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Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health)
web-based scientific information on natural medicine
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Rescooped by Pasquale Valente from Salus (Health)
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Ginsenoside Rg3 improves cardiac mitochondrial population quality: Mimetic exercise training [Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Abstract

Emerging evidence indicates exercise training could mediate mitochondrial quality control through the improvement of mitochondrial dynamics. Ginsenoside Rg3 (Rg3), one of the active ingredients in Panax ginseng, is well known in herbal medicine as a tonic and restorative agent. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of Rg3 has been elusive. In the present study, we compared the effects of Rg3 administration with aerobic exercise on mitochondrial adaptation in cardiac muscle tissue of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Three groups of SD rats were studied: (1) sedentary control, (2) Rg3-treated and (3) aerobic exercise trained. Both aerobic exercise training and Rg3 supplementation enhanced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α) and nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) protein levels in cardiac muscle. The activation of PGC-1α led to increased mRNA levels of mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) and nuclear related factor 1(Nrf1), these changes were accompanied by increases in mitochondrial DNA copy number and complex protein levels, while activation of Nrf2 increased levels of phase II detoxifying enzymes, including nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate:quinone oxidoreductase 1(NQO1), superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and catalase. Aerobic exercise also enhanced mitochondrial autophagy pathway activity, including increased conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II and greater expression of beclin1 and autophagy-related protein 7 (ATG7), these effects of aerobic exercise are comparable to that of Rg3. These results demonstrate that Rg3 mimics improved cardiac adaptations to exercise by regulating mitochondria dynamic remodeling and enhancing the quantity and quality of mitochondria.

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Scooped by Pasquale Valente
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Advances in Neuroprotective Ingredients of Medicinal Herbs by Using Cellular and Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease. [Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a multifactorial disorder, which is neuropathologically identified by age-dependent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Development of symptomatic treatments has been partly successful for PD research, but there remain a number of inadequacies in therapeutic strategies for the disease. The pathogenesis of PD remains intricate, and the present anti-PD treatments appears to be clinically insufficient. Comprehensive research on discovery of novel drug candidates has demonstrated that natural products, such as medicinal herbs, plant extracts, and their secondary metabolites, have great potential as therapeutics with neuroprotective activity in PD. Recent preclinical studies suggest that a number of herbal medicines and their bioactive ingredients can be developed into optimum pharmaceuticals for treating PD. In many countries, traditional herbal medicines are used to prevent or treat neurodegenerative disorders, and some have been developed as nutraceuticals or functional foods. Here we focus on recent advances of the evidence-linked neuroprotective activity of bioactive ingredients of herbal origin in cellular and animal models of PD research.

Pasquale Valente's insight:

"Bioactive constituents listed in this current write-up belong to different chemical classes like including, Terpenes (ginsenoside Rg1, tenuigenin, astragaloside IV), flavones (puerarin, luteolin and baicalein, morin), stilbenoids (resveratrol), phenylpropanoid (echinacoside), phenylethyl glycoside (acteoside), coumarin (umbelliferone and esculetin), and catechol (curcumin and protocatechuic acid).  All the mentioned bioactive compounds have demonstrated a significant neuroprotective effect in PD models. "

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