Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chinese Herb Enhances Recovery In Stressed Cells

Date:
October 11, 1999
Source:
University Of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that extracts from the Chinese herb Scutellaria baicalensis, contain powerful antioxidants that can significantly reduce cellular damage due to free radicals-highly reactive compounds that are generated during metabolism and which contribute to the normal wear and tear of the cell.

Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that extracts from the Chinese herb Scutellaria baicalensis, contain powerful antioxidants that can significantly reduce cellular damage due to free radicals-highly reactive compounds that are generated during metabolism and which contribute to the normal wear and tear of the cell. A rapid buildup of free radicals in cells may be an underlying cause of death in cardiac arrest patients who quickly regain a pulse.

Related Articles


"Restoring the regular heart beat in cardiac arrest patients does not mean the patient is out of the woods," says Terry Vanden Hoek, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, and one of the authors of the paper to appear in the October issue of the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. "Despite return of a pulse, most of these patients still die within minutes to hours."

Scientists think this is because during cardiac arrest, when oxygen and energy are cut off from the cells, wastes build up and become trapped. Once blood flow is restored, the cells switch into overdrive to rid themselves of accumulated toxic compounds. In this revved up state, cells produce an explosion of free radicals which can cause permanent cellular damage.

Antioxidants like vitamin C and E work by binding to free radicals and preventing them from doing damage to the cells. But vitamins C and E are slow to penetrate the cell membrane.

Vanden Hoek and his colleagues found out about baicalensis from Chun-Su Yuan, MD, Ph.D., assistant professor of anesthesia & critical care and clinical pharmacology at the University of Chicago with an interest in traditional Chinese medicine. Yuan noticed that extracts from baicalensis contained high concentrations of antioxidants whose molecular shape allowed them to slip quickly into cells. The roots of the plant (known as Huang-Quin in Chinese and wogon in Japanese) have been used for more than 1,000 years to treat allergic and inflammatory diseases.

The researchers tested the effect of the extract on chicken cardiomyocetes (heart cells) in a petri dish that simulates blood flow using liquid medium containing dissolved oxygen and sugars. They simulated the conditions of cardiac arrest by halting the flow of oxygen and sugar through the medium for one hour. A fluorescent marker was used to label free radicals.

During the simulation, a gradual build up of fluorescent marker appeared in the cells. But when the oxygen and sugar were reintroduced into the liquid (simulating the restoration of a pulse) a burst of fluorescence was observed, reflecting a rapid increase in the production of free radicals. In the following hours, the cells never regained their natural ability to beat rhythmically.

In experiments where baicalensis extract was added to the perfusion fluid along with the oxygen and sugar, the cells eventually began to contract rythmically again. "Even though the cells that got the extract never beat entirely normally again, they did regain their ability to contract which is a really great start," says Vanden Hoek.

"Though this extract is far from human trials, this paves the way for developing new therapies for cardiac arrest as well as other diseases where oxygen flow is blocked and then restored such as in a stroke," Vanden Hoek explains.

Other researchers on the paper included Zuo-Hui Shao,MD; Chang-Quing Li, MD; Lance Becker, MD, Paul T. Schumacker, Ph.D., from the department of Emergency Medicine and Pulmonary/Critical Care and the Emergency Resuscitation Research Center (ERRC) at the University of Chicago; Ji A. Wu and Anoja S. Attele from the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care and the Committee on Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Chicago.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Chicago Medical Center. "Chinese Herb Enhances Recovery In Stressed Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991011081705.htm>.
University Of Chicago Medical Center. (1999, October 11). Chinese Herb Enhances Recovery In Stressed Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991011081705.htm
University Of Chicago Medical Center. "Chinese Herb Enhances Recovery In Stressed Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991011081705.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Johns Hopkins researchers analyzed 58,000 heart stress tests to come up with a formula that predicts a person&apos;s chances of dying in the next decade. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Going Gluten-Free Could Get You A Tax Break

Going Gluten-Free Could Get You A Tax Break

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) If a doctor advises you to remove gluten from your diet, you could get a tax deduction on the amount you spend on gluten-free foods. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis Try Swapping Success

GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis Try Swapping Success

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis have completed a series of asset swaps worth more than $20 billion. As Grace Pascoe reports they say the deal will reshape both drugmakers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Can West Africa Rebuild After Ebola?

How Can West Africa Rebuild After Ebola?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) How best to rebuild the three West African countries struggling with Ebola will be discussed in Brussels this week. As Hayley Platt reports Sierra Leone has the toughest job ahead - its once thriving economy has been ravaged by the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins