March 18, 2013

Hair Tonic Herbs

  1. Radix Astragali
  2. Herba Ecliptae Prostratae
  3. Radix Ginseng
  4. Fructus Ligustri Lucidi
  5. Radix Angelicae Sinensis – Tang-Kuei
  6. Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae Conquitae

Note: While Astragalus has no direct references to hair benefits, it does have an effect on Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), as do Ginseng, Angelica Sinensis (tang-kuei) and Rehmannia. VEGF promotes angiogenesis and helps mediate hair growth. For example, minoxidil upregulates VEGF expression as part of its ability to promote hair growth. Astragalus is used in combination with Tang-kuei to promote blood circulation and blood vessel health. The hair papilla, location of generation of hair cells, is highly vascularized and contains a capillary network. In order for hair to grow, it needs delivery of hair growth nutrition to the papilla.

1. Radix Astragali References

The effect of astragalin on the VEGF production of cultured Müller cells under high glucose conditions.

Ke M, Hu XQ, Ouyang J, Dai B, Xu Y. Biomed Mater Eng. 2012 Jan 1;22(1):113-9. Department of Ophthalmology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.

Abstract: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a severe complication of diabetes mellitus (DM) and often causes vision loss or even blindness. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the retina, which is mainly derived from Müller cells, is a crucial biological factor in the development of DR. Astragalin is extracted from Astragalus membranaceus and has many pharmacological properties. Studies showed that astragalin has beneficial effects on hyperglycemia. To evaluate the effect of astragalin in preventing and treating DR and determine astragalin’s mechanism of action, Müller cells were collected from rat retina, cultured in vitro and identified using immunocytochemistry. They were divided into four groups: the high glucose group (20 mmol/l), the normal control group, the astragalin group (400 mg/l) and the high glucose (20 mmol/l) + astragalin (400 mg/l) group. After 3 days of treatment, immunocytochemical and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of VEGF was carried out. Our results demonstrated that astragalin decreased the overexpression of VEGF in Müller cells and alleviated the effects caused by high glucose. Thus, astragalin has promising application in preventing and treating DR caused by DM. PMID: 22766709

Astragalus membranaceus extract promotes neovascularisation by VEGF pathway in rat model of ischemic injury.

Zhang L, Yang Y, Wang Y, Gao X. Pharmazie. 2011 Feb;66(2):144-50. Pharmaceutical Informatics Institute, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Abstract: Astragalus membranaceus extract (AME) is a widely used herbal product for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in China. The present study aimed to evaluate the cardiac protective effects of AME, and to probe the underlying molecular mechanism related to angiogenesis. In this study, AME with 75 microg/mL significantly increased proliferation, migration and tube formation on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Moreover, in vivo experiments on rats with ligation of left anterior descending artery were performed to study the cardiac protective and angiogenic effect of AME (50 and 100 mg/kg i.g. for 3, 7, 14 days). The results showed that AME inhibited cardiac fibrosis, reduced infarct size, and increased capillary and arteriole densities. Meanwhile, western blot was used to determine protein levels of VEGF, p-AKT, p-GSK3beta and p-mTOR. AME significantly elevated protein expression of VEGF and increased phosphorylation of AKT, GSK3beta and mTOR. In conclusion, AME exerted cardiac protective and angiogenic effects in the ischemic injured heart. The activation of AKT/GSK3beta and AKT/mTOR pathways and elevated expression of VEGF may contribute to the promoted neovascularisation by AME. PMID: 21434579

Proangiogenic activity of plant extracts in accelerating wound healing – a new face of old phytomedicines.

Majewska I, Gendaszewska-Darmach E. Acta Biochim Pol. 2011;58(4):449-60. Epub 2011 Oct 27. Institute of Technical Biochemistry, Technical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland.

