Constituents and pharmacological effects of Eucommia and Siberian ginseng.
The bark and leaves of Eucommia ulmoides Oliv (Eucommiaceae) and "Siberian ginseng" (Ezoukogi in Japanese) prepared from the root bark or stem bark of Eleutherococcus senticosus Maxim (Acanthopanax senticosus Harms) have been used as tonic and anti-stress drug. The extracts of Eucommia showed anti-hypertensive, anti-complementary, anti-oxidative, and anti-gastric ulcer effects, and promoting collagen synthesis, accelating granuloma formation, and other pharmacological effects. The Siberian ginseng exhibited anti-fatigue, anti-stress, immuno-enhancing effect, CNS activity, and anti-depressive effect. By now, 40, 28, and 10 compounds have been isolated from Eucommia ulmoides bark, Eucommia ulmoides leaves, and Siberian ginseng, respectively, and their structures were elucidated. Their pharmacological activities were mainly due to lignans and iridoid glycosides. (+info)
Relationship between endogenous indole-3-acetic acid and abscisic acid changes and bark recovery in Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. after girdling.
Eucommia ulmoides (Eucommiaceae), a traditional Chinese medicinal plant, is often subjected to severe manual peeling of its bark. If the girdled trunk is well protected from desiccation, new bark forms within 1 month. It has been proposed that phytohormones play a key role in this process. Research has been conducted to determine the distribution of endogenous indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and abscisic acid (ABA) during the bark recovery, using high-performance liquid-chromatography (HPLC) and fluoro-immuno-localization techniques. Results showed that, from 2 d after girdling, the IAA content in the recovering bark (RB) increased markedly while that of ABA decreased. The opposite pattern was observed during progressive re-establishment of the tissues. Immuno-localization showed that most of the IAA was located in the RB tissue layers undergoing cell division, dedifferentiation and (re)differentiation, such as xylary rays, immature xylem, phellogen and cambial regions. This study also provides evidence that IAA and ABA are involved in the bark reconstitution. (+info)
Opposite patterns in the annual distribution and time-course of endogenous abscisic acid and indole-3-acetic acid in relation to the periodicity of cambial activity in Eucommia ulmoides Oliv.
The seasonal change of free abscisic acid (ABA) and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and their relationship with the cambial activity in Eucommia ulmoides trees were investigated by ABA and IAA immunolocalization using primary polyclonal and rhodamine-red fluorescing secondary antibodies, ABA and IAA quantification using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and systematic monitoring of vascular cell layers production. ABA and IAA clearly displayed opposite annual distribution patterns. In the active period (AP), both immunolocalization and HPLC detected an abrupt decrease of ABA, reaching its lowest level in the summer. During dormancy, ABA started increasing in the first quiescence (Q1) (autumn), peaked in the rest (winter), and gradually decreased from the onset of the second quiescence (Q2) (the end of winter). IAA showed a reverse pattern to that of ABA: it sharply increased in AP, but noticeably decreased from the commencement of Q1. Longitudinally, the ABA distribution increased apico-basally, contrasting with IAA. Laterally, most of the ABA was located in mature vascular tissues, whereas the IAA essentially occurred in the cambial region. The concomitant IAA-ABA distribution and seasonal changes in vascular tissues greatly correlated with xylem and phloem cell production, and late wood differentiation and maturation. Interestingly, the application of exogenous ABA to quiescent E. ulmoides branches, in a water-culture system, inhibited external IAA action on cambial activity reactivation. These results suggest that, in E. ulmoides, ABA and IAA might probably interact in the cambial region. The annual cambial activity could be influenced by an IAA:ABA ratio; and ABA might play a key role in vascular cambium dormancy in higher plants. The relationship between hormonal changes and the (particular) annual life cycle of E. ulmoides is also discussed. (+info)
Protective effects of aucubin isolated from Eucommia ulmoides against UVB-induced oxidative stress in human skin fibroblasts.
Ultraviolet-B (UVB) irradiation has been demonstrated to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cells and skin, which induces the synthesis of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), causing skin photoaging. Using the human skin fibroblast HS68 cell line in the present study, we investigated the photoprotective effects of aucubin from Eucommia ulmoides. Pretreatment with aucubin significantly inhibited the production of MMP-1 by 57% when compared to the UVB-irradiated cells. Additionally, the senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA beta-gal) activity was markedly decreased in the presence of aucubin, which indicates it as an antiphoto-induced aging compound. As the effect of aucubin was determined against ROS, the inhibited ROS formation and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, and the increased cell viability and glutathione (GSH) level were observed with aucubin under UVB irradiation. Based upon these results, it was suggested that aucubin might play an important role in the cellular defense mechanism against UV radiation-induced photoaging. An understanding of the antioxidant properties of aucubin could, in part, act to elucidate its protective mechanism on the human skin photoaging. (+info)
Inhibitory effect of Aucubin isolated from Eucommia ulmoides against UVB-induced matrix metalloproteinase-1 production in human skin fibroblasts.
