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Special Issue "Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Toxicology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Guido R.M.M. Haenen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Health Sciences, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tel. +31 43 3882109; Fax: +31 43 3884146
Interests: molecular biology; cell biology; biochemistry; analytical chemistry; pharmacy; medical chemistry; clinical pharmacology; toxicology; reactive oxygen species; free radicals; antioxidants; oxidative stress; redox modulation; nutrition; flavonoids; thiols; glutathione; reactive intermediates; lipid peroxidation; kinetics; structure activity relationship; biomarkers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Traditional medicine is practiced in various cultures. Often it has had a long history; for example, traditional Chinese medicine has developed for over 2000 years and has contributed to Chinese prosperity. In the Western world, traditional medicine is more and more valued and the use of traditional medicine is on the rise. One of the impediments is that, in the West, knowledge of traditional medicine is lacking. This has led to adverse effects due to the improper use of traditional medicine, which harms its introduction. This Special Issue is dedicated to further unravel the molecular mechanism of the mode of action and toxicity of traditional medicine, to connect traditional medicine to Western medicine. This is in line with the “Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property” adopted at the 61st World Health Assembly in 2008, which states that traditional medicine should be further developed by stimulation of research and innovation. Previous studies demonstrate the broadness of pallet of the bioactives, as well as their intricate interplay in traditional medicine, aimed to cure diseases with minimal side effects. Western medicine will benefit from further unraveling of these interactions, which will also help to fully appreciate traditional medicine in the West.

Prof. Dr. Guido Haenen
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Traditional Medicine
  • Herbal medicine
  • Molecular mechanism
  • Toxicity
  • Efficacy

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Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Lambertianic Acid Sensitizes Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers to TRAIL-Induced Apoptosis via Inhibition of XIAP/NF-κB and Activation of Caspases and Death Receptor 4
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1476; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051476 - 16 May 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Lambertianic acid (LA) is a biologically active compound from the leaves of Pinus koraiensis. In the present study, apoptotic mechanisms of LA plus TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) were elucidated in non-small cell lung cancer cells (NSCLCs). Cytotoxicity assay, flow cytometry, immunoprecipitation, and Western [...] Read more.
Lambertianic acid (LA) is a biologically active compound from the leaves of Pinus koraiensis. In the present study, apoptotic mechanisms of LA plus TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) were elucidated in non-small cell lung cancer cells (NSCLCs). Cytotoxicity assay, flow cytometry, immunoprecipitation, and Western blotting were performed. Here, combined treatment of LA and TRAIL increased cytotoxicity, sub-G1 population, cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), and caspase3/8/9 in A549 and H1299 cells compared to LA or TRAIL alone. Furthermore, combined treatment of LA and TRAIL significantly decreased antiapoptotic proteins such as B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), Fas-like inhibitor protein (FLIP), and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), and enhanced the activation of proapoptotic proteins Bid compared to LA or TRAIL alone. In addition, combined treatment of LA and TRAIL upregulated the expression of Death receptor 4 (DR4) and downregulated phosphorylation of nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (p-NF-κB), inhibitory protein of kB family (p-IκB), and FLIP in A549 and H1299 cells along with disrupted binding of XIAP with caspase3 or NF-κB. Overall, these findings suggest that lambertianic acid enhances TRAIL-induced apoptosis via inhibition of XIAP/NF-κB in TRAIL resistant NSCLCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
Hypouricemic Effect of 2,5-Dihydroxyacetophenone, a Computational Screened Bioactive Compound from Ganoderma applanatum, on Hyperuricemic Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1394; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051394 - 07 May 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Searching novel hypouricemic agents of high efficacy and safety has attracted a great attention. Previously, we reported the hypouricemic effect of Ganoderma applanatum, but its bioactives, was not referred. Herein, we report the hypouricemic effect of 2,5-dihydroxyacetophenone (DHAP), a compound screened from [...] Read more.
Searching novel hypouricemic agents of high efficacy and safety has attracted a great attention. Previously, we reported the hypouricemic effect of Ganoderma applanatum, but its bioactives, was not referred. Herein, we report the hypouricemic effect of 2,5-dihydroxyacetophenone (DHAP), a compound screened from Ganoderma applanatum computationally. Serum parameters, such as uric acid (SUA), xanthine oxidase (XOD) activity, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine were recorded. Real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and Western blot were exploited to assay RNA and protein expressions of organic anion transporter 1 (OAT1), glucose transporter 9 (GLUT9), uric acid transporter 1 (URAT1), and gastrointestinal concentrative nucleoside transporter 2 (CNT2). DHAP at 20, 40, and 80 mg/kg exerted excellent hypouricemic action on hyperuricemic mice, reducing SUA from hyperuricemic control (407 ± 31 μmol/L, p < 0.01) to 180 ± 29, 144 ± 13, and 139 ± 31 μmol/L, respectively. In contrast to the renal toxic allopurinol, DHAP showed some kidney-protective effects. Moreover, its suppression on XOD activity, in vivo and in vitro, suggested that XOD inhibition may be a mechanism for its hypouricemic effect. Given this, its binding mode to XOD was explored by molecular docking and revealed that three hydrogen bonds may play key roles in its binding and orientation. It upregulated OAT1 and downregulated GLUT9, URAT1, and CNT2 too. In summary, its hypouricemic effect may be mediated by regulation of XOD, OAT1, GLUT9, URAT1, and CNT2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
Protective Effect of Artemisia argyi and Its Flavonoid Constituents against Contrast-Induced Cytotoxicity by Iodixanol in LLC-PK1 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1387; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051387 - 07 May 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Preventive effects and corresponding molecular mechanisms of mugwort (Artemisia argyi) extract and its flavonoid constituents on contrast-induced nephrotoxicity were explored in the present study. We treated cultured LLC-PK1 cells with iodixanol to induce contrast-induced nephrotoxicity, and found that A. argyi extracts [...] Read more.
Preventive effects and corresponding molecular mechanisms of mugwort (Artemisia argyi) extract and its flavonoid constituents on contrast-induced nephrotoxicity were explored in the present study. We treated cultured LLC-PK1 cells with iodixanol to induce contrast-induced nephrotoxicity, and found that A. argyi extracts ameliorated the reduction in cellular viability following iodixanol treatment. The anti-apoptotic effect of A. argyi extracts on contrast-induced nephrotoxicity was mediated by the inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation and the activation of caspases. The flavonoid compounds isolated from A. argyi improved the viability of iodixanol-treated cells against contrast-induced nephrotoxicity. Seven compounds (1, 2, 3, 15, 16, 18, and 19) from 19 flavonoids exerted a significant protective effect. Based on the in silico oral-bioavailability and drug-likeness assessment, which evaluate the drug potential of these compounds, compound 2 (artemetin) showed the highest oral bioavailability (49.55%) and drug-likeness (0.48) values. We further investigated the compound–target–disease network of compound 2, and proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) emerged as a predicted key marker for the treatment of contrast-induced nephrotoxicity. Consequently, compound 2 was the preferred candidate, and its protective effect was mediated by inhibiting the contrast-induced inflammatory response through activation of PPAR-γ and inhibition of MAPK phosphorylation and activation of caspases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
Liu Jun Zi Tang—A Potential, Multi-Herbal Complementary Therapy for Chemotherapy-Induced Neurotoxicity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041258 - 23 Apr 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Liu Jun Zi Tang (LJZT) has been used to treat functional dyspepsia and depression, suggesting its effects on gastrointestinal and neurological functions. LJZT is currently used as a complementary therapy to attenuate cisplatin-induced side effects, such as dyspepsia. However, its effect on chemotherapy-induced [...] Read more.
