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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 307548, 13 pages
Original Article

A Chinese Herbal Decoction, Danggui Buxue Tang, Stimulates Proliferation, Differentiation and Gene Expression of Cultured Osteosarcoma Cells: Genomic Approach to Reveal Specific Gene Activation

1Department of Biology and Center for Chinese Medicine, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong
2Jiangsu Key Laboratory for TCM Formulae Research (LTCMF), Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210046, China
3Beijing Friendship Hospital, Affiliate of Capital University of Medical Sciences, 95 Yong An Road, Beijing 100050, China

Received 7 March 2008; Accepted 17 December 2008

Copyright © 2011 Roy C. Y. Choi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Danggui Buxue Tang (DBT), a Chinese herbal decoction used to treat ailments in women, contains Radix Astragali (Huangqi; RA) and Radix Angelicae Sinensis (Danggui; RAS). When DBT was applied onto cultured MG-63 cells, an increase of cell proliferation and differentiation of MG-63 cell were revealed: both of these effects were significantly higher in DBT than RA or RAS extract. To search for the biological markers that are specifically regulated by DBT, DNA microarray was used to reveal the gene expression profiling of DBT in MG-63 cells as compared to that of RA- or RAS-treated cells. Amongst 883 DBT-regulated genes, 403 of them are specifically regulated by DBT treatment, including CCL-2, CCL-7, CCL-8, and galectin-9. The signaling cascade of this DBT-regulated gene expression was also elucidated in cultured MG-63 cells. The current results reveal the potential usage of this herbal decoction in treating osteoporosis and suggest the uniqueness of Chinese herbal decoction that requires a well-defined formulation. The DBT-regulated genes in the culture could serve as biological responsive markers for quality assurance of the herbal preparation.