Effects of the Japanese herbal medicine 'Inchinko-to' (TJ-135) on concanavalin A-induced hepatitis in mice.
Inchinko-to (TJ-135) is a herbal medicine consisting of three kinds of crude drugs, and in Japan it is administered mainly to patients with cholestasis. The present study evaluated the effects of TJ-135 on concanavalin A (con A)-induced hepatitis in mice in vivo and con A-induced cytokine production in vitro. When mice were pretreated with oral TJ-135 for 1 week before intravenous con A injection, the activities of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were significantly decreased 8 h after con A administration (-82%, -96% and -66% respectively). In histological investigations, sub-massive hepatic necrosis accompanying inflammatory cell infiltration was not observed in mice pretreated with TJ-135. Serum levels of interleukin-12 (IL-12), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and IL-2 were significantly lower in mice pretreated with TJ-135 compared with controls, while IL-10 levels were higher in these mice. Intrasplenic IL-12 levels were significantly lower in mice pretreated with TJ-135, while intrasplenic IL-10 levels were higher in these mice. In vitro, IL-10 production by splenocytes was increased by the addition of TJ-135 to the culture medium, whereas the production of IL-12 and IFN-gamma was inhibited. These results suggest that con A-induced hepatitis was ameliorated by pretreatment with TJ-135. With regard to the mechanism of these effects of TJ-135, we speculate that TJ-135 inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokine and enhances the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore administration of TJ-135 may be useful in patients with severe acute hepatitis accompanying cholestasis or in those with autoimmune hepatitis. (+info)
Words of Tohkaku Wada: medical heritage in Japan.
The origins of Japan's medical ideas, which are deeply rooted in its religion, culture and history, are not widely understood in medical societies of other countries. We have taken up the task of summarising this tradition here so that some insight can be gained into the unique issues that characterise the practice of medicine in Japan. We borrow from the sayings of Tohkaku Wada, a medical philosopher of late eighteenth-century Japan, for a look at Japanese medical tradition. Wada's medical thought was very much reflective of the Buddhism, Zen, and swordsmanship that informed eighteenth-century philosophy in Japan. His central concepts were "chu" and "sei", that is, complete and selfless dedication to the patient and the practice of medicine. This paper explores Wada's thought, explaining it mainly from the standpoint of Japanese traditional culture. (+info)
Administration of isoferulic acid improved the survival rate of lethal influenza virus pneumonia in mice.
BACKGROUND: Isoferulic acid (IFA) is a main active ingredient of the rhizoma of Cimicifuga beracleifolia, which is used frequently in Japanese traditional medicine as an anti-inflammatory drug. It has been revealed that IFA inhibits the production of macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2), which is a murine counterpart of the chemokine family that may contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases through the chemotactic activity for inflammatory and immune effector cells. AIM OF THE STUDY: In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effect of IFA on the progression of lethal influenza virus pneumonia in mice by comparison with that of dexamethasone (DX), a potent inhibitor for various inflammatory cytokines including MIP-2. METHODS: Mice were infected by intranasal inoculation of influenza virus under ether anesthesia. The IFA or DX was given by oral administration once daily for 4 days after infection. After infection, the survival rate and the change in body weight were daily monitored. RESULTS: IFA administration markedly improved the survival rate and body weight loss of influenza virus-infected mice in a suitable dose range (0.5 mg/day). However, DX administration did not show a beneficial effect at any dose. CONCLUSION: These data suggested that IFA is a novel tool not only for the intervention therapy, but also for the studies on the pathogenesis of influenza virus-induced pneumonia. (+info)
Modern Japanese medical history and the European influence.
Before the first European visited Japan in 1549, traditional Chinese medicine was mainly employed in Japan. Francisco de Xavier, a missionary of the Society of Jesus, tried to promote the introduction of Christianity by providing a medical service for Japanese citizens. However, Japan implemented a national isolation policy in 1639 and cut off diplomatic relations with the rest of the world, except Holland and China. For over 200 years, until the American admiral Matthew Perry forced Japan to open its doors in 1853, Japan learned about western medicine only from doctors of the Dutch merchants' office or from Dutch medical books. After 1853, Western medicine was rapidly introduced into Japan, and great achievements by Japanese medical doctors soon followed, such as the serum therapy for tetanus, the discovery of the plague and dysentery bacilli, the invention of Salvarsan for the treatment of syphilis, and the demonstration of the neurosyphilis spirochete. (+info)
The medicinal action of androgens and green tea epigallocatechin gallate.
