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Concept: Polygonum


Polygonum multiflorum Thunb. (PMT), officially listed in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, is one of the most popular perennial Chinese traditional medicines known as He shou wu in China and East Asia, and as Fo-ti in North America. Mounting pharmacological studies have stressed out its key benefice for the treatment of various diseases and medical conditions such as liver injury, cancer, diabetes, alopecia, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases as well. International databases such as PubMed/Medline, Science citation Index and Google Scholar were searched for clinical studies recently published on P. multiflorum. Various clinical studies published articles were retrieved, providing information relevant to pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics analysis, sleep disorders, dyslipidemia treatment, and neurodegenerative diseases. This review is an effort to update the clinical picture of investigations ever carried on PMT and/or its isolated bio-compounds and to enlighten its therapeutic assessment.

Concepts: Medicine, The Canon of Medicine, China, East Asia, Chinese language, Polygonum multiflorum, Polygonum, Shou Wu Chih


Abstract Context: Chrysanthemum zawadskii var. latilobum (Asteraceae) (CZ) and Polygonum multiflorum Thunb. (Polygonaceae) (PM) have been used traditionally to treat different systemic diseases and acclaimed for various biological activities including hair growth. Objective: This study investigates the hair restoration efficacy of selected medicinal plant extracts on nude mice. Materials and methods: Nude mice genetically predisposed to pattern balding were used in this study. Topical methanol extracts of CZ and PM (10 mg/mouse/d) with standardized vehicle formulation, only vehicle (propylene glycol:ethanol:dimethyl sulfoxide, 67:30:3% v/v) and Minoxidil (2%) were applied daily for 40 consecutive days. Results: In our study, the maximum hair score (2.5 ± 0.29) was obtained in the CZ-treated group. Histological observation revealed a significant increase (p < 0.001) in the number of hair follicles (HF) in CZ-treated mice (58.66 ± 3.72) and Minoxidil-treated mice (40 ± 2.71). Subsequently, immunohistochemical analysis also confirmed the follicular keratinocyte proliferation by detection of BrdU-labeling, S-phase cells in Minoxidil and CZ-treated mouse follicular bulb and outer root sheaths. Conclusion: Our study revealed the underlying mechanism of stimulating hair growth in athymic nude mice by repair the nu/nu follicular keratin differentiation defect. Thus, the topical application of CZ may represent a novel strategy for the management and therapy of certain forms of alopecia.

Concepts: Histology, Baldness, Androgenic alopecia, Chrysanthemum, Polygonum multiflorum, Nude mouse, Polygonum, Plant extract


We propose a mathematical model for biocontrol of the invasive weed Fallopia japonica using one of its co-evolved natural enemies, the Japanese sap-sucking psyllid Aphalara itadori. This insect sucks the sap from the stems of the plant thereby weakening it. Its diet is highly specific to F. japonica. We consider a single isolated knotweed stand, the plant’s size being described by time-dependent variables for total stem and rhizome biomass. It is the larvae of A. itadori that damage the plant most, so the insect population is described in terms of variables for the numbers of larvae and adults, using a stage-structured modelling approach. The dynamics of the model depends mainly on a parameter h, which measures how long it takes for an insect to handle (digest) one unit of F. japonica stem biomass. If h is too large, then the model does not have a positive equilibrium and the plant biomass and insect numbers both grow together without bound, though at a lower rate than if the insects were absent. If h is sufficiently small, then the model possesses a positive equilibrium which appears to be locally stable. The results based on our model imply that satisfactory long-term control of the knotweed F. japonica using the insect A. itadori is only possible if the insect is able to consume and digest knotweed biomass sufficiently quickly; if it cannot, then the insect can only slow down the growth which is still unbounded.

Concepts: Insect, Hemiptera, Fallopia, Polygonaceae, Japanese knotweed, Invasive species, Weed, Polygonum


Plant lectins could reduce insect populations by imposing imbalances in biology and physiology. Here, an agglutinin was extracted from Polygonum persicaria L. (PPA; Polygonales: Polygonaceae) and its effects were investigated on life table parameters and antioxidant system of Helicoverpa armigera Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). PPA significantly changed demographic parameters showing adverse effects on age-stage survival rate (Sxj), age-specific survival rate (lx), age-specific fecundity rate (mx), age stage specific fecundity (fxj), and life expectancy (exj). Also, life table parameters including net reproduction rate (R0) (Offspring/female), intrinsic rate of population increase (rm) (days-1), finite rate of increase (λ) (days-1), gross reproduction rate (GRR) (Offspring/female) significantly decreased in the PPA-treated H. armigera compared to control except for mean generation time (T) (days). Activities of antioxidant enzymes including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CA), peroxidase (POX), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPDH) increased statistically in the PPA-treated larvae compared to control while no significant difference was observed in the activity of ascorbate peroxidase (APOX) activity. Moreover, ratio of RSSR/RSH and concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA) were found to be statistically higher in PPA-treated larvae than control. The current results clearly showed that PPA not only had a negative impact on demography of H. armigera but also induced antioxidant raise by releasing free radicals. These released radicals, together with impaired digestion and absorption observed in our previous report, could be considered as a reason for reducing biological fitness of H. armigera.

