Table 2: Key data from cited studies in Chinese literature.

First author (year) ref.Tissue/cellsExperimental treatmentControl treatmentMethods for main indicatorsMain outcomesAuthor's conclusion

Sun (2009) [2]Schwann cellsSerum containing Jinmaitong (Sinew-Channel Unobstruction)NeurotropinMTT assay for proliferation of Schwann cellsPromoted proliferation of Schwann cells and increased expression of NGF of Schwann cells cultured in high glucose“Can promote the proliferation of Schwann cells and increase the expression of NGF of Schwann cells cultured in high glucose”

Wu (2009) [3]Schwann cellsAllyl glycoside extracted from Herba RhodiolaeShenmaizhusheye (Ginseng-Ophiopogonis injection)XTT method and 3H-TdR incorporative method for activity and proliferative capability of Schwann cells, respectivelyImproved proliferative capability of Schwann cells“Can improve inhibitory effect on proliferative capability of Schwann cell in high glucose milieu, in vitro

Ji (2009) [4]Sciatic nerveJiangtangshuluofang (Decrease Glucose Free Collaterals Prescription) for 8 WMethycobal and GliclazideRadioimmunoassay for insulin level and HbA1c; tunel for apoptosis; immunohistochemical method for expression of Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3Increased Bcl-2 expression; reduced caspase-3 and Bax expression; decreased apoptosis of Schwann cells.“Can increase the insulin level and lower HbA1c level in diabetic rats, inhibit Schwann cells apoptosis; the mechanism might be related to its inhibition of caspase-3 and Bax expression, and promoting the expression of Bcl-2”

Liu (2010) [5]Schwann cellsHuangqi (Radix Astragali), Danshen (Radix Salviae miltiorrhizae), Shanyao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae), and compounds of three herbal medicinesNoneFlowcytometer for apoptosis rate of Schwann cells; real-time PCR for expression of Bcl-2 and caspase-3 mRNA; Western blotting for expression of Bcl-2 and caspase-3 proteinDecreased apoptosis rate; increased Bcl-2 mRNA and protein expression; decreased caspase-3 mRNA expression in astragalus, salvia and compound groups; decreased expression of caspase-3 protein in astragalus, yam, and compound groups.“The apoptosis of Schwann cell co-cultured with endothelial cell in high glucose can be protected by Chinese herbs, different herbs have different effect, the compound intervention group was the best”

Zhao (2011) [6]Schwann cellsSerum containing Jinmaitong (Sinew-Channel Unobstruction)Vitamin CImmunofluorescence method for the expression of iNOS; real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR for p22-phox mRNA expressionDeceased expression of iNOS and p22-phox mRNA of Schwann cells“Can down-regulate the expression of iNOS protein of NADPH oxidative p22-phox subunit mRNA of Schwann cells cultured in higher glucose medium”

Piao (2011) [7]Schwann cellsSerum containing Jinmaitong (Sinew-Channel Unobstruction)Vitamin CEnzyme-linked immunoabsorbant assay for 8-OHdG level; immunofluorescence for expression of caspase-3 protein; real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR for expression of caspase-3 mRNADecreased 8-OHdG level; decreased expression of caspase-3 protein and mRNA in the supernatant of Schwann cells“Can improve high-glucose induced oxidative injury of DNA apoptosis in Schwann cells, suggesting it might improve oxidative injury and apoptosis in diabetic neuropathy”

Qu (2008) [8]Sciatic nerveJinmaitong (Sinew-Channel Unobstruction) for 16 WNeurotropinReal-time fluorescence quantitative PCR for NGF mRNA of sciatic nerve; immunohistochemical method for NGF protein of sciatic nerveIncreased NGF and NGF mRNA in sciatic nerve.“Can upregulate the expression of NGF protein and NGF mRNA in sciatic nerve of rats with DPN”

Deng (2007) [9]Sciatic nerveQitengtongluoyin (Astragalus Vine Free Collaterals Decoction) for 6 WNoneImmunohistochemical assay for expression of NGF and substance P in sciatic nerveImproved changes of sciatic nerve, increased expression of NGF and substance P in sciatic nerve“Has the preventive and treatment effects on pathological changes of sciatic nerve of DPN rats. It's possible mechanism may be associated with the promotion of expression of endogenous NGF and substance P”

Yu (2004) [10]Sciatic nerveTangmoning (Glucose End Peace Granules) for 6 WMethycobalReverse transcription PCR for NGF mRNA of sciatic nerveIncreased expression of NGF mRNA“Appears to upregulate the expression of NGF mRNA of sciatic nerve in diabetic rats”

Xu (2009) [11]Sciatic nerve, serumYiqitongluofazufang (Tonify Qi Free Collaterals Prescription) for 6 WMethycobalELISA for serum NGFIncreased NO, decreased MDA, and increased NGF; improved histopathological changes“Can prevent DPN via improvement of MDA, NO, and NGF”

Wang (2010) [12]Sciatic nerveTangbikang (Sugar Blockage Recovery) for 8 WMethycobalReal-time fluorescence quantitative PCR for NGF mRNA of sciatic nerve; ELISA for NGF level in serumIncreased NGF level in serum and increased NGF mRNA expression.“Can increase the NGF protein and mRNA expression to play an important role of peripheral nerve protection”