Of 30 herbal plants tested, the methanol extracts of Eucommia ulmoides (52%), Evodia officinalis (45%), and Pleuropterus multiflorus (41%) each showed a potent inhibitory effect on the matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) production in ultraviolet B (UVB)-irradiated human fibroblasts. Aucubin was isolated as the MMP-1 inhibitor from E. ulmoides, and significantly suppressed the production of MMP-1 by nearly 57% compared to the control. It also reduced MMP-1 mRNA expression. These results suggest that aucubin is a photoprotective phytochemical, and could be used as a potential agent in preventing photoaging. (+info)
Molecular cloning of a HMG-CoA reductase gene from Eucommia ulmoides Oliver.
The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate, which is the first committed step in the pathway for isoprenoid biosynthesis in plants. A full-length cDNA encoding HMGR (designated as EuHMGR, GenBank Accession No. AY796343) was isolated from Eucommia ulmoides by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The full-length cDNA of EuHMGR comprises 2281 bp with a 1770-bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 590-amino-acid polypeptide with two trans-membrane domains revealed by bioinformatic analysis. Molecular modeling showed that EuHMGR is a new HMGR with a spatial structure similar to other plant HMGRs. The deduced protein has an isoelectric point (pI) of 6.89 and a calculated molecular weight of about 63 kDa. Sequence comparison analysis showed that EuHMGR had highest homology to HMGR from Hevea brasiliensis. As expected, phylogenetic tree analysis indicated that EuHMGR belongs to plant HMGR group. Tissue expression pattern analysis showed that EuHMGR is strongly expressed in the leaves and stems whereas it is only poorly expressed in the roots, which implies that EuHMGR may be a constitutively expressing gene. Functional complementation of EuHMGR in HMGR-deficient mutant yeast JRY2394 demonstrated that EuHMGR mediates the mevalonate biosynthesis in yeast. (+info)
ABP1 expression regulated by IAA and ABA is associated with the cambium periodicity in Eucommia ulmoides Oliv.
A cDNA clone of Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. encoding auxin binding protein 1 (ABP1), one of the putative receptors of auxin, was isolated, and the seasonal expression of ABP1 in relation to IAA and ABA annual variation was investigated by different technical approaches including RT-PCR, real-time PCR, northern blotting, western blotting, and immunolocalization. In the cambial region, ABP1 expression at both the protein and the mRNA level was found to be high, low, and remarkably scarce in the active, quiescent, and resting stages, respectively, during cambium periodicity. The signal abundance of ABP1 follows the opposite pattern to ABA accumulation and correlates with auxin responsiveness of the cambial tissues, suggesting a role for ABP1 in mediating auxin-dependent regulation of cambial activation in the activity-dormancy cycle. This paper attempts to explain why IAA would 'boost' the reactivation of a quiescent cambium, and not that of a resting cambium. Results also show that ABP1 expression is improved by IAA, while inhibited by ABA. (+info)
Novel phytoandrogens and lipidic augmenters from Eucommia ulmoides.
BACKGROUND: Plants containing compounds such as the isoflavonoids, with female hormone-like effects that bind to human estrogen receptors, are known. But none has been previously shown to have corresponding male hormone-like effects that interact with the human androgen receptor. Here, we report that the tree bark (cortex) of the Gutta-Percha tree Eucommia ulmoides possesses bimodal phytoandrogenic and hormone potentiating effects by lipidic components. METHODS: The extracts of E. ulmoides were tested using in-vitro reporter gene bioassays and in-vivo animal studies. Key compounds responsible for the steroidogenic effects were isolated and identified using solid phase extraction (SPE), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), thin layer chromatography (TLC), gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS), electron spray ionisation-mass spectroscopy (ESI-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). RESULTS: The following bioactivities of E. ulmoides were found: (1) a phenomenal tripartite synergism exists between the sex steroid receptors (androgen and estrogen receptors), their cognate steroidal ligands and lipidic augmenters isolated from E. ulmoides, (2) phytoandrogenic activity of E. ulmoides was mediated by plant triterpenoids binding cognately to the androgen receptor (AR) ligand binding domain. CONCLUSION: In addition to well-known phytoestrogens, the existence of phytoandrogens is reported in this study. Furthermore, a form of tripartite synergism between sex steroid receptors, sex hormones and plant-derived lipids is described for the first time. This could have contrasting clinical applications for hypogonadal- and hyperlipidaemic-related disorders. (+info)