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Zuotai, a famous Tibetan medicinal mixture containing β-HgS, has been used to combine with herbal remedies for treating diseases for more than 1 300 years. The target organ for inorganic mercury toxicity is generally considered to be the kidney. Therefore, it is crucial to reveal the chemical speciation, spatial distribution and potential nephrotoxicity of mercury from Zuotai in kidney. To date, this remains poorly understood. We used X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and micro X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) imaging based on synchrotron radiation to study mercury chemical forms and mercury special distribution in kidney after mice were treated orally with Zuotai, β-HgS or HgCl2. Meanwhile, the histopathology of kidney was observed. Mice exposed with Zuotai showed kidney with significant proportion of mercury ions bound to sulfydryl biomolecules (e.g. Cys-S-Hg-S-Cys) plus some of unknown species, but without methylmercury cysteine, which is the same as β-HgS and HgCl2. The mercury is mainly deposited in renal cortex in mouse treated with Zuotai, β-HgS or HgCl2, but with a low level of mercury in medulla. The total mercury in kidney of mice treated with HgCl2 was much higher than that of β-HgS, and the later was higher than that of Zuotai. And, HgCl2 cause severe impairments in mouse kidney, but that was not observed in the Zuotai and β-HgS groups. Meanwhile, the bio-metals (Ca, Zn, Fe and Cu) micro-distributions in kidney were also revealed. These findings elucidated the chemical nature, spatial distribution and toxicity difference of mercury from Zuotai, β-HgS and HgCl2 in mouse kidney, and provide new insights into the appropriate methods for biological monitoring.

Zuotai (gTso thal) is one of the famous drugs containing mercury in Tibetan medicine. However, little is known about the chemical substance basis of its pharmacodynamics and the intrinsic link of different samples sources so far. Given this, energy dispersive spectrometry of X-ray (EDX), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to assay the elements, micromorphology, and phase composition of nine Zuotai samples from different regions, respectively; the XRD fingerprint features of Zuotai were analyzed by multivariate statistical analysis. EDX result shows that Zuotai contains Hg, S, O, Fe, Al, Cu, and other elements. SEM and AFM observations suggest that Zuotai is a kind of ancient nanodrug. Its particles are mainly in the range of 100–800 nm, which commonly further aggregate into 1–30 μm loosely amorphous particles. XRD test shows that β-HgS, S8, and α-HgS are its main phase compositions. XRD fingerprint analysis indicates that the similarity degrees of nine samples are very high, and the results of multivariate statistical analysis are broadly consistent with sample sources. The present research has revealed the physicochemical characteristics of Zuotai, and it would play a positive role in interpreting this mysterious Tibetan drug. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Zuotai, also named as "gTso thal", a known Tibetan medicinal mixture containing insoluble cubic crystal mercuric sulfide (β-HgS), has been used to treat diseases with long history. The mercury release ratio from Zuotai in gastrointestinal environment is one determinant factor for its bioavailability and biological effect. However, the information is still scarce now. Therefore, the study was designed to investigate the effect of sulfhydryl biomolecules [L-cysteine (Cys) and glutathione (GSH)] and pH on mercury dissociation from Zuotai, β-HgS, and hexagonal crystal mercuric sulfide (α-HgS) in artificial gastrointestinal juices or pure water with a 1:100 solid-liquid ratio. And, the digestion and peristalsis of gastrointestinal tract were simulated in vitro. The results showed the following trend for the mercury release ratio of Zuotai, artificial gastric juice > artificial intestinal juice > pure water, whereas the trend for β-HgS and α-HgS was as follows, artificial intestinal fluid > artificial gastric fluid > pure water. The mercury release ratios of Zuotai, β-HgS, and α-HgS significantly increased in artificial intestinal juice containing L-Cys or GSH compared to those without sulfhydryl biomolecules in the juice. However, in contrast to the results observed for β-HgS and α-HgS, the mercury release ratio of Zuotai was reduced remarkably in pure water and artificial gastric juice with Cys or GSH. And, we found that strong acidic or strong alkaline environments promoted the dissociation of mercury from Zuotai, β-HgS, and α-HgS. Taken together, current findings may contribute to other studies regarding clinical safety and bioavailability of the traditional drug Zuotai containing β-HgS.

<br>Display Omitted<br>• Mercuric chloride-human serum albumin adduct causes hormesis in N9 microglia cells. • Hormesis was implemented through ERK/MAPKs and JAK/STAT3 signaling pathways. • 15 ng/mL of Hg-HSA was close to a NOAEL for N9 cells and this dose may be beneficial. • Hg2+ could form stable coordination structures in both Asp249 site and Cys34 site of HSA.<br>Mercury chloride (HgCl2), a neurotoxicant that cannot penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Although when the BBB are got damaged by neurodegenerative disorders, the absorbed HgCl2, mainly in form of Hg (II)-serum albumin adduct (Hg-HSA) in human plasma, can penetrate BBB and affect central nervous system (CNS) cells. Current study planned to evaluate the effect of Hg-HSA on the physiological function of N9 microglial cells. At low dosage (15 ng/mL) of Hg-HAS, the observed outcomes was: promoted cell propagation, Nitric Oxide (NO) and intracellular Ca2+ levels enhancement, suppressed the release of TNF-α and IL-1β and inhibited cell proliferation. At high dosage (15 μg/mL) we observed decline in NO and intracellular Ca2+ levels, and increment in the release of TNF-α and IL-1β. These biphasic effects are similar to hormesis, and the hormesis, in this case, was executed through ERK/MAPKs and JAK/STAT3 signaling pathways. Study of quantum chemistry revealed that Hg2+ could form stable coordination structures in both Asp249 and Cys34 sites of HSA. Although five-coordination structure in Asp249 site is more stable than four-coordination structure in Cys34 site but four-coordination structure is formed easily in-<b>vivo</b> in consideration of binding-site position in spatial structure of HSA.

Objective: To develop an HPLC method for determination of gallic acid, hydroxysafflor yellow A, cinnamic aldehyde and piperine in Tibetan medicine Dangzuo, and to compare the content of four active components in Dangzuo of different Tibetan regions.; Method: The separation was carried out on a Waters XTerra RP-C18 column ( 4.6 mm x 250 mm, 5 microm). The mobile phases were methanol and water, all contained 0.1% glacial acetic acid, for gradient elution. The gradient program was as follows: 0-22.5 min, methanol was changed from 5% to 50%; 22.5-40 min, changed to 80% 80:20. The flow rate was 1.0 mL x min(-1). The detection wavelength was 270 nm. The reference wavelength was 500 nm.; Result: The linear ranges of gallic acid, hydroxysafflor yellow A, cinnamic aldehyde and piperine were 0.040-0.640 microg (r = 0.999 8), 0.090-1.440 microg (r = 0.999 9), 0.031-0.500 microg (r = 0.999 9 ) and 0.092-41.477 microg (r = 0.998 9), respectively. The average recoveries (n = 6) were 97.42% (RSD 1.9%), 97.55% (RSD 2.9%), 98.69% (RSD 0.96%) and 96.72% (RSD 4.0%), respectively. The content ranges of gallic acid, hydroxysafflor yellow A, cinnamic aldehyde and piperine in Dangzuo samples of different Tibetan regions were 0.11341.69 mg x g(-1), 0.889-1.51 mg x g(-1), 0.000-40.606 mg x g(-1) and 1.96-2.73 mg x g(-1), respectively.; Conclusion: The method is a simple and effective for quality control of Tibetan medicine Dangzuo.;

• Gelatin was extracted from the Yak (<b>bos grunniens</b>) skin. • The different molecular weight distribution (MWD) Yak skin gelatin was extracted with pepsin by controlling the enzymolysis time. • The broad MWD Yak skin gelatin has higher imino acids contents and lower foamability and emulsibility compared with the narrow MWD gelatin. • The Yak skin gelatin has good thermotolerance.<br>Different molecular weight distribution (MWD) gelatin was extracted from Yak skin after enzymatic pretreatments and their physicochemical and functional properties (SDS-PAGE, UV-vis absorption spectra, DSC, FT-IR, Amino acid analysis, AFM, emulsibility and foamability) were analyzed. The gelatin was extracted by pepsin and got different MWD of Yak skin gelatin by controlling the enzymolysis time. The SDS-PAGE showed the MWD of the Yak skin gelatin. The UV-vis absorption turned out that the broad MWD of Yak skin gelatin had a higher maximum absorption peaks. The FT-IR and AFM indicated that the gelatin structures and microstructures changed with the change of the MWD. The broad MWD of the Yak skin gelatin had a higher denaturation temperature (TD), and it was higher than most of the other mammals and marine biological gelatin. The broad MWD gelatin also had higher imino acids (proline and hydroxyproline) contents and lower foamability and emulsibility compared to the narrow MWD gelatin. These findings, obtained for the first time for Yak skin gelatin, showed that it has great potential for application as an alternative to commercial gelatin due to its good thermotolerance, particularly in the applications of the biological materials, stabilizer of thermo-tolerant and so on.

OBJECTIVE: To study the heat processing technics of Nanhanshuishi.METHOD: To find the best processing technic, the single factor experiments and orthogonal experiments were designed basing on the processing technics summarized by consulting documents, scriptures and investigating some Tibetan hospitals, meanwhile, the content of Ca, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu in the processed Nanhanshuishi in single factor experiments and orthogonal experiments were detected. RESULT: The best processing technic of Nanhanshuishi was as follows: Nanhanshuishi was crashed to 10-20 mm in diameter, the ratio of the weight of Aconiti Kusnezoffii Radix and potassium nitrate was 1: 2, and the boiling time was 3 h. CONCLUSION: The work in this article provided a basic processing technic data for clarifying the mechanism of processing and establishing the perfect processing technics of Nanhanshuishi.