Abstract: Angiogenesis, the formation of new capillaries from pre-existing vascular network, plays an important role in physiological and pathological processes such as embryonic development, wound healing, and development of atherosclerosis. Extension of the circulatory network is also considered to be one the most important factors during cancerogenesis. Inhibition of angiogenesis may lead to inhibition of tumor growth whereas stimulation may improve wound healing. Research achievements suggest the use of plants and their extracts as potential therapeutic agents with pro- or antiangiogenic activity. Since the anticancer and antiangiogenic properties of many phytomedicines have been amply reviewed elsewhere this paper will focus on the treatment of vascular insufficiency in wound healing. Globally accepted herbal drugs are thought to be safe and effective, however, there is a need for more evidence-based confirmation in controlled and validated trials. Among the most frequently studied proangiogenic phytochemicals are ginsenosides from Panax ginseng, beta-sitosterol from Aloe vera, calycosin from Radix Astragali, and extracts from Hippophae rhamnoides L. and Angelica sinensis. PMID: 22030557

Study on effects of Astragalus, Angelica and their combination on vascular endothelial cell proliferation in vitro.

Lei,Y, Gao Q, Li YS. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2003 Oct:23(10):753-6. Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of TCM, Beijing 100091.

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of Astragalus membranaceus (AM), Angelica sinensis (AS) and their combination on human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation and cells cycle. METHODS: The effects were observed and studied by means of taking the cultured HUVECs as model to determine the cell proliferation with MTT method, cell cycle was analyzed with cytometry, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression with SABC method. The regulatory effects of AM, AS and their combination on the HUVEC proliferation promoting were observed and studied. RESULTS: AM and AS, used singly or in combination, could promote the growth of endothelial cells, increase the cell population in S phase, the effects showed more significant when used in combination (P < 0.05 or P < 0.001). Meanwhile, VEGF expression in all the medicated group was up-regulated, but in the PBS control group, it showed only weak expression (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: AM and AS have effect in promoting vascular endothelial cell proliferation and DNA synthesis, and showed synergistic effect when they were used in combination, suggesting that these two Chinese herbs could have certain effect on the genesis and development of neogenetic vascularization in ischemic myocardium. PMID: 14626189

 2. Herba Ecliptae Prostratae References

Note: Eclipta is the subject of research for hair growth in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. This herb is part of the historical Essence tonic herb pair, Eclipta and Ligustrum, that is purported to return grey hair to black. It is used topically in these studies.

Eclipta alba extract with potential for hair growth promoting activity.

Datta k, Singh AT, Mukherjee A, Bhat B, Ramesh B, Burman AC. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jul 30:124(3):450-6. Epub 2009 May 28. Molecular Oncology Lab., Dabur Research Foundation, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad 201010, India.

Abstract: ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Eclipta alba is traditionally known to potentiate hair growth promotion. AIM OF THE STUDY: The study was aimed to investigate the efficacy of methanol extract of Eclipta alba as hair growth promoter. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Pigmented C57/BL6 mice, preselected for their telogen phase of hair growth were used. In these species, the truncal epidermis lacks melanin-producing melanocytes and melanin production is strictly coupled to anagen phase of hair growth. The extract was applied topically to assess telogen to anagen transition. Immunohistochemical investigation was performed to analyze antigen specificity. Animals in anagen phase of hair growth were positive for FGF-7 and Shh and negative for BMP4, whereas the animals in telogen phase were positive only for BMP4 antigen. RESULTS: The methanol extract of whole plant when tested for hair growth promoting potential, exhibited dose dependent activity in C57BL6 mice. The activity was assessed by studying the melanogenesis in resected skin, follicle count in the subcutis, skin thickness and surrogate markers in vehicle control and extract treated animals. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that methanol extract of Eclipta alba may have potential as a hair growth promoter. PMID: 19481595

Hair growth promoting activity of Eclipta alba in male albino rats.

Roy RK, Thakur M, Dixit VK. Arch Dermtol Res. 2008 Aug:300(7):357-64. Epub 2008 May 14. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr HS Gour University, Sagar, MP, India.

Abstract: Alopecia is a dermatological disorder with psychosocial implications on patients with hair loss. Eclipta alba Hassk. is a well-known Ayurvedic herb with purported claims of hair growth promotion. In the reported work attempts were undertaken to evaluate petroleum ether and ethanol extract of E. alba Hassk. for their effect on promoting hair growth in albino rats. The extracts were incorporated into oleaginous cream (water in oil cream base) and applied topically on shaved denuded skin of albino rats. The time (in days) required for hair growth initiation as well as completion of hair growth cycle was recorded. Minoxidil 2% solution was applied topically and served as positive control for comparison. Hair growth initiation time was significantly reduced to half on treatment with the extracts, as compared to control animals. The time required for complete hair growth was also significantly reduced. Quantitative analysis of hair growth after treatment with petroleum ether extract (5%) exhibited greater number of hair follicles in anagenic phase (69 +/- 4) which were higher as compared to control (47 +/- 13). The result of treatment with 2 and 5% petroleum ether extracts were better than the positive control minoxidil 2% treatment. PMID: 18478241

 3. Radix Ginseng References

Ginsenosides Rb(1) and Rd Regulate Proliferation of Mature Keratinocytes Through Induction of p63 Expression in Hair Follicles.

Li Z, Li JJ, Gu LJ, Zhang DL, Wang YB, Sung CK. Phytother Res. 2012 Sep 25. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4828. Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, 305-764, South Korea.

Abstract: Ginsenosides Rb(1) and Rd are the two main types of ginsenosides in Panax ginseng and have been used as an additive to against alopecia. However, the mechanisms involved are largely unknown. To determine how ginsenosides prevent hair loss, we topically applied protopanaxadiol-type ginsenosides Rb(1) and Rd over the shaved skin of B57CL/6 mice, and monitored and assessed them for 35 days. We then investigated the effects of ginsenosides on cell genesis in different phases of adult hair follicles (HFs), using 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine as a marker for dividing cells. Moreover, p63, a specific marker and a major regulator of keratinocyte progenitor cells of the multi-layered epithelia, was detected in epidermis. Results indicated that treatment with ginsenosides Rb(1) and Rd increased cell proliferation in both anagen and telogen of HFs. However, it had no significant effect on the survival of cells in the bulge and upper follicle region. Investigation of p63 demonstrated that up-regulation of p63 expression in the matrix and outer root sheath might be one of the mechanisms by which ginsenosides Rb(1) and Rd promote cell proliferation in HFs. Our study reveals a novel mechanism by which ginsenoside promotes hair growth through p63 induction in follicular keratinocytes and indicates that ginsenosides Rb(1) and Rd might be developed as a therapeutic agent for the prevention of hair loss. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID: 23007914

Effects of ginseng rhizome and ginsenoside Ro on testosterone 5α-reductase and hair re-growth in testosterone-treated mice.

Murata K, Takeshita F, Samukawa K, Tani T, Matsuda H. Phytother Res. 2012 Jan;26(1):48-53. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3511. Epub 2011 May 2. Faculty of Pharmacy, Kinki University, 3-4-1 Kowakae, Higashi-osaka, Osaka 577-8502, Japan.

Abstract: This research program on the novel functions of Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer focused on the effects of ginseng rhizome on hair re-growth in androgenetic alopecia. Extracts of red ginseng rhizome showed greater dose-dependent inhibitory effects against testosterone 5α-reductase (5αR) when compared with extracts of the main root. Ginsenoside Ro, the predominant ginsenoside in the rhizome, and ginsenoside Rg(3), a unique ginsenoside in red ginseng, showed inhibitory activity against 5αR with IC(50) values of 259.4 and 86.1 µm, respectively. The rhizome of P. japonicus, which contains larger amounts of ginsenoside Ro, also inhibited 5αR. Topical administration of extracts of red ginseng rhizomes (2 mg/mouse) and ginsenoside Ro (0.2 mg/mouse) to shaved skin inhibited hair re-growth suppression after shaving in the testosterone-treated C57BL/6 mice. These results suggest that red ginseng rhizomes containing both oleanane- and dammarane-type ginsenosides are a promising raw material for cosmetic use. This is the first report that ginsenoside Ro enhances in vivo hair re-growth based on their inhibitory activity against 5αR in the androgenetic alopecia model. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID: 21538628

Promotion of hair growth by ginseng radix on cultured mouse vibrissal hair follicles.

Matsuda H, Yamazaki M, Asanuma Y, Kubo M. Phytother Res. 2003 Aug:17(7):797-800. Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kinki University, 3-4-1, Kowakae, Higashiosaka, Osaka, 577-8502, Japan.

Abstract: A 70% methanol extract from red ginseng (steamed and dried roots of Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer, a kind of Ginseng Radix) had superior activity to that of white ginseng (peeled and dried root of P. ginseng, another kind of Ginseng Radix) in a hair growth promoting assay using mouse vibrissal follicles in organ culture. Of the major constituents of P. ginseng, ginsenoside-Rb(1) (G-Rb(1)) exhibited activity, but ginsenoside-Rg(1) (G-Rg(1)) and -Ro (G-Ro) were ineffective. Additionally, 20(S)-ginsenoside-Rg(3) (20(S)-G-Rg(3)) formed by the processing of red ginseng from the crude root of P. ginseng also showed hair growth promoting activity. These results indicate that Ginseng Radix possesses hair growth promoting activity, and its bioactive components are partially attributable to the ginseng saponin components mentioned above. Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID: 12916080

Panax ginseng prevents apoptosis in hair follicles and accelerates recovery of hair medullary cells in irradiated mice.

Kim SH, Jeong KS, Ryu SY, Kim TH. In Vivo. 1998 Mar-Apr:12(2):219-22. Department of Anatomy, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Kwangju, South Korea.

Abstract: We studied the effect of the water fraction of Panax ginseng, one of traditional oriental medicine herbs on apoptosis and the formation of medullary cell in the hair follicles of irradiated mice. The hair follicle or its differentiated product, the hair, which represents a linear historical record of follicular proliferative activity, could provide a biological indicator of the effect of radioprotective drugs. Adult N:GP(s) mice with hair follicles synchronously in the middle of the hair growth cycle received whole-body doses of gamma-radiation. The hair follicles were analysed either 12 hours after irradiation with 2 Gy in the experiment on the apoptosis, or 3 days after irradiation with 3 Gy in the experiment on the forming medulla. The number of medullary cells per unit length (100 microns) were measured by H and E staining. Apoptosis was detected by a nonisotopic in situ DNA end-labeling (ISEL) technique and H and E stain applied to the serial histologic sections. Ginseng administration before irradiation resulted in a suppression of apoptosis, as shown by a reduced number of cells stained with ISEL for fragmented DNA, both i.p. (0.3 mg/head, p < 0.05) and p.o. (2 mg/ml of drinking water, p < 0.05) treatment. In addition, ginseng treatment was associated with an increase in the number of medullary cell per unit length as compared with the vehicle treated mice (p < 0.001, i.p.; p < 0.05, p.o.). These results indicate that the water fraction of ginseng can exert a potent effect on the recovery of the hair follicles by its combined effects on proliferation and apoptosis of the cells in the hair follicle. PMID: 9627805

4. Fructus Ligustri Lucidi References

Note: Ligustrum contains oleanolic and ursolic acids, which can help skin conditions.

Ultrasound-assisted extraction of oleanolic acid and ursolic acid from Ligustrum lucidum Ait.

Xia EQ, Yu YY, Xu XR, Deng GF, Guo YJ, Li HB. Ultrason Sonochem. 2012 Jul;19(4):772-6. Epub 2011 Dec 2. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Food, Nutrition and Health, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China.

Abstract: Oleanolic acid and ursolic acid are the main bioactive compounds in fruit of Ligustrum lucidum Ait, which possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiprotozoal, antimutagenic and anticancer properties. In this study, the ultrasound-assisted extraction of oleanolic acid and ursolic acid from L. lucidum Ait was investigated with HPLC-photodiode array detection. Effects of several experimental parameters, such as type and concentration of extraction solvent, ratio of liquid to material, extraction temperature and extraction time, on extraction efficiencies of oleanolic acid and ursolic acid from L. lucidum were evaluated. The influence of experimental parameters on extraction efficiency of ursolic acid was more significant than that of oleanolic acid. The optimal extraction conditions were 95% ethanol, the ratio of material to liquid at 1:20, and extraction for 10 min at 40°C under ultrasonic irradiation. Under the optimal conditions, the yields of oleanolic acid and ursolic acid were 6.3 ± 0.25 and 9.8 ± 0.30 mg/g, respectively. The results indicated that the ultrasound-assisted extraction is a very useful method for the extraction of oleanolic acid and ursolic acid from L. lucidum. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. PMID: 22197019

The effect of ursolic and oleanolic acids on human skin fibroblast cells.

