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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 734867, 10 pages
Research Article

Coadministration of Pinellia ternata Can Significantly Reduce Aconitum carmichaelii to Inhibit CYP3A Activity in Rats

1Institute of Chinese Meteria Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
2International Institute for Translational Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China
3College of Pharmacy, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou 350108, China

Received 30 May 2014; Revised 13 August 2014; Accepted 21 August 2014; Published 14 October 2014

Academic Editor: Zunjian Zhang

Copyright © 2014 Jinjun Wu 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.


Chuanwu (CW), the mother root of Aconitum carmichaelii Debx., is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for treating traumatic injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, and tumors. CW coadministered with banxia (BX), the root of Pinellia ternata, is also widely prescribed in clinical practice. However, the mechanism of this combination is yet deciphered. Current study aimed to investigate the effects of CW, including raw chuanwu (RCW) and processed chuanwu (PCW) alone, as well as CW coadministered with BX on CYP3A activity. Buspirone (BP) and testosterone (Tes) were used as specific probe substrates in vivo and ex vivo, respectively. CYP3A activity was determined by the metabolites formation ratios from the substrates. Compared with those in the control group, the metabolites formation ratios significantly decreased in the RCW and PCW alone groups, accompanied by a marked decrease in CYP3A protein and mRNA levels. However, there was a significant increase in those ratios in the RCW-BX and PCW-BX groups compared to the RCW and PCW alone groups. The results indicated that both RCW and PCW can inhibit CYP3A activity in rats because of downregulation of CYP3A protein and mRNA levels. Decreases in CYP3A activity can be reversed by coadministration with BX.