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Siwei Jianghuang Decoction Powder (SWJH) documented originally in the Four Medical Tantras-Blue Glaze exhibited beneficial effects on diabetic nephropathy (DN) via combined synergistically action of multiple formula components including Curcumae longae Rhizoma, Berberidis dictyophyllae Cortex, Phyllanthi Fructus and Tribuli Fructus. This study investigated the effects of SWJH on DN in db/db mice and possible underlying mechanisms. The ten weeks old db/db mice treated with SWJH by intra-gastric administration once a day for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, body weight, water and food intake of mice were recorded. The level of fasting blood glucose (FBG) was measured. Serum creatinine (Scr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), urine microalbumin (UMAlb), serum uric acid (UA) and urinary albumin excretion (UAE) were detected. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed to test serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). Real-time PCR and Western blot analysis were used to test mRNA and protein expression of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), VEGF and TGF-β1 in kidney tissue. SWJH treatment significantly reduced the levels of FBG, Scr, BUN, UMAlb, UA and UAE and retarded renal fibrosis. SWJH treatment further significantly reduced serum TGF-β1 level and downregulated the expression of HIF-1α, VEGF and TGF-β1 at both mRNA and protein levels. Principal component analysis and partial least squares regression and hierarchical cluster analysis demonstrated that SWJH treatment significantly ameliorated renal damage in DN mice. These consequences suggested that SWJH formulations were effective in the treatment of DN through regulating the HIF-1α, VEGF and TGF-β1 overexpression.

Jikan Mingmu Drops (JMD), a traditional Tibetan medicine containing six herbs, has been used to treat dry eye syndrome (DES) in individuals with diabetes mellitus. However, the activity of JMD ameliorates DES with diabetes mellitus has not been previously examined. The aim of the study is to investigate the molecular mechanism of JMD on db/db mice. The main chemical constituents of JMD were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. DES was then induced in db/db mice by applying 0.2% benzalkonium chloride to the ocular surface for 7 days. Eye drops containing JMD (0.25, 0.5, or 1 g/mL) or vehicle subsequently were administered three times daily for another 7 days, and the therapeutic effects were evaluated by phenol red thread tear and sodium fluorescein tests. Conjunctival specimens were subjected to hematoxylin and eosin staining and periodic acid-Schiff staining to examine pathological changes and number of goblet cells. ELISA was performed to assess the levels of various inflammatory cytokines. JMD contains hydroxysafflor yellow A, magnoflorine, jatrorrhizine hydrochloride, palmatine hydrochloride, berberine hydrochloride, gallic acid, ellagic acid, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, camphor, isoborneol, borneol, trans-cinnamic acid, and muscone. JMD treatment significantly increased the tear volume, decreased the corneal fluorescein staining score, restored the morphology and structure of conjunctival epithelial cells, and markedly downregulated the levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17α, IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and vascular endothelial growth factor in the conjunctiva. Further data showed that these protective effects were accompanied by inhibition of inflammation in a dose-dependent manner. Amelioration of DES in db/db mice with diabetes mellitus by treatment with Tibetan medicine formula JMD maybe related to its anti-inflammatory effects.

Context: Tsothel, a traditional Tibetan medicine, is regarded as 'the king of essences'. Nevertheless, tsothel has aroused serious concern regarding its biosafety because its main component is HgS. Unfortunately, toxicological studies on tsothel are scarce. Objective: As inorganic mercury has high affinity for the kidney, the present investigation was designed to determine the potential nephrotoxicity and mechanism of tsothel. Materials and methods: Sprague-Dawley rats were orally administered different doses of tsothel (0, 66.70, 33.35 and 16.68 mg/kg) daily for 180 days, followed by the withdrawal of tsothel for 120 days. Then, the related nephrotoxicity was examined by the ICP-MS, ELISA, colorimetric, RT-PCR, HE staining, immunohistochemical staining and flow cytometry methods. Results: Although tsothel administration led to a large accumulation of Hg (794.25 ± 464.30 ng/g in the 66.70 mg/kg group, 775.75 ± 307.89 ng/g in the 33.35 mg/kg group and 532.60 ± 356.77 ng/g in the 16.68 mg/kg group) in the kidney after 120 days of tsothel withdrawal, the blood CREA and BUN, urinary Kim-1, NAG, RBP and β2-MG, renal SOD, MDA, pathology, proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle had no significant changes compared with the control group. Additionally, the high GSH content (318.87 ± 44.19 nmol/mL in the 33.35 mg/kg group) and the relative expression levels of Kim-1 (1.08 ± 0.11 in the 33.35 mg/kg group), MT-1 (1.46 ± 0.10 in the 66.70 mg/kg group, 1.61 ± 0.19 in the 33.35 mg/kg group and 1.57 ± 0.14 in the 16.68 mg/kg group) and GST-Pi (1.76 ± 0.89 in the 33.35 mg/kg group) mRNA recovered to normal after tsothel withdrawal. Interestingly, the change trend of GST-Pi gene expression was consistent with the change trend of GSH activity. Conclusions: Overall, our study shows that tsothel administration did not induce overt nephrotoxicity but did have reversible stress-related effects. These results suggest that tsothel affects stress response mechanisms with the involvement of detoxifying enzyme systems. The formulation method and chemotype could play a role in the reduced toxicity potential of tsothel compared to common mercurials. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Zha-xun is widely used in Tibetan medicine and is also an international traditional medicine. This article would summarize the use status and research progress of Zha-xun by various ethnic groups all over the world, and the results show that it has various synonyms but most of them imply its most characteristic feature-outflow from the rock; Zha-xun resources are distributed in various places of the world, and its bearing spots are closely related to the geological structure; there are sharp arguments on the origins of Zha-xun, mainly including the minerals origin, biological fossils origin, biological origin, etc. Zha-xun has multiple functions and is mainly used to treat stomach disease, liver disease and rheumatoid arthritis in China, and premature ejaculation, impotence, vaginitis embolism in foreign countries. "Iron" Zha-xun is used into medicines both at home and abroad. According to ancient materia medica texts, it was mainly classified into five types, including gold Zha-xun, silver Zha-xun, copper Zha-xun, iron Zha-xun and lead Zha-xun mainly based on the predominance of color rather than the minerals contained. It is commonly believed by the domestic and foreign scholars that humic acid is the main medicinal part of Zha-xun, and their studies have found that it has a variety of pharmacological activities such as anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, liver protection, analgesia, immune regulation, increasing sexual desire and fertility, antioxidation, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antiepileptic, antipsychotic, etc. This paper provides a scientific basis for the rational utilization of Zha-xun resources.