Wójciak-Kosior M, Paduch R, Matysik-Woźniak A, Niedziela P, Donica H. Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2011;49(4):664-9.

Abstract: In this article, we look at how ursolic and oleanolic acids can be used for the purpose of quality control of natural products used in dermatocosmetology as well as of various other therapeutic preparations. Ursolic acid (UA) and oleanolic acid (OA) are pentacyclic triterpenes and they are constituents of many medicinal herbs. In this study, we analyzed the cytotoxic and anti-proliferative activity of OA and UA against normal human skin fibroblasts (HSF). Additionally, the scavenging activity of free radicals of both acids was analyzed. The sensitivity of cells to OA and UA activity was determined using a standard spectrophotometric (MTT) assay. The free radical scavenging activity of OA and UA was measured using the DPPH• test. The F-actin cytoskeletal proteins organization was analyzed using TRITC-phalloidine fluorescent staining. The cytotoxic activity of the analyzed acids was determined using Neutral Red (NR) uptake assay. Of the two isomeric compounds, UA showed a higher cytotoxic activity against HSF cells than did OA. Our investigations showed that OA, in view of its non-toxic nature, may be used as a supplementary factor for dermal preparations. (Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica 2011; Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 664-669). PMID: 22252762

 5. Radix Angelica Sinensis References

A combination of Chinese herbs, Astragalus membranaceus var. mongholicus and Angelica sinensis, improved renal microvascular insufficiency in 5/6 nephrectomized rats.

Song J, Meng L, Li S, Qu L, Li X. Vascul Pharmacol. 2009 May-Jun;50(5-6):185-93. doi: 10.1016/j.vph.2009.01.005. Renal Division, Department of Medicine, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing 100034, PR China.

Abstract: Chronic renal ischemia and hypoxia in the tubulointerstitium are involved in the mechanisms of progressive chronic kidney disease. Previous studies showed that the decoction of a combination of two Chinese herbs, Astragalus membmnaceus var. mongholicus and Angelica sinensis (A & A) has antifibrotic effects through multiple pathways in different animal models. In this study, remnant kidney model was employed to investigate whether A & A affect the expression of VEGF, the density of the renal microvasculature and thus alleviate the renal injury. Rats were divided randomly into four groups: sham group (N-31), 5/6 Nx group (5/ 6 nephrectomy, N=43), A & A treated group (A & A group, N=40, A & A 12 g/kg/d po), enalapril treated group (Ena group, N=56, enalapril 4 mg/kg/d po). Rats from each group were sacrificed at the 2th, 4th, 8th and 12th weeks respectively after surgery and treatment The 24 h urinary protein excretion, serum creatinine (Scr) and urea were measured. The collagen IV (COL-IV), fibronectin (FN), aminopeptidase P (APP) and VEGF were stained using immunohistochemistry. The COL-IV, FN and APP were semi-quantitatively analyzed. Peritubular capillary density in the cortical interstitial area was quantified. The level of VEGF was assayed by ELISA. The results revealed that Scr, urea and urinary protein excretion remained constant at each time point in sham group. Compared to sham group, 5/6 Nx group was shown severe glomerulosclerosis, tubulointerstitial lesions and vascular damage, as well as higher level of Scr from the 2nd week (72.3 +/- 5.2 vs. 48.6 +/- 2.6 micromol/L P < 0.05) to the 12th week (71.9 +/- 8.0 vs. 55.7 +/- 4.5 micromol/L P < 0.05). Although there was no significant difference in Scr level after treatment of enalapril or A & A (P > 0.05), kidney damage was alleviated at the 8th and the 12th week in the two treatment groups (P < 0.05, vs. 5/6 Nx group). The urinary protein excretion of 5/6 Nx group was significantly increased from the 4th week, it was 1.5, 2.4 and 3.8 fold of that of sham group at the 4th, 8th and 12th week, respectively. Compared to 5/6 Nx group, proteinuria was decreased by enalapril to 59%, 33% at 8th and 12th week. After A & A administration, urinary protein excretion decreased to 66%, 56%, 75%, 55% of 5/6 Nx group at the 2nd, 4th, 8th and 12th, respectively (P < 0.05). Compared with sham group, there was increased expression of FN and COL-IV in rats with 5/6 Nx. After A & A or enalapril administration, the expression of FN and COL-IV was significantly decreased compared with that in the 5/6 Nx group at 8th and 12th week (P < 0.05). On the other hand, the capillary density was decreased at the 8th and 12th week in 5/6 Nx rats (P < 0.01). In A & A-treated group, similarly with enalapril group, the amount of APP-positive glomerular capillary increased by 36% (P < 0.01), and the peritubular capillary density was increased 94% at 8th week and 52% at 12th week compared with 5/6 Nx group (P < 0.05). The renal level of VEGF was decreased in 5/6 Nx rats, but increased at the 8th and 12th week in A & A group (P < 0.05, vs. 5/6 Nx group). In conclusion, A & A has renoprotective effects by suppression of extra cellular matrix deposition in 5/6 Nx rat. The renoprotective effects may be associated with reduction of proteinuria, up-regulation of VEGF which may reduce the loss of capillaries and improve microstructure dysfunction. PMID: 19563735

