OBJECTIVE: To determine whether Chinese herbal creams used for the treatment of dermatological conditions contain steroids. DESIGN: 11 herbal creams obtained from patients attending general and paediatric dermatology outpatient clinics were analysed with high resolution gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. SETTING: Departments of dermatology and clinical biochemistry. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Presence of steroid. RESULTS: Eight creams contained dexamethasone at a mean concentration of 456 micrograms/g (range 64 to 1500 micrograms/g). All were applied to areas of sensitive skin such as face and flexures. CONCLUSION: Greater regulation needs to be imposed on Chinese herbalists to prevent illegal and inappropriate prescribing of potent steroids. (+info)
(2/2638) Effects of the Chinese traditional medicine mao-bushi-saishin-to on therapeutic efficacy of a new benzoxazinorifamycin, KRM-1648, against Mycobacterium avium infection in mice.
The Chinese traditional medicine mao-bushi-saishin-to (MBST), which has anti-inflammatory effects and has been used to treat the common cold and nasal allergy in Japan, was examined for its effects on the therapeutic activity of a new benzoxazinorifamycin, KRM-1648 (KRM), against Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection in mice. In addition, we examined the effects of MBST on the anti-MAC activity of murine peritoneal macrophages (M phi s). First, MBST significantly increased the anti-MAC therapeutic activity of KRM when given to mice in combination with KRM, although MBST alone did not exhibit such effects. Second, MBST treatment of M phi s significantly enhanced the KRM-mediated killing of MAC bacteria residing in M phi s, although MBST alone did not potentiate the M phi anti-MAC activity. MBST-treated M phi s showed decreased levels of reactive nitrogen intermediate (RNI) release, suggesting that RNIs are not decisive in the expression of the anti-MAC activity of such M phi populations. MBST partially blocked the interleukin-10 (IL-10) production of MAC-infected M phi s without affecting their transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)-producing activity. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis of the lung tissues of MAC-infected mice at weeks 4 and 8 after infection revealed a marked increase in the levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha, gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), IL-10, and TGF-beta mRNAs. KRM treatment of infected mice tended to decrease the levels of the test cytokine mRNAs, except that it increased TGF-beta mRNA expression at week 4. MBST treatment did not affect the levels of any cytokine mRNAs at week 8, while it down-regulated cytokine mRNA expression at week 4. At week 8, treatment of mice with a combination of KRM and MBST caused a marked decrease in the levels of the test cytokines mRNAs, especially IL-10 and IFN-gamma mRNAs, although such effects were obscure at week 4. These findings suggest that down-regulation of the expression of IL-10 and TGF-beta is related to the combined therapeutic effects of KRM and MBST against MAC infection. (+info)
(3/2638) The pharmacokinetics of artemisinin after administration of two different suppositories to healthy Vietnamese subjects.
Eight healthy Vietnamese male subjects received 400 mg artemisinin formulated into fatty suppositories (FS), and six different subjects received 500 mg of artemisinin formulated in polyethylene glycol suppositories (PEGS). Plasma concentrations were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection; concentration versus time curves were analyzed with nonparametric methods. No statistically significant differences were found between the two formulations. The maximum concentration (Cmax) was 100 +/- 102 microg/L (mean +/- SD, range = 24-330) microg/L (FS), the pharmacokinetic lag time (Tlag) was 1.3 +/- 1.0 hr (range = 0-3) (FS), and the time of the maximum concentration (Tmax) was 7.1 +/- 2.1 hr (range = 3-10) hr (FS). Because artemisinin is not available for intravenous dosage, absolute bioavailability cannot be assessed. However, compared with a previous study on oral artemisinin in healthy Vietnamese subjects, bioavailability relative to oral administration was estimated to be approximately 30%. We conclude that therapeutic blood concentrations of artemisinin can be reached after rectal dosage. The dose after rectal administration should probably be higher than after oral administration; doubling or tripling the oral dose might be necessary, which would imply a rectal dose of at least 20 mg/kg of body weight given twice a day. (+info)
(4/2638) Effect of alpha-hederin on hepatic detoxifying systems in mice.
AIM: To examine whether alpha-hederin (Hed) modulates hepatic detoxifying systems as a means of hepatoprotection. METHODS: Mice were injected Hed 10 and 30 mumol.kg-1 sc for 3 d, and liver cytosols were prepared 24 h after the last dose to study antioxidant enzymes and nonenzymatic defense components. RESULTS: Hed increased liver glutathione (GSH) content (20%), but had no effect on GSH peroxidase, GSH reductase, and GSH S-transferase. The activities of superoxide dismutase and quinone reductase were unaffected by Hed treatment. At the high dose of Hed, catalase activity was decreased by 20%. Hepatic content of metallothionein was dramatically increased (50-fold), along with elevations of hepatic Zn and Cu concentrations (25%-80%). Hed also increased ascorbic acid concentration (20%), but no effect on alpha-tocopherol in liver. CONCLUSION: Hed enhanced some nonenzymatic antioxidant components in liver, which play a partial role in Hed protection against hepatotoxicity produced by some chemicals. (+info)
(5/2638) Antioxidative and chelating activities of phenylpropanoid glycosides from Pedicularis striata.