Unorthodox (non-traditional or alternative) medicinal practices have been expanding very rapidly in western countries. Modern physicians, scientists, and non-traditional medicine practitioners now must join forces to promote evidence-based medicine to benefit patients. Green tea extracts are among the most widely used ancient medicinal agents, while androgens are probably the oldest drugs used in a purified form in traditional Chinese medicine. It is now clear that a specific green tea catechin, (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate, can modulate the production and biological actions of androgens and other hormones. Modulation of androgenic activity and administration of (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate may be useful for the treatment of various hormone-related abnormalities, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, baldness, and acne, as well as androgen-dependent and -independent prostate cancers. (-)Epigallocatechin-3-gallate has also been shown to modulate appetite and control obesity in animals. (+info)
Acupuncture in Nevada, second report.
The State of Nevada has now given its fourth series of acupuncture licensing examinations. In all, 62 candidates have taken examinations. Licenses have been granted to 27 persons as master acupuncturists (Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine or Doctors of Acupuncture) and to 6 as Acupuncture Assistants. At present, 4 acupuncturists practice in the Reno area and 13 in Las Vegas. (+info)
Effects of the Japanese herbal medicine Keishi-bukuryo-gan and 17beta-estradiol on calcitonin gene-related peptide-induced elevation of skin temperature in ovariectomized rats.
The effects of a Japanese herbal medicine, Keishi-bukuryo-gan, and 17beta-estradiol on calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-induced elevation of skin temperature were investigated in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Ovariectomy not only potentiated CGRP-induced elevation of skin temperature and arterial vasorelaxation but also induced a lower concentration of endogenous CGRP in plasma and up-regulation of arterial CGRP receptors, suggesting that lowered CGRP in plasma due to ovarian hormone deficiency increases the number of CGRP receptors and consequently amplifies the stimulatory effects of CGRP to elevate skin temperature. Oral Keishi-bukuryo-gan (100-1000 mg/kg, once a day for 7 days) restored a series of CGRP-related responses observed in OVX rats by normalizing plasma CGRP levels in a dose-dependent manner as effectively as s.c. injection. 17Beta-estradiol (0.010 mg/kg, once a day for 7 days). However, Keishi-bukuryo-gan did not affect the lower concentration of plasma estradiol and the decreased uterine weight due to ovariectomy, although the hormone replacement of 17beta-estradiol restored them. These results suggest that Keishi-bukuryo-gan, which does not confer estrogen activity on plasma, may be useful for the treatment of hot flashes in patients for whom estrogen replacement therapy is contraindicated, as well as menopausal women. (+info)
Herba houttuyniae extract induces apoptotic death of human promyelocytic leukemia cells via caspase activation accompanied by dissipation of mitochondrial membrane potential and cytochrome c release.
Herba houttuyniae has been used as a constituent of herval medicine prescriptions for the treatment of inflammation, cancer, and other diseases. In the present study, we investigated the cellular effects of herba houttuyniae extract (HHE) and the signal pathways of HHE-induced apoptosis in HL-60 human promyelocytic leukemia cell line. HHE treatment caused apoptosis of cells as evidenced by discontinuous fragmentation of DNA, the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, release of mitochondrial cytochrome c into the cytosol, activation of procaspase-9 and caspase-3, and proteolytic cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. Pretreatment of Ac-DEVD-CHO, caspase-3 specific inhibitor, or cyclosporin A, a mitochondrial permeability transition inhibitor, completely abolished HHE-induced DNA fragmentation. Together, these results suggest that HHE possibly causes mitochondrial damage leading to cytochrome c release into cytosol and activation of caspases resulting in PARP cleavage and execution of apoptotic cell death in HL-60 cells. (+info)