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Zuota is regarded as the king of Tibetan medicine. However, due to the confidentiality of this precious medicine, the scientific characterization of Zuota is very scarce, which limits the pharmacology and biosafety studies of Zuota. Herein, we collected four different Zuota samples from Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, and Sichuan and characterized them by multiple techniques. Our results showed that Zuota was mainly an inorganic mixture of HgS, sulfur, and graphite. Morphologically, Zuota samples were composed of nanoparticles, which further aggregated into microsized particles. Chemically, the majorities of Zuota were S and Hg (in the forms of HgS and pure sulfur). All samples contained pure sulfur with orthorhombic crystalline. Zuota from Qinghai province had different HgS crystalline, namely, hexagonal crystalline. The others were all face-centered cubic crystalline. Carbon in Zuota NPs was in the form of graphite. The implication to future studies of Zuota was discussed.

[Objectives] To explore the mechanism for the attenuate-synergistic effect of Zuota to Renqing Mangue, a contrasted study on the tissue distribution of Tibetan medicines Renqing Mangue compatible with Zuota was carried out. [Methods] The SD rats gastric ulcer model were made successfully, and then respectively were given Renqing Mangue compatible with Zuota or not according to the dose of 0.144 g/kg and normal saline by gavage administration, once a day. After 14 d of administration, various organs and tissue were isolated, including brain, heat, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, jejunum, skeletal muscle, fat, skin, submandibular gland, uterus and ovary (or testicle and epididymis). The LC-MS/MS methods were used for determining the contents of brucine and strychnine in various organs and tissue, and significant difference analysis, main target site analysis and clustering analysis were implemented. [Results] Between the Zuota group and non-Zuota group, there was extremely significat diference in the content of brucine in the liver, kidney, muscle, lung, ovary, and heart (P < 0.01), significant difference in the jeeunum (P <0.05), and no significant diference in the epididymis, testis, brain, skin and uterus (P > 0.05); the content of brucine in the submadibular gland, spleen, liver and ovary increased significantly, but significanty reduced in the kidney, muscle, jeeunum, lung and heart. And there was extremely significant diference in the content of strychnine in the liver, kidney, ovary, brain and heat (P <0.01), and no significat difference in the uterus (P > 0.05); the strychnine content increased significantly in the liver, spleen and ovary, and significanty decreased in the kidney, muscle, testis, lung, brain and heart. [Conclusions] Compatibility of Zuota can afect the distribution of brucine and strychnine in some tissue and organs, so a to achieve attenuate-synergistic effect of Zuota to Renqing Mague. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]