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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 501032, 10 pages
Research Article

Neuroprotective Effects of San-Huang-Xie-Xin-Tang in the MPP+/MPTP Models of Parkinson’s Disease In Vitro and In Vivo

1Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, 100 Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Natural Products, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
3Graduate Institute of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
4Department of Anesthesia, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan

Received 16 November 2011; Accepted 17 December 2011

Academic Editor: Ilkay Erdogan Orhan

Copyright © 2012 Yi-Ching Lo 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.


San-Huang-Xie-Xin-Tang (SHXT), composed of Coptidis rhizoma, Scutellariae radix, and Rhei rhizoma, is a traditional Chinese medicine used for complementary and alternative therapy of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases via its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects. The aim of this study is to investigate the protective effects of SHXT in the 1–methyl–4–phenylpyridinium (MPP+)/1–methyl–4–phenyl–1,2,3,6–tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) models of Parkinson’s disease. Rat primary mesencephalic neurons and mouse Parkinson disease model were used in this study. Oxidative stress was induced by MPP+ in vitro and MPTP in vivo. In MPP+-treated mesencephalic neuron cultures, SHXT significantly increased the numbers of TH-positive neurons. SHXT reduced apoptotic signals (cytochrome and caspase) and apoptotic death. MPP+-induced g p 9 1 p h o x activation and ROS production were attenuated by SHXT. In addition, SHXT increased the levels of GSH and SOD in MPP+-treated neurons. In MPTP animal model, SHXT markedly increased TH-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and improved motor activity of mice. In conclusion, the present results reveal the evidence that SHXT possesses beneficial protection against MPTP-induced neurotoxicity in this model of Parkinson’s disease via its antioxidative and antiapoptotic effects. SHXT might be a potentially alternative and complementary medicine for neuroprotection.