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Mechanisms of Heshouwuyin in regulating apoptosis of testicular cells in aging rats through mitochondrial pathway

Chen, Jingbo, Wang, Yujuan, Hui, Chenhong, Xi, Yao, Liu, Xiang, Qi, Feng, Liu, Haokun, Wang, Zhenshan, Niu, Siyun
BMC complementary and alternative medicine 2016 v.16 no.1 pp. 337
Oriental traditional medicine, Reynoutria multiflora, Western blotting, alternative medicine, anti-aging properties, apoptosis, caspase-3, cell proliferation, flow cytometry, fluorescent antibody technique, genes, immunity, kidneys, microarray technology, mitochondria, models, polymerase chain reaction, rats, staining, testes
BACKGROUND: Polygonum multiflorum has important effects on anti-aging and immunity enhancement. Many traditional Chinese medicine preparations based on Polygonum multiflorum are widely used for the clinical prevention and treatment of aging. However the mechanisms of these herb mixtures are often unknown. This study investigates the effect of Heshouwuyin, a Chinese herbal compound for invigorating the kidney, on the regulation of testicular cells apoptosis in aging rats. METHODS: In this study, 18-month-old Wistar rats served as a model of natural aging and 12-month-old rats served as a young control group. Heshouwuyin group 1 and group 2 were comprised 18-month-old rats given Heshouwuyin intragastrically for 60 days and 30 days respectively. Then testes of the young control group were isolated in the age of 12 months, the other three groups were in the age of 18 months. RESULTS: TUNEL assay showed that the rate of testicular cell apoptosis was obviously higher and Flow cytometry analysis showed that the rate of cell proliferation was significantly lower in the natural aging group than in the young control group and that intervention with Heshouwuyin could reverse this phenomenon. Therefore, we further applied microarray analysis to screen out differentially expressