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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Rhodiola crenulata, a traditional Tibetan medicine, has shown promise in the treatment of hypobaric hypoxia (HH)-induced brain injury. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study investigated the protective effects of R. crenulata aqueous extract (RCAE) on HH-induced brain injury in rats.MATERIALS AND METHODS: An animal model of high-altitude hypoxic brain injury was established in SD rats using an animal decompression chamber for 24 h. Serum and hippocampus levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were then determined using commercial biochemical kits. Neuron morphology and vitality were also evaluated using H&E and Nissl staining, and TUNEL staining was used to examine apoptosis. Gene and protein expression of HIF-1α, microRNA 210, ISCU1/2, COX10, Apaf-1, cleaved Caspase-3, Caspase-3, Bax, Bcl-2, and Cyto-c were determined by western blot, immunohistochemical and qRT-PCR analysis. RESULTS: RCAE administration attenuated HH-induced brain injury as evidenced by decreased levels of MDA, LDH, and GSSG, increased GSH and SOD, improvements in hippocampus histopathological changes, increased cell vitality and ATP level, and reduced apoptotic cell numbers. RCAE treatment also enhanced HIF-1α, ISCU1/2, COX10, and Bcl-2 protein expression, while dramatically inhibiting expression of Apaf-1, Bax, Cyto-c, and cleaved Caspase-3. Treatment also increased gene levels of HIF-1α, microRNA 210, ISCU1/2, and COX10, and decreased Caspase-3 gene production. CONCLUSIONS: RCAE attenuated HH-induced brain injury by regulating apoptosis and mitochondrial energy metabolism via the HIF-1α/microRNA 210/ISCU1/2 (COX10) signaling pathway.

Oxidative stress is one of the major mechanisms implicated in endotoxin-induced acute lung injury. Seabuckthorn paste (SP), a traditional Tibetan medicine with high content of polyphenols and remarkable antioxidant activity, is commonly used in treating pulmonary diseases. In the present study, the protective effects and possible underlying mechanisms of SP on lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced acute lung injury in mice were investigated. It was found that body weight loss, lung tissue microstructure lesions, transvascular leakage increase, malondialdehyde augmentation, and the reduction of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase levels caused by LPS challenge were all consistently relieved by SP treatment in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, accumulation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in lung nuclei caused by SP treatment was observed. Our study demonstrated that SP can provide significant protection against LPS-induced acute lung injury through maintaining redox homeostasis, and its mechanism involves Nrf2 nuclear translocation and activation.

To evaluate the efficacy and safety associated with anti-hypoxia effect and establish the quality standard for Brassicea Radix extract, the investigations of acute toxicity and subacute toxicity were carried out to preliminarily appraise the toxicity, and the models of normal pressure hypoxia, acute cerebral ischemia and sodium nitrite poisoning in mice were used to evaluate the effect of enhancing anoxia endurance. Then according to the methods described in the Appendix of Chinese Pharmacopoeia (2010 edition), the sulfuric acid-phenol method was applied to determine the content of polysaccharide, and the water, ash and insoluble matter in water inspections were carried out and the control medicinal herb was identified with the samples by qualitative TLC. The results indicated that ① the toxic effects (LD₅₀) of mice was 56.73 g•kg⁻¹ by oral administration of Brassicea Radix extract, while Dm and Dn were respective 86.80 g•kg•d⁻¹ and 35.55 g•kg•d⁻¹;②the determined effective dosage of Brassicea Radix extract which could enhance anoxia endurance was 0.388 g•kg⁻¹•d⁻¹; ③ the methods of TLC and the content of polysaccharide were established. The method of quality control has been recorded in Sichuan Province Standard for Tibetan Medicine, which is reliable, accurate and simple, with good reproducibility. Meanwhile, given the prominent effect on anti-hypoxia and good safety, it provided important basis for clinic safe and effective usage and the development of health products.