Ma (2007) [13]Sciatic nerveMorus alba extract for 8 WMethycobalPathological observation for expression of NGF and myelin basic proteinIncreased expression of NGF and myelin basic protein in sciatic nerve“Morus alba extract has functions of increasing the expression of NGF and myelin basic protein thus improving the DPN”

Dong (2007) [14]Sciatic nerveShenshu (BL 23), Zusanli (ST 36); G6805-II electroacupuncture device, continuous wave, frequency 2 Hz, 20 min every other day, for 12 timesMethycobalImmunity and fluorescent quantitation PCR for NGF mRNA, and immunohistochemical staining analysis for NGF protein-positive cells of sciatic nerveIncreased expression of NGF protein and NGF mRNA in sciatic nerve.“Can upregulate the expression of NGF protein and NGF mRNA, and promote sciatic nerve repair in DPN rats”

Huang (2010) [15]Sciatic nervePositive electrode located 1.0 cm above the interior of proximal greater trochanter, distal fibular head and the inside of each 0.3 cm. Needle 0.5 cm in depth, with the stimulus intensity of 2-3 V, at the frequency of 100 beats/min, 45 min each dayNoneReverse transcriptase-PCR for expression of NGF mRNA and IGF-1 mRNA of sciatic nerveFrom 2nd week, the expression of NGF mRNA and IGF-1 mRNA increased, at 10th week; the expression of NGF mRNA and IGF-1 mRNA sustained in higher level.“Can elevate the mRNA expression of NGF and IGF-1 in sciatic nerve of diabetic rat, which may be one of the mechanisms of acupuncture on diabetic neuropathy”

Yin (2008) [16]Sciatic nerveMoxaed at the points of Yishu (Ex-B3) and Zusanli (ST 36), 15 min each point, once daily for 56 consecutive daysNoneNeuroelectrophysiological detection for SNCV; ELISA for NGF of sciatic nerveDecreased blood glucose level; increased SNCV; increased NGF content in sciatic nerve.“The improving effect of moxibustion on diabetic peripheral neurological symptoms in a rat model of DPN may be related to an increase in the NGF content and promotion of peripheral neuroprotection”

Wang (2010) [17]Sciatic nerveJinmaitong (Sinew-Channel Unobstruction) for 8 WNeurotropinThe hydrothermal tail-flick and pain threshold to mechanical stimulation; SABC immunohistochemistry method for CNTF expression and real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR for CNTF mRNA expression in sciatic nerveThe pain thresholds were raised and tail-flick latencies were shortened; the expression of CNTF mRNA and protein was increased“Can obviously upregulate the expression of CNTF mRNA and protein in the sciatic nerve of rats with neuropathy”

Wang (2010) [18]Schwann cellsSerum containing Jinmaitong (Sinew-Channel Unobstruction)NeurotropinSABC immunohistochemistry method for CNTF expression and real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR for CNTF mRNA expression in Schwann cellsIncreased CNTF and CNTF mRNA expression in Schwann cells“Can upregulate the expression of CNTF and CNTF mRNA of rat Schwann cells in cultured high glucose medium, so as to improve DPN”

Zeng (2005) [19]Sciatic nerveXiaokelingnongsuoye (Diabetes Agility Concentration Fluid) for 8 WMethycobalRelative quantity PCR for IGF mRNAIncreased expression of IGF-1 mRNA in sciatic nerve“Is involved in the regulation of IGF-1 mRNA expression, and probably prevents diabetic peripheral neuropathy from deterioration”

Xu (2009) [20]Sciatic nerveQingyingtang (Clearing Nutritive Qi Decoction) for 10 WMethycobalELISA for IGF-1 in serum; IGF-1 in sciatic nerve and liverIncreased IGF-1 level in serum, liver and sciatic nerve“Increase the expression of IGF-1 in tissue, and have effects of nerve repair in DNP rats”

Wang (2010) [21]Sciatic nerveTangmoning (Glucose End Peace Granules) for 8 WNoneWestern blotting for expression of NGF and IGF-1 in sciatic nerve; sciatic ultrastructure observation by transmission electron microscopeIncreased expression of NGF and IGF-1; pathological changes of sciatic nerve were improved by transmission electron microscope“Has some protective effect on sciatic nerve in diabetic rats. The mechanism may be related to the upregulation of the expression of NGF and IGF-1 proteins.”

Zhang (2008) [22]SerumXiaoketongbikeli (Diabetes Free Obstruction Granula)MethycobalRadioimmunoassay for IL-1β and TNF-α, ELISA for CD54Reduced the level of IL-1β, TNF-α, and CD54“Can relieve or improve diabetic peripheral nerve injury by interfering with inflammation factors in diabetes”

MTT: methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium; ELISA: enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay; MDA: malondialdehyde; DPN: diabetic peripheral neuropathy; STZ: streptozotocin; NGF: nerve growth factor; ALL: Alloxan; PCR: polymerase chain reaction; CNTF: ciliary neurotrophic factor; SNCV: sensory nerve conduction velocity.