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Molecules 2017, 22(6), 978; doi:10.3390/molecules22060978

Hochu-ekki-to Treatment Improves Reproductive and Immune Modulation in the Stress-Induced Rat Model of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Department of Medical Zoology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130701, Korea
Department of Medical Genetics, College of Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 443721, Korea
Bio-Center, Gyeonggido Business and Science Accelerator, Suwon 16229, Korea
Department of Biochemistry, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon 301747, Korea
Department of Medical Science, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon 301747, Korea
International Biological Material Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon 34141, Korea
Institute of Korea Food and Drug Resource, Seoul 06622, Korea
Brain Research Institute, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon 301747, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2452 KB, uploaded 13 June 2017]   |  


The traditional herbal medicine, Hochu-ekki-to, has been shown to have preventive effects on viral infection and stress. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical effects of Hochu-ekki-to on two stress-related rat models of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control and treatment groups, the latter of which were subjected to stress induced by exposure to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or cold temperatures. After these stress inductions, rats were orally treated with dissolved Hochu-ekki-to once per day for 7 days. Rats subjected to the two different stressors exhibited upregulation of steroid hormone receptors (in ovaries) and reproductive hormones (in blood), and consequent stimulation of abnormal follicle development accompanied by elevation of Hsp 90 expression (in ovaries). Treatment with Hochu-ekki-to for 7 days after stress induction increased immune functions, reduced the stress-induced activation of Hsp 90, and normalized the levels of the tested steroid hormone receptors and reproductive hormones. Our findings suggest that stress stimulations may promote the activation of Hsp 90 via the dysregulation of steroid hormone receptors and reproductive hormones, but that post-stress treatment with Hochu-ekki-to improves reproductive and immune functions in the ovaries of stressed rats. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hochu-ekki-to; immune modulation; polycystic ovarian syndrome Hochu-ekki-to; immune modulation; polycystic ovarian syndrome

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Park, E.; Choi, C.W.; Kim, S.J.; Kim, Y.-I.; Sin, S.; Chu, J.-P.; Heo, J.Y. Hochu-ekki-to Treatment Improves Reproductive and Immune Modulation in the Stress-Induced Rat Model of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Molecules 2017, 22, 978.

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