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Special Issue "Traditional Medicine: Connecting West and East"

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 (17 November 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Guido R.M.M. Haenen
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
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,

Despite similarities, Western medicine and Eastern medicine are very different because they are built on different fundamental principles. Both have their merits as well as their limitations. The general idea that now arises is that both types of medicine are complementary and that we could benefit by connecting Western and Eastern medicine to get the best of both systems. To create a bridge, we should focus on similarities that inspire one to further unravel the molecular mechanism of the mode of action and toxicity of Eastern medicine. The energy perspective, for example, provides a basis to integrate Eastern and Western medicine.

Prof. Dr. Guido R.M.M. Haenen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Connecting West and East
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(9), 2333; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20092333 - 11 May 2019
Abstract
Despite their similarities, Western medicine and Eastern medicine are very different because they are built on different fundamentals. The general idea has arisen that we will benefit by connecting Western and Eastern medicine. First, both the merits as well as the limitations of [...] Read more.
Despite their similarities, Western medicine and Eastern medicine are very different because they are built on different fundamentals. The general idea has arisen that we will benefit by connecting Western and Eastern medicine. First, both the merits as well as the limitations of both types of medicine are discussed. It was concluded that to create a bridge, we should focus on similarities that inspire the further unravelling of the molecular mechanism of the mode of action and toxicity of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is suggested that the energy perspective provides a basis to integrate Eastern and Western medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine: Connecting West and East)
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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Deep-Fried Atractylodis Rhizoma Protects against Spleen Deficiency-Induced Diarrhea through Regulating Intestinal Inflammatory Response and Gut Microbiota
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010124 - 23 Dec 2019
Abstract
According to the theories of traditional Chinese medicine, spleen deficiency often leads to diarrhea, and deep-fried Atractylodis Rhizoma (DAR) is commonly used for the treatment. However, the association between spleen deficiency and diarrhea remains unclear. The present study aimed to investigate the therapeutic [...] Read more.
According to the theories of traditional Chinese medicine, spleen deficiency often leads to diarrhea, and deep-fried Atractylodis Rhizoma (DAR) is commonly used for the treatment. However, the association between spleen deficiency and diarrhea remains unclear. The present study aimed to investigate the therapeutic effect of DAR for the treatment of diarrhea caused by spleen deficiency and analyze the related mechanisms. It was found that a high dose group of an ethanolic extract of deep-fried Atractylodis Rhizoma (EEDAR-H) significantly inhibited weight loss, diarrhea, and pathological changes in colon tissue induced by rhubarb. EEDAR-H was found to significantly reduce the level of intestinal inflammatory cytokines and increase the expression of gastrointestinal motility hormones. In addition, EEDAR-H significantly increased the expression of aquaporin 3 (AQP3) and aquaporin 8 (AQP8) and restored abnormal water metabolism; Shen-Ling-Bai-Zhu-San (SLBZS) induced the same effect as EEDAR-H. Additional tests on the mechanism found that EEDAR-H and SLBZS promoted the integrity of the intestinal barrier. Both significantly increased the expression of the tight junction protein ZO-1 and Occludin, inhibited the phosphorylation of p38MAPK and MLC, and significantly reduced the expression levels of PAR-2. Analysis of the gut microbiota indicated that overall changes in its structure were reversed after treatment with EEDAR-H or SLBZS, in addition to significant modulation of the abundance of different phyla. At the genus level, EEDAR-H or SLBZS significantly reduced the levels of potential pathogens and increased those of beneficial bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine: Connecting West and East)
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Open AccessArticle
Therapeutic and Protective Effects of Liposomal Encapsulation of Astaxanthin in Mice with Alcoholic Liver Fibrosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4057; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164057 - 20 Aug 2019
Abstract
Astaxanthin (Asta) has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and free radical-clearing activities. However, the poor stability and low water solubility of Asta hamper its bioavailability. The objectives of this study were to fabricate Asta-loaded liposomes (Asta-lipo) and investigate the therapeutic effects of [...] Read more.
Astaxanthin (Asta) has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and free radical-clearing activities. However, the poor stability and low water solubility of Asta hamper its bioavailability. The objectives of this study were to fabricate Asta-loaded liposomes (Asta-lipo) and investigate the therapeutic effects of Asta-lipo on alcoholic liver fibrosis in mice. The mice were administered with Asta-lipo or liposomes alone prior to a 3-week dose containing 30% alcohol with or without feeding with a second dose of 30% alcohol. The prepared Asta-lipo of 225.0 ± 58.3 nm in diameter, had an encapsulation efficiency of 98%. A slow release profile of 16.2% Asta from Asta-lipo was observed after a 24-h incubation. Restorative actions against alcoholic liver fibrosis were observed after oral administration of Asta-lipo for 4 weeks. Hepatic repair, followed by a second dose of 30% alcohol, suggested that Asta-lipo exerted protective and reparative effects against liver injuries induced by repeated consumption of alcohol. The changes of serum ALT and AST values were principally in consistence with the histopathologic findings. Asta-lipo exerted rapid and direct effects against repeated alcohol-induced liver disease, whereas Asta-lipo given orally could boost recovery from liver injuries obtained due to previous long-term alcohol use. These data demonstrate that Asta-lipo has applicable protective and therapeutic potential to treat alcohol-induced liver diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine: Connecting West and East)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcription Factor OpWRKY3 Is Involved in the Development and Biosynthesis of Camptothecin and Its Precursors in Ophiorrhiza pumila Hairy Roots
