naif Abdullah Al-Dhabi et al. All rights reserved. Partially Automated Method for Localizing Standardized Acupuncture Points on the Heads of Digital Human Models Tue, 26 May 2015 06:26:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/483805/ Having modernized imaging tools for precise positioning of acupuncture points over the human body where the traditional therapeutic method is applied is essential. For that reason, we suggest a more systematic positioning method that uses X-ray computer tomographic images to precisely position acupoints. Digital Korean human data were obtained to construct three-dimensional head-skin and skull surface models of six individuals. Depending on the method used to pinpoint the positions of the acupoints, every acupoint was classified into one of three types: anatomical points, proportional points, and morphological points. A computational algorithm and procedure were developed for partial automation of the positioning. The anatomical points were selected by using the structural characteristics of the skin surface and skull. The proportional points were calculated from the positions of the anatomical points. The morphological points were also calculated by using some control points related to the connections between the source and the target models. All the acupoints on the heads of the six individual were displayed on three-dimensional computer graphical image models. This method may be helpful for developing more accurate experimental designs and for providing more quantitative volumetric methods for performing analyses in acupuncture-related research. Jungdae Kim and Dae-In Kang Copyright © 2015 Jungdae Kim and Dae-In Kang. All rights reserved. A Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Duliang Soft Capsule in Patients with Chronic Daily Headache Tue, 26 May 2015 06:25:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/694061/ Objective. To investigate the efficacy and safety of traditional Chinese medicine Duliang soft capsule (DSC) in prophylactic treatment for patients with chronic daily headache (CDH). Methods. A multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study was conducted at 18 Chinese clinical centers. The participants received either DSC or placebo for 4 weeks. The primary efficacy measure was headache-free rate (HFR) in a 4-week period between the pretreatment and posttreatment stages. The secondary efficacy measures were the decrease of headache days, the duration of headache attacks, the frequency of analgesic usage, quality of life, disability, and the headache severity (VAS scores). The accompanying symptoms and adverse events were also assessed. Results. Of 584 CDH patients assessed, 468 eligible patients were randomized. 338 patients received DSC, while 111 patients were assigned in the placebo group. Following treatment, there was a 16.56% difference in HFR favoring DSC over placebo (). Significant differences were also observed between DSC and placebo groups in the secondary measures. However, no statistical difference was found between the two groups in the associated symptoms. No severe adverse effects were observed in the study. Conclusions. DSC might be an effective and well-tolerated option for the prophylactic treatment of patients with CDH. Shengyuan Yu, Yueqing Hu, Qi Wan, Jiying Zhou, Xinfeng Liu, Xiangyang Qiao, Xiaosu Yang, Jiachun Feng, Kangning Chen, Xiaoping Pan, Qingwu Yang, Linsen Dou, Ming Liu, Yangmei Chen, Tingmin Yu, Juming Yu, Zhiwei Li, Xue Bai, and Jingfeng Duan Copyright © 2015 Shengyuan Yu et al. All rights reserved. Systems Pharmacology Dissecting Holistic Medicine for Treatment of Complex Diseases: An Example Using Cardiocerebrovascular Diseases Treated by TCM Tue, 26 May 2015 06:20:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/980190/ Holistic medicine is an interdisciplinary field of study that integrates all types of biological information (protein, small molecules, tissues, organs, external environmental signals, etc.) to lead to predictive and actionable models for health care and disease treatment. Despite the global and integrative character of this discipline, a comprehensive picture of holistic medicine for the treatment of complex diseases is still lacking. In this study, we develop a novel systems pharmacology approach to dissect holistic medicine in treating cardiocerebrovascular diseases (CCDs) by TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). Firstly, by applying the TCM active ingredients screened out by a systems-ADME process, we explored and experimentalized