Study on effects of Astragalus, Angelica and their combination on vascular endothelial cell proliferation in vitro.

Lei Y, Gao Q, Li YS. Zhongguo Znong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2003 Oct:23(10):753-6. Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of TCM, Beijing 100091.

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of Astragalus membranaceus (AM), Angelica sinensis (AS) and their combination on human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation and cells cycle. METHODS: The effects were observed and studied by means of taking the cultured HUVECs as model to determine the cell proliferation with MTT method, cell cycle was analyzed with cytometry, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression with SABC method. The regulatory effects of AM, AS and their combination on the HUVEC proliferation promoting were observed and studied. RESULTS: AM and AS, used singly or in combination, could promote the growth of endothelial cells, increase the cell population in S phase, the effects showed more significant when used in combination (P < 0.05 or P < 0.001). Meanwhile, VEGF expression in all the medicated group was up-regulated, but in the PBS control group, it showed only weak expression (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: AM and AS have effect in promoting vascular endothelial cell proliferation and DNA synthesis, and showed synergistic effect when they were used in combination, suggesting that these two Chinese herbs could have certain effect on the genesis and development of neogenetic vascularization in ischemic myocardium. PMID: 14626189

Angiogenic effects of the extracts from Chinese herbs: Angelica and Chuanxiong.

Am J Chin Med. 2008:36(3):541-54. Department of Physiology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China.

Abstract: Angelica and ChuanXiong are used to cure ischemic heart disease in China. Previous studies found that these two herbs could increase myocardial blood flow, oxygen-supply and keep myocardial oxygen balance, etc. However, the mechanisms of angiogenic effects of these two herbs are not well-known. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of Angelica and ChuanXiong on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in rat myocardial infarction, on endothelial cell proliferation and quantity of vessels on chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). In this study, rats were divided randomly into either pre-treatment or acute-treatment group and sacrificed at the end of the treatments. VEGF expression using Western blot analysis was significantly increased in the groups pre-treated with ChuanXiong and Angelica when compared to the control group (p < 0.05). There was significant increase in VEGF expression in the rats treated acutely with Angelica (p < 0.05). In the contrary, the rats treated with ChuanXiong showed a decrease in VEGF expression when compared to the acute-treatment control group (p < 0.05). Similar results were observed in immunohistochemistry of VEGF expression in the myocardia. Our study also demonstrated that these two herbs significantly enhanced endothelial cell proliferation (p < 0.05) and revascularity in CAM (p < 0.05). The data showed that Angelica and ChuanXiong could affect VEGF expression in rat myocardial infarction, promote endothelial cell proliferation and stimulate quantity of vessels on CAM model. The results suggest that Angelica and ChuanXiong have angiogenic effects, and may provide some mechanisms for the treatment of myocardial infarction and peripheral ischemia. PMID: 18543387

Effect of Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) on melanocytic proliferation, melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity in vitro.

Deng Y, Yang L. Di Yi Jun Yi Da Xue Xue Bao. 2003 Mar;23(3):239-41. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, First Military Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China.

