Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Diosgenin and 5-Methoxypsoralen Ameliorate Insulin Resistance through ER-α/PI3K/Akt-Signaling Pathways in HepG2 Cells Wed, 31 Aug 2016 13:39:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7493694/ To determine the effects and the underlying mechanism of diosgenin (DSG) and 5-methoxypsoralen (5-MOP), two main active components in the classical Chinese prescription Hu-Lu-Ba-Wan (HLBW), on insulin resistance, HepG2 cells were incubated in medium containing insulin. Treatments with DSG, 5-MOP, and their combination were performed, respectively. The result showed that the incubation of HepG2 cells with high concentration insulin markedly decreased glucose consumption and glycogen synthesis. However, treatment with DSG, 5-MOP, or their combination significantly reversed the condition and increased the phosphorylated expression of estrogen receptor-α (ERα), sarcoma (Src), Akt/protein kinase B, glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), and the p85 regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase p85 (PI3Kp85). At the transcriptional level, expression of the genes mentioned above also increased except for the negative regulation of GSK-3β mRNA. The increased expression of glucose transport-4 (GLUT-4) was meanwhile observed through immunofluorescence. Nevertheless, the synergistic effect of DSG and 5-MOP on improving glycometabolism was not obvious in the present study. These results suggested that DSG and 5-MOP may improve insulin resistance through an ER-mediated PI3K/Akt activation pathway which may be a new strategy for type 2 diabetes mellitus, especially for women in an estrogen-deficient condition. Ke Fang, Hui Dong, Shujun Jiang, Fen Li, Dingkun Wang, Desen Yang, Jing Gong, Wenya Huang, and Fuer Lu Copyright © 2016 Ke Fang et al. All rights reserved. An Aqueous Extract of Marine Microalgae Exhibits Antimetastatic Activity through Preferential Killing of Suspended Cancer Cells and Anticolony Forming Activity Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12:29:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/9730654/ Research on marine natural products as potential anticancer agents is still limited. In the present study, an aqueous extract of a Canadian marine microalgal preparation was assessed for anticancer activities using various assays and cell lines of human cancers, including lung, prostate, stomach, breast, and pancreatic cancers, as well as an osteosarcoma. In vitro, the microalgal extract exhibited marked anticolony forming activity. In addition, it was more toxic, as indicated by increased apoptosis, to nonadherent cells (grown in suspension) than to adherent cells. In vivo, an antimetastatic effect of the extract was observed in NOD-SCID mice carrying subrenal capsule xenografts of PC3 prostate cancer cells. The results of the present study suggest that the antimetastatic effect of the aqueous microalgal extract is based on inhibition of colony forming ability of cancer cells and the preferential killing of suspended cancer cells. Further research aimed at identification of the molecular basis of the anticancer activities of the microalgal extract appears to be warranted. Syam Prakash Somasekharan, Amal El-Naggar, Poul H. Sorensen, Yuzhuo Wang, and Hongwei Cheng Copyright © 2016 Syam Prakash Somasekharan et al. All rights reserved. PI3K-GLUT4 Signal Pathway Associated with Effects of EX-B3 Electroacupuncture on Hyperglycemia and Insulin Resistance of T2DM Rats Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12:02:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7914387/ Objectives. To explore electroacupuncture’s (EA’s) effects on fasting blood glucose (FBG) and insulin resistance of type 2 diabetic mellitus (T2DM) model rats and give a possible explanation for the effects. Method. It takes high fat diet and intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (STZ, 30 mg/kg) for model preparation. Model rats were randomly divided into T2DM Model group, EA weiwanxiashu (EX-B3) group, and sham EA group (/group). EA (2 Hz continuous wave, 2 mA, 20 min/day, 6 days/week, 4 weeks) was applied as intervention. FBG, area under curve (AUC) of oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), pancreatic B cell function index (HOMA-B), skeletal muscle phosphorylated phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4), and membrane GLUT4 protein expression were measured. Results. EA weiwanxiashu (EX-B3) can greatly upregulate model rat’s significantly reduced skeletal muscle PI3K (Y607) and membrane GLUT4 protein expression (), effectively reducing model rats’ FBG and AUC of OGTT (). The effects are far superior to sham EA group. Conclusion. EA weiwanxiashu (EX-B3) can upregulate skeletal muscle phosphorylated PI3K protein expression, to stimulate membrane translocation of GLUT4 and thereby increase skeletal muscle glucose intake to treat T2DM. Bing-Yan Cao, Rui Li, Huan-Huan Tian, Yan-Jia Ma, Xiao-Gang Hu, Ning Jia, and Yue-Ying Wang Copyright © 2016 Bing-Yan Cao et al. All rights reserved. The Efficacy and Safety of Chinese Herbal Decoction in Type 2 Diabetes: A 5-Year Retrospective Study Tue, 30 Aug 2016 16:34:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/5473015/ Background. The study was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal decoction in treating outpatients with T2DM. Methods. All patients enrolled received decoction for at least 6 months. The primary outcome was the control rate of HbA1c and the change in HbA1c. FPG, 2hPG, HOMA-IR, and HOMA-β were also collected and evaluated. Results. The control rates after treatment at months 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 60 were , , , , , , and . Multiple linear regression showed the change of HbA1c has a significant relationship with the baseline HbA1c and duration of DM and BMI (). Both FPG and 2hPG levels significantly decreased compared to the baseline (). Chinese herbal decoction also improved islet cell function with decreased HOMA-IR and increased HOMA-β (). 19 and 4 subjects deactivated the antidiabetes drugs or insulin, respectively, after taking decoction. One subject developed DKD and one developed DPN, and another subject showed abnormal liver function which was irrelevant to decoction treatment. Conclusions. Chinese herbal decoction significantly enhanced the hypoglycemic action and had certain effect on protecting islet cell function. As a candidate diabetes therapy, it may reduce the use of antidiabetes drugs and slow the progression to diabetes complications. Jiaxing Tian, Fengmei Lian, Xiaotong Yu, Yashan Cui, Tianyu Zhao, Yang Cao, and Xiaolin Tong Copyright © 2016 Jiaxing Tian et al. All rights reserved. Xianfanghuomingyin, a Chinese Compound Medicine, Modulates the Proliferation and Differentiation of T Lymphocyte in a Collagen-Induced Arthritis Mouse Model Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:57:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/6356871/ In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), xianfanghuomingyin (XFHM) is used to treat autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here, we studied the mechanisms underlying its treatment effects, especially its anti-inflammatory effects in a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mouse model. We found that cartilage destruction and pannus formation were alleviated by treatment with XFHM. The abnormal differentiation of Th1 and Th17 cells was downregulated significantly by XFHM, and Th2 and Treg cells were upregulated. Moreover, the expression levels of specific cytokines and transcription factors related to Th1 cells (interferon γ [IFNγ], T-bet) and Th17 cells (interleukin- [IL-] 17) and the nuclear receptor retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor-gamma (RORγ) were downregulated. Serum IL-4 and GATA-3, which contribute to Th2 cells differentiation, increased significantly after XFHM administration. These results indicate that XFHM can restore the balance of T lymphocytes and reestablish the immunological tolerance to inhibit autoinflammatory disorder of RA. Taken together, XFHM can be used as a complementary or alternative traditional medicine to treat RA. Bo Nie, Xue Li, Yi Wei, Meng Chen, Jingwei Zhou, Lixia Lou, Bin Dong, Aiming Wu, Dongmei Zhang, Lingqun Zhu, Jiuli Zhao, and Limin Chai Copyright © 2016 Bo Nie et al. All rights reserved. Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced by Natural Nootropic Tue, 30 Aug 2016 09:58:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/4391375/ Nootropics or smart drugs are well-known compounds or supplements that enhance the cognitive performance. They work by increasing the mental function such as memory, creativity, motivation, and attention. Recent researches were focused on establishing a new potential nootropic derived from synthetic and natural products. The influence of nootropic in the brain has been studied widely. The nootropic affects the brain performances through number of mechanisms or pathways, for example, dopaminergic pathway. Previous researches have reported the influence of nootropics on treating memory disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. Those disorders are observed to impair the same pathways of the nootropics. Thus, recent established nootropics are designed sensitively and effectively towards the pathways. Natural nootropics such as Ginkgo biloba have been widely studied to support the beneficial effects of the compounds. Present review is concentrated on the main pathways, namely, dopaminergic and cholinergic system, and the involvement of amyloid precursor protein and secondary messenger in improving the cognitive performance. Noor Azuin Suliman, Che Norma Mat Taib, Mohamad Aris Mohd Moklas, Mohd Ilham Adenan, Mohamad Taufik Hidayat Baharuldin, and Rusliza Basir Copyright © 2016 Noor Azuin Suliman et al. All rights reserved. The Induction of Apoptosis in A375 Malignant Melanoma Cells by Sutherlandia frutescens Tue, 30 Aug 2016 09:19:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/4921067/ Sutherlandia frutescens is a medicinal plant indigenous to Southern Africa and is commonly known as the “cancer bush.” This plant has traditionally been used for the treatment of various ailments, although it is best known for its claims of activity against “internal” cancers. Here we report on its effect on melanoma cells. The aim of this study was to investigate whether an extract of S. frutescens could induce apoptosis in the A375 melanoma cell line and to outline the basic mechanism of action. S. frutescens extract induced apoptosis in A375 cells as evidenced by morphological features of apoptosis, phosphatidylserine exposure, nuclear condensation, caspase activation, and the release of cytochrome from the mitochondria. Studies in the presence of a pan-caspase inhibitor allude to caspase-independent cell death, which appeared to be mediated by the apoptosis inducing factor. Taken together, the results of this study show that S. frutescens extract is effective in inducing apoptosis in malignant melanoma cells and indicates that further in vivo mechanistic studies may be warranted. Nicola B. van der Walt, Zahra Zakeri, and Marianne J. Cronjé Copyright © 2016 Nicola B. van der Walt et al. All rights reserved. Systematic Review on Chinese Herbal Medicine Induced Liver Injury Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:24:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/3560812/ Background. In recent years, with the popularity of CHM, its hepatotoxicity has also been increasingly noticed. However, there are still veils on causative herbs and clinical characteristics. Aim. To systematically review data on CHM induced liver injury with particular focus on causative herbs and clinical characteristics. Methods. Using terms related to CHM and liver injury, PubMed and three Chinese