Liu Jun Zi Tang (LJZT) has been used to treat functional dyspepsia and depression, suggesting its effects on gastrointestinal and neurological functions. LJZT is currently used as a complementary therapy to attenuate cisplatin-induced side effects, such as dyspepsia. However, its effect on chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain or neurotoxicity has rarely been studied. Thus, we explored potential mechanisms underlying LJZT protection against cisplatin-induced neurotoxicity. We observed that LJZT attenuated cisplatin-induced thermal hyperalgesia in mice and apoptosis in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, it also attenuated cisplatin-induced cytosolic and mitochondrial free radical formation, reversed the cisplatin-induced decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, and increased the release of mitochondrial pro-apoptotic factors. LJZT not only activated the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) promoter region, but also attenuated the cisplatin-induced reduction of PGC-1α expression. Silencing of the PGC-1α gene counteracted the protection of LJZT. Taken together, LJZT mediated, through anti-oxidative effect and mitochondrial function regulation, to prevent cisplatin-induced neurotoxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
Activation of ER Stress-Dependent miR-216b Has a Critical Role in Salvia miltiorrhiza Ethanol-Extract-Induced Apoptosis in U266 and U937 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1240; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041240 - 19 Apr 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Although Salvia miltiorrhiza has been reported to have anti-cancer mechanisms, such as caspase activation, cell cycle arrest, an anti-angiogenesis effect, and Bcl-2 family regulation, its underlying mechanism of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated apoptosis has never been demonstrated. Thus, in this current study, ER [...] Read more.
Although Salvia miltiorrhiza has been reported to have anti-cancer mechanisms, such as caspase activation, cell cycle arrest, an anti-angiogenesis effect, and Bcl-2 family regulation, its underlying mechanism of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated apoptosis has never been demonstrated. Thus, in this current study, ER stress-related apoptosis via miR-216b of the ethanol extract of Salvia miltiorrhiza (SM) is elucidated for the first time. SM treatment inhibited the viability of U266 and U937 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. However, SM-exposed Raw264.7 cells were intact compared to U266 or U937 cells. Treatment with SM significantly elevated the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The anti-proliferative effect of SM was reversed by pretreatment with the ROS scavenger, N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), compared to cells treated only with SM. Also, SM treatment increased the ER stress by elevation of phosphorylated activating transcription factor 4 (p-ATF4), phosphorylated eukaryotic Initiation Factor 2 (p-eIF2), and phosphorylated protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (p-PERK) expression. Caspase-3 and Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) were cleaved and CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) was activated by SM treatment. PARP cleavage and CHOP activation were attenuated by NAC pretreatment. Furthermore, SM increased the tumor suppressor, miR-216b, and suppressed its target, c-Jun. miR-216b inhibitor attenuated the apoptotic effect of SM. Taken together, SM treatment induced apoptosis through regulation of miR-216b and ROS/ER stress pathways. SM could be a potential drug for treatment of multiple myeloma and myeloid leukemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
miR-211 Plays a Critical Role in Cnidium officinale Makino Extract-Induced, ROS/ER Stress-Mediated Apoptosis in U937 and U266 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030865 - 15 Mar 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Though Cnidium officinale Makino (COM) was known to have anti-angiogenic, anti-oxidant, neuroprotective, and anti-cancer effects, the underlying anticancer mechanism of COM using endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and miRNA remained unclear until now. Thus, in the current study, the inhibitory mechanism of COM in [...] Read more.
Though Cnidium officinale Makino (COM) was known to have anti-angiogenic, anti-oxidant, neuroprotective, and anti-cancer effects, the underlying anticancer mechanism of COM using endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and miRNA remained unclear until now. Thus, in the current study, the inhibitory mechanism of COM in lymphoma and multiple myeloma (MM) cells was elucidated. COM exerted cytotoxicity in U937 and U266 but not Raw264.7 cells. COM treatment increased the expression of ER stress-related proteins such as p-protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (p-PERK), p-eukaryotic initiation factor (p-eIF2α), and activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP). COM also cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) in a dose-dependent manner in both cells. Also, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was elevated by COM treatment. Conversely, the apoptotic effect of COM treatment was blocked by N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) pretreatment. Also, the pro-survival miRNA, miR-211 was decreased by COM treatment in U937 and U266 cells. miR-211 mimic attenuated COM-induced apoptosis. Taken together, these results support the scientific evidence that COM induces apoptosis via ROS generation/CHOP activation and miR-211 suppression in U937 and U266 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
The Cyanthin Diterpenoid and Sesterterpene Constituents of Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Ameliorate Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Pathologies in APP/PS1 Transgenic Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020598 - 17 Feb 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Hericium erinaceus was used in traditional Chinese medicine for physiologically beneficial medicines. Recently, it has become a candidate in causing positive brain health-related activities. We previously reported that Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related pathologies. To reveal the role of the cyanthin [...] Read more.
