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This study was to investigate the anti-diabetic effects and molecular mechanisms of Tang-Kang-Fu-San (TKFS), a traditional Tibetan medicine, in treating type 2 diabetes mellitus of spontaneous diabetic db/db mice. Firstly HPLC fingerprint analysis was performed to gain the features of the chemical compositions of TKFS. Next different doses of TKFS (0.5 g/kg, 1.0 g/kg, and 2.0 g/kg) were administrated via oral gavage to db/db mice and their controls for 4 weeks. TKFS significantly lowered hyperglycemia and ameliorated insulin resistance (IR) in db/db mice, indicated by results from multiple tests, including fasting blood glucose test, intraperitoneal insulin and glucose tolerance tests, fasting serum insulin levels and homeostasis model assessment of IR analysis as well as histology of pancreas islets. TKFS also decreased concentrations of serum triglyceride, total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, even though it did not change the mouse body weights. Results from western blot and immunohistochemistry analysis indicated that TKFS reversed the down-regulation of p-Akt and p-AMPK, and increased the translocation of Glucose transporter type 4 in skeletal muscles of db/db mice. In all, TKFS had promising benefits in maintaining the glucose homeostasis and reducing IR. The underlying molecular mechanisms are related to promote Akt and AMPK activation and Glucose transporter type 4 translocation in skeletal muscles. Our work showed that multicomponent Tibetan medicine TKFS acted synergistically on multiple molecular targets and signaling pathways to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The aim of this study was to investigate the antidiabetic effects of a Tibetan medicine, Tang-Kang-Fu-San (TKFS), on experimental type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) rats and to explore its underlying mechanisms. Firstly two major chemical compositions of TKFS, gallic acid and curcumin, were characterized by HPLC fingerprint analysis. Next T2DM in rats was induced by high-fat diet and a low-dose streptozotocin (STZ 35 mg/kg). Then oral gavage administration of three different doses of TKFS (0.3 g/kg, 0.6 g/kg, and 1.2 g/kg) was given to T2DM rats. Experimental results showed that TKFS dramatically reduced the levels of fasting blood glucose, fasting blood insulin, triglyceride, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol, even though it did not alter the animal body weight. The downregulation of phosphorylation-AKT (p-AKT) and glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4) in skeletal muscle of T2DM rats was restored and abnormal pathological changes in pancreas tissues were also improved. Our work showed that TKFS could alleviate diabetic syndromes, maintain the glucose homeostasis, and protect against insulin resistance in T2DM rats, and the improvement of AKT phosphorylation and GLUT4 translocation in skeletal muscle would be one of its possible underlying mechanisms.

The pathogenesis of itchy skin diseases including allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is complicated and the treatment of chronic itch is a worldwide problem. One traditional Tibetan medicine, Qingpeng ointment (QP), has been used in treatment of ACD in China for years. In this study we used HPLC and LC/MS analysis, combined with a BATMAN-TCM platform, for detailed HPLC fingerprint analysis and network pharmacology of QP, and investigated the anti-inflammatory and antipruritic activities of QP on ACD induced by squaric acid dibutylester (SADBE) in mice. The BATMAN-TCM analysis provided information of effector molecules of the main ingredients of QP, and possible chronic dermatitis-associated molecules and cell signaling pathways by QP. In ACD mice, QP treatment suppressed the scratching behavior induced by SADBE in a dose-dependent manner and inhibited the production of Th1/2 cytokines in serum and spleen. Also, QP treatment reversed the upregulation of mRNAs levels of itch-related genes in the skin (TRPV4, TSLP, GRP, and MrgprA3) and DRGs (TRPV1, TRPA1, GRP, and MrgprA3). Furthermore, QP suppressed the phosphorylation of Erk and p38 in the skin. In all, our work indicated that QP can significantly attenuate the pathological alterations of Th1/2 cytokines and itch-related mediators, and inhibit the phosphorylation of MAPKs to treat the chronic itch.

Background: The stems of Tinospora sinensis (Lour.) Merr commonly named "Kuan-Jin-Teng" in Chinese, have been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis as a Tibetan medicine.Purpose: The effects of the EtOAc fraction of ethanolic extract from the stems of T. sinensis (KJT) on the pro-inflammatory cytokines and MAPK pathway were studied in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model.Study Design: Anti-arthritic activity of KJT was investigated in CIA model.Methods: The chemical constituents of KJT were analyzed by LC-MS and HPLC. The CIA model was established with injecting the bovine CII emulsified in Freund's adjuvant in Wistar rats. Several doses of KJT (50.0, 100.0 and 200.0 mg/kg) were administrated via oral gavage to CIA rats daily for 4 weeks. The anti-arthritic activity of KJT was investigated by clinical arthritis scoring, paw swelling inspection and hyperalgesia measurement, as well as radiological and histological analysis in CIA rats. The impacts of KJT on the activation of MAPK pathway, production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-17) in ankle joints, serum, and spleen in CIA rats were examined by western blot, immunohistochemical staining, ELISA, and quantitative real-time PCR respectively. Lastly, the effects of KJT on production of the nitric oxide (NO) and pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as the regulation of the phosphorylation of p38 and Erk were detected in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 murine macrophage cells.Results: KJT significantly alleviated the paw swelling, hyperalgesia and arthritic severity, and reduced the synovial tissue proliferation and inflammatory cell infiltration in the CIA rats. Moreover, KJT suppressed the production of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-17 in ankle joints, serum, and spleen and reversed the up-regulation of the phosphorylation of p38 and Erk in CIA rats. KJT was also demonstrated to inhibit the production of NO and pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6), and phosphorylation of p38 and Erk in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells.Conclusion: These results suggest the mechanisms of KJT performing its anti-arthritis effect may be attributed to inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and down-regulating the MAPK signaling pathway.