Duzhong Butiansu Prescription Improves Heat Stress-Induced Spermatogenic Dysfunction by Regulating Sperm Formation and Heat Stress PathwayRead the full article
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Deciphering the Active Compounds and Mechanisms of Qixuehe Capsule on Qi Stagnation and Blood Stasis Syndrome: A Network Pharmacology Study
Background. Qixuehe capsule (QXH), a Chinese patent medicine, has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of menstrual disorders. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory, qi stagnation and blood stasis syndrome (QS-BSS) is the main syndrome type of menstrual disorders. However, the pharmacodynamic effect of QXH in treating QS-BSS is not clear, and the main active compounds and underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Methods. A rat model of QS-BSS was established to evaluate the pharmacodynamic effect of QXH. Thereafter, a network pharmacology approach was performed to decipher the active compounds and underlying mechanisms of QXH. Results. QXH could significantly reduce the rising whole blood viscosity (WBV) and plasma viscosity (PV) but also normalize prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombin time (TT), and fibrinogen (FIB) content in QS-BSS rats. Based on partial least-squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), the low-dose QXH-intervened (QXH-L) and the high-dose QXH-intervened (QXH-H) groups seemed the most effective by calculating the relative distance to normality. Through network pharmacology, QXH may improve hemorheological abnormality mainly via 185 compounds-51 targets-28 pathways, whereas 184 compounds-68 targets-28 pathways were associated with QXH in improving coagulopathy. Subsequently, 25 active compounds of QXH were verified by UPLC-Q/TOF-MS. Furthermore, 174 active compounds of QXH were shared in improving hemorheological abnormality and coagulopathy in QS-BSS, each of which can act on multiple targets to be mainly involved in complement and coagulation cascades, leukocyte transendothelial migration, PPAR signaling pathway, VEGF signaling pathway, and arachidonic acid metabolism. The attribution of active compounds indicated that Angelicae Sinensis Radix (DG), Paeoniae Radix Rubra (CS), Carthami Flos (HH), Persicae Semen (TR), and Corydalis Rhizoma (YHS) were the vital herbs of QXH in treating QS-BSS. Conclusion. QXH can improve the hemorheology abnormality and coagulopathy of QS-BSS, which may result from the synergy of multiple compounds, targets, and pathways.
RUNX3 Inhibits the Invasion and Metastasis of Human Colon Cancer HT-29 Cells by Upregulating MMP-2/9
Objective. To investigate the effect of Runt-associated transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) on the invasion and metastasis of human colon cancer HT-29 cells and to preliminarily explore the mechanism of its anticancer effect. Methods. The RUNX3 plasmid vector was transfected into human colon cancer HT-29 cells by liposome-mediated transfection, while the empty vector and the blank group were used as the control group. After Geneticin (G418) screening, HT-29 cells with stable expression of RUNX3 gene were obtained. The expressions of mRNA and proteins of RUNX3 and metalloproteinases (MMP)-2/9 were detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blot. Cell proliferation was determined by MTT assay. The effect of RUNX3 on invasion and metastasis of HT-29 cells was evaluated by scratch injury assay, Transwell chamber, and Matrigel invasion model. Results. RUNX3 was expressed stably in HT-29 cells after transfection. The expressions of RUNX3 mRNA and proteins in the experimental group were significantly higher than those in the blank/empty vector groups. Meanwhile, the expressions of MMP-2/9 mRNA and proteins in the observation group were significantly lower than those in the blank group and the empty vector group. The proliferation and migration ability in the experimental group was significantly lower than blank/empty vector groups from the third day. Transwell chamber experiment and Matrigel invasion assay showed that the number of Transwell cells was decreased significantly than blank/empty vector groups, but no difference was found between the blank group and the empty vector group. Conclusion. RUNX3 can inhibit the invasion and metastasis of human colon cancer HT-29 cells, and the mechanism may be related to decreased expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9.
Oridonin Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced ROS Accumulation and Inflammation in HK-2 Cells
Renal tubulointerstitial inflammation plays an important role in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Inflammation reduction is a good strategy to combat CKD. Oridonin, an ent-kaurane diterpenoid isolated from Rabdosia rubescens (Donglingcao), is considered as an effective natural candidate for the treatment of anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial activities, including liver fibrosis and many tumors; however, no study has demonstrated its effect on lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced renal inflammation. To investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of oridonin on human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK-2 cells), the expression levels of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were evaluated by Western blot analysis and 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCF-DA) staining, respectively. The level of intracellular ROS increased in a dose-dependent manner following LPS treatment, whereas oridonin inhibited this effect, suggestive of its ability to prevent ROS accumulation. As the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family of enzymes plays an important role in physiological responses, we examined the activation of JNK by Western blotting and found that oridonin attenuated LPS-induced JNK phosphorylation. Oridonin also attenuated RAW 264.7 cell chemotaxis towards LPS-treated HK-2 cells. Taken together, oridonin protected against LPS-induced inflammation including ROS accumulation, JNK activation, NF-κB nuclear translocation in HK-2 cells, and functionally blocked macrophage chemotaxis towards LPS-treated HK-2 cells. Oridonin may exhibit therapeutic potential by the anti-inflammation effect in LPS-treated HK-2 cells.
