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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 1743870, 8 pages
Research Article

Mechanisms of P-Glycoprotein Modulation by Semen Strychni Combined with Radix Paeoniae Alba

1Key Laboratory of Modern Preparation of TCM, Ministry of Education, Jiangxi University of TCM, 1688 Meiling Road, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330004, China
2Science and Technology College of Jiangxi University of TCM, 819 Meiling Road, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330004, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Li-Hua Chen; moc.361@89yllhc

Received 16 June 2017; Accepted 2 August 2017; Published 15 October 2017

Academic Editor: Darren R. Williams

Copyright © 2017 Li-Li Liu 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.


Semen Strychni has been extensively used as a Chinese herb, but its therapeutic window is narrowed by the strong toxicity of the compound, which limits its effectiveness. Radix Paeoniae Alba has been reported to reduce the toxic effects and increase the therapeutic effects of Semen Strychni, but the underlying mechanism remains unknown. This research aimed to explore the mechanism through which P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is modulated by Semen Strychni combined with Radix Paeoniae Alba in vitro. An MTT assay was used to study cytotoxicity in an MDCK-MDR1 cell model. Rh123 efflux and accumulation were measured to assess P-gp function. The expression levels of MDR1 mRNA and P-gp protein in MDCK-MDR1 cells were investigated. A P-gp ATPase activity assay kit was applied to detect the effect on P-gp ATPase activity. Semen Strychni combined with Radix Paeoniae Alba could induce P-gp-mediated drug transport by inhibiting brucine and strychnine transport in MDCK-MDR1 cells, enhancing the P-gp efflux function, upregulating the P-gp expression and MDR1 mRNA levels, and stimulating P-gp ATPase activity.