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Chinese medicines with pharmacological effects against vascular diseases

A study from the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine has found Chinese herbal medicines to be effective against ischemic cardio/cerebral-vascular diseases. The results were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • Cardio- and cerebral-vascular diseases have a high mortality rate, making them a serious risk to human health.
  • In the study, the researchers investigated potential mechanisms for controlling the onset of these diseases – in particular, the role of inflammasomes in ischemic cardio/cerebral-vascular diseases (ICCVDs).
  • Earlier studies show that inflammasomes activate the sterile inflammatory response responsible for accelerating disease development and aggravating acute tissue lesions.
  • NLRP3 is a heavily studied inflammasome and is proven to be effective for therapies that target ICCVDs.
  • The review summarized how Chinese herbal medicine could impact ICCVDs by regulating the NLRP3 inflammasome.
  • The researchers found that certain active ingredients can negatively affect NLRP3 in different models of ICCVDs:
    • Astragaloside IV inhibits NLRP3 activation by influencing cell membrane receptors.
    • Resveratrol, colchicinesis, salvianolic acid B, chrysophanol and sulforaphane directly affect NLRP3 formation by inhibiting the ASC or caspase-1.
  • Natural compounds, on the other hand, negatively regulate the downstream products of NLRP3, which include IL-18 and IL1-beta.
  • Sinomenine, ruscogenin, resveratrol, arctigenin, and cepharanthineas downregulate NLRP3 by inducing autophagy activation.

In sum, the researchers noted that Chinese herbal medicines could be used to treat ICCVDs through its NLRP3-inhibiting properties.

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Journal Reference:

Li Y, Liu Y, Yan X, Liu Q, Zhao YH, Wang DW. PHARMACOLOGICAL EFFECTS AND MECHANISMS OF CHINESE MEDICINES MODULATING NLRP3 INFLAMMASOMES IN ISCHEMIC CARDIO/CEREBRAL VASCULAR DISEASE. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 10 December 2018;46(08):1727–1741. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X18500878

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