electronic databases were searched, which was limited to the past 5 years. Publications meeting our eligibility criteria were included and further analyzed. Results. In total, 4 single herbs, 21 patent drugs, and 4 decoctions were reported to be of hepatotoxicity, with He-Shou-Wu being the most common one (65/114). Dang-Gui and other 5 herbs were the most common ingredients of patent drugs and decoctions. All patients were assessed using the RUCAM scale, with 26 being highly probable and 28 being probable. For these 54 cases, the latent period was 30 (47) days, and 81.48% were labeled as hepatocellular injuries. Most patients (96.3%) recovered, apart from the fact that one died and one is receiving liver transplantation. Conclusions. CHM should be used carefully for hepatotoxicity. Liver injury from CHM is similar to that from conventional medicines in clinical characteristics. Details about causative herbs should be illustrated, and more RUCAM should be used in future. Peng Zhang, Yongan Ye, Xianzhao Yang, and Yuntao Jiao Copyright © 2016 Peng Zhang et al. All rights reserved. To Set Up a Logistic Regression Prediction Model for Hepatotoxicity of Chinese Herbal Medicines Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:10:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7273940/ Aims. To establish a logistic regression (LR) prediction model for hepatotoxicity of Chinese herbal medicines (HMs) based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory and to provide a statistical basis for predicting hepatotoxicity of HMs. Methods. The correlations of hepatotoxic and nonhepatotoxic Chinese HMs with four properties, five flavors, and channel tropism were analyzed with chi-square test for two-way unordered categorical data. LR prediction model was established and the accuracy of the prediction by this model was evaluated. Results. The hepatotoxic and nonhepatotoxic Chinese HMs were related with four properties (), and the coefficient was 0.178 (); also they were related with five flavors (), and the coefficient was 0.145 (); they were not related with channel tropism (). There were totally 12 variables from four properties and five flavors for the LR. Four variables, warm and neutral of the four properties and pungent and salty of five flavors, were selected to establish the LR prediction model, with the cutoff value being 0.204. Conclusions. Warm and neutral of the four properties and pungent and salty of five flavors were the variables to affect the hepatotoxicity. Based on such results, the established LR prediction model had some predictive power for hepatotoxicity of Chinese HMs. Hongjie Liu, Tianhao Li, Lingxiu Chen, Sha Zhan, Meilan Pan, Zhiguo Ma, Chenghua Li, and Zhe Zhang Copyright © 2016 Hongjie Liu et al. All rights reserved. Gigantol Inhibits Epithelial to Mesenchymal Process in Human Lung Cancer Cells Mon, 29 Aug 2016 09:02:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/4561674/ Lung cancer remains a leading public health problem as evidenced by its increasing death rate. The main cause of death in lung cancer patients is cancer metastasis. The metastatic behavior of lung cancer cells becomes enhanced when cancer cells undergo epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Gigantol, a bibenzyl compound extracted from the Thai orchid, Dendrobium draconis, has been shown to have promising therapeutic potential against cancer cells, which leads to the hypothesis that gigantol may be able to inhibit the fundamental EMT process in cancer cells. This study has demonstrated for the first time that gigantol possesses the ability to suppress EMT in non-small cell lung cancer H460 cells. Western blot analysis has revealed that gigantol attenuates the activity of ATP-dependent tyrosine kinase (AKT), thereby inhibiting the expression of the major EMT transcription factor, Slug, by both decreasing its transcription and increasing its degradation. The inhibitory effects of gigantol on EMT result in a decrease in the level of migration in H460 lung cancer cells. The results of this study emphasize the potential of gigantol for further development against lung cancer metastasis. Thitita Unahabhokha, Pithi Chanvorachote, Boonchoo Sritularak, Jutarat Kitsongsermthon, and Varisa Pongrakhananon Copyright © 2016 Thitita Unahabhokha et al. All rights reserved. Management of Sport Injuries with Korean Medicine: A Survey of Korean National Volleyball Team Mon, 29 Aug 2016 09:01:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/8639492/ The purpose of this study was to report the current state of Korean medicine (KM) treatment on sports injury by implementing survey with volleyball team medical doctors participating in 2013-2014 season. Six KM doctors completed a questionnaire that includes injury parameters: type, location, situation, and pain scores. We collected 166 injury cases from 94 Korean male and female national volleyball players. Knee (25.9%), low back (13.3%), elbow, and ankle (8.4%) injuries were most common. Joint (41.6%) and muscle (30.7%) were major injured tissues. KM team medical doctors utilized acupuncture (40.4%), chuna manual therapy (16.0%), physical therapy (15.2%), taping (9.0%), and cupping (7.8%) to treat volleyball injuries. Any types of medications were used infrequently. Additional physical and exercise therapy were preferred after receiving acupuncture (both 46.9%). This study presented the preliminary injury profile of Korean elite volleyball players. Injury and treatment parameters could be useful to build advanced KM model in sport medicine. Changsop Yang, Eunyoung Lee, Eui-Hyoung Hwang, Ojin Kwon, and Jun-Hwan Lee Copyright © 2016 Changsop Yang et al. All rights reserved. Effervescent Granules Prepared Using Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. and Moso Bamboo Leaves: Hypoglycemic Activity in HepG2 Cells Sun, 28 Aug 2016 14:21:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/6362094/ Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. (E. ulmoides Oliv.) and moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) leaves are used as folk medicines in central-western China to treat diabetes. To investigate the hypoglycemic activity of the effervescent granules prepared using E. ulmoides Oliv. and moso bamboo leaves (EBEG) in HepG2 cells, EBEG were prepared with 5% of each of polysaccharides and chlorogenic acids from moso bamboo and E. ulmoides Oliv. leaves, respectively. HepG2 cells cultured in a high-glucose medium were classified into different groups. The results displayed EBEG-treated cells showed better glucose utilization than the negative controls; thus, the hypoglycemic effect of EBEG was much greater than that of granules prepared using either component alone, thereby indicating that this effect was due to a synergistic action of the components. Further, glucose consumption levels in the cells treated with EBEG (156.35% at 200 μg/mL) and the positive controls (metformin, 162.29%; insulin, 161.52%) were similar. Thus, EBEG exhibited good potential for use as a natural antidiabetic agent. The hypoglycemic effect of EBEG could be due to the synergistic action of polysaccharides from the moso bamboo leaves and chlorogenic acids from E. ulmoides Oliv. leaves via the inhibition of alpha-glucosidase and glucose-6-phosphate displacement enzyme. Xiang-Zhou Li and Sheng Zhang Copyright © 2016 Xiang-Zhou Li and Sheng Zhang. All rights reserved. Preservation of Cognitive Function by Lepidium meyenii (Maca) Is Associated with Improvement of Mitochondrial Activity and Upregulation of Autophagy-Related Proteins in Middle-Aged Mouse Cortex Sun, 28 Aug 2016 14:07:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/4394261/ Maca has been used as a foodstuff and a traditional medicine in the Andean region for over 2,000 years. Recently the neuroprotective effects of maca also arouse interest of researchers. Decrease in mitochondrial function and decline in autophagy signaling may participate in the process of age-related cognitive decline. This study aimed to investigate if maca could improve cognitive function of middle-aged mice and if this effect was associated with improvement of mitochondrial activity and modulation of autophagy signaling in mouse cortex. Fourteen-month-old male ICR mice received maca powder administered by gavage for five weeks. Maca improved cognitive function, motor coordination, and endurance capacity in middle-aged mice, accompanied by increased mitochondrial respiratory function and upregulation of autophagy-related proteins in cortex. Our findings suggest that maca is a newly defined nutritional plant which can improve mitochondrial function and upregulate autophagy-related proteins and may be an effective functional food for slowing down age-related cognitive decline. Shan-Shan Guo, Xiao-Fang Gao, Yan-Rong Gu, Zhong-Xiao Wan, A-Ming Lu, Zheng-Hong Qin, and Li Luo Copyright © 2016 Shan-Shan Guo et al. All rights reserved. Curative Effects of Suhuang Zhike Capsule on Postinfectious Cough: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials Sun, 28 Aug 2016 12:39:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/8325162/ Objective. In this paper, we intended to systematically evaluate the efficacy of Suhuang Zhike Capsule (SZC) on postinfectious cough (PIC) in adults (age > 18). Methods. MEDLINE (PubMed), Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Cqvip Database (VIP), and Wanfang Database were researched for the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of SZC for PIC. The search was limited to human studies, using the search keywords or free-text terms “cough,” “post-infectious cough,” “postinfectious cough,” “post-cold cough,” “postviral cough,” “postcold cough,” “Suhuang Zhike capsule,” “Chinese Medicine,” and “randomized clinical trials”. Two reviewers individually extracted data from the included RCTs and then the extracted data were analyzed using Review Manager 5.3 software. Results. Seven RCTs involving 573 patients entered the inclusion criteria. Findings suggested that, compared with western conventional medicine (WCM) and other Chinese medicine, SZC could effectively improve the efficacy rate (OR 2.68, 95%  CI, 1.48–4.84, ; OR 4.86, 95%  CI, 1.50–15.73, , separately). Moreover, SZC could also improve the efficacy rate of Chinese medicine symptom (MD −0.74, 95%  CI, −1.46~−0.02, ). However, in terms of cough relief time, more evidence is needed to prove that SZC have an earlier antitussive effect (MD −1.31, 95%  CI, −3.06~0.45, ). Conclusion. The current evidence shows that SZC is effective in the treatment of PIC in adults and can significantly improve the effective rate of Chinese medicine symptoms. Pinpin Ding, Qian Wang, Jing Yao, Xian-Mei Zhou, and Jia Zhu Copyright © 2016 Pinpin Ding et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Transcutaneous Electrical Acustimulation on Refractory Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Sun, 28 Aug 2016 09:02:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/8246171/ Objective. To investigate effects and possible mechanisms of transcutaneous electrical acustimulation (TEA) performed by a wearable watch-size stimulator for refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease (RGERD). Methods. Twenty patients diagnosed as RGERD were enrolled in the study and randomly divided into four groups: esomeprazole group (Group A), esomeprazole combined with TEA group (Group B), esomeprazole combined with sham-TEA group (Group C), and esomeprazole combined with domperidone group (Group D). HRM and 24 h pH-impedance monitoring and GerdQ score were used to measure related indexes before and after treatment. Results. (1) TEA significantly increased LESP, compared with PPI treatment only or PPI plus sham-TEA. After pairwise comparison, LESP of Group B was increased more than Group A () or Group C (). (2) PPI plus TEA decreased not only the number of acid reflux episodes but also the number of weak acid reflux episodes (). (3) Heartburn and reflux symptoms were improved more with PPI + TEA than with PPI treatment only or PPI plus sham-TEA (GerdQ scores, ). Conclusion. TEA can improve symptoms in RGERD patients by increasing LESP and decreasing events of weak acid reflux and acid reflux; addition of TEA to esomeprazole significantly enhances the effect of TEA. Li-na Meng, Shanshan Chen, Jiande D. Z. Chen, Hai-feng Jin, and Bin Lu Copyright © 2016 Li-na Meng et al. All rights reserved. Genus Tinospora: Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology Sun, 28 Aug 2016 09:01:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/9232593/ The genus Tinospora includes 34 species, in which several herbs were used as traditional medicines by indigenous groups throughout the tropical and subtropical parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia. The extensive literature survey revealed Tinospora species to be a group of important medicinal plants used for the ethnomedical treatment of colds, headaches, pharyngitis, fever, diarrhea, oral ulcer, diabetes, digestive disorder, and rheumatoid arthritis. Indian ethnopharmacological data points to the therapeutic potential of the T. cordifolia for the treatment of diabetic conditions. While Tinospora species are confusing in individual ingredients and their mechanisms of action, the ethnopharmacological history of those plants indicated that they exhibit antidiabetic, antioxidation, antitumor, anti-inflammation, antimicrobial, antiosteoporosis, and immunostimulation activities. While the clinical applications in modern medicine are lacking convincing evidence and support, this review is aimed at summarizing the current knowledge of the traditional uses, phytochemistry, biological activities, and toxicities of the genus Tinospora to reveal its therapeutic potentials and gaps, offering opportunities for future researches. Sensen Chi, Gaimei She, Dan Han, Weihua Wang, Zhao Liu, and Bin Liu Copyright © 2016 Sensen Chi et al. All rights reserved. Euonymus alatus: A Review on Its Phytochemistry and Antidiabetic Activity Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:02:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/9425714/ Euonymus alatus (E. alatus) is a medicinal plant used in some Asian countries for treating various conditions including cancer, hyperglycemia, and diabetic complications. This review outlines the phytochemistry and bioactivities of E. alatus related to antidiabetic actions. More than 100 chemical constituents have been isolated and identified from E. alatus, including flavonoids, terpenoids, steroids, lignans, cardenolides, phenolic acids, and alkaloids. Studies in vitro and in vivo have demonstrated the hypoglycemic activity of E. alatus extracts and its certain constituents. The hypoglycemic activity of E. alatus may be related to regulation of insulin signaling and insulin sensitivity, involving PPARγ and aldose reductase pathways. Further studies on E. alatus and its bioactive compounds may help to develop new agents for treating diabetes and diabetic complications. Xifeng Zhai, George Binh Lenon, Charlie C. L. Xue, and Chun-Guang Li Copyright © 2016 Xifeng Zhai et al. All rights reserved. Ethnomedicinal Uses of Honeybee Products in Lithuania: The First Analysis of Archival Sources Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:56:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/9272635/ Lithuania has old ethnomedicine traditions, consisting of many recipes with herbal, animal, and mineral original ingredients. All these findings were mostly collected in Lithuanian language, often in local community’s dialects, and stored only in archives. We analyzed archival sources about honeybee and its products used for medicinal purposes dated from 1886 till 1992 in different parts of Lithuania. We systematized and presented the most important information about bees and their products: indication for usage, ingredients used in the recipe, their preparation techniques, and application for therapeutic purposes. Researchers in Lithuania are now looking for new evidence based indications and preparation and standardization methods of bee products. Archival sources are a foundation for studies in Lithuania. The results can be integrated into scientifically approved folk medicine practices into today’s healthcare. Zivile Pranskuniene, Jurga Bernatoniene, Zenona Simaitiene, Andrius Pranskunas, and Tauras Mekas Copyright © 2016 Zivile Pranskuniene et al. All rights reserved. Wen-Luo-Tong Prevents Glial Activation and Nociceptive Sensitization in a Rat Model of Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathic Pain Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:32:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/3629489/ One of the main dose-limiting complications of the chemotherapeutic agent oxaliplatin (OXL) is painful neuropathy. Glial activation and nociceptive sensitization may be responsible for the mechanism of neuropathic pain. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Wen-luo-tong (WLT) has been widely used in China to treat chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain. However, there is no study on the effects of WLT on spinal glial activation induced by OXL. In this study, a rat model of OXL-induced chronic neuropathic pain was established and WLT was administrated. Pain behavioral tests and morphometric examination of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were conducted. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunostaining was performed, glial activation was evaluated, and the excitatory neurotransmitter substance P (SP) and glial-derived proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were analyzed. WLT treatment alleviated OXL-induced mechanical allodynia and mechanical hyperalgesia. Changes in the somatic, nuclear, and nucleolar areas of neurons in DRG were prevented. In the spinal dorsal horn, hypertrophy and activation of GFAP-positive astrocytes were averted, and the level of GFAP mRNA decreased significantly. Additionally, TNF-α mRNA and protein levels decreased. Collectively, these results indicate that WLT reversed both glial activation in the spinal dorsal horn and nociceptive sensitization during OXL-induced chronic neuropathic pain in rats. Bo Deng, Liqun Jia, Lin Pan, Aiping Song, Yuanyuan Wang, Huangying Tan, Qing Xiang, Lili Yu, and Dandan Ke Copyright © 2016 Bo Deng et al. All rights reserved. The Antidepressant Effect of Angelica sinensis Extracts on Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress-Induced Depression Is Mediated via the Upregulation of the BDNF Signaling Pathway in Rats Thu, 25 Aug 2016 07:10:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7434692/ Angelica sinensis (AS), a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, has pharmaceutical effects on menstrual illness, cerebrovascular diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and cognitive impairments. However, until recently, few studies had explored its antidepressant effect. The current study attempts to investigate the effect of AS extracts on chronic unpredictable mild stress- (CUMS-) induced depression in rats. Male SD rats were exposed to a CUMS-inducing procedure for 5 weeks, resulting in rodent depressive behaviors that included reduced sucrose consumption and lessened sucrose preference ratios in sucrose preference test, prolonged immobility times and decreased struggling time in force swim test, and decreased locomotor activity in open field test. Moreover, the expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the phosphorylation of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB) and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK 1/2) were markedly decreased in the hippocampus in depressed rats. However, chronically treating the depressed rats with AS (1 g/kg) normalized their depression-related behaviors and molecular profiles. In conclusion, in the present study, we show that AS extracts exerted antidepressant effects that were mediated by the BDNF signaling pathway: in AS-treated depressed rats, the expression of the BDNF protein and the phosphorylation of its downstream targets (ERK 1/2, CREB) were upregulated in the hippocampus. Jun Shen, Junjian Zhang, Min Deng, Yue Liu, Yuan Hu, and Lei Zhang Copyright © 2016 Jun Shen et al. All rights reserved. The Effects of Different Extraction Methods on Antioxidant Properties, Chemical Composition, and Thermal Behavior of Black Seed (Nigella sativa L.) Oil Thu, 25 Aug 2016 06:43:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/6273817/ The Nigella sativa L. popularly referred to as black seeds are widely used as a form of traditional nutrition and medicine. N. sativa seeds were used for the extraction of their oil by way of supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and cold press (CP) to determine the physicochemical properties, antioxidant activity, and thermal behavior. The GC-MS results showed the primary constituents in the Nigella sativa oil (NSO) were Caryophyllene (17.47%) followed by thymoquinone (TQ) (11.80%), 1,4-Cyclohexadiene (7.17%), longifolene (3.5%), and carvacrol (1.82%). The concentration of TQ was found to be 6.63 mg/mL for oil extracted using SFE and 1.56 mg/mL for oil extracted by CP method. The antioxidant activity measured by DPPH and the IC50 was 1.58 mg/mL and 2.30 mg/mL for SFE oil and cold pressed oil, respectively. The ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP) activity for SFE oil and CP oil was 538.67 mmol/100 mL and 329.00 mmol/100 mL, respectively. The total phenolic content (TPC) of SFE oil was 160.51 mg/100 mL and 94.40 mg/100 mL for CP oil presented as gallic acid equivalents (GAE). This research showed that a high level of natural antioxidants could be derived from NSO extracted by SFE. Nameer Khairullah Mohammed, Mohd Yazid Abd Manap, Chin Ping Tan, Belal J. Muhialdin, Amaal M. Alhelli, and Anis Shobirin Meor Hussin Copyright © 2016 Nameer Khairullah Mohammed et al. All rights reserved. In Vivo Interrelationship between Insulin Resistance and Interferon Gamma Production: Protective and Therapeutic Effect of Berberine Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:24:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/2039897/ This research was conducted to investigate if there is a relation between insulin resistance incidence and inhibition of interferon gamma production or not. Firstly, insulin resistance was induced by high fat diet (HFD) intake for 6 weeks. Secondly, berberine was used as protective/curative compound for insulin resistance. Results revealed that feeding rats HFD for 6 weeks developed features of insulin resistance (IR) syndrome. These features presented in increased body weight, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypercholesterolemia (with increased LDL-cholesterol and decreased HDL-cholesterol), and hypertriglyceridemia. Level of antioxidant enzymes in HFD group was higher than in normal one. Also there was an increasing in level of proinflammatory cytokines as interleukin- (IL-) 6 and IL-12 in HFD group. Feeding rats HFD for 6 weeks also decreased level of interferon gamma (IFN-γ). The decreased level of IFN-γ has been shown to predict infection with infectious diseases especially viral infection. Treatment and protection with berberine 50 mg/kg/day for 2 weeks were found to be effective against the features of insulin resistance syndrome, improved levels of insulin resistance parameters, lipid profile, antioxidant enzymes, proinflammatory cytokines, and IFN-γ. Mohammad Ahmad Mahmoud, Doaa Ahmad Ghareeb, Heba Abdelghany Sahyoun, Ashraf Abdelhamed Elshehawy, and Mohammad Mohammad Elsayed Copyright © 2016 Mohammad Ahmad Mahmoud et al. All rights reserved. Primary Investigation for the Mechanism of Biatractylolide from Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma as an Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:43:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7481323/ Biatractylolide was isolated from ethyl acetate extract of dried Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma root by multistep chromatographic processing. Structure of biatractylolide was confirmed by 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR. The IC50 on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity was 6.5458 μg/mL when the control IC50 value of huperzine A was 0.0192 μg/mL. Molecular Docking Software (MOE) was used to discover molecular sites of action between biatractylolide and AChE protein by regular molecular docking approaches. Moreover, biatractylolide downregulated the expression of AChE of MEF and 293T cells in a dose-dependent manner. These results demonstrated that the molecular mechanisms of inhibitory activities of biatractylolide on AChE are not only through binding to AChE, but also via reducing AChE expression by inhibiting the activity of GSK3β. Yong-Chao Xie, Ning Ning, Li Zhu, Dan-Ning Li, Xing Feng, and Xiao-Ping Yang Copyright © 2016 Yong-Chao Xie et al. All rights reserved. Preventive Effect of Dihydromyricetin against Cisplatin-Induced Nephrotoxicity In Vitro and In Vivo Wed, 24 Aug 2016 08:44:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7937385/ Nephrotoxicity is a frequent severe side effect of cisplatin chemotherapy, limiting its clinical use despite being one of the most potent chemotherapy drugs. Dihydromyricetin is a highly abundant compound purified from the leaves of Ampelopsis grossedentata. Previous studies have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of Dihydromyricetin both in vitro and in vivo, but little is known about the effects of Dihydromyricetin on cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity and its underlying mechanisms. In the present study, we investigated its potential renoprotective effect and found that Dihydromyricetin ameliorated the renal functional impairment and structural damage caused by cisplatin. Moreover, Dihydromyricetin markedly attenuated cisplatin-induced oxidative stress, as well as protecting against cisplatin-induced inflammation and apoptotic cell death in mouse kidney tissues. These results collectively highlight the potential of DMY as a rational renoprotective agent against cisplatin. Fei Wu, Yi Li, Haibo Song, Yuan Zhang, Yuzhu Zhang, Miao Jiang, Fang Wang, Qian Mu, Wen Zhang, Liang Li, and Dongqi Tang Copyright © 2016 Fei Wu et al. All rights reserved. Traditional Preparations and Methanol Extracts of Medicinal Plants from Papua New Guinea Exhibit Similar Cytochrome P450 Inhibition Wed, 24 Aug 2016 07:30:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7869710/ The hypothesis underlying this current work is that fresh juice expressed from Papua New Guinea (PNG) medicinal plants (succus) will inhibit human Cytochrome P450s (CYPs). The CYP inhibitory activity identified in fresh material was compared with inhibition in methanol extracts of dried material. Succus is the most common method of traditional medicine (TM) preparation for consumption in PNG. There is increasing concern that TMs might antagonize or complicate drug therapy. We have previously shown that methanol extracts of commonly consumed PNG medicinal plants are able to induce and/or inhibit human CYPs in vitro. In this current work plant succus was prepared from fresh plant leaves. Inhibition of three major CYPs was determined using human liver microsomes and enzyme-selective model substrates. Of 15 species tested, succus from 6/15 was found to inhibit CYP1A2, 7/15 inhibited CYP3A4, and 4/15 inhibited CYP2D6. Chi-squared tests determined differences in inhibitory activity between succus and methanol preparations. Over 80% agreement was found. Thus, fresh juice from PNG medicinal plants does exhibit the potential to complicate drug therapy in at risk populations. Further, the general reproducibility of these findings suggests that methanol extraction of dried material is a reasonable surrogate preparation method for fresh plant samples. Erica C. Larson, Christopher D. Pond, Prem P. Rai, Teatulohi K. Matainaho, Pius Piskaut, Michael R. Franklin, and Louis R. Barrows Copyright © 2016 Erica C. Larson et al. All rights reserved. Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Xerostomia and Quality of Life during Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer: A Prospective Pilot Study Tue, 23 Aug 2016 09:47:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/8359251/ Xerostomia is one of the most common acute and late complications of radiotherapy for head and neck cancer, and it affects quality of life. We conducted a prospective study to evaluate the efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in toxicities and quality of life during radiotherapy. Head and neck cancer patients who were scheduled for radiotherapy were checked for inclusion/exclusion criteria before enrollment. Patients in the study group (inpatients) were hospitalized in a Chinese medicine ward and received concomitant TCM intervention during radiotherapy, while those in the control group (outpatients) received only conventional cancer treatments at the Western outpatient department. The primary end point was amelioration of postradiotherapy side effects. The secondary end points were quality of life during the cancer therapy and occurrence of adverse events following the TCM treatments. Thirty inpatients and 50 outpatients completed the study. Compared to the control group, those in the TCM group had decreased severity of xerostomia. There was no treatment-related impairment of renal or hepatic function among TCM group. Although better outcomes of social contact, dyspnea, physical and emotional function, and financial problems were found in the TCM group, we need further confirmation about the impact of hospitalization itself on these results. Pei-Yu Hsu, Sien-Hung Yang, Ngan-Ming Tsang, Kang-Hsing Fan, Chia-Hsun Hsieh, Jr-Rung Lin, Ji-Hong Hong, Yung-Chang Lin, Hsing-Yu Chen, Cheng-Tao Yang, Ching-Wei Yang, and Jiun-Liang Chen Copyright © 2016 Pei-Yu Hsu et al. All rights reserved. Role of Natural Products in Ameliorating Drugs and Chemicals Toxicity Tue, 23 Aug 2016 08:35:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7879406/ Mohamed M. Abdel-Daim, Salah M. Aly, Khaled Abo-el-Sooud, Mario Giorgi, and Sorin Ursoniu Copyright © 2016 Mohamed M. Abdel-Daim et al. All rights reserved. The Effects of Tai Chi Chuan on Improving Mind-Body Health for Knee Osteoarthritis Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Sun, 21 Aug 2016 08:51:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/1813979/ Purpose. To conduct a meta-analysis and systematic review examining whether Tai Chi Chuan could have mental and physical benefits for patients with knee osteoarthritis. Methods. MEDLINE, PUBMED, EMBASE, and CINAHL databases were searched for relevant studies. Data of the studies were collected, and outcomes were classified using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health model. Effect sizes of the mental and physical components were determined, along with the recommendation grades of Philadelphia Panel Classification System for Tai Chi Chuan on knee osteoarthritis. Results. Eleven studies were selected and retrieved from the databases. The results of meta-analysis revealed that the effects of Tai Chi Chuan were observed for physical components in the body functions and structures domain. The effects favoring Tai Chi Chuan were observed in the physical component in the activities and participation domain. Insufficient data was included in the meta-analysis of the mental component. Conclusions. The review revealed that Tai Chi Chuan had beneficial outcomes for patients with knee osteoarthritis. The evidence-based results represented that it had small-to-moderate effects on body functions and structures, activities, and participation of physical component. However, there was insufficient evidence to support that Tai Chi Chuan had beneficial mental effect. Wen-Dien Chang, Shuya Chen, Chia-Lun Lee, Hung-Yu Lin, and Ping-Tung Lai Copyright © 2016 Wen-Dien Chang et al. All rights reserved. Discovery of Potential Orthosteric and Allosteric Antagonists of P2Y1R from Chinese Herbs by Molecular Simulation Methods Sun, 21 Aug 2016 05:49:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/4320201/ P2Y1 receptor (P2Y1R), which belongs to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), is an important target in ADP-induced platelet aggregation. The crystal structure of P2Y1R has been solved recently, which revealed orthosteric and allosteric ligand-binding sites with the details of ligand-protein binding modes. And it suggests that P2Y1R antagonists, which recognize two distinct sites, could potentially provide an efficacious and safe antithrombotic profile. In present paper, 2D similarity search, pharmacophore based screening, and molecular docking were used to explore the potential natural P2Y1R antagonists. 2D similarity search was used to classify orthosteric and allosteric antagonists of P2Y1R. Based on the result, pharmacophore models were constructed and validated by the test set. Optimal models were selected to discover potential P2Y1R antagonists of orthosteric and allosteric sites from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). And the hits were filtered by Lipinski’s rule. Then molecular docking was used to refine the results of pharmacophore based screening and analyze the binding mode of the hits and P2Y1R. Finally, two orthosteric and one allosteric potential compounds were obtained, which might be used in future P2Y1R antagonists design. This work provides a reliable guide for discovering natural P2Y1R antagonists acting on two distinct sites from TCM. Xu Zhang, Fang Lu, Yan-kun Chen, Gang-gang Luo, Lu-di Jiang, Lian-sheng Qiao, Yan-ling Zhang, and Yu-hong Xiang Copyright © 2016 Xu Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Inhibitory Effect of Valencene on the Development of Atopic Dermatitis-Like Skin Lesions in NC/Nga Mice Thu, 18 Aug 2016 16:34:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/9370893/ Valencene (VAL) isolated from Cyperus rotundus possesses various biological effects such as antiallergic and antimelanogenesis activity. We investigated the effect of VAL on atopic dermatitis (AD) skin lesions and their molecular mechanisms. We topically applied VAL to 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB) sensitized NC/Nga mice. Modified scoring atopic dermatitis index, scratching behavior, and histological/immunohistochemical staining were used to monitor disease severity. RT-PCR, western blotting, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used to determine the level of IgE, proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines production, and skin barrier proteins expression. Topical application of VAL significantly reduced AD-like symptoms and recovered decreased expression of filaggrin in DNCB-sensitized NC/Nga mice. The levels of serum IgE, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-13 in skin/splenic tissue were reduced. In vitro studies using TNF-α and IFN-γ treated HaCaT cells revealed that VAL inhibited the exaggerated expression of Th2 chemokines including TARC/CCL17, MDC/CCL22, and proinflammatory chemokines such as CXCL8, GM-CSF, and I-CAM through blockade of the NF-κB pathway. In addition, expression of the skin barrier protein, involucrin, was also increased by VAL treatment. VAL inhibited the production and expression of proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. These results suggest that VAL may serve as a potential therapeutic option for AD. In Jun Yang, Dong-Ung Lee, and Heung Mook Shin Copyright © 2016 In Jun Yang et al. All rights reserved.