Effect of a herbal formula consisting of Leech, Dahuang and Chinese Casia Bark on Diet-induced Atherosclerosis in Rabbits

Huang, H, Liu, P, Liu, W, Tao, S, Zhou, Z, Hei, Z, Li, C, Xue, C, Huang, M and Zhou, S 2007, 'Effect of a herbal formula consisting of Leech, Dahuang and Chinese Casia Bark on Diet-induced Atherosclerosis in Rabbits', Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 3-9.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Effect of a herbal formula consisting of Leech, Dahuang and Chinese Casia Bark on Diet-induced Atherosclerosis in Rabbits
Author(s) Huang, H
Liu, P
Liu, W
Tao, S
Zhou, Z
Hei, Z
Li, C
Xue, C
Huang, M
Zhou, S
Year 2007
Journal name Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Volume number 2
Issue number 2
Start page 3
End page 9
Total pages 7
Publisher Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association
Abstract Atherosclerosis is a common condition with slow build-up of plaque on the inside wall of arteries. This study was undertaken to investigate whether a herbal formula consisting of three traditional Chinese medicines, including leech (Shuizhi, Whitmania pigra Whitman), Dahuang (medicinal rhubarb, Rheum palmatum L., Polygonaceae), and Chinese cassia bark (Guipi, Cinnamomum cassia Blume, Lauraceae) had beneficial effects on diet-induced atherosclerosis in rabbits. This herbal formula has been traditionally used to treat symptoms presented in stroke and ischaemic heart disease by Chinese doctors for more than 2000 years. Experimental atherosclerosis was established by feeding New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.) with a high-cholesterol diet for 10 weeks. The study demonstrated that the high-cholesterol diet resulted in significantly thickened aortic intima, enhanced intima area (with a total plaque area of 46.87%), marked apoptosis in plaques, elevated plasma levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride, high density lipoprotein (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and malonyldialdehyde (MDA), and significantly increased aortal ceramide content and sphingomyelinase (SMase) activity at the end of the 10-week period. Treatment of the atheromatous rabbits with the compound herbal formula at 1.5 g/kg significantly decreased the area of aortal plaque (to 28.62%) and apoptosis, and brought down the increased plasma MDA levels, aortal SMase activity and ceramide content to normal levels. These results suggest that the compound herbal formula has inhibitory effects on the development of atheromatous plaques in rabbits, probably through anti-oxidative effects and inhibition of apoptosis and ceramide production.
Subject Traditional Chinese Medicine and Treatments
Keyword(s) Atherosclerosis
apoptosis
ceramide
leech
dahuang
guipi
Whitmania pigra
Rheum
palnatum
ISSN 1833-9735
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