AIM: To study the antioxidative and iron chelating activities of phenylpropanoid glycosides (PPG) isolated from a Chinese herb Pedicularis striata. METHODS: Antioxidative effects of PPG on lipid peroxidation induced by FeSO4-edetic acid in linoleic acid were measured by thiobarbituric acid method. Chelating activities of PPG for Fe2+ were tested by differential spectrum method. RESULTS: The reaction rates (A532.min-1) of lipid peroxidation were 0.0046 in the control, 0.0021 in verbascoside group, and 0.0008 in isoverbascoside group. The chelating activity of isoverbascoside was 2-fold stronger than that of verbascoside. Permethyl verbascoside showed neither antioxidative nor chelating activities. CONCLUSION: The inhibitory effects of PPG with phenolic hydroxy groups on lipid peroxidation are owing to their chelating properties. Under physiological condition PPG-Fe2+ chelates are sufficiently stable. Thus PPG are able to inhibit the Fe(2+)-dependent lipid peroxidation in vivo through chelating Fe2+ and exhibit their therapeutic potential by the same mechanism in vitro. (+info)
(6/2638) Effect of praeruptorin C on spontaneous [Ca2+]i transients in cultured myocardial cells of neonatal rats.
AIMS: To study the effects of praeruptorin C (Pra-C) on [Ca2+]i transients in cultured neonatal myocardiocytes. METHOD: Using Ca(2+)-sensitive fluorescent indicator, Fura 2-AM, spontaneous cytosolic Ca2+ transients were measured in cultured myocardial cells of neonatal rats. RESULTS: Pra-C 10, 30 mumol.L-1 caused a decrease in the peak of Ca2+ transients. Pra-C 30 mumol.L-1 and 10-30 mumol.L-1 inhibited partly the stimulatory effects of CaCl2 4.8 mmol.L-1 and Bay k 8644 100 nmol.L-1 on peak Ca2+ transients, respectively. Pra-C did not cause any marked change in the basal [Ca2+]i level between beats. Pra-C inhibited the reduced [Ca2+]i transients after inhibition of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release in ryanodine pretreated cells. CONCLUSIONS: Pra-C inferred with the Ca2+ influx responsible for excitation-contraction coupling in myocardiocytes. (+info)
(7/2638) Effects of praeruptorine C on the intracellular free calcium in normal and hypertrophied rat ventricular myocytes.
AIM: To study the intracellular free calcium ([Ca2+]i) in normal and hypertrophic left ventricular myocytes isolated from adult rat hearts and the effects of praeruptorine C (Pra-C) on them. METHODS: [Ca2+]i of single myocyte was measured with Fura 2-AM. RESULTS: The resting [Ca2+]i was 87 +/- 4 nmol.L-1 in normal left ventricular myocytes, 123 +/- 7 nmol.L-1 in hypertrophied myocytes. After exposure to KCl (20, 40, and 60 mmol.L-1), the [Ca2+]i were increased by 66%, 141%, and 268% in normal myocytes, and 77%, 185%, and 243% in hypertrophic myocytes, respectively. Pra-C (1, 10, and 100 mumol.L-1) concentration-dependently inhibited the [Ca2+]i elevation caused by KCl (35 mmol.L-1) or norepinephrine (20 mumol.L-1) in both normal and hypertrophied myocytes. All of the effects of Pra-C were similar to that of nifedipine. CONCLUSION: [Ca2+]i of hypertrophied myocytes was higher than that of normal ones and Pra-C decrease the [Ca2+]i elevation in left ventricular myocytes resulted from its calcium channel blockade. (+info)
(8/2638) Antinociceptive effect of Gosha-jinki-gan, a Kampo medicine, in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice.
We evaluated the antinociceptive effect of Gosha-jinki-gan, a Kampo medicine including processed Aconiti tuber, and its mechanism in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Gosha-jinki-gan (0.1-1.0 g/kg, p.o.) showed a more potent antinociceptive effect in diabetic mice than in non-diabetic mice. The antinociceptive effect of Gosha-jinki-gan (0.3 g/kg, p.o.) in diabetic mice was inhibited by administration of either anti-dynorphin antiserum (5 microg, i.t.) or nor-binaltorphimine (10 mg/kg, s.c.), a kappa-opioid antagonist. The antinociceptive activity of Gosha-jinki-gan (0.3, 1.0 g/kg, p.o.) was decreased by excluding processed Aconiti tuber. Furthermore, the antinociceptive effect of processed Aconiti tuber (0.03, 0.1 g/kg, p.o.) was also shown to be enhanced in diabetic mice. These results suggest that the increased antinociceptive effect of Gosha-jinki-gan in diabetic mice is partly derived from the action of processed Aconiti tuber and that it is based on stimulation of spinal kappa-opioid receptors via dynorphin release. Gosha-jinki-gan was considered useful for treating painful diabetic neuropathy. (+info)