the signed drug-target interactions for revealing the pharmacological actions of drugs at a molecule level. Then, at a/an tissue/organ level, the drug therapeutic mechanisms were further investigated by a target-organ location method. Finally, a translational integrating pathway approach was applied to extract the diseases-therapeutic modules for understanding the complex disease and its therapy at systems level. For the first time, the feature of the drug-target-pathway-organ-cooperations for treatment of multiple organ diseases in holistic medicine was revealed, facilitating the development of novel treatment paradigm for complex diseases in the future. Yonghua Wang, Chunli Zheng, Chao Huang, Yan Li, Xuetong Chen, Ziyin Wu, Zhenzhong Wang, Wei Xiao, and Boli Zhang Copyright © 2015 Yonghua Wang et al. All rights reserved. The Hepatoprotective Effect of Haoqin Qingdan Decoction against Liver Injury Induced by a Chemotherapeutic Drug Cyclophosphamide Tue, 26 May 2015 06:18:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/978219/ Haoqin Qingdan decoction (HQQD), a modern Chinese formula, has been widely used in Eastern Asia. Our study focuses on the hepatoprotective effect of HQQD against cyclophosphamide-induced hepatotoxicity. S180, a kind of ascites tumor cells, was used to establish S180-bearing mice, followed by the injection of cyclophosphamide (CP, 80 mg/kg) every other day for 5 times. HQQD was used intragastrically at the dose of 80 g/kg, 40 g/kg, and 20 g/kg twice a day for 12 days. HL-7702 hepatic cell line was incubated with HQQD-medicated serum. Then we detected the effects of HQQD on (i) tumor suppression; (ii) morphological examination; (iii) SOD, MDA, GSH, ALT, and AST; (iv) cleaved caspase-3 expression and (v) cellular viability. CP caused dramatic elevations of AST, ALT, and MDA, while HQQD notably attenuated these elevations. SOD and GSH were notably increased, which were efficiently attenuated by HQQD. CP injection significantly increased apoptosis by increasing cleaved caspase-3 expression, which was obviously inhibited by HQQD, accompanied by the improvement of cells viability. Histopathological examinations supported the above findings. Therefore, HQQD may protect liver tissue through attenuating oxidative stress and the caspase-3-dependent intrinsic apoptosis induced by CP, which suggests the potentially therapeutic effect of HQQD in the use of alkylating agent for cancer chemotherapy. Xiaojiang Li, Baole Li, and Yingjie Jia Copyright © 2015 Xiaojiang Li et al. All rights reserved. Thymoquinone Protects against Myocardial Ischemic Injury by Mitigating Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Mon, 25 May 2015 10:05:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/143629/ The present study was aimed at investigating the cardioprotective activity of thymoquinone (TMQ), an active principle of the herb, Nigella sativa, which is used for the management of various diseases. The present study examined the cardioprotective effect of TMQ in isoproterenol- (ISP-) induced myocardial infarction in rats. Myocardial infarction was induced by two subcutaneous injections of ISP (85 mg/kg) at an interval of 24 hr. TMQ (20 mg/kg) was administered orally for 21 days. ISP-treated rats showed depletion of antioxidants and marker enzymes from myocardium along with lipid peroxidation and enhanced levels of proinflammatory cytokines. ISP also induced histopathological alterations in myocardium. Treatment with TMQ prevented the depletion of endogenous antioxidants and myocyte injury marker enzymes and inhibited lipid peroxidation as well as reducing the levels of proinflammatory cytokines. TMQ pretreatment also reduced myonecrosis, edema, and infiltration of inflammatory cells and showed preservation of cardiomyocytes histoarchitecture. The present study results demonstrate that TMQ exerts cardioprotective effect by mitigating oxidative stress, augmenting endogenous antioxidants, and maintaining structural integrity. The results of the present study indicate that TMQ may serve as an excellent agent alone or as adjuvant to prevent the onset and progression of myocardial injury. Shreesh Ojha, Sheikh Azimullah, Rajesh Mohanraj, Charu Sharma, Javed Yasin, Dharamvir S. Arya, and Abdu Adem Copyright © 2015 Shreesh Ojha et al. All rights reserved. Effects of a Dietary Supplement with Barley Sprout Extract on Blood Cholesterol Metabolism Mon, 25 May 2015 09:44:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/473056/ Objective. Barley sprout (Hordeum vulgare L.) contains 4.97% fat, 52.6% polysaccharide, and 34.1% protein along with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and polyphenolic compounds. Hexacosanol is one such compound from the barley leaf that might improve cholesterol metabolism by decreasing cholesterol synthesis. Method. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the effects of barley sprout extract on serum lipid metabolism in healthy volunteers . Subjects were randomly divided into two groups: one group consumed a single capsule of barley leaf extract daily (, 42.48 ± 13.58 years) and the other consumed placebo capsules (, 40.54 ± 11.1 years) for 12 weeks. Results. After 12 weeks, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein- (LDL-) cholesterol were not lower in the barley sprout extract group compared to the placebo group ( and , resp.) and no differences in clinical or laboratory findings were observed between both groups. Conclusion. Our study failed to show significant lipid-lowering effects of barley sprout extract, possibly due to dosage, duration of therapy, and small sample size. Despite our nonsignificant findings, barley sprout has a possibility as a functional health food; therefore future research is needed. A Ri Byun, Hyejin Chun, Jin Lee, Sang Wha Lee, Hong Soo Lee, and Kyung Won Shim Copyright © 2015 A Ri Byun et al. All rights reserved. Herbal SGR Formula Prevents Acute Ethanol-Induced Liver Steatosis via Inhibition of Lipogenesis and Enhancement Fatty Acid Oxidation in Mice Mon, 25 May 2015 07:04:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/613584/ Our previous study indicated that herbal SGR formula partially attenuates ethanol-induced fatty liver, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, mice were pretreated with SGR (100 and 200 mg/kg/d bw) for 30 d before being exposed to ethanol (4.8 g/kg bw). The biochemical indices and histopathological changes were examined to evaluate the protective effects and to explore potential mechanisms by investigating the adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor-α (PPAR-α), sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c), adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and so forth. Results showed that SGR pretreatment markedly inhibited acute ethanol-induced liver steatosis, significantly reduced serum and hepatic triglyceride (TG) level, and improved classic histopathological changes. SGR suppressed the protein expression of hepatic SREBP-1c and TNF-α and increased adiponectin, PPAR-α, and AMPK phosphorylation in the liver. Meanwhile, acute toxicity tests showed that no death or toxic side effects within 14 days were observed upon oral administration of the extracts at a dose of 16 g/kg body wt. These results demonstrate that SGR could protect against acute alcohol-induced liver steatosis without any toxic side effects. Therefore, our studies provide novel molecular insights into the hepatoprotective effect of SGR formula, which may be exploited as a therapeutic agent for ethanol-induced hepatosteatosis. Ping Qiu, Xiang Li, De-song Kong, Huan-zhou Li, Cong-cong Niu, and Su-hua Pan Copyright © 2015 Ping Qiu et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Channa striatus (Haruan) Extract on Pain and Wound Healing of Post-Lower Segment Caesarean Section Women Mon, 25 May 2015 06:26:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/849647/ Channa striatus has been consumed for decades as a remedy to promote wound healing by women during postpartum period. The objectives of this study were to compare postoperative pain, wound healing based on wound evaluation scale (WES), wound cosmetic appearance based on visual analogue scale (VAS) scores and patient satisfaction score (PSS), and safety profiles between C. striatus group and placebo group after six weeks of lower segment caesarean section (LSCS) delivery. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted. Subjects were randomised in a ratio of 1 : 1 into either the C. striatus group (500 mg daily) or placebo group (500 mg of maltodextrin daily). 