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      Enhancement of absorption and bioavailability of echinacoside by verapamil or clove oil

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          This present study investigated the absorption kinetics of echinacoside (ECH) in situ and in vitro and its oral bioavailability in rats. Additional aim was to find an agent(s) to promote ECH absorption and oral bioavailability among two efflux proteins and three absorption promoters.


          ECH absorption behaviors were investigated by everted gut sac model in vitro and single-pass intestinal perfusion model in situ. Pharmacokinetics study was performed to investigate the influences of verapamil and clove oil on ECH bioavailability in vivo. All samples were measured at different time intervals by high performance liquid chromatography.


          The results showed that the effective permeability coefficient ( P eff) and apparent permeability coefficient of ECH were 0.83×10 −6–3.23×10 −6 cm/s and 2.99×10 −6–9.86×10 −6 cm/s, respectively. The P eff among duodenum, jejunum, and ileum were not statistically different, but they were higher than colon ( P<0.01), which demonstrated that intestinal ECH absorption was poor and site dependent. Additionally, verapamil and clove oil significantly increased the jejunal P eff of ECH both in situ and in vitro. Moreover, the bioavailability of ECH in combination with verapamil and clove oil were increased by 1.37-fold ( P<0.05) and 2.36-fold ( P<0.001), respectively, when compared to ECH group. Overall, verapamil and clove oil facilitated ECH absorption and oral bioavailability.


          The absorption and bioavailability of ECH were enhanced by verapamil and clove oil, respectively, both in vitro and in vivo. Consequently, the combination of verapamil and clove oil with ECH will be a promising and effective approach to promote intestinal absorption and oral bioavailability of ECH.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Absorption, disposition, and pharmacokinetics of saponins from Chinese medicinal herbs: what do we know and what do we need to know more?

          Saponins are a group of amphiphilic glycosides containing one or more sugar chains linked to a nonpolar triterpene or steroid aglycone skeleton, which are believed to be responsible for the pharmacological activities of many Chinese medicinal herbs. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the contemporary knowledge of the absorption, disposition, and pharmacokinetics of some important saponins, including ginsenosides, licorice saponins, dioscorea saponins, astragalosides, and saikosaponins. Poor intestinal absorption of saponins is mainly due to their unfavorable physicochemical traits, such as large molecular mass ( > 500 Da), high hydrogen-bonding capacity ( > 12), and high molecular flexibility ( > 10), that underlie poor membrane permeability. Rapid and extensive biliary excretion is another primary factor that limits the oral bioavailability of most saponins. However, several saponins, including ginsenosides Ra3, Rb1, Rc, and Rd, and dioscin, are excreted slowly into the bile and in turn have significantly long elimination half lives (7-25 h in rats). These longcirculating saponins may be used as pharmacokinetic markers to substantiate systemic exposure to the ingested herb extracts. In addition to biliary excretion for elimination of most saponins unchanged, renal excretion may also be important for certain saponins. Saponins can be hydrolyzed by the colonic microflora. After absorption, the deglycosylated aglycones undergo phase I and/or II metabolism by the host. In line with the poor permeability, saponin concentrations in most rat tissues are lower than the concurrent plasma level and the brain level is usually very low. However, the liver concentrations of many saponins, as well as the kidney levels of certain saponins, can be quite high, which involves transporter-mediated uptake mechanisms. Repeated p.o. ingestion of glycyrrhizin appears to be able to induce CYP3A in rodents and humans, while several deglycosylated products of ginsenosides can moderately inhibit CYP activities in vitro with IC50 values of 10-50 μM. More research is required for elucidation of the absorption, disposition, and pharmacokinetics of multiple saponins to enhance understanding which saponins are most likely to exert pharmacological effects in vivo, as well as influence of complex herb matrix. In addition, research is also needed to characterize the microbiotal deglycosylation and the subsequent aglycone metabolism by the host for a broader range of saponins, as well as the hepatobiliary transporter phenotyping for and the interaction with saponins. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo studies of saponin-based herb-drug interactions are also warranted.
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            Echinacoside promotes bone regeneration by increasing OPG/RANKL ratio in MC3T3-E1 cells.

            Echinacoside (ECH), isolated from Cistanche tubulosa (Schrenk) R. Wight stems, was subjected to in vitro experiments to investigate its bioactivities on proliferation, differentiation and mineralization of the osteoblastic cell line MC3T3-E1. MTT assay, the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and calcium deposition were determined, and the secretion of collagen I (COL I), osteocalcin (OCN), osteoprotegerin (OPG) and receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) were also assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results showed that ECH caused a significant increase in cell proliferation, ALP activity, COL I contents, OCN levels and an enhancement of mineralization in osteoblasts at the concentration range from 0.01 to 10nmol·L(-1) (p<0.05), suggesting that ECH has a stimulatory effect on osteoblastic bone formation or has potential activity against osteoporosis. In addition, the ratio of OPG/RANKL also could be enhanced by ECH. These findings provide the potent evidence that ECH can promote bone regeneration in cultured osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells, which might be done by elevating the OPG/RANKL ratio, and potential evidence for echinacoside to be a promising drug or a lead compound in the development of disease-modifying drug to prevent osteoporosis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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              Protective effects of echinacoside on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.

              The aim of this study was to investigate the possible protective effects of echinacoside, one of the phenylethanoids isolated from the stems of Cistanches salsa, a Chinese herbal medicine, on the free radical damage of liver caused by carbon tetrachloride in rats. Treatment of rats with carbon tetrachloride produced severe liver injury, as demonstrated by dramatic elevation of serum ALT, AST levels and typical histopathological changes including hepatocyte necrosis or apoptosis, haemorrhage, fatty degeneration, etc. In addition, carbon tetrachloride administration caused oxidative stress in rats, as evidenced by increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and MDA concentrations in the liver of rats, along with a remarkable reduction in hepatic SOD activity and GSH content. However, simultaneous treatment with echinacoside (50mg/kg, intraperitoneally) significantly attenuated carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity. The results showed that serum ALT, AST levels and hepatic MDA content as well as ROS production were reduced dramatically, and hepatic SOD activity and GSH content were restored remarkably by echinacoside administration, as compared to the carbon tetrachloride-treated rats. Moreover, the histopathological damage of liver and the number of apoptotic hepatocytes were also significantly ameliorated by echinacoside treatment. It is therefore suggested that echinacoside can provide a definite protective effect against acute hepatic injury caused by CCl(4) in rats, which may mainly be associated with its antioxidative effect.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                14 August 2015
                : 9
                : 4685-4693
                [1 ]State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical and Biological Marine Resources Research and Development of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Fei Li, State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, China Pharmaceutical University, No 24 Tongjia Lane, Nanjing 210009, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 25 8327 1382, Email lifeicpu@ 123456163.com ; lifeicpu@ 123456hotmail.com
                Jun-Ping Kou, State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, China Pharmaceutical University, 639 Longmian Road, Nanjing 211198, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 25 8618 5158, Email junpingkou@ 123456163.com

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2015 Shen et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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