Hericium erinaceus was used in traditional Chinese medicine for physiologically beneficial medicines. Recently, it has become a candidate in causing positive brain health-related activities. We previously reported that Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related pathologies. To reveal the role of the cyanthin diterpenoid and sesterterpene constituents on this effects, erinacine A and S were isolated and their effects on attenuating AD-related pathology in APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice were investigated. A 30 day short-term administration of erinacine A and S were performed to explore the effect of each erinacine on AD-related pathology including amyloid β production and degradation, plaque formation, plaque growth, glial activation and neurogenesis deterioration. Our results indicated the benefit effects of both erinacine A and S in cerebrum of APPswe/PS1dE9 mice, including: (1) attenuating cerebral plaque loading by inhibiting plaque growth; (2) diminishing the activation of glial cells; (3) raising the level of insulin degrading enzyme; and (4) promoting hippocampal neurogenesis. Moreover, erinacine A reduced the level of insoluble amyloid β and C-terminal fragment of amyloid precursor protein which was not mediated by erinacine S. We further performed a long term administration of erinacine A and found that erinacine A recovered the impairment in the tasks including burrowing, nesting, and Morris water maze. Our data pointed out that although both erinacine A and S reduce AD pathology via reducing amyloid deposition and promoting neurogenesis, erinacine A can also inhibit amyloid β production and is worth to be further developed for AD therapeutic use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
The Neuroprotective Effects of Cinnamic Aldehyde in an MPTP Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020551 - 12 Feb 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Cinnamic aldehyde (CA), a key flavor compound in cinnamon essential oil, has been identified as an anti-oxidant, anti-angiogenic, and anti-inflammatory material. Recently, the neuroprotective effects of CA have been reported in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease (PD). In neurons, autophagy is tightly [...] Read more.
Cinnamic aldehyde (CA), a key flavor compound in cinnamon essential oil, has been identified as an anti-oxidant, anti-angiogenic, and anti-inflammatory material. Recently, the neuroprotective effects of CA have been reported in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease (PD). In neurons, autophagy is tightly regulated, and consequently, the dysregulation of autophagy may induce neurodegenerative disorders. In the present study, we found that the selective dopaminergic neuronal death in the substantia nigra of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse models was prevented by CA. Stimulation of microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) puncta mediated by MPTP treatment was decreased by CA. Moreover, down-regulated p62 in the substantia nigra of MPTP mice was increased by administration of CA. Finally, we showed that blockage of autophagy using autophagy inhibitors protected the 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-mediated death of BE(2)-M17 cells. Together these results suggest that CA has a neuroprotective effect in a PD model and that inhibition of autophagy might be a promising therapeutic target for PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
Ethanol Extract of Oldenlandia diffusa Herba Attenuates Scopolamine-Induced Cognitive Impairments in Mice via Activation of BDNF, P-CREB and Inhibition of Acetylcholinesterase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020363 - 25 Jan 2018
Cited by 8Correction
Abstract
Though Oldenlandia diffusa Herba (ODH) has been known to exhibit anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects, its anti-amnestic effect has never been reported so far. The aim of this present study was to elucidate the anti-amnestic effect of ODH. ODH pretreatment significantly reduced escape latency [...] Read more.