76 subjects were successfully randomised, with 38 in the C. striatus group and 35 in the placebo group. There were no significant differences in postoperative pain and WES between the C. striatus and placebo groups. However, VAS and PSS in the C. striatus group were significantly better compared with the placebo group ( and , resp.). The safety profiles showed no significant differences between the groups. In conclusion, six-week supplementation of 500 mg of C. striatus extract showed marked differences in wound cosmetic appearance and patient’s satisfaction and is safe for human consumption. Siti Zubaidah Ab Wahab, Azidah Abdul Kadir, Nik Hazlina Nik Hussain, Julia Omar, Rohaizan Yunus, Saringat Baie, Norhayati Mohd Noor, Intan Idiana Hassan, Wan Haslindawani Wan Mahmood, Asrenee Abd Razak, and Wan Zahanim Wan Yusoff Copyright © 2015 Siti Zubaidah Ab Wahab et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Efficacy Observation of Acupuncture Treatment for Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy Sun, 24 May 2015 11:33:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/713218/ Objective. To determine whether acupuncture treatment impacts the clinical efficacy of degenerative damage of the optic nerve caused by nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). Methods. 69 patients (93 eyes) with NAION who had been treated by acupuncture which is performed on different acupoints related to eyes by vertical insertion or Fingernail-pressure needle insertion. The best corrected visual acuity, mean defect (MD) and mean light sensitivity (MS) of the visual field, and latency and amplitude of pattern visual evoked potential (P-VEP) were compared before and after treatment. Results. After 2, 4, and 8 weeks of treatment, the total effective rates of visual acuity improvement were 74.19%, 78.89%, and 81.71%, respectively, and the decreased MD and increased MS were both statistically significant (P < 0.01). When compared with the situation before treatment, the average latency of the P100 wave was significantly reduced (P < 0.05), and the average amplitude was improved with no statistically significant difference (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Acupuncture treatment could obviously improve the visual function of patients with NAION and be used as complementary and alternative therapy in clinic. Yali Qin, Wei Yuan, Hui Deng, Zhanmei Xiang, Chao Yang, Xinyun Kou, Shufei Yang, Zhijun Wang, and Ming Jin Copyright © 2015 Yali Qin et al. All rights reserved. The Flavonoid Apigenin Ameliorates Cisplatin-Induced Nephrotoxicity through Reduction of p53 Activation and Promotion of PI3K/Akt Pathway in Human Renal Proximal Tubular Epithelial Cells Thu, 21 May 2015 11:55:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/186436/ Apigenin is a member of the flavone subclass of flavonoids present in fruits and vegetables. Apigenin has long been considered to have various biological activities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antitumorigenic properties, in various cell types. Cisplatin was known to exhibit cytotoxic effect to renal cells by inducing apoptosis through activation of p53. The present study investigated the antiapoptotic effects of apigenin on the cisplatin-treated human renal proximal tubular epithelial (HK-2) cells. HK-2 cells were pretreated with apigenin (5, 10, 20 μM) for 1 h and then treated with 40 μM cisplatin for various times. Apigenin inhibited the cisplatin-induced apoptosis of HK-2 cells. Interestingly, apigenin itself exerted cytostatic activity because of its ability to induce cell cycle arrest. Apigenin inhibited caspase-3 activity and PARP cleavage in cisplatin-treated cells. Apigenin reduced cisplatin-induced phosphorylation and expression of p53, with no significant influence on production of ROS that is known to induce p53 activation. Furthermore, apigenin promoted cisplatin-induced Akt phosphorylation, suggesting that enhanced Akt activation may be involved in cytoprotection. Taken together, these results suggest that apigenin ameliorates cisplatin-induced apoptosis through reduction of p53 activation and promotion of PI3K/Akt pathway in HK-2 cells. Sung Min Ju, Jun Gue Kang, Jun Sang Bae, Hyun Ock Pae, Yeoung Su Lyu, and Byung Hun Jeon Copyright © 2015 Sung Min Ju et al. All rights reserved. Polypeptide Fraction from Arca subcrenata Induces Apoptosis and G2/M Phase Arrest in HeLa Cells via ROS-Mediated MAPKs Pathways Thu, 21 May 2015 11:29:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/930249/ Arca subcrenata is documented in the literature of marine Traditional Chinese Medicine. Polypeptide fraction from A. subcrenata, coded as P2, was demonstrated to possess significant antitumor activity in our previous study. However, the underlying mechanism remains undefined. The present study was carried out to investigate the underlying antitumor mechanism of P2 in human cervical cancer HeLa cells by MTT, FCM, LSCM, and western blot assays. The results revealed that P2 significantly induced apoptosis of HeLa cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. High