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Publication
Journal: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
September/9/2004
Abstract
The immunopotentiating effect of the roots of Astragalus membranaceus, a medicinal herb, has been associated with its polysaccharide fractions (Astragalus polysaccharides, APS). We herein demonstrate that APS activates mouse B cells and macrophages, but not T cells, in terms of proliferation or cytokine production. Fluorescence-labeled APS (fl-APS) was able to selectively stain murine B cells, macrophages and a also human tumor cell line, THP-1, as determined in flow cytometric analysis and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The specific binding of APS to B cells and macrophages was competitively inhibited by bacterial lipopolysaccharides. Rabbit-anti-mouse immunoglobulin (Ig) antibody was able to inhibit APS-induced proliferation of, and APS binding to, mouse B cells. Additionally, APS effectively stimulated the proliferation of splenic B cells from C3H/HeJ mice that have a mutated TLR4 molecule incapable of signal transduction. These results indicate that APS activates B cells via membrane Ig in a TLR4-independent manner. Interestingly, macrophages from C3H/HeJ mice were unable to respond to APS stimulation, suggesting a positive involvement of the TLR4 molecule in APS-mediated macrophage activation. Monoclonal Ab against mouse TLR4 partially inhibited APS binding with macrophages, implying direct interaction between APS and TLR4 on cell surface. These results may have important implications for our understanding on the molecular mechanisms of immunopotentiating polysaccharides from medicinal herbs.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
September/17/2002
Abstract
Radix Astragali (root of Astragalus; Huangqi) is a popular traditional Chinese medicine, and Astragalus membranaceus and A. membranaceus var. mongolicus are two commonly used species; however, there are many Astragalus species that could act as adulterants of Radix Astragali. To find the chemical composition of Radix Astragali, the main constituents including flavonoids, saponins, polysaccharides, amino acids, and trace elements were determined in two Radices Astragali, A. membranaceus and A. membranaceus var. mongolicus, and its eight adulterants, Astragalus propinquus, Astragalus lepsensis, Astragalus aksuensis, Astragalus hoantchy, Astragalus hoantchy subsp. dshimensis, Astragalus lehmannianus, Astragalus sieversianus, and Astragalus austrosibiricus. The results showed that the amounts of main constituents such as isoflavonoids and astragalosides varied in different species. In distinction, A. membranaceus and A. membranaceus var. mongolicus contained a higher amount of astragaloside I and IV. In addition, the main constituents of A. membranaceus var.mongholicus changed according to seasonal variation and age of the plant. The chemical composition of different species of Astragalus would provide useful information for the quality control of Radix Astragali.
Publication
Journal: Phytotherapy Research
November/2/2014
Abstract
Astragalus membranaceus is one of the most widely used traditional Chinese herbal medicines. It is used as immune stimulant, tonic, antioxidant, hepatoprotectant, diuretic, antidiabetic, anticancer, and expectorant. The current paper reviews the botanical characteristics, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of Astragali Radix. Information on Astragali Radix was gathered via the Internet (using Google Scholar, Baidu Scholar, Elsevier, ACS, Medline Plus, CNKI, and Web of Science) as well as from libraries and local books. More than 100 compounds, including flavonoids, saponins, polysaccharides, and amino acids, have so far been identified, and the various biological activities of the compounds have been reported. As an important traditional Chinese medicine, further studies on Astragali Radix can lead to the development of new drugs and therapies for various diseases. The improvement of its utilization should be studied further.
Publication
Journal: Aging Cell
December/11/2011
Abstract
Here, we show that a small-molecule activator of telomerase (TA-65) purified from the root of Astragalus membranaceus is capable of increasing average telomere length and decreasing the percentage of critically short telomeres and of DNA damage in haploinsufficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) that harbor critically short telomeres and a single copy of the telomerase RNA Terc gene (G3 Terc(+/-) MEFs). Importantly, TA-65 does not cause telomere elongation or rescue DNA damage in similarly treated telomerase-deficient G3 Terc(-/-) littermate MEFs. These results indicate that TA-65 treatment results in telomerase-dependent elongation of short telomeres and rescue of associated DNA damage, thus demonstrating that TA-65 mechanism of action is through the telomerase pathway. In addition, we demonstrate that TA-65 is capable of increasing mouse telomerase reverse transcriptase levels in some mouse tissues and elongating critically short telomeres when supplemented as part of a standard diet in mice. Finally, TA-65 dietary supplementation in female mice leads to an improvement of certain health-span indicators including glucose tolerance, osteoporosis and skin fitness, without significantly increasing global cancer incidence.
Publication
Journal: Cytokine
August/26/2013
Abstract
Accumulating evidence suggests that inflammatory processes are involved in the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, there are no effective interventions for inflammation in the diabetic kidneys. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Astragaloside IV(AS-IV), a novel saponin purified from Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch) Bge, ameliorates DN in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats through anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Diabetes was induced with STZ (65 mg/kg) by intraperitoneal injection in rats. Two weeks after STZ injection, rats were divided into three groups (n=8/each group), namely, diabetic rats, diabetic rats treated with AS-IV at 5 and 10 mgkg(-1)d(-1), p.o., for 8 weeks. The normal rats were chosen as nondiabetic control group (n=8). The rats were sacrificed 10 weeks after induction of diabetes. AS-IV ameliorated albuminuria, renal histopathology and podocyte foot process effacement in diabetic rats. Renal NF-κB activity, as wells as protein and mRNA expression were increased in diabetic kidneys, accompanied by an increase in mRNA expression and protein content of TNF-α, MCP-1 and ICAM-1 in kidney tissues. The α1-chain type IV collagen mRNA was elevated in the kidneys of diabetic rats. All of these abnormalities were partially restored by AS-IV. AS-IV also decreased the serum levels of TNF-α, MCP-1 and ICAM-1 in diabetic rats. These findings suggest that AS-IV, a novel anti-inflammatory agent, attenuated DN in rats through inhibiting NF-κB mediated inflammatory genes expression.
Publication
Journal: Thrombosis and Haemostasis
July/8/2004
Abstract
The regulated expression of adhesion molecules on the surface of endothelial cells is a key process in the pathogenesis of inflammation. The saponin astragaloside IV (AS-IV), a 3-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-6-O-beta-D-glucopyranosylcycloastragenol purified from the Chinese medical herb Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch) Bge. has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in vivo. In this study we have investigated the effect of AS-IV on cytokine-and LPS-stimulated expression of adhesion molecules in and leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cells. We have demonstrated that AS-IV significantly reduced the adhesion promoting activity of LPS-stimulated HUVECs for polymorph-nuclear leukocytes (PMNs) and the monocytic cell line THP-1. Furthermore, by using specific cell ELISAs we could show that AS-IV decreased the LPS-induced expression of E-selectin and VCAM-1 on the surface of HUVECs in a dose and time dependent manner, whereas the expression of ICAM-1 was not affected by AS-IV. AS-IV also inhibits TNFalpha-induced VCAM-1 expression. The saponin octyl-D-glucopyranoside had no effect on the LPS-induced expression of E-selectin and VCAM-1 excluding an unspecific detergent-like effect of AS-IV. Moreover, AS-IV significantly inhibited LPS- and TNFalpha-induced specific mRNA levels for E-selectin and VCAM-1. Finally, we could show that AS-IV completely abolished LPS- and TNFalpha-induced nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB and NF-kappaB DNA binding activity in endothelial cells. We conclude that the ability of AS-IV to inhibit the NF-kappaB pathway might be one under-lying mechanism contributing to its anti-inflammatory potential in vivo.
Publication
Journal: Current Medicinal Chemistry
March/16/2005
Abstract
The current practice of ingesting phytochemicals to support the immune system or to fight infections is based on centuries-old tradition. We review reports on seven Chinese herbs, (Aloe vera Mill. (Aloaceae), Angelica species (Umbelliferae), Astragalus membranaceus Bunge. (Leguminosae), Ganoderma lucidum (Fr.) Karst. (Ganodermataceae), Panax ginseng C.A Mey. (Araliaceae), Scutellaria species (Lamiaceae) and Zingiber officinale Rosc. (Zingiberaceae) with emphasis to their immunomodulatory and antimicrobial activities. While some of these herbaceous plants have a direct inhibitory effect on microbial organisms, we observe that each plant has at least one compound that selectively modulates cells of the immune system. The successful derivation of pure bioactive compounds from Ganoderma lucidum, ginseng and Zingiber officinale supports the traditional practice of using these plants to stimulate the immune system. As many modern drugs are often patterned after phytochemicals, studying the influence of each compound on immune cells as well as microbes can provide useful insights to the development of potentially useful new pharmacological agents.
Publication
Journal: Neuroscience Letters
August/1/2004
Abstract
Astragalus membranaceus is a herbal medicine that has been used clinically in stroke patients in China for decades, but its potential neuroprotective effect against ischemic brain injury has not been experimentally tested. In this study, we investigated the effect of Astragaloside IV, a purified extract from Astragalus membranaceus, in a murine model of focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion produced by transient (1.5 h) middle cerebral artery occlusion. As determined at 72 h after ischemia, post-ischemic treatment of Astragaloside IV (20 or 40 mg/kg) markedly and significantly (P < 0.03 vs. vehicle-treated animals) reduced infarct volume. Astragaloside IV treatment also decreased the levels of malondialdehyde, an indicator of lipid peroxidation, and increased the levels of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase in ischemic tissues. The results presented here provide the first evidence of a neuroprotective effect of Astragaloside IV in the model of ischemic brain injury. We suggest that the anti-infarction effect by Astragaloside IV may be derived at least in part from its antioxidant properties.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
November/12/2007
Abstract
Astragalus membranaceus is a common traditional Chinese medicinal plant widely used as a tonic to enhance the body's natural defense mechanisms. In this study, bioactive fractions were isolated from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus. One of these fractions, designated as AI, was found to be the most potent with respect to its mitogenicity on murine splenocytes. Effects of AI on both specific and nonspecific immunity in mouse models were examined. Results showed that AI could exhibit mitogenic and co-mitogenic activities on mouse splenocytes, both in vitro and in vivo. Experiments in human cell culture demonstrated that AI was also active on human lymphocytes. It was found that AI was mitogenic to T cell depleted population but virtually inactive on B cell depleted population. Intraperitoneal injection of AI into mice markedly augmented the antibody response to sheep red blood cells. Besides, both the influx of macrophages into the peritoneal cavity and the phagocytic activity of macrophages were found to be enhanced by AI in vivo. On the other hand, AI could significantly increase the interleukin-2 receptor expression on mouse splenocytes in vitro. In terms of immunorestorative activity, it was found that AI could restore the lymphocyte blastogenic response of the older mice to values that are normally found in the younger mice. Moreover, administration of AI in vivo could partially restore the depressed immune functions in tumour-bearing mice and cyclophosphamide-treated mice. Collectively, the results clearly showed that AI could exhibit immunomodulating and immunorestorative effects, both in vitro and in vivo.
Publication
Journal: Medical Oncology
June/13/2013
Abstract
A platinum-based two-drug regimen is currently the standard of care for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, chemotherapy-induced side effects still remain a significant clinical problem. Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) is a polysaccharide isolated from the radix of astragalus membranaceus, a commonly used herbal compound in traditional Chinese medicine. APS was reported to increase tumor response, stabilize and improve performance status, and reduce chemotherapy toxicity. We designed this trial to determine whether APS injection integrated with vinorelbine and cisplatin (VC) offered an improved QOL over VC for patients with advanced NSCLC. Secondary objectives were tumor response, toxicity, and survival results. One hundred thirty-six patients with histologically or cytologically confirmed NSCLC were enrolled in this study from May 2008 to March 2010. Patients were randomized to receive either VC (VC arm) or VC combined with APS (VC-APS arm). The objective response rate of was 42.64% in the VC-APS arm and 36.76% in the VC arm. The difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.483). Median survival time was 10.7 and 10.2 months (P = 0.76) in VC-APS arm and VC arm, with 1-year survival rates of 35.3 and 32.4% (P = 0.717), respectively. After 3 cycles of treatment, there were significant differences in the overall patient QOL (P = 0.003), physical function (P = 0.01), fatigue (P < 0.001), nausea and vomiting (P < 0.001), pain (P = 0.007), and loss of appetite (P = 0.023) between the two study groups. In summary, we have proved that the treatment of APS integrated with VC had significantly improved QOL in patients with advanced NSCLC compared with VC alone.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Nutrition
May/2/2006
Abstract
Compounds that target the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors PPARalpha and PPARgamma are used to correct dyslipidemia and to restore glycemic balance, respectively. Because the majority of diabetic patients suffer from atherogenic lipid abnormalities, in addition to insulin resistance, ligands are required that can activate both PPARalpha and PPARgamma. In this study, we used chimeric PPARalpha/gamma reporter-gene bioassays to screen herbal extracts with purported antidiabetic properties. Extracts of Astragalus membranaceus and Pueraria thomsonii significantly activated PPARalpha and PPARgamma. Bioassay-guided fractionation resulted in the isolation of the isoflavones, formononetin, and calycosin from Astragalus membranaceus, and daidzein from Pueraria thomsonii as the PPAR-activating compounds. We investigated the effects of these and 2 common isoflavones, genistein and biochanin A, using chimeric and full-length PPAR constructs in vitro. Biochanin A and formononectin were potent activators of both PPAR receptors (EC50 = 1-4 micromol/L) with PPARalpha/PPARgamma activity ratios of 1:3 in the chimeric and almost 1:1 in the full-length assay, comparable to those observed for synthetic dual PPAR-activating compounds under pharmaceutical development. There was a subtle hierarchy of PPARalpha/gamma activities, indicating that biochanin A, formononetin, and genistein were more potent than calycosin and daidzein in chimeric as well as full-length receptor assays. At low doses, only biochanin A and formononetin, but not genistein, calycosin, or daidzein, activated PPARgamma-driven reporter-gene activity and induced differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Our data suggest the potential value of isoflavones, especially biochanin A and their parent botanicals, as antidiabetic agents and for use in regulating lipid metabolism.
Publication
Journal: Cancer Letters
August/15/2007
Abstract
Astragalus membranaceus, a commonly used Chinese medicinal plant, has been shown to be capable of restoring the impaired T cell functions in cancer patients. In this study, the in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor effects of A. membranaceus were investigated. Five bioactive fractions were isolated from the root of A. membranaceus, the fraction designated as AI was found to be the most potent among the five fractions with respect to its mitogenicity on murine splenocytes. Besides investigating the cytostatic effect of AI, its activities on macrophage function, tumor necrosis factor production, induction of lymphokine-activated killer cell and tumor cell differentiation were also examined. The macrophage-like tumors and the myeloid tumors were found to be more sensitive to the cytostatic activity of AI, whereas the fibroblast-like tumors and the mouse Ehrlich ascites tumor appeared to be relatively resistant. Moreover, AI could effectively suppress the in vivo growth of syngeneic tumor in mice. Results showed that murine macrophage pretreated with AI had increased in vitro and in vivo cytostatic activities towards MBL-2 tumor. AI could also act as a priming agent for tumor necrosis factor production in tumor-bearing mice. Preincubation of mouse splenocytes with AI could induce in vitro lymphokine-activated killer-like activity towards WEHI-164 cell. Furthermore, AI was able to induce monocytic differentiation of both human and murine cells in vitro. AI administered in vivo could even partially restore the depressed mitogenic response in tumor-bearing mice. Collectively, the results showed that A. membranaceus could exhibit both in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor effects, which might be achieved through activating the anti-tumor immune mechanism of the host.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
May/25/2011
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
Nowadays diabetic nephropathy (DN) has become a serious problem. Astragalus membranaceus is a traditional herb used for thousands of years in China and East Asia for kidney disease. In modern medicine, Astragalus shows significant renal protective effect in DN. We aimed to systematically review the randomized and semi-randomized control trials to ascertain its role in the treatment of DN.