Concepts: Antioxidant, Demography, Population, Superoxide dismutase, Life expectancy, Demographic economics, Polygonaceae, Polygonum


Persicaria bistorta (syn. Polygonum bistorta) is a herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia. The leaves, young shoots or aerial parts of bistort are one of the main ingredients in a savoury pudding common to parts of the North of England. The aim of the present study was to investigate the chemical composition of extracts from aerial parts of common bistort. The UHPLC method allowed the detection of thirty-five major and minor compounds in the analysed plant material. Major constituents were isolated and identified. Two new natural products were obtained namely quercetin and kaempferol 3-O-(5″-O-malonyl)-α-l-arabinofuranosides. The bioactivity assays showed that isolated malonylated flavonoids inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species (IC50 in the range 22.4-40.6μM) and myeloperoxidase release (IC50 in the range 22.2-32.2μM) from stimulated human neutrophils. Aerial parts of P. bistorta are a rich source of polyphenols and some of them have anti-inflammatory potential.

Concepts: Antioxidant, Plant morphology, Polygonaceae, Polygonum, Edible plants, Persicaria, Persicaria bistorta, Dock pudding


Rhinoncomimus latipes (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a major biological control agent against the invasive plant, Persicaria perfoliata. Release of R. latipes is challenging with the current visit-and-hand release approach because P. perfoliata shows a high degree of patchiness in the landscape, possesses recurved barbs on its stems, and often spreads into hard-to-access areas. This 3-year study developed and evaluated unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for precise aerial release and survivorship of R. latipes against P. perfoliata.

Concepts: Insect, Ecology, The Current, Invasive species, Weed, Dung beetle, Unmanned aerial vehicle, Polygonum


Current antidepressants in clinic need weeks of administration and always have significant limitations. Tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside (TSG) is one of the major bioactive ingredients of Polygonum multiflorum with neuroprotective effects. This study aimed to evaluate the antidepressant effects of TSG in mice.

Concepts: Neurogenesis, Antidepressant, Norepinephrine, Major, Electroconvulsive therapy, Neuroprotection, Polygonum multiflorum, Polygonum


Polygoni Multiflori Radix is the dried root of Polygonum multiflorum Thunb officially recorded in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia as HeShouWu (HSW) in Chinese pinyin. The processed HSW are commonly used in TCM to treat liver disease and Chinese Pharmacopoeia has described the actions of it to tonify liver-kidney, replenish essence and blood, blacken beard and hair, strengthen sinew and bone, and resolve turbidity and lower lipid hence making it use not only as a herbal medicine in TCM but also as supplementary food in health care.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Polygonum multiflorum, Pinyin, Polygonum


The main constituents of a typical medicinal herb, Polygonum multiflorum (Heshouwu in Chinese), that induces idiosyncratic liver injury remain unclear. Our previous work has shown that cotreatment with a nontoxic dose of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and therapeutic dose of Heshouwu can induce liver injury in rats, whereas the solo treatment cannot induce observable injury. In the present work, using the constituent “knock-out” and “knock-in” strategy, we found that the ethyl acetate (EA) extract of Heshouwu displayed comparable idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity to the whole extract in LPS-treated rats. Results indicated a significant elevation of plasma alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and liver histologic changes, whereas other separated fractions failed to induce liver injury. The mixture of EA extract with other separated fractions induced comparable idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity to the whole extract in LPS-treated rats. Chemical analysis further revealed that 2,3,5,4'-tetrahydroxy trans-stilbene-2-O-β-glucoside (trans-SG) and its cis-isomer were the two major compounds in EA extract. Furthermore, the isolated cis-, and not its trans-isomer, displayed comparable idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity to EA extract in LPS-treated rats. Higher contents of cis-SG were detected in Heshouwu liquor or preparations from actual liver intoxication patients associated with Heshouwu compared with general collected samples. In addition, plasma metabolomics analysis showed that cis-SG-disturbing enriched pathways remarkably differed from trans-SG ones in LPS-treated rats. All these results suggested that cis-SG was closely associated with the idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity of Heshouwu. Considering that the cis-trans isomerization of trans-SG was mediated by ultraviolet light or sunlight, our findings serve as reference for controlling photoisomerization in drug discovery and for the clinical use of Heshouwu and stilbene-related medications.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Ultraviolet, Liver function tests, Alanine transaminase, Induced demand, Hepatotoxicity, Polygonum multiflorum, Polygonum


Currently, numerous liver injury cases related to a famous Chinese herb- Polygonum Multiflorum (Heshouwu in Chinese) have attracted great attention in many countries. Our previous work showed that Heshouwu-induced hepatotoxicity belonged to idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (IDILI). Unfortunately, the components and mechanisms attributed to IDILI of Heshouwu are difficult to determine and thus remain unknown. Attempts to explore puzzles, we prepared the chloroform (CH)-, ethyl acetate (EA)-, and residue (RE) extracts of Heshouwu to investigate IDILI constituents and underlying mechanisms, using biochemistry, histopathology, and metabolomics examinations. The results showed that co-treatment with non-toxic dose of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and EA extract could result in evident liver injury, indicated by the significant elevation of plasma alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase activities, as well as obvious liver histologic damage; whereas other two separated fractions, CH and RE extracts, failed to induce observable liver injury. Furthermore, 21 potential metabolomic biomarkers that differentially expressed in LPS/EA group compared with other groups without liver injury were identified by untargeted metabolomics, mainly involved two pathways: tricarboxylic acid cycle and sphingolipid metabolism. This work illustrated EA extract had close association with the idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity of Heshouwu and provided a metabolomic insight into IDILI of different extracts from Heshouwu.

Concepts: Amino acid, Metabolism, Aspartate transaminase, Alanine transaminase, Toxicology, Hepatotoxicity, Polygonum multiflorum, Polygonum