level of ROS was provoked by P2, which was in turn responsible for induction of apoptosis through activation of intrinsic mitochondrial pathway and JNK1/2, p38 MAPK pathways, as well as inhibition of ERK1/2 pathway, as evidenced by the abrogation of P2’s effect on HeLa cells preincubated with the ROS scavenger NAC. P2 also was observed to display significant effect on G2/M phase arrest by downregulating the expression of cyclin B1/cdc2 complex and upregulating the expression of p21. These findings demonstrate that P2 induces apoptosis and G2/M phase arrest in HeLa cells through ROS-mediated MAPKs pathways, suggesting that P2 would be worth investigating as a promising agent within the scope of marine drugs for treatment of cervical cancer. Xianjing Hu, Zhang Zhang, Ting Liu, Liyan Song, Jianhua Zhu, Zhongyi Guo, Jinghua Cai, and Rongmin Yu Copyright © 2015 Xianjing Hu et al. All rights reserved. The Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Antithrombosis Thu, 21 May 2015 09:49:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/791503/ Feng-Qing Yang, Chun-Su Yuan, Swee Ngin Tan, and Jian-Li Gao Copyright © 2015 Feng-Qing Yang et al. All rights reserved. Sustainable Utilization of TCM Resources Wed, 20 May 2015 17:27:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/613836/ Shilin Chen, Yitao Wang, Zhongzhen Zhao, Christine J. Leon, and Robert J. Henry Copyright © 2015 Shilin Chen et al. All rights reserved. Triptolide Attenuates Podocyte Injury by Regulating Expression of miRNA-344b-3p and miRNA-30b-3p in Rats with Adriamycin-Induced Nephropathy Wed, 20 May 2015 16:32:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/107814/ Objectives. We investigated the action of triptolide in rats with adriamycin-induced nephropathy and evaluated the possible mechanisms underlying its protective effect against podocyte injury. Methods. In total, 30 healthy male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into three groups (normal group, model group, and triptolide group). On days 7, 28, 42, and 56, 24 h urine samples were collected. All rats were sacrificed on day 56, and their blood and renal tissues were collected for determination of biochemical and molecular biological parameters. Expression of miRNAs in the renal cortex was analyzed by a biochip assay and RT-PCR was used to confirm observed differences in miRNA levels. Results. Triptolide decreased proteinuria, improved renal function without apparent adverse effects on the liver, and alleviated renal pathological lesions. Triptolide also elevated the nephrin protein level. Furthermore, levels of miR-344b-3p and miR-30b-3p were elevated in rats with adriamycin-induced nephropathy, while triptolide treatment reversed the increase in the expression of these two miRNAs. Conclusions. These results suggest that triptolide may attenuate podocyte injury in rats with adriamycin-induced nephropathy by regulating expression of miRNA-344b-3p and miRNA-30b-3p. Chun-Bo Jiang, Ming-Gang Wei, Yue Tu, Hao Zhu, Chun-Qing Li, Wei-Min Jing, and Wei Sun Copyright © 2015 Chun-Bo Jiang et al. All rights reserved. Extract of Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Spreng Promoted the Hair Growth through Regulating the Expression of IGF-1 Wed, 20 May 2015 09:50:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/413538/ Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Spreng (ATRES) has been used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and asthma. In this study, we investigated the hair growth promoting activities of ATRES on telogenic C57BL6/N mice. Hair growth was significantly increased in the dorsal skin of ethanol extract of ATRES treated mouse group compared with the control mouse group. To enrich the hair promoting activity, an ethanol-insoluble fraction was further extracted in sequence with n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and distilled water. Interestingly, we found that extraction with n-butanol is most efficient in producing the hair promoting activity. In addition, the soluble fraction of the n-butanol extract was further separated by silica gel chromatography and thin layer chromatography (TLC) resulting in isolating four single fractions which have hair growth regeneration potential. Furthermore, administration of ATRES extracts to dorsal skin area increased the number of hair follicles compared with control mouse group. Interestingly, administration of ATRES extract stimulated the expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) but not of keratin growth factor (KGF) or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Taken together, these results suggest that ATRES possesses strong hair growth promoting potential which controls the expression of IGF-1. Ki Moon Park, Dong Woo Kim, and Seung Ho Lee Copyright © 2015 Ki Moon Park et al. All rights reserved. Sedum mexicanum Britt. Induces Apoptosis of Primary Rat Activated Hepatic Stellate Cells Wed, 20 May 2015 09:29:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/194373/ Background. Liver fibrosis is a significant liver disease in Asian countries. Sedum mexicanum Britt. (SM) has been claimed to have antihepatitis efficacy. In traditional folk medicine, a solution of boiling water-extracted SM (SME) is consumed to prevent and treat hepatitis. However, its efficacy has not yet been verified. The purpose of this study was to investigate the in vitro effect of SME on hepatoprotection. Methods. Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and hepatocytes (HCs) were isolated from the livers of the rats by enzymatic digestion and density gradient centrifugation. Results. Treating the HCs and aHSCs with SME caused a dose-dependent decrease in the viability of aHSCs but not that of HCs. In addition, treatment with SME resulted in apoptosis of aHSCs, as determined by DAPI analysis and flow cytometry. SME also increased the amount of cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9, and cleaved poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) in aHSCs. Furthermore, SME treatment induced a dose-dependent reduction in Bcl-2 expression and increased the expression of Bax in aHSCs. Conclusions. SME did not cause cytotoxicity in HCs, but it induced apoptosis in aHSCs through the mitochondria-dependent caspase-3 pathway. Therefore, SME may possess therapeutic potential for liver fibrosis. Shou-Lun Lee, Ting-Yu Chin, Ching-Long Lai, and Wen-Han Wang Copyright © 2015 Shou-Lun Lee et al. All rights reserved. Complementary/Alternative Medicine in Cardiovascular Diseases 2014 Wed, 20 May 2015 08:39:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/349375/ Ke-Ji Chen, Myeong Soo Lee, Hao Xu, and Qunhao Zhang Copyright © 2015 Ke-Ji Chen et al. All rights reserved. BEMER Therapy Combined with Physiotherapy in Patients with Musculoskeletal Diseases: A Randomised, Controlled Double Blind Follow-Up Pilot Study Wed, 20 May 2015 07:44:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/245742/ Background. This study evaluates the effect of adjuvant BEMER therapy in patients with knee arthrosis and chronic low back pain in a randomized double blind design. Methods. A total of 50 patients with chronic low back pain and 50 patients with osteoarthritis of knee took part in this study and were randomized into 4 groups. Hospitalized patients received a standardized physiotherapy package for 3 weeks followed by BEMER therapy or placebo. Results. In patients with low back pain, the comparison of the results obtained at the first and second visit showed a significant improvement in resting VAS scores and Fatigue Scale scores. The Oswestry scores and Quality of Life Scale scores showed no change. In patients with knee arthrosis, the comparison of the first and second measurements showed no significant improvement in the abovementioned parameters, while the comparison of the first and third scores revealed a significant improvement in the Fatigue Scale scores and in the vitality test on the Quality of Life Scale. Conclusions. Our study showed that BEMER physical vascular therapy reduced pain and fatigue in the short term in patients with chronic low back pain, while long-term therapy appears to be beneficial in patients with osteoarthritis of knee. Franciska Gyulai, Katalin Rába, Ildikó Baranyai, Enikő Berkes, and Tamás Bender Copyright © 2015 Franciska Gyulai et al. All rights reserved. Association of Auricular Reflective Points and Status of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Matched Case-Control Study Tue, 19 May 2015 13:50:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/981563/ The reflexive property of the ear can cause various physical attributes to appear on the auricle in the presence of bodily disorders. The association of auricular signals (presence or absence of discoloration, marks after pressing, tenderness, and electrical resistance) and diabetes mellitus (DM) should be further investigated because auricular diagnosis is an objective, painless, and noninvasive method that provides rapid access to information. A matched case-control study on 282 subjects was conducted. Cases () were defined as those