Though Oldenlandia diffusa Herba (ODH) has been known to exhibit anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects, its anti-amnestic effect has never been reported so far. The aim of this present study was to elucidate the anti-amnestic effect of ODH. ODH pretreatment significantly reduced escape latency of scopolamine treated Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice compared to untreated control groups in a Morris water maze test. Similarly, the passive avoidance test showed that ODH treatment recovered the scopolamine induced amnesia in the ICR mouse model. Concentration of Ach in brains of ODH treated mice was increased compared to that of scopolamine treated mice. In addition, activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) was notably decreased by ODH. The protein expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and phospho-cAMP response element-binding protein (p-CREB) (Ser133) was increased in ODH pretreated group compared to control group. Consistently, immunohistochemistry (IHC) revealed the elevated expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and p-CREB in brains of ODH treated mice compared to the control group. Overall, these findings suggest that ODH has anti-amnestic potential via activation of BDNF and p-CREB and inhibition of AChE in mice with scopolamine induced amnesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
Compatibility with Panax notoginseng and Rehmannia glutinosa Alleviates the Hepatotoxicity and Nephrotoxicity of Tripterygium wilfordii via Modulating the Pharmacokinetics of Triptolide
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010305 - 19 Jan 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Tripterygium wilfordii (TW) and the representative active component triptolide show positive therapeutic effect on the autoimmune disorders and simultaneously ineluctable hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Combinational application of Panax notoginseng (PN) and Rehmannia glutinosa (RG) weakens the toxicity of TW according the clinical application of [...] Read more.
Tripterygium wilfordii (TW) and the representative active component triptolide show positive therapeutic effect on the autoimmune disorders and simultaneously ineluctable hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Combinational application of Panax notoginseng (PN) and Rehmannia glutinosa (RG) weakens the toxicity of TW according the clinical application of traditional Chinese medicine. This article was aimed at the mechanism of decreasing toxicity of TW by the combinational application of PN and RG. Biochemical and pathohistological analysis were utilized to assess the toxicity on liver and kidney in rats administrated with TW, TW-PN, TW-RG and TW-PN-RG for 3 and 7 days. Meanwhile, the pharmacokinetics profiling of triptolide and wilforlide A was determined based on the plasma concentration analyzed by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). TW-induced alkaline phosphatase (ALP), the marker for liver injury, was enhanced from 22.83 ± 1.29 to 40.73 ± 1.42 King’s unit/100 mL (p < 0.01) at day 7. TW-PN-RG decreased the serum ALP of TW-treated rats at 30.15 ± 1.27 King’s unit/100 mL (p < 0.01). For nephrotoxicity, TW pronouncedly elevated serum creatinine (SCr) in rats from 20.33 ± 1.77 to 49.82 ± 2.35 μmol/L (p < 0.01). However, rats treated with TW-PN-RG showed lower SCr at 30.48 ± 1.98 μmol/L (p < 0.01). Moreover, TW-PN-RG significantly decreased the TW-induced elevation of total bilirubin (T-BIL), alanine amino transferase (ALT), aspartate amino transferase (AST), blood urea nitrogen (Bun), and reversed the TW-resulted pathohistological characteristics of liver and kidney. The delayed time to reach Cmax (Tmax) and reduced maximum concentration (Cmax) and area under plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) of triptolide and wilforlide A were explored in rats with combinational formulas. Synergism of PN and RG obviously prolonged the half-life (t1/2) and apparent volume of distribution (Vd), but exerted no action on the clearance rate. The compatibility of TW, PN and RG influences intracorporal process of both triptolide and wilforlide A on the steps of absorption and tissue distribution contributing to less toxicity of TW on liver and kidney. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
The Screening of Anticholinergic Accumulation by Traditional Chinese Medicine
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010018 - 21 Dec 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Many Western drugs can give rise to serious side effects due to their ability to bind to acetylcholine receptors in the brain. This aggravates when they are combined, which is known as anticholinergic accumulation (AA). Some bioactives in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are [...] Read more.