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) on melanocytes and tyrosinase activity. METHODS: MTT method and cleavage by NaOH were employed to measure the proliferation and melanin synthesis of melanocytes, respectively. Tyrasinase activity assessment was performed by measuring the rate of oxidation of DL-dopa. RESULTS: Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) was found to promote melanocytic proliferation (P < 0.05), resulting in a statistically significant increase in the cell counts (P < 0.05). It also enhanced melanin synthesis (P < 0.05) and tryosinase activity (P < 0.05) of the melanocytes, and the most potent effects were achieved at the concentration of 1 g/L (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) promotes melanocytic proliferation, melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity, which may be the mechanism for validating its clinical use in the treatment of skin pigmentation. PMID: 12651240

6. Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae Conquitae References

Effects of Rehmannia glutinosa oligosaccharide on human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells in vitro.

Zhang Y1, Wang Y, Wang L, Zhang Y, Qin Y, Chen T, Han W, Chen G.

Life Sci. 2012 Dec 17;91(25-26):1323-7. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2012.10.015. Epub 2012 Oct 30.

Abstract: AIMS: Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSCs) are considered as a good cell source for regenerative medicine with their self-renew capacity, multilineage differentiation and immunomodulatory potency. Based on this background, the aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of Rehmannia glutinosa oligosaccharide (RGO), a traditional Chinese medicine, on human ADMSCs’ proliferation, H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis, and secretion of Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in vitro.

Main Methods: Human ADMSCs were isolated and cultured in vitro. Then flow cytometry was carried out to characterize the cells, and MTT assay was performed to detect the proliferation. H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis was evaluated by flow cytometry. VEGF and HGF production were detected by ELISA kits.

Key Findings: Human ADMSCs were positive for CD90 and CD29, but negative for CD31, CD34 and CD45. The results also indicate that RGO can promote the proliferation and alleviate H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis of human ADMSCs. The mechanism of RGO’s protective effect may involve the up-regulation of VEGF and HGF.

Significants: The present study indicates that RGO may increase the viability and proliferative capacity and alleviate H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis of human ADMSCs via the paracrine release of VEGF and HGF. These results indicate that RGO application will enhance stem cell viability and improve their effects in cell therapy.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 23123441

A Chinese 2-herb formula (NF3) promotes hindlimb ischemia-induced neovascularization and wound healing of diabetic rats.

Tam JC1, Ko CH1, Lau KM1, To MH1, Kwok HF1, Chan YW1, Siu WS1, Etienne-Selloum N2, Lau CP1, Chan WY3, Leung PC1, Fung KP4, Schini-Kerth VB5, Lau CB6.

Life Sci. 2012 Dec 17;91(25-26):1323-7. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2012.10.015. Epub 2012 Oct 30.

Abstract: Diabetic foot ulcer is closely associated with peripheral vascular disease. Enhancement of tissue oxidative stress, reduction of nitric oxide (NO) and angiogenic growth factors, and abnormal matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity are pathophysiological factors in post-ischemic neovascularization and diabetic wound healing. Our previous study demonstrated that the Chinese 2-herb formula, NF3, showed significant wound healing effects on diabetic foot ulcer rats. A novel rat diabetic foot ulcer with hindlimb ischemia model was established in order to strengthen our claims on the diabetic wound healing and post-ischemic neovascularization effects of NF3. Our results demonstrate that NF3 can significantly reduce the wound area of the diabetic foot ulcer rat with hindlimb ischemia by 21.6% (p<0.05) compared with the control group. In addition, flow cytometric analysis revealed that NF3 could boost circulating EPC levels for local wound vessel incorporation. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that NF3 could significantly augment blood vessel density, VEGF and eNOS expression, and attenuate tissue oxidative stress of ischemic muscles (p<0.001). NF3 significantly stimulated MMP activity involved in angiogenesis. Our study shows, for the first time, the beneficial effects of NF3 in wound healing and post-ischemic neovascularization in diabetes.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Astragalus membranaceus; Chinese medicines; Diabetic foot; Hindlimb ischemia; Rehmannia glutinosa; Wound healing

PMID: 24731763