METHODS
PUBMED, MEDLINE, Chinese journal full-test database (CJFD), Chinese biological and medical database were searched by computer and manual searching. Two assessors independently reviewed each trial. 25 studies comprising 21 RCTs and 4 CCTs were involved including 1804 patients (945 in treatment group and 859 in control group).
CONCLUSIONS
Astragalus injection had more therapeutic effect in DN patients including renal protective effect (BUN, SCr, CCr and urine protein) and systemic state improvement (serum albumin level) compared with the control group.
BACKGROUND
This study investigates the effect of Astragalus in DN patients. It suggests that although of unknown bioactive ingredients and mechanism of renal protection, the role of Astragalus in the treatment of DN can be disclosed and of profound significance.
Publication
Journal: Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology
May/16/2017
Abstract
Astragalus membranaceus Bunge has been used to treat numerous diseases for thousands of years. As the main active substance of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge, astragaloside IV (AS-IV) also demonstrates the potent protective effect on focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, liver fibrosis, and diabetic nephropathy. Based on studies published during the past several decades, the current state of AS-IV research and the pharmacological effects are detailed, elucidated, and summarized. This review systematically summarizes the pharmacological effects, metabolism mechanism, and the toxicity of AS-IV. AS-IV has multiple pharmacologic effects, including anti-inflammatory, antifibrotic, antioxidative stress, anti-asthma, antidiabetes, immunoregulation, and cardioprotective effect via numerous signaling pathways. According to the existing studies and clinical practices, AS-IV possesses potential for broad application in many diseases.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
April/20/2010
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) is an important bioactive component of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge (Leguminosae) that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating diabetes.
OBJECTIVE
To study the mechanisms by which APS ameliorates diabetes, we examined whether treatment with APS improves insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant mice and whether this is associated with an improvement of dysregulated protein kinase B and glucose transporter 4 expressions in skeletal muscle.
METHODS
APS (700 mg kg(-1)day(-1)) or vehicle was administered to 12-week-old diabetic KKAy and nondiabetic C57BL/6J mice for 8 weeks. Changes in body weight, blood glucose level, insulin resistance index, and oral glucose tolerance were routinely evaluated. The expressions of protein kinase B and glucose transporter 4 in skeletal muscle tissues were determined with Western blot.
RESULTS
KKAy mice developed persistent hyperglycemia, impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Insulin-stimulated protein kinase B phosphorylation and glucose transporter 4 translocation were significantly decreased in KKAy compared to age-matched C57BL/6J mice. APS treatment ameliorated hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. Although the content of protein kinase B and glucose transporter 4 in KKAy skeletal muscle were not affected by APS, insulin-induced protein kinase B Ser-473 phosphorylation and glucose transporter 4 translocation in skeletal muscle were partially restored by APS treatment. In contrast, APS did not have any effect on C57BL/6J mice.
