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Bi C.W.C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Xu L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhang W.L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhan J.Y.X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | And 9 more authors.
Planta Medica | Year: 2012

Fo Shou San (FSS) is an ancient herbal decoction composed of Angelicae Sinensis Radix (ASR; Danggui) and Chuanxiong Rhizoma (CR; Chuanxiong) in a ratio of 3:2. FSS is mainly prescribed for patients having a deficiency of blood supply, and it indeed has been shown to stimulate the production of erythropoietin (EPO) in cultured cells. In order to reveal the mechanism of this FSS-induced EPO gene expression, the upstream regulatory cascade, via hypoxia-induced signaling, was revealed here in cultured hepatocellular carcinoma cell line Hep3B. The induction of EPO gene expression, triggered by FSS, was revealed in cultured hepatocytes by: (i) the increase of EPO mRNA; and (ii) the activation of the hypoxia response element (HRE), an upstream regulator of the EPO gene. The FSS-induced EPO gene expression was triggered by an increased expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) protein; however, the mRNA expression of HIF-1 was not altered by the treatment of FSS. The increased HIF-1 was a result of reduced protein degradation after the FSS treatment. The current results therefore provide one of the molecular mechanisms of this ancient herbal decoction for its hematopoietic function. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart New York.

Wang T.,Shenzhen Municipal Institute for Drug Control | Wang T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Choi R.C.Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Li J.,Shenzhen Municipal Institute for Drug Control | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology | Year: 2012

Ethnopharmacological evidence: Numerous efforts have been conducted in searching for effective agents against cardiovascular diseases, in particular from herbal medicines. The rhizome of Dioscorea nipponica (Dioscoreae Nipponicae Rhizoma) is a traditional Chinese herb being prescribed to improve the blood circulation. Here, we identified a steroidal saponin trillin from Dioscorea nipponica, which showed robust anti-hyperlipidemic effects. Materials and methods: Rats were induced for hyperlipidemia and subjected to the drug treatment. The anti-hyperlipidemic effects of trillin were evaluated by different biochemical assays. Results: In hyperlipidemic rat model, fed with high-fat diet, the blood levels of cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) were increased. The intra-peritoneal administration of trillin into those rats significantly improved the bleeding and blood coagulation time, and in parallel the treatment restored the levels of cholesterol, glyceride, LDL and HDL back to the normal condition. In addition, the administration of trillin in rats exerted beneficial effects in improving the levels of lipid peroxidation and superoxide dismutase activity. Conclusion: This was the first time to reveal the anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-oxidative effects of trillin. These results would be important in developing food supplements for health improvements and therapeutic drugs against hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular diseases in future. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bi C.W.C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Xie H.Q.H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Xu L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Li J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | And 10 more authors.
Planta Medica | Year: 2010

Fo Shou San (FSS) is an ancient herbal decoction comprised of Rhizoma Chuanxiong (RC; Chuanxiong) and Radix Angelicae Sinensis (RAS; Danggui) in a ratio of 2:3. It is mainly prescribed for patients having a blood deficiency. This combination is considered the most popular herb pair among Chinese medicines; however, the rationale of having these two chemically similar herbs within the decoction has historically not been made clear. Here, we attempted to reveal the chemical and biological properties of this decoction as a means to deduce its mechanism of action. The effects of FSS were determined in different cell culture models. With respect to stimulation of blood circulation, FSS inhibited ADP-mediated platelet aggregation in a dose-dependent manner. In order to reveal the hematopoietic effect of this decoction, FSS was applied onto cultured K562 human leukemia cells and Hep3B human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Application of FSS in cultured K562 cells inhibited cell proliferation and subsequently induced the production of hemoglobin. Additionally, the mRNA expression of erythropoietin (EPO) was induced in a dose-dependent manner when FSS was applied to Hep3B cells. The current results reveal the effects of FSS in different cell models, paving a direction for mechanistic studies.

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