A strategy for discovering biologically active compounds with high probability in traditional Chinese herb remedies: An application of Saiboku-To (Chai Pu Tang) in bronchial asthma
A novel strategy for discovering biologically active components in traditional Chinese herb remedies, Chinese medicine for coughs was performed from a pharmacokinetic view. The hypothesis was that the active compounds should appear in blood and urine with appropriate blood concentrations and urinary excretion rates after the administration of herbal-extract mixtures. In this research, we applied our procedures to Saiboku-To, one of the most popular Chinese herbal medicines in Japan. Consisting of 10 different plant extracts, it is used for the treatment of bronchial asthma. The analytical method adopted was a rapid-flow fractionation (RFF) for extraction-fractionation of lipophilic components in urine followed by silica-gel high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) equipped with a multichannel ultraviolet (uv) absorption detector. β--Glucuronidase-treated urine samples collected before and after the administration of Saiboku-To to healthy and asthmatic subjects were treated with the RFF apparatus to afford three pH-dependent fractions: strongly acidic (S), weakly acidic (W), and neutral (N). HPLC of these fractions, monitored by the multichannel uv detector, showed three new peaks in the postadministrative urine: one in the N fraction, two in the W fraction, and none in the S fraction. A compound in the N fraction was identified with authentic magnolol, a major component in Magnolia officinalis. Two compounds in the W fraction were identified by comparison with authentic samples as 8,9-dihydroxy-dihydromagnolol and liquiritigenin, metabolites previously isolated from M. officinalis and Glycyrrhiza glabra, respectively.
Ku-Shen (Sophora flavescens Ait), a single Chinese herb, abrogates airway hyperreactivity in a murine model of asthma*1
M. C. Wena, C. K. Huanga, K. D. Srivastavaa, T. F. Zhanga, B. Schofieldb, H. A. Sampsona and X. M. Lia
Ku-Shen (Sophora flavescens Ait) has been used for treating asthma in the practice of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Hawaiian herbal medicine. It is one of the major components in our anti-asthma herbal formula, MSSM-002. The purpose of this study was to investigate the pharmacological actions of Ku-Shen (KS) in a murine model of allergic asthma.
AKR/J mice (n=7-10 per group) were sensitized intraperitoneally twice and challenged 3 times intratracheally at 7-10 days intervals with conalbumin. KS was administered intragastrically 24 hours after the first challenge, and then twice daily for 17 days. The effects of KS on airway hyperreactivity (AHR), eosinophilic inflammation, IgE levels and Th2 production in vitro were determined.
At the equivalent standard human adult dose, KS eliminated the development of AHR. Twice the usual dose (KS-2x) also significantly reduced airway inflammation as compared with the sham-treated group (13 ± 3 vs 43 ± 3%, p<0.01). Furthermore, serum IgE and Th2 cytokine levels (IL-4 and IL-5) in splenocyte cultures of KS-2x treated mice were significantly lower than the sham-treated group (p<0.01). No evidence of liver or kidney toxicity was observed at the doses used.
KS suppressed allergic airway responses, reduced inflammation and down-regulated Th2 responses. These findings lend support to the anecdotal findings of Hawaiian and TCM practice that KS is of value in the treatment of asthma. Further studies are required to determine whether KS alone or with other herbs can be a useful alternative or complementary therapy in modern asthma treatment.
This is the page of Chinese medicine for asthma.