Antidiarrheal Activity of Hydromethanolic Root Extract and Solvent Fractions of Clutia abyssinica Jaub. & Spach. (Euphorbiaceae) in MiceRead the full article
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Analysis of the Mechanism of Zhichuanling Oral Liquid in Treating Bronchial Asthma Based on Network Pharmacology
Zhichuanling oral liquid (ZOL) as a preparation of traditional Chinese medicine is widely used for the treatment of asthma in China; therefore, it is necessary to systematically clarify bioactive chemical ingredients and the mechanism of action of ZOL. Information on ZOL ingredients and asthma-related targets was collected, and we used the latest systematic pharmacological methods to construct protein-protein interaction network and compound-target network and then visualized them. Finally, GO and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis was conducted through the clusterProfiler package in the R software. The results showed that 58 bioactive ingredients and 42 potential targets of ZOL related to asthma were identified, following six important components and nine hub genes screened. Further cluster and enrichment analysis suggested that NF-κB signaling pathway, PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, IL-17 signaling pathway, Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, and TNF signaling pathway might be core pathways of ZOL for asthma. Our work successfully predicted the active ingredients and potential targets of ZOL and provided the explanation for the mechanism of action of ZOL for asthma through the systematic analysis, which suggested that ZOL played a major role in many ways including reducing airway inflammation and inhibiting airway remodeling and mucus secretion. Moreover, ZOL combined with glucocorticoids may have some effects on severe asthma.
Human Tongue Thermography Could Be a Prognostic Tool for Prescreening the Type II Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is one of the life threatening diseases over the globe, and an early prediction of diabetes is of utmost importance in this current scenario. International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reported nearly half of the world’s population was undiagnosed and unaware of being developed into diabetes. In 2017, around 84 million individuals were living with diabetes, and it might increase to 156 million by the end of 2045 stated by IDF. Generally, the diagnosis of diabetes relies on the biochemical method that may cause uneasiness and probability of infections to the subjects. To overcome such difficulties, a noninvasive method is much needed around the globe for primary screening. A change in body temperature is an indication of various diseases. Infrared thermal imaging is relatively a novel technique for skin temperature measurement and turned out to be well known in the medical field due to being noninvasive, risk-free, and repeatable. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the human tongue is a sensitive mirror that reflects the body’s pathophysiological condition. So, we have (i) analysed and classified diabetes based on thermal variations at human tongue, (ii) segmented the hot spot regions from tongue thermogram by RGB (red, green, blue) based color histogram image segmentation method and extracted the features using gray level co-occurrence matrix algorithm, (iii) classified normal and diabetes using various machine learning algorithms, and (iv) developed computer aided diagnostic system to classify diabetes mellitus. The baseline measurements and tongue thermograms were obtained from 140 subjects. The measured tongue surface temperature of the diabetic group was found to be greater than normal. The statistical correlation between the HbA1c and the thermal distribution in the tongue region was found to be r2 = 0.5688. The Convolutional Neural Network has outperformed the other classifiers with 94.28% accuracy rate. Thus, tongue thermograms could be used as a preliminary screening approach for diabetes prognosis.
The Total Flavonoid Extract from Glycyrrhiza inflat Bat. Suppresses Atrophic Gastritis in Rats through the Akt/MAPK Pathway
Ethnopharmacological Relevance. Glycyrrhiza inflat Bat. is widely used to treat gastric ulcer and gastritis in clinic in China. Aim of the Study. To investigate the protective effects and possible mechanisms of the total flavonoid extract (TFE) from G. inflat Bat. on atrophic gastritis (AG) rats. Materials and Methods. The rat AG model was established by providing sodium deoxycholate and alcohol, and then, AG rats were treated with TFE for 30 days. Pathologic changes in gastric specimens were observed using hematoxylin and eosin staining, and the capability of gastric mucosa to secrete mucus was examined by alcian blue-periodic acid Schiff staining. Apoptosis induction in gastric tissues was measured by the TUNEL assay. The expressions of Bcl-2, Bax, and proteins in the Akt/MAPK pathway in gastric tissues were examined by immunohistochemistry and/or Western blotting. Results. Compared with the AG group, TFE attenuated the damage of gastric mucosa as reflected by the thickening of the lamina propria and the thinning of the muscularis mucosae. Moreover, TFE induced apoptosis in gastric mucosa with increasing Bax/Bcl-2 expression ratio. Concomitantly, the degrees of p-ErkThr202/Tyr204 and p-AktThr308 were decreased, whereas those of p-p38Thr180/Tyr182 and p-JNKThr183/Tyr185 were increased. Conclusion. We demonstrated the anti-AG effect of G. inflat Bat. in vivo and elucidated the underlying mechanisms that involve gastric mucosa protection through the Akt/MAPK pathway. The study provides a rationale for the application of G. inflat Bat. in the treatment of AG.
Efficacy and Safety of Tanshinone for Chronic Kidney Disease: A Meta-Analysis
Objective. To systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of tanshinone for chronic kidney disease (CKD). Methods. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the treatment of CKD using tanshinone were searched using 4 Chinese databases (China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Value In Paper (VIP), Wanfang, and Chinese Biology Medicine (CBM)) and 3 English databases (PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Excerpta Medica Database (Embase)). The results included data on blood urine nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine (Scr), glomerular filtration rate (GFR), 24 h urine protein, microalbuminuria (mALB), β2-macroglobulin (β2-MG), cystatin C (CysC), and safety events. The data were analyzed using Revman 5.3 and Stata 12.0 software. Results. Twenty-one studies were entered into this meta-analysis, which involved 1857 patients including 954 cases from the tanshinone treatment group and 903 cases from the control group. BUN levels in the tanshinone treatment group were significantly reduced compared with the control (standardized mean difference (SMD) = −0.65, 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.81 to −0.49, ). In addition, subgroup analysis indicated that tanshinone had a significant effect in reducing Scr levels at 14, 21, and 28 days. Scr levels in the tanshinone treatment group were significantly reduced compared with the control group (SMD = −1.40, 95% CI: −2.09 to −0.71, ); subgroup analysis based on treatment time also yielded the same results. GFR in the tanshinone treatment group was better than that in the control group (SMD = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.59 to 1.07, ). In terms of urine protein levels, 24 h urine protein level, mALB, and β2-MG of CKD patients were reduced to some degree compared with controls, and CysC levels in the tanshinone treatment group were also significantly reduced compared with the control group (SMD = −0.24, 95% CI: −0.44 to −0.03, ). Safety in the tanshinone treatment group did not differ significantly from that of the control group (risk ratio (RR) = 7.78, 95% CI: 0.99 to 61.05, ). Conclusion. This meta-analysis showed that tanshinone could control urine protein level in CKD patients, improve kidney function, and delay the evolution of CKD without significant side effects. However, the results were limited and should be interpreted with caution because of the low quality of the included studies. In the future, more rigorous clinical trials need to be conducted to provide sufficient and accurate evidence.
Cordyceps cicadae Prevents Renal Tubular Epithelial Cell Apoptosis by Regulating the SIRT1/p53 Pathway in Hypertensive Renal Injury
Hypertensive renal injury is a primary etiology of end-stage renal disease, and satisfactory therapeutic strategies are urgently required. Cordyceps cicadae, a traditional Chinese herb, has potential renoprotective benefits and is widely used in the treatment of many kidney diseases. To investigate the mechanisms underlying the renoprotective effect of C. cicadae on hypertensive renal injury, we studied the effect of C. cicadae on tubular epithelial cells (TECs) in a spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) model and angiotensin II- (AngII-) cultured primary TECs. Our study showed that C. cicadae treatment could decrease 24-hour urine albumin, albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR), β2-MG level, and kidney injury molecule-1 (kim-1) level in SHR urine, alleviate interstitial fibrosis, and reduce α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression in SHR kidney. In primary TECs, medicated serum containing C. cicadae (CSM) might significantly reduce the AngII-induced production of kim-1 and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL). Furthermore, C. cicadae treatment could decrease TEC apoptosis in SHRs as assessed by the terminal transferase-mediated biotin dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. CSM could inhibit caspase-3 activity and enhance cellular viability as measured by methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium in AngII-cultured TECs, suggesting that CSM might reduce the apoptosis level in TECs induced by AngII. We found that the SIRT1 expression level was markedly lowered, while the protein level of acetylated-p53 was elevated in the TECs of patients with hypertensive renal injury and SHRs. C. cicadae presented the effect of regulating the SIRT1/p53 pathway. Further SIRT1 inhibition with EX527 reversed the effect of C. cicadae on AngII-induced apoptosis. Taken together, our results indicate that C. cicadae offers a protective effect on TECs under hypertensive conditions, which may be related to its antiapoptotic effect through regulation of the SIRT1/p53 pathway.
Skin Hydration Effects of Scale-Up Fermented Cyclopia intermedia against Ultraviolet B-Induced Damage in Keratinocyte Cells and Hairless Mice
Photoaging occurs by chronic skin exposure to the sun and ultraviolet irradiation and leads to skin aging accompanied by a lack of skin hydration. We previously demonstrated the photoprotective effect of fermented Cyclopia intermedia (honeybush) extract on the skin. In this study, we evaluated the skin hydration effects of scaled-up fermented honeybush extract (HU-018) against ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation in HaCaT immortalized human keratinocytes and hairless mice. Pretreating HaCaT cells with HU-018 attenuated the decreased hyaluronic acid (HA) levels and mRNA expression of genes encoding involucrin, filaggrin, and loricrin by UVB irradiation. HU-018 treatment also ameliorated the decreased stratum corneum (SC) hydration and the increased levels of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and erythema index (EI) in hairless mice after UVB exposure. Microarray analysis revealed changes in gene expression patterns of hyaluronan synthase 2 (Has2), transforming growth factor-beta 3 (TGF-β3), and elastin induced by HU-018 in UVB-irradiated mice. Consistently, the mRNA expression of Has2, TGF-β3, and elastin was increased by HU-018 treatment. Moreover, HU-018 restored the increased epidermal thickness and collagen disorganization in skin tissue of UVB-irradiated mice. HU-018 treatment also decreased matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression and increased procollagen type-1, elastin, and TGF-β1 expression. In conclusion, we found that HU-018 promoted skin hydration processes in UVB-irradiated keratinocytes and hairless mice by modulating involucrin, filaggrin, loricrin, and HA expression and ameliorating visible signs of photoaging. Thus, HU-018 may be a good skin hydration agent for skin care.