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      Fast and Sensitive LC-DAD-ESI/MS Method for Analysis of Saikosaponins c, a, and d from the Roots of Bupleurum Falcatum (Sandaochaihu)


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          In the present study, we developed a liquid chromatography-diode array detector-electrospray ionization/mass spectrometric (LC-DAD-ESI/MS) method for analysis of saikosaponins in Bupleurum falcatum. The LC method employed a ZORBAX SB-Aq analytical column (150 × 4.6 mm i.d., 5 μm) at a flow rate of 0.8 mL/min coupled with a diode array detector at 204 nm. A step gradient of acetonitrile-water (v/v) containing 0.5% formic acid from 30 to 70% was applied, leading to a sample analysis time of 30 min. The ESI-MS was carried out in positive and negative modes from 500 to 1,500 m/z. Saikosaponins c, a, and d gave strong sodium adducts at m/z 949.6, 803.5 and 803.6, respectively, in positive mode. The data indicate that the present LC-DAD-ESI/MS assay is an effective method for the determination of saikosaponins c, a and d from the roots of Bupleurum falcatum.

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          Antidepressant-like effect of the methanolic extract from Bupleurum falcatum in the tail suspension test.

          In traditional Oriental medicine, some herbal combinations that include Bupleurum falcatum (BFM) as a major ingredient are known to effectively treat depressive-like disorders. In the present study, the antidepressant-like effect of methanolic extract of BFM and its neuropharmacological mechanism were investigated in mice. After oral administration of BFM extract, a tail suspension test (TST) and open field test (OFT) were performed to assess the antidepressant activity and psycho-stimulant side-effects, respectively. Pre-treatment with p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA, a serotonin synthesis inhibitor) and alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine (AMPT, a catecholamine synthesis inhibitor) was used to assess the influence of BFM extract on the antidepressant activity in the TST. At doses of 150 and 300 mg/kg body weight, p.o., the BFM extract significantly reduced the total duration of immobility in the TST, while individual differences in locomotor activities between experimental groups were not observed in the OFT. Moreover, pre-treatment with PCPA (100 mg/kg i.p., for 4 consecutive days) or AMPT (100 mg/kg i.p.) significantly inhibited the antidepressant-like activity of BFM extract (300 mg/kg p.o.), as well as we confirmed the reversal of the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine (30 mg/kg i.p.) by PCPA and bupropion (20 mg/kg i.p.) by AMPT in the TST. Taken together, these findings suggest that the methanolic BFM extract has dose-dependent possibility of antidepressant-like activity valuable to alternative therapy for depression and that the mechanism of action involves the serotonergic and noradrenergic systems although underlying mechanism still remains to be further elucidated. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Saikosaponin-A induces apoptotic mechanism in human breast MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cancer cells.

            The effects of Saikosaponin-A on human breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) were investigated. Results demonstrated that Saikosaponin-A inhibited the proliferation or viability of the MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Saikosaponin-A treatment of MDA-MB-231 for 3 hours and of MCF-7 cells for 2 hours, respectively caused an obvious increase in the sub-G1 population of cell cycles. Apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells was independent of the P53/p21 pathway mechanism and was accompanied by an increased ratio of Bax to Bcl-2 and c-myc levels and activation of caspase-3. In contrast, apoptosis of MCF-7 cells may have been initiated by the Bcl-2 family of proteins and involved p53/p21 dependent pathway mechanism, and was accompanied by an increased level of c-myc protein. Both the apoptosis of MDA-MB-231 cells and MCF-7 cells showed a difference worthy of further research.
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              Saikosaponin-d attenuates the development of liver fibrosis by preventing hepatocyte injury.

              Treatment of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis remains a challenging field. Hepatocyte injury and the activation of hepatic stellate cells are the 2 major events in the development of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. It is known that several Chinese herbs have significant beneficial effects on the liver; therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the therapeutic effect of saikosaponin-d (SSd) on liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. A rat model of liver fibrosis was established using the dimethylnitrosamine method. Liver tissue and serum were used to examine the effect of SSd on liver fibrosis. A hepatocyte culture was also used to investigate how SSd can protect hepatocytes from oxidative injury induced by carbon tetrachloride. The results showed that SSd significantly reduced collagen I deposition in the liver and alanine aminotransferase level in the serum. Moreover, SSd decreased the content of TGF-beta1 in the liver, which was significantly elevated after dimethylnitrosamine induced liver fibrosis. Furthermore, SSd was able to alleviate hepatocyte injury from oxidative stress. In conclusion, SSd could postpone the development of liver fibrosis by attenuating hepatocyte injury.

                Author and article information

                11 February 2011
                February 2011
                : 16
                : 2
                : 1533-1543
                [1 ]The Affiliated Ruikang Hospital of Guangxi Traditional Chinese Medical College, Nanning 530011, China; E-Mail: hyzlc@ 123456126.com (L.-C.Z.)
                [2 ]College of Chinese Medicinal Material, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun 130118, China
                [3 ]Jilin Academy of Chinese Medicine Sciences, Changchun 130012, China
                [4 ]Department of Crop Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-754, Korea
                Author notes
                [* ]Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: ljruikang@ 123456126.com ; Tel.: +86-771-218-8589; Fax: +86-771-233-5098.

                These two authors contributed equally to this work and should be considered as co-first author.

                © 2011 by the authors;

                licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).


                lc-dad-esi/ms,saikosaponins,pressurized liquid extraction,bupleurum falcatum


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