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Abstract Juniperus pingii var. wilsonii has been traditionally used in Tibetan medicine for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. In the present study, J. pingii var. wilsonii polysaccharides (JPWP), with high content of d ‑galacturonic acid, showed potent anti-complementary activity in vitro and significantly attenuated acute lung injury (ALI) induced by H1N1 influenza virus in vivo through reducing the inflammatory responses, alleviating oxidative stress and inhibiting the activation of complement. Thus, anti-complementary activity-guided fractionation of JPWP led to the isolation of an acidic homogeneous polysaccharide, JPWP-PS, whose structure was further elucidated by acid hydrolysis, PMP derivation, methylation and NMR analysis. JPWP-PS had potent anti-complementary activity with the CH 50 value of 0.073 ± 0.009 mg/mL, and was characterized by the residues of T-Ara f -(1→, →3)-Ara f -(1→, →3,5)-Ara f -(1→, →3)-Gal p -(1→ and →4)-Gal p A-(1→. Graphical abstract Unlabelled Image Highlights • Juniperus pingii var. wilsonii polysaccharides (JPWP) improved survival rate of H1N1 virus infected mice. • JPWP treated acute lung injury via inhibiting inflammatory responses, oxidative stress and activation of complement. • A homogeneous acidic polysaccharide with potent anti-complementary activity was isolated from JPWP. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Ephedragerardiana (Ephedraceae), occurring in the Himalayan ranges, is an important plant species used in Tibetan medicine. Due to the lack of molecular markers to characterize genetic diversity, knowledge for conservation and uses of E. gerardiana resources is limited; we therefore developed microsatellite markers for use in this species.METHODS AND RESULTS: Using Illumina MiSeq sequencing technology, we developed 29 polymorphic microsatellite loci suitable for E. gerardiana, of which 15 loci also showed polymorphisms in two related Ephedra species, E. saxatilis and E. monosperma. The average number of effective alleles per locus ranged from two to six. The observed and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.23 to 0.83 and 0.44 to 0.86, respectively, in E. gerardiana populations. CONCLUSIONS: The developed 29 microsatellite markers are effective for the study of genetic structure and genetic diversity of E. gerardiana, and 15 of these markers are suitable for related Ephedra species.

Abstract Ethnopharmacological relevance Qiwei Tiexie capsule (QWTX) is a representative prescription of Tibetan medicine, which is widely used for long-term treatment of chronic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Aim of the study This study explored the effects and mechanism of QWTX on 3T3-L1 adipocytes and NAFLD. Materials and methods The 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and NAFLD rat model were used in the study. In 3T3-L1 cells, the cytotoxicity of QWTX was tested by CKK-8, and glucose uptake and fat acid oxidation were assessed by 2-deoxy-D-[3H] glucose and [1–14C] palmitic acid, respectively. The expression levels of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1), liver X receptor α (LXRα), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), ikappa B α (IκBα), and AKT were determined by PCR and western blot. NAFLD was established by the administration of fat emulsion and sucrose for 9 weeks. The effects of QWTX on lipid metabolism, liver function, and hepatic morphology were observed in NAFLD rats by HE and transmission electron microscope. Serum level of nitric oxide (NO) and fee fatty acid (FFA), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents in the liver, as well as the expression levels of Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1), NF-κB, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), CPT-1, LXRα, PPARα, PPARβ/δ, PPARγ, and iNOS were all detected. Results QWTX showed no cell cytotoxicity in 3T3-L1 preadipocyte cells, and increased the 14CO 2 production rate to 4.15, which indicated the reducing the fatty accumulation. In NAFLD, QWTX attenuated liver steatosis, fat vacuoles and inflammation from the HE staining and electron micrograph tests. For the oxidative stress biomarkers, serum FFA level was reduced and serum NO level was enhanced after QWTX treatment. In liver tissue, SOD was decreased and MDA was significantly increased in NAFLD, and both of them were restored by QWTX. NF-κB and CYP2E1 were also upregulated in NAFLD, while downregulated by QWTX. Downregulation of LXRα, PPARγ and iNOS by QWTX were both observed in the 3T3-L1 adipocytes and NAFLD model. Conclusions QWTX protected the liver injury in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes and NAFLD by regulating the LXRα, PPARγ, and NF-κB-iNOS-NO signal pathways. Graphical abstract Image 1 [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

The leaves and twigs of Juniperus pingii var. wilsonii (Cupressaceae) smell aromatic and are traditionally used as the Tibetan medicine Xuba. Their essential oil obtained by ultrasonic-assisted hydrodistillation and volatiles collected by GC headspace technique were analyzed and compared by GC-MS. The analyses revealed the presence of thirty-nine components in the essential oil, representing 95.8% in content of the total oil, mainly including sabinene (22.6%), elemol (15.5%) and (-)-terpinen-4-ol (9.6%). Thirty-eight components accounting for 99.4% of the headspace volatiles were identified, mainly including sabinene (32.5%), β-pinene (21.9%) and α-thujene (10.3%). The compositions of the oil and headspace volatiles were quite similar, and twenty-five compounds identified were in common, which was 91.3% of the oil and 96.0% of the headspace volatiles in content. The essential oil could obviously inhibit Nitric oxide production in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells with no significant effect on cell viability, indicating its good anti-inflammatory activity.