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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 972958, 7 pages
Research Article

An Emerging Translational Model to Screen Potential Medicinal Plants for Nephrolithiasis, an Independent Risk Factor for Chronic Kidney Disease

1School of Chinese Medicine, Graduate Institute of Chinese Medicine, Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, Research Center for Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
2Center for General Education, Feng Chia University, Taichung 40724, Taiwan
3Department of Dermatology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 40705, Taiwan
4Department of Medicinal Botanicals and Health Applications, Da-Yeh University, Changhua 51591, Taiwan
5Department of Anesthesiology, Tungs’ Taichung Harbor Hospital, Taichung 43304, Taiwan
6Department of Life Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 40227, Taiwan
7Graduate Institute of Geriatric Medicine, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China
8Department of Urology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei 10002, Taiwan
9Departments of Medical Research, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dermatology, and Urology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40447, Taiwan

Received 30 May 2014; Accepted 16 June 2014; Published 6 July 2014

Academic Editor: Mohamed Eddouks

Copyright © 2014 San-Yuan 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.


Pharmacological therapy for urolithiasis using medicinal plants has been increasingly adopted for the prevention of its recurrence. A Drosophila melanogaster model developed for translational research of urolithiasis was applied to evaluate agents with potential antilithic effects and calcium oxalate (CaOx) formation. Potential antilithic herbs were prepared in a mixture of food in a diluted concentration of 5,000 from the original extract with 0.5% ethylene glycol (EG) as the lithogenic agent. The control group was fed with food only. After 3 weeks, flies ( for each group) were killed using CO2 narcotization, and the Malpighian tubules were dissected, removed, and processed for polarized light microscopy examination of the crystals. The crystal formation rate in the EG group was 100.0%. In the study, 16 tested herbal drugs reached the crystal formation rate of 0.0%, including Salviae miltiorrhizae, Paeonia lactiflora, and Carthami flos. Scutellaria baicalensis enhanced CaOx crystal formation. Two herbal drugs Commiphora molmol and Natrii sulfas caused the death of all flies. Our rapid screening methods provided evidence that some medicinal plants have potential antilithic effects. These useful medicinal plants can be further studied using other animal or human models to verify their effects.