diagnosed with type 2 DM (T2DM). Every subject in the case group was matched with the control by age and gender. Ear diagnosis was conducted in three aspects: inspection, electrical detection, and tenderness testing. Results suggest that the tenderness and electrical conductivity of some auricular points, including “pancreas and gallbladder,” “endocrine,” “kidney,” “lower tragus,” “heart,” and “eyes,” were associated with T2DM status in Chinese population. In the subgroup analyses, certain auricular signals were also associated with glycemic control, disease duration, and related complications. Auricular diagnosis could be considered as a screening method for vulnerable populations with T2DM risk. Thus, appropriate interventions can be implemented to prevent or delay the progression of T2DM. Lorna Kwai-Ping Suen, Chao Hsing Yeh, Jojo Yee Mei Kwan, Paul Hong Lee, Grace Sau Ping Yeung, Esther C. Y. Wong, Billie C. Lau, Samuel Chi Hung Tsang, Alice Siu Ping Cheung, and Vincent Tok Fai Yeung Copyright © 2015 Lorna Kwai-Ping Suen et al. All rights reserved. Anti-Inflammatory and Cytostatic Activities of a Parthenolide-Like Sesquiterpene Lactone from Cota palaestina subsp. syriaca Tue, 19 May 2015 13:45:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/474597/ A sesquiterpene lactone 1-β,10-Epoxy-6-hydroxy-1,10H-inunolide (K100) was isolated through “bioassay-guided fractionation” from Cota palaestina subsp. syriaca, an Eastern Mediterranean endemic plant. K100 inhibited endotoxin- (ET-) induced proinflammatory markers: IL-6, MMP-9, and NO in normal mouse mammary SCp2 Cells. Molecular docking in silico suggested that K100, having highly analogous structure as parthenolide (PTL), an anticancer compound, could bind PTL target proteins at similar positions and with comparable binding affinities. Both compounds, K100 and PTL, inhibited the proliferation and prolonged the S-phase of the cell cycle of breast adenocarcinoma MDA-MB-231 cells grown in 2D cultures. Noncytotoxic concentrations of K100 and PTL decreased the proliferation rate of MDA-MB-231 and shifted their morphology from stellate to spherical colonies in 3D cultures. This was accompanied with a significant increase in the amount of small colonies and a decrease in the amount of large colonies. Moreover, K100 and PTL decreased cellular motility and invasiveness of MDA-MB-231 cells. In summary, these results suggest that K100 exhibits PTL-analogous anti-inflammatory, cytostatic, and antimetastatic effects. Rabih S. Talhouk, Bilal Nasr, Mohamed-Bilal Fares, Bushra Ajeeb, Rana Nahhas, Lamis Al Aaraj, Salma N. Talhouk, Tarek H. Ghaddar, and Najat A. Saliba Copyright © 2015 Rabih S. Talhouk et al. All rights reserved. Comparison of Paeoniflorin and Albiflorin on Human CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 Tue, 19 May 2015 09:24:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/470219/ Peony (Paeonia lactiflora Pall-) is a plant medicine and a functional food ingredient with wide application for more than 2000 years. It can be coadministrated with many other drugs, composed of traditional Chinese medicine compound such as shaoyao-gancao decoction. In order to explore the efficacy and safety of peony, effects of paeoniflorin and albiflorin (the principal components of peony) on cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 and CYP2D6 were analyzed in human hepatoma HepG2 cells and evaluated from the level of recombinant CYP enzymes in vitro. The findings indicated that albiflorin possessed stronger regulation on the mRNA expression of CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 than paeoniflorin. For the protein level of CYP3A4, albiflorin showed significant induction or inhibition with the concentration increasing from 10−7 M to 10−5 M, but no remarkable variation was observed in paeoniflorin-treated group. Enzyme activity assay implied that both paeoniflorin and albiflorin could regulate CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 with varying degrees. The results showed that albiflorin should be given more attention because it may play a vital role on the overall efficacy of peony. The whole behavior of both paeoniflorin and albiflorin should be focused on ensuring the rationality and effectiveness of clinical application. Li-Na Gao, Ye Zhang, Yuan-Lu Cui, and Olunga Mary Akinyi Copyright © 2015 Li-Na Gao et al. All rights reserved. DNA Barcode-Based PCR-RFLP and Diagnostic PCR for Authentication of Jinqian Baihua She (Bungarus Parvus) Tue, 19 May 2015 08:47:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/402820/ We established polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and diagnostic PCR based on cytochrome C oxidase subunit I (COI) barcodes of Bungarus multicinctus, genuine Jinqian Baihua She (JBS), and adulterant snake species. The PCR-RFLP system utilizes the specific restriction sites of SpeI and BstEII in the COI sequence of B. multicinctus to allow its cleavage into 3 fragments (120 bp, 230 bp, and 340 bp); the COI sequences of the adulterants do not contain these restriction sites and therefore remained intact after digestion with SpeI and BstEII (except for that of Zaocys dhumnades, which could be cleaved into a 120 bp and a 570 bp fragment). For diagnostic PCR, a pair of species-specific primers (COI37 and COI337) was designed to amplify a specific 300 bp amplicon from the genomic DNA of B. multicinctus; no such amplicons were found in other allied species. We tested the two methods using 11 commercial JBS samples, and the results demonstrated that barcode-based PCR-RFLP and diagnostic PCR both allowed effective and accurate authentication of JBS. Xiaolei Li, Weiping Zeng, Jing Liao, Zhenbiao Liang, Shuhua Huang, and Zhi Chao Copyright © 2015 Xiaolei Li et al. All rights reserved. In Vitro and In Vivo Antitumor Effects of n-Butanol Extracts of Pterocephalus hookeri on Hep3B Cancer Cell Tue, 19 May 2015 06:09:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/159132/ Pterocephalus hookeri is a widely applied Tibetan medicinal prescription for treatment of diseases such as flu, rheumatoid arthritis, and enteritis in China. It has been reported that Pterocephalus hookeri has anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions. However, the antitumor activity of Pterocephalus hookeri remains unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that n-butanol extracts of Pterocephalus hookeri (YSC-ZDC) has a strong antitumor activity against hepatoma carcinoma cell in vitro and in vivo. YSC-ZDC inhibited proliferation of all cancer cell lines and significantly inhibited Hep3B cells proliferation in a dose- and time-dependant manner. Transmission electron microscopy, hoechst 33258 staining, and flow cytometry analysis revealed that YSC-ZDC induced apoptosis in Hep3B cells. YSC-ZDC treatment dramatically inhibited PDK1 and Akt phosphorylation in Hep3B cells. Moreover, YSC-ZDC increased Bax expression and inhibited Bcl-2 expression. In addition, YSC-ZDC inhibited growth hepatoma xenografts in vivo with no effect on body weight and spleen index. Consistent with results in vitro, YSC-ZDC increased Bax expression and inhibited Bcl-2 expression in tumor tissue. Taken together, this study shows YSC-ZDC with an antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo. Its mechanism underlying is related to blocking of the Akt pathway and regulation of Bcl-2 family proteins expression. Chenxu Guo, Yingchun Wu, Yuanzhang Zhu, Yanchun Wang, Lili Tian, Yi Lu, Cong Han, and Guofu Zhu Copyright © 2015 Chenxu Guo et al. All rights reserved. Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Mon, 18 May 2015 11:55:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/842180/ Objective. This systematic review aimed to assess current evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the effects of acupuncture for patients with primary ovarian insufficiency (POI). Methods. We searched twelve databases to identify relevant studies published before July 2014. The outcomes were serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels and resumption of menstruation. Two reviewers independently assessed the risk of bias using the Cochrane’s tool, extracted the results, and evaluated the overall level of the evidence using Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) criteria. Results. Eight RCTs were selected. Acupuncture significantly lowered serum FSH levels and more women receiving acupuncture reported resumption of menses. However, the results should be interpreted with caution due to a small number of participants, high risk of bias for blinding, and likely publication bias. The level of evidence for FSH level and resumption of menses were assessed as “low” using GRADE. Conclusion. The current evidence on acupuncture for POI is insufficient to draw a firm conclusion due to scarcity of studies with a low risk of bias and likely publication bias. Further rigorously designed and conducted studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture in patients with POI. Junyoung Jo, Yoon Jae Lee, and Hyangsook Lee Copyright © 2015 Junyoung Jo et al. All rights reserved.