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 3996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20163996 - 16 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The plant Ophiorrhiza pumila produces camptothecin (CPT), a kind of terpene indole alkaloid (TIAs) that has been widely used in treatment of cancer. Tryptophan-arginine-lysine-tyrosine (WRKY) transcription factors have been reported to play important roles in plant metabolism and development. In this study, a [...] Read more.
The plant Ophiorrhiza pumila produces camptothecin (CPT), a kind of terpene indole alkaloid (TIAs) that has been widely used in treatment of cancer. Tryptophan-arginine-lysine-tyrosine (WRKY) transcription factors have been reported to play important roles in plant metabolism and development. In this study, a novel WRKY transcription factor named OpWRKY3 was isolated from O. pumila, with full-length open reading frame (ORF) of 1128 bp, encoding 375 amino acids. Phylogenetic tree analysis revealed that OpWRKY3 shared the highest homology with VvWRKY30, and it is a significant feature belonging to group III. OpWRKY3 was responsive to various treatments, including gibberellin (GA3), methyl jasmonate (MJ), acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), salicylic acid (SA), and abscisic acid (ABA). Besides, OpWRKY3 is expressed predominantly in stems. Subcellular localization analysis showed that OpWRKY3 localized in the nucleus. The biomass of OpWRKY3-SRDX transgenic hairy roots (S line) was visibly suppressed, while there were slight changes between overexpression of the OpWRKY3 line (OE line) and the control. In addition, the concentration and total production of camptothecin precursors including loganin and secologanin were significantly changed in both OE and S lines while total production of CPT was significantly changed in most transgenic lines. Thus, the present work revealed that OpWRKY3 may act as a regulator in the growth and development of O. pumila, and in production of camptothecin and its precursors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine: Connecting West and East)
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Open AccessArticle
Thymoquinone-Induced Tristetraprolin Inhibits Tumor Growth and Metastasis through Destabilization of MUC4 mRNA
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2614; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20112614 - 28 May 2019
Abstract
Tristetraprolin (TTP), a well-characterized AU-rich element (ARE) binding protein, functions as a tumor suppressor gene. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a bioactive substance derived from a natural medicinal plant affects the induction of TTP and to elucidate its mechanism. [...] Read more.
Tristetraprolin (TTP), a well-characterized AU-rich element (ARE) binding protein, functions as a tumor suppressor gene. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a bioactive substance derived from a natural medicinal plant affects the induction of TTP and to elucidate its mechanism. We examined the effects of natural bioactive materials including Resveratrol (RSV), thymoquinone (TQ) and curcumin on the expression of TTP in cancer cell. TQ derived from a natural plant Nigella sativa increased the expression levels of TTP mRNA and proteins in a dose-dependent manner in gastric and breast cancer cells. TQ-induced TTP increased the instability of MUC4 mRNA by direct binding of TTP to ARE in the 3′UTR of MUC4 mRNA. The induction of TTP by TQ also reduced the proliferation, migration and invasion of cancer cells. The expression of the epithelial-mesenchymal (EMT)-related genes, which were target genes of TTP, was also decreased by the TQ treatment. In the in vivo experiments using mouse melanoma cells, TQ-induced TTP inhibited metastasis of tumor cells. We have found that TQ-induced TTP might inhibit metastasis by reducing tumor cell migration and invasion through destabilization of MUC4 mRNA, which suggest the MUC4 as a novel target to TTP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine: Connecting West and East)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
An Update on Pharmacological Potential of Boswellic Acids against Chronic Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(17), 4101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20174101 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Natural compounds, in recent years, have attracted significant attention for their use in the prevention and treatment of diverse chronic diseases as they are devoid of major toxicities. Boswellic acid (BA), a series of pentacyclic triterpene molecules, is isolated from the gum resin [...] Read more.
Natural compounds, in recent years, have attracted significant attention for their use in the prevention and treatment of diverse chronic diseases as they are devoid of major toxicities. Boswellic acid (BA), a series of pentacyclic triterpene molecules, is isolated from the gum resin of Boswellia serrata and Boswellia carteri. It proved to be one such agent that has exhibited efficacy against various chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes, asthma, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, etc. The molecular targets attributed to its wide range of biological activities include transcription factors, kinases, enzymes, receptors, growth factors, etc. The present review is an attempt to demonstrate the diverse pharmacological uses of BA, along with its underlying molecular mechanism of action against different ailments. Further, this review also discusses the roadblocks associated with the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of this promising compound and strategies to overcome those limitations for developing it as an effective drug for the clinical management of chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traditional Medicine: Connecting West and East)
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