Many Western drugs can give rise to serious side effects due to their ability to bind to acetylcholine receptors in the brain. This aggravates when they are combined, which is known as anticholinergic accumulation (AA). Some bioactives in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are known to block acetylcholine receptors and thus potentially cause AA. The AA of TCM was screened by quantifying the displacement of [3H] pirenzepine on acetylcholine receptors in a rat brain homogenate. We used a new unit to express AA, namely the Total Atropine Equivalents (TOAT). The TOAT of various herbs used in TCM was very diverse and even negative for some herbs. This is indicative for the broadness of the pallet of ingredients used in TCM. Three TCM formulas were screened for AA: Ma Huang Decotion (MHD), Antiasthma Simplified Herbal Medicine intervention (ASHMI), and Yu Ping Feng San (YPFS). The TOAT of ASHMI was indicative for an additive effect of herbs used in it. Nevertheless, it can be calculated that one dose of ASHMI is probably too low to cause AA. The TOAT of YPFS was practically zero. This points to a protective interaction of AA. Remarkably, MHD gave a negative TOAT, indicating that the binding to the acetylcholine receptors was increased, which also circumvents AA. In conclusion, our results indicate that TCM is not prone to give AA and support that there is an intricate interaction between the various bioactives in TCM to cure diseases with minimal side effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessArticle
Tussilagone Inhibits the Inflammatory Response and Improves Survival in CLP-Induced Septic Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122744 - 18 Dec 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Tussilagone, extracted from Tussilago farfara is an oriental medicine used for asthma and bronchitis. We investigated its mechanism of action, its inhibitory effects on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in macrophages, and its impact on viability in a cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced mouse model of [...] Read more.
Tussilagone, extracted from Tussilago farfara is an oriental medicine used for asthma and bronchitis. We investigated its mechanism of action, its inhibitory effects on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in macrophages, and its impact on viability in a cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced mouse model of sepsis. Tussilagone suppressed the expression of the inflammatory mediators, nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2, and the inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells and peritoneal macrophages. Tussilagone also reduced the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) involved in the activation of various inflammatory mediators in activated macrophages. Moreover, tussilagone administration (1 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg) produced decreased mortality and lung injury in CLP-activated septic mice. Augmented expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and TNF-α in pulmonary alveolar macrophages of septic mice were attenuated by tussilagone administration. Tussilagone also suppressed the induction of nitric oxide, prostaglandin E2, TNF-α and HMGB1 in the serum of the septic mice. Overall, tussilagone exhibited protective effects against inflammation and polymicrobial sepsis by suppressing inflammatory mediators possibly via the inhibition of NF-κB activation and the MAP kinase pathway. These results suggest the possible use of tussilagone for developing novel therapeutic modalities for sepsis and other inflammatory diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Pharmacological Potential of Sea Cucumbers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051342 - 02 May 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
This review presents a detailed analysis of published research data focused on the pharmacological activity exerted by biologically active compounds isolated from sea cucumbers belonging to the class of Holothuroidea, phylum Echinodermata. The review contains descriptions of the structure, physico-chemical properties and pharmacological [...] Read more.
This review presents a detailed analysis of published research data focused on the pharmacological activity exerted by biologically active compounds isolated from sea cucumbers belonging to the class of Holothuroidea, phylum Echinodermata. The review contains descriptions of the structure, physico-chemical properties and pharmacological effects of these active substances. Particular attention is given to compounds with anticoagulant, antithrombotic, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-infectious, immune-stimulating and anti-ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) activities as well as to the substances exerting a regulating influence on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. All these compounds may be considered as prototypes for development of new pharmaceutical substances and medicines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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Open AccessCorrection
Lee, J.E. et al. Ethanol Extract of Oldenlandia diffusa Herba Attenuates Scopolamine-Induced Cognitive Impairments in Mice via Activation of BDNF, P-CREB and Inhibition of Acetylcholinesterase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040996 - 27 Mar 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [1].[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine – Unraveling Its Molecular Mechanism)
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