CONCLUSIONS
These results indicate that APS can regulate part of the insulin signaling in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle, and that APS could be a potential insulin sensitizer for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Publication
Journal: International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
October/8/2014
Abstract
Recently, a great deal of interest has been developed to isolate and investigate novel bioactive components with health benefit effects from natural resources. The dried root of Astragalus membranaceus, one of the most popular health-promoting herbal medicines, has been used historically as an immunomodulating agent for the treatment of common cold, diarrhea, fatigue and anorexia for more than 2000 years. Modern phytochemistry and pharmacological experiments have proved that polysaccharide is one of the major active ingredients in the root of A. membranaceus with various important bioactivities, such as immunomodulation, antioxidant, antitumor, anti-diabetes, antiviral, hepatoprotection, anti-inflammation, anti-atherosclerosis, hematopoiesis and neuroprotection. The aim of the present review is to summarize previous and current references and give a comprehensive summary regarding the structural features and biological activities of A. membranaceus polysaccharides in order to provide new insight for further development of these macromolecules.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
April/21/2008
Abstract
Although Astragali Radix (Astragalus, AR), the root of Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch) Bunge, is widely used in oriental medicine for tonifying the immune response and improving circulation, the underlying mechanism(s) by which these effects are induced remains unclear. Here, we report that AR displays anti-inflammatory effects in zymosan air-pouch mice by reducing the expression of iNOS, COX-2, IL-6, IL-1beta and TNF-alpha and by decreasing the production of nitric oxide (NO). In a similar manner, AR reduces the expression of IL-6, iNOS, and COX-2 in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated Raw 264.7 cells. We further demonstrate that AR attenuates the activity of p38 and Erk1/2 and stimulates mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) in LPS-treated Raw 264.7 cells. Additionally, AR interferes with the translocation of NFkappaB to the nucleus, subsequently resulting in NFkappaB-dependent transcriptional repression. Taken together, these data reveal that AR has an anti-inflammatory effect that is mediated by the MKP-1-dependent inactivation of p38 and Erk1/2 and inhibition of NFkappaB-mediated transcription. These results imply that the AR herb has a potential anti-inflammatory activity.
Publication
Journal: Hormone and Metabolic Research
June/17/2015
Abstract
Formononetin is a naturally existing isoflavone, which can be found in the roots of Astragalus membranaceus, Trifolium pratense, Glycyrrhiza glabra, and Pueraria lobata. It was found to be associated with inhibition of cell proliferation and cell cycle progression, as well as induction of apoptosis in various cancer cell lines. However, the effect of formononetin on breast cancer cell metastasis remains unclear. In this study, we examined the effect of formononetin on the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231 and 4T1 in vitro and in vivo. Our data demonstrated that formononetin did not effectively inhibit the cell viability of MDA-MB-231 and 4T1 in 24 h with the concentration lower than 160 μmol/l. When treated with nontoxic concentration of formononetin, the migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 and 4T1 cells were markedly suppressed by wound healing assay, chamber invasion assay, and in vivo mouse metastasis model. In vitro, formononetin reduced the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9 and increased the expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) and TIMP-2. Furthermore, the immunofluorescence and immunoblotting assays indicated that formononetin was very effective in suppressing the phosphorylation of Akt and PI3K. Collectively, these results suggest that formononetin inhibited breast cancer cell migration and invasion by reducing the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. These findings demonstrate a potentially new therapeutic strategy of formononetin as anti-invasive agent for breast cancer.
