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Concept: Traditional Chinese characters


Pancreatic triacylglycerol lipase (PNLIP) are primary lipases that are critical for triacylglyceride digestion in human. Since reduced metabolism of triacylglyceride might be a plausible concept for weight loss, we screened for potential PNLIP inhibitors from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with the aim to identify weight loss candidate compounds. TCM candidates Aurantiamide, Cnidiadin, and 2-hexadecenoic acid exhibited higher Dock Scores than the commercial drug Orlistat, and were also predicted to have inhibitory characteristics against PNLIP using constructed MLR (R(2) = 0.8664) and SVM (R(2) = 0.9030) models. Molecular dynamics indicated that the TCM-PNLIP complexes formed were stable. We identified that the PNLIP binding site has several residues that can serve as anchors, and a hydrophobic corridor that provides additional stability to the complex. Aurantiamide, Cnidiadin, and 2-hexadecenoic acid all have features that correspond to these binding site features, indicating their potential as candidates for PNLIP inhibitors. The information presented in this study may provide helpful insights to designing novel weight-control drugs.

Concepts: Protein, Health, Enzyme, Triglyceride, Lipid, Lipase, Traditional Chinese characters, Pancreatic lipase


Cold Syndrome and Hot Syndrome are thousand-year-old key therapeutic concepts in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which depict the loss of body homeostasis. However, the scientific basis of TCM Syndrome remains unclear due to limitations of current reductionist approaches. Here, we established a network balance model to evaluate the imbalanced network underlying TCM Syndrome and find potential biomarkers. By implementing this approach and investigating a group of chronic superficial gastritis (CSG) and chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG) patients, we found that with leptin as a biomarker, Cold Syndrome patients experience low levels of energy metabolism, while the CCL2/MCP1 biomarker indicated that immune regulation is intensified in Hot Syndrome patients. Such a metabolism-immune imbalanced network is consistent during the course from CSG to CAG. This work provides a new way to understand TCM Syndrome scientifically, which in turn benefits the personalized medicine in terms of the ancient medicine and complex biological systems.

Concepts: Medicine, Metabolism, Acupuncture, Ming Dynasty, Traditional Chinese characters, Qi, Pernicious anemia, Atrophic gastritis


Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is an etiology for a number of diseases in humans. Traditional Chinese herbs have been reported to be effective for treating EV71 infection. However, there is no report about the antiviral effects of CHA against EV71. In this study, plaque reduction assay demonstrated that the inhibitory concentration 50% (IC50) of CHA on EV71 replication is 6.3 µg/ml. When both CHA (20 µg/ml) and EV71 were added, or added post-infection at different time points, CHA was able to effectively inhibit EV71 replication between 0 and 10 h. In addition, CHA inhibited EV71 2A transcription and translation in EV71-infected RD cells, but did not affect VP1, 3C, and 3D expression. Furthermore, CHA inhibited secretions of IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ and MCP-1 in EV71-infected RD cells. Altogether, these results revealed that CHA may have antiviral properties for treating EV71 infection.

Concepts: Gene, Enterovirus, Gene expression, Virus, Effect, Chinese language, Traditional Chinese characters, Chinese character


Traditional Chinese exercise (TCE) has widespread use for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease; however, there appears to be no consensus about the benefits of TCE for patients with cardiovascular disease. The objective of this systematic review was to determine the effects of TCE for patients with cardiovascular disease.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Disease, Evidence-based medicine, Cardiovascular disease, Randomized controlled trial, Non-infectious disease, Traditional Chinese characters


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the most common complementary and alternative medicines used in the treatment of patients with breast cancer. However, the clinical effect of TCM on survival, which is a major concern in these individuals, lacks evidence from large-scale clinical studies.

Concepts: Medicine, The Canon of Medicine, Avicenna, Acupuncture, Alternative medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine, Traditional Chinese characters, Traditional medicine


Si Wu Tang (Four Agents Decoction), a traditional Chinese decoction composed of Angelica Sinensis Radix, Chuanxiong Rhizoma, Paeoniae Radix Alba, and Rehmanniae Radix Praeparata in a ratio of 1 : 1 : 1 : 1, has been used to treat women’s diseases for more than a thousand years. According to the original description of Si Wu Tang, Angelica Sinensis Radix should be treated with wine. However, the importance of this wine-treated Angelica Sinensis Radix in Si Wu Tang’s function has not been identified. In this article, the chemical and biological properties of two decoctions processed in different ways (Si Wu Tang with crude Angelica Sinensis Radix and Si Wu Tang with wine-treated Angelica Sinensis Radix) were compared for examination. The herbal decoction Si Wu Tang prepared from wine-treated Angelica Sinensis Radix contained much different amounts of its active compounds. Compared with Si Wu Tang using crude Angelica Sinensis Radix, Si Wu Tang prepared from wine-treated Angelica Sinensis Radix had better biological responses. Therefore, these findings accentuate the functional importance of herbs treated with wine in the Chinese decoction.

Concepts: China, Overseas Chinese, Chinese language, Traditional Chinese characters, Tang Dynasty, Chinese character, Angelica sinensis, Chinese literature


A UPLC-MS method was developed for quantifying huperzine A (HupA), an anti-Alzheimer’s disease (AD) drug candidate from the traditional Chinese medicine Qian Ceng Ta (Huperzia serrata), in samples of 11 Huperzia genus plants. The highest content of HupA was found in Huperzia pinifolia. The accumulation of various Lycopodium alkaloids was monitored in these tissues using high resolution Q-IMS-TOFMS analysis. Tissue culture of various Huperzia species has been achieved and production of HupA has been confirmed in the callus of H. pinifolia. Furthermore, it was established that the major alkaloid produced by the naturally grown plant and the callus of H. pinifolia changed dramatically from HupA to nankakurine B.

Concepts: Plant, Alkaloids, Traditional Chinese characters, Huperzia serrata, Huperzine A, Huperzia


Two kinds of peony roots-white peony root (WPR) and red peony root (RPR)-are used for different remedies in traditional Chinese medicine; however, most of them are derived from the same botanical origin, Paeonia lactiflora. The difference between WPR and RPR has been debated for a long time. This study attempted to clarify the genetic and chemical characteristics of WPR and RPR in order to provide a scientific dataset for their identification and effective use. The nucleotide sequence of nrDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and the contents of 8 main bioactive constituents were analyzed from specimens of P. lactiflora, P. veitchii and two related species as well as crude drug samples of WPR, RPR and peony root produced in Japan. Of the samples derived from P. lactiflora, the WPR produced in the southern parts of China and the RPR produced in the northern parts of China were clearly divided into two subgroups within the P. lactiflora group based on similarity of the ITS sequences. The nucleotides at positions 69, 458 and 523 upstream of the ITS sequence served as molecular markers to discriminate between WPR and RPR. Quantitative analysis indicated that the RPR samples obviously contained a higher content of paeoniflorin and paeonol, but a lower content of albiflorin than the WPR produced in the southern parts of China and peony root produced in Japan. The WPR available from Chinese markets was usually processed by sulfur fumigation, which resulted in an extremely low content of paeoniflorin. This study indicated that WPR and RPR were not only geographically isolated, but also genetically and chemically separated. The ITS sequence provided a genetic index for their identification.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, RNA, China, Chinese language, Traditional Chinese characters, Chinese character, Peony


In this paper we describe a rapid, simple, and cost-effective liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric (LC-MS-MS) method for simultaneous analysis of aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, and G2, ochratoxin A, and sterigmatocystin in 25 traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs). The method is based on single extraction with 84:16 (v/v) acetonitrile-water then analysis of the diluted crude extract without further clean-up. Chromatographic separation was achieved on a C18 column, with a mobile phase gradient prepared from aqueous 4 mmol L(-1) ammonium acetate-0.1 % formic acid and methanol. Quantification of the analytes was by selective reaction monitoring (SRM) on a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer in positive-ionization mode. Special focus was on investigating and reducing matrix effects to improve accuracy. The established method was validated by determination of linearity (r > 0.995), sensitivity (limits of quantification 1.6-25.0 ng L(-1)), apparent recovery (84.8-110.6 %), extraction recovery (83.6-106.1 %), and precision (relative standard deviation ≤9.9 %) for two representative TCMs, Semen Armeniacae Amarae and Radix Pseudostellariae. The applicability of the method to TCMs other than these was further investigated, and 23 other TCMs with acceptable matrix effects (80.2-118.6 %) were screened. The validated method was finally used to assess mycotoxin contamination of 244 samples of 25 TCMs collected from local hospitals and TCM pharmacies. Aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A were detected in 5.3 % of the samples. Sterigmatocystin, the most prevalent mycotoxin contaminant, was present in 26.2 % of the samples tested; this has not been reported previously. The results of this work imply greater attention should be devoted to evaluation of the potential hazard caused by sterigmatocystin in TCMs.

Concepts: Aflatoxin, Mycotoxin, Chromatography, Aspergillus, Traditional Chinese characters, Methanol, Ochratoxin, Mycotoxins