Phenolics and Carbohydrates in Buckwheat Honey Regulate the Human Intestinal Microbiota
Intestinal microbiota plays an important role in human health. The aim of this paper is to determine the impact of the phenolics and carbohydrate in buckwheat honey on human intestinal microbiota. We investigated the phenolics and carbohydrate compositions of eight buckwheat honey samples using high-performance liquid chromatography and ion chromatography. The human intestinal microbes were cultured in a medium supplemented with eight buckwheat honey samples or the same concentration of fructooligosaccharides. The bacterial 16S rDNA V4 region sequence of DNA extraction was determined by the Illumina MiSeq platform. 12 phenolics and 4 oligosaccharides were identified in almost all buckwheat honey samples, namely, protocatechuic acid, 4-hydroxy benzoic acid, vanillin, gallic acid, p-coumaric acid, benzoic acid, isoferulic acid, methyl syringate, trans,trans-abscisic acid, cis,trans-abscisic acid, ferulic acid, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, kestose, isomaltose, isomaltotriose, and panose. Most notably, this is the first study to reveal the presence of 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde in buckwheat honey. 4-Hydroxybenzaldehyde seems to be a land marker of buckwheat honey. Our results indicate that buckwheat honey can provide health benefits to the human gut by selectively supporting the growth of indigenous Bifidobacteria and restraining the pathogenic bacterium in the gut tract. We infer that buckwheat honey may be a type of natural intestinal-health products.
Effect and Neuroimaging Mechanism of Electroacupuncture for Vascular Cognitive Impairment No Dementia: Study Protocol for a Randomized, Assessor-Blind, Controlled Clinical Trial
Vascular cognitive impairment no dementia (VCIND) is likely to develop into vascular dementia (VD) without intervention. The clinical efficacy of electroacupuncture (EA) for VCIND has been previously demonstrated. However, the neuroimaging mechanism of EA for VCIND has not been elucidated clearly. This trial is designed to provide solid evidence for the efficacy and neuroimaging mechanism of EA treatment for patients with VCIND. This ongoing study is an assessor-blind, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial. 140 eligible subjects will be recruited from the General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University and randomized into either the electroacupuncture (EA) group or the control group (CG). All subjects will receive basic treatment, and participants in the CG will receive health education performed weekly. Except for basic treatment and health education, participants in the EA group will receive treatment 5 times per week for a total of 40 sessions over 8 weeks. The primary outcome in this study is Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and the secondary outcomes are Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT), Stroop color-naming condition (STROOP), Rey–Osterrieth Complex Graphics Testing, and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). All of the outcome measures will be assessed at baseline and 8 weeks of intervention. The medical abstraction of adverse events will be done at each visit. The results of this trial will demonstrate the efficacy and neuroimaging mechanism of EA treatment for VCIND, thus supporting EA treatment as an ideal choice for VCIND treatment. The trial was registered at the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry on 28 July 2018 (ChiCTR1800017398).
Effectiveness of an Eye-Cervical Re-Education Program in Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Objectives. Proprioceptive training is popularly applied as a therapeutic exercise method in physiotherapy. Its effects on pain and range of motion are only poorly evaluated. Therefore, this study assesses the effectiveness of proprioceptive training with an Eye-Cervical Re-education Program to decrease pain and increase the joint range in chronic neck pain patients. Material and Methods. Design. A randomized, no-blinded, controlled clinical trial. Setting. Physiotherapy consultation. Participants. 44 people were divided into two groups. Interventions. All patients were treated with a multimodal physiotherapy intervention. The experimental group was supplemented with an exercise program that included eye-cervical proprioception. Outcomes. The primary outcomes included pain pressure thresholds (upper trapezius, levator scapulae, and splenius capitis) and cervical range of motion. The secondary outcomes included pain measured by the Visual Analogical Scale and the McGillSpv Questionnaire. Results. The proprioception treatment was effective in reducing the pain pressure threshold in the right upper trapezius (), left upper trapezius (), right levator scapula (), and left splenius capitis (). The increase in the joint range was statistically significant () in favor of the Eye-Cervical Re-education Program for all movements assessed. Conclusions. The Eye-Cervical Re-education Program is effective at relieving pain pressure thresholds in the upper trapezius, right levator scapula, and left splenius capitis and especially effective for increasing the cervical range of motion. This trial is registered with NCT03197285 (retrospective registration).