Publication
Journal: American Journal of Chinese Medicine
December/12/2016
Abstract
Astragalus membranaceus is a major medicinal herb commonly used in many herbal formulations in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat a wide variety of diseases and body disorders. Among its diversified clinical applications, the potential use of this herb and its chemical constituents in treatments of inflammatory diseases and cancers has been actively investigated in recent years. Astragalus-based treatments have demonstrated significant amelioration of the toxicity induced by other concurrently administered orthodox drugs (e.g., immunosuppressants and cancer chemotherapeutics). The major components of Astragalus membranaceus are polysaccharides, flavonoids, and saponins. Contemporary use of Astragalus membranaceus mainly focuses on its immunomodulating, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory, as well as anticancer effects. In this paper, we summarize the properties of Astragalus membranaceus and its major constituents in the biological system based on experimental and clinical studies. The antitumorigenic mechanisms of a novel Astragalus saponins extract called AST in treating various gastrointestinal cancers are highlighted. We discuss in detail how the Astragalus herb and AST influence the immune system, modulate various cancer signaling pathways, and interact with specific transcription molecules during protection against gastrointestinal inflammation and cancers. This information could help clinicians and scientists develop novel target-specific and effective therapeutic agents that are deprived of major systemic side effects, so as to establish a better treatment regimen in the battle against inflammatory diseases and cancers of the gut.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
September/25/2011
Abstract
Astragaloside IV is the major active constituent of Astragalus membranaceus, which has been widely used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in China. The aim of this study was to determine the angiogenic effect of astragaloside IV and its underlying mechanism. We used the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide assay, Western blotting, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and immunofluorescence to detect the effect of astragaloside IV on proliferation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), the phospho-Akt protein level, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) accumulation, vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA expression, and applied cell migration, tube formation, and chick chorioallantoic membrane assays to study the angiogenic effect of astragaloside IV. Results indicate that astragaloside IV promoted cell proliferation and stimulated HIF-1α accumulation during hypoxia. Mechanism studies revealed that astragaloside IV did not affect the degradation of HIF-1α protein or the level of HIF-1α mRNA. In contrast, astragaloside IV apparently activated the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway, which regulates HIF-1α protein synthesis. Moreover, astragaloside IV also stimulated cell migration, increased tube formation, and promoted angiogenesis in the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay. All angiogenic effects of astragaloside IV were reversed by the PI3K inhibitor. Taken together, our data collectively reveal that astragaloside IV is a novel regulator of HIF-1α and angiogenesis through the PI3K/Akt pathway in HUVECs that are exposed to hypoxia.
Publication
Journal: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
February/6/2007
Abstract
The accumulation of inflammatory cells in the infective sites has been reported to play a crucial role in the progression of chronic inflammation and multiple sclerosis after viral infection. In the present study, nine ethanol extracts of Forsythia suspensa Vahl. (Oleaceae), Lonicera japonica Thunb. (Caprifoliaceae), Isatis indigotica Fort. (Cruciferae), Strobilanthes cusia (Ness.) O. Kuntze (Acanthaceae), Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bge. (Leguminosae), Hedysarum polybotrys Hand.-Mazz. (Leguminosae), Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Ness. (Acanthaceae), Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fischer. (Leguminosae) and Ligusticum wallichii Franch. (Umbelliferae), medicinal plants traditionally used in China for treating conditions likely to be associated with inflammation and viral infection, were screened for their effect on RANTES secretion by influenza A virus (H1N1)-infected human bronchial epithelial cells (A549). With exception of Lonicera japonica, Isatis indigotica, Astragalus membranaceus and Hedysarum polybotrys, all plants tested at concentration of 200 microg/ml possessed more than 50% suppressing effect on RANTES secretion by H1N1-infected A549 bronchial epithelial cells. Among the plants tested, Andrographis paniculata showed the most promising property to inhibit RANTES secretion with an IC(50) of 1.2 +/- 0.4 microg/ml while the next two were Glycyrrhiza uralensis and Forsythia suspensa (IC(50) ranging from 35 to 48 microg/ml).
Publication
Journal: Planta Medica
April/26/2006
Abstract
Astragaloside IV is the major active constituent of Astragalus membranaceus, which has been widely used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in China. However, the effects of astragaloside IV on myocardial ischemia and its mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. In this study, we have examined the effects of astragaloside IV on myocardial infarction and coronary flow in vivo and in vitro. The possible roles of its antioxidative and nitric oxide-inducing properties were also explored. Astragaloside IV significantly reduced infarct size in dogs subjected to coronary ligation in vivo. Astragaloside IV also improved post-ischemic heart function and ameliorated reperfusion arrhythmias in rat hearts in vitro. The cardioprotection of astragaloside IV was accompanied by a significant increase in coronary flow both in vivo and in vitro. The nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, Nomega-nitro- L-arginine methyl ester partially abrogated astragaloside IV's protective effect on heart function. Myocardial antioxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase activity increased with astragaloside IV administration. These data suggest the potential roles of antioxidative and nitric oxide-inducing properties of astragaloside IV in its protection from myocardial ischemia.
Authors