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Journal: Chinese medicine

170

BACKGROUND: Cichorium glandulosum Boiss. et Huet is used for treatment of liver disorders, and its effects are attributed to sesquiterpenes. This study aims to investigate the hepatoprotective effects of a sesquiterpene-rich fraction (SRF) from the aerial part of C. glandulosum on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute hepatotoxicity in mice, and on priming with Bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG) followed by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced immunological liver injury in mice. METHODS: SRF was suspended in water and administered to mice at 0.05, 0.10 and 0.20 g/kg body weight for 7 consecutive days. An active control drug (bifendate pills) was suspended in distilled water and administered to mice at 0.40 g/kg body weight for 7 consecutive days. Hepatotoxicity was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 0.1% CCl4 (0.2 mL/mouse) at 13 h before the last drug administration, or by tail intravenous injection of BCG (0.2 mL/mouse) before the first drug administration and LPS (0.2 mL/mouse; 8 mug) at 15 h before the last drug administration. Blood samples and the livers were collected for evaluation of the biochemical parameters of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and total bilirubin (TBIL). RESULTS: SRF significantly reduced the impact of CCl4 toxicity. The highest dose of SRF (0.20 g/kg) was the most effective, reflected by significant reductions in the levels of AST (P = 0.001), ALT (P = 0.000) and TBIL (P = 0.009). The serum enzymatic levels induced by BCG and subsequent LPS injection were significantly and dose-dependently restored by SRF, reflected by significant reductions in the levels of AST (P = 0.003), ALT (P = 0.003) and TBIL (P = 0.007) for the highest dose of SRF (0.20 g/kg). CONCLUSION: SRF is hepatoprotective in animal models of chemical and immunological acute liver injury.

Concepts: Liver, Liver function tests, Aspartate transaminase, Alanine transaminase, Hepatology, Bilirubin, Hepatotoxicity, Chemical pathology

151

Panax Notoginseng flower saponins (PNFS) are the main active component of Panax notoginseng (Burk) F. H. Chen flower bud (PNF) and possess significant anti-inflammatory efficacy. This study aims to explore the mechanisms underlying PNFS' antiflammatory action in RAW264.7 macrophages.

Concepts: Gene expression, Bud, Plant stem, Ginseng, Panax, Panax pseudoginseng, Notoginseng

137

Functional polysaccharides can be derived from plants (including herbs), animals and microorganisms. They have been widely used in a broad of biomedical applications, such as immunoregulatory agents or drug delivery vehicles. In the past few years, increasing studies have started to develop natural polysaccharides-based biomaterials for various applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Concepts: Medicine, Eukaryote, Extracellular matrix, Fungus, Biotechnology, Engineering, Tissue engineering, Biomedical engineering

98

Medicinal plants are globally valuable sources of herbal products, and they are disappearing at a high speed. This article reviews global trends, developments and prospects for the strategies and methodologies concerning the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plant resources to provide a reliable reference for the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants. We emphasized that both conservation strategies (e.g. in situ and ex situ conservation and cultivation practices) and resource management (e.g. good agricultural practices and sustainable use solutions) should be adequately taken into account for the sustainable use of medicinal plant resources. We recommend that biotechnical approaches (e.g. tissue culture, micropropagation, synthetic seed technology, and molecular marker-based approaches) should be applied to improve yield and modify the potency of medicinal plants.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Biodiversity, Conservation biology, Agriculture, Herbalism, Herb, Sustainability, In-situ conservation

17

Modern studies have shown that adaptogens can non-specifically enhance the resistance of human body under a wide range of external stress conditions with a multi-targeted and multi-channel network-like manner, especially by affect the immune-neuro-endocrine system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This review article draws the attention to the relationships of adaptogens, tonics from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and ginseng-like herbs worldwide, which all have similar plant sources and clinical applications. To clarify the sources and pharmacological mechanisms of these plant-originated adaptogens, which will provide useful information for the utilization of adaptogens to improve the human health. Meanwhile, the TCMs and the world-wide ginseng-like herbs from each region’s ethnopharmacology will be beneficial modernization and globalization.

12

Acupuncture has been widely used as a treatment for alcohol dependence. An updated and rigorously conducted systematic review is needed to establish the extent and quality of the evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture as an intervention for reducing alcohol dependence. This review aimed to ascertain the effectiveness of acupuncture for reducing alcohol dependence as assessed by changes in either craving or withdrawal symptoms.

Concepts: Alcoholism, Drug addiction, Addiction, Psychosis, Physical dependence, Withdrawal, Delirium tremens, Alcohol withdrawal syndrome

8

Acupuncture therapy has been used to treat substance abuse. This study aims to review experimental studies examining the effects of acupuncture on addiction. Research and review articles on acupuncture treatment of substance abuse published between January 2000 and September 2014 were searched using the databases ISI Web of Science Core Collection and EBSCO’s MEDLINE Complete. Clinical trial studies on the efficacy of acupuncture therapy for substance abuse were classified according to substance (cocaine, opioid, nicotine, and alcohol), and their treatment protocols, assessments, and findings were examined. A total of 119 studies were identified, of which 85 research articles addressed the efficacy of acupuncture for treating addiction. There were substantial variations in study protocols, particularly regarding treatment duration, frequency of electroacupuncture, duration of stimulation, and choice of acupoints. Contradictory results, intergroup differences, variation in sample sizes, and acupuncture placebo effects made it difficult to evaluate acupuncture effectiveness in drug addiction treatment. This review also identified a lack of rigorous study design, such as control of confounding variables by incorporating sham controls, sufficient sample sizes, reliable assessments, and adequately replicated experiments.

Concepts: Nicotine, Placebo, Morphine, Drug addiction, Addiction, Heroin, Acupuncture, Substance abuse

5

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii, known as Ru Xiang in Chinese) and sandalwood (Santalum album, known as Tan Xiang in Chinese) are cancer preventive and therapeutic agents in Chinese medicine. Their biologically active ingredients are usually extracted from frankincense by hydrodistillation and sandalwood by distillation. This study aims to investigate the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities of frankincense and sandalwood essential oils in cultured human bladder cancer cells.

Concepts: Petroleum, Essential oil, Oil, Oils, Frankincense, Incense, Sandalwood, Essential oils

4

A novel coronavirus was identified in December, 2019 in Wuhan, China, and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) played an active role in combating the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) caused by this fast-spreading virus COVID-19. Thus, we aimed to explore TCM characteristics of clinical efficacy to NCP, as well as to optimize Qingfei Paidu decoction (QFPDD) and the recommended formulas to NCP by National Health Commission (NHC).

2

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are regarded as the root of tumor progression, thus representing an anti-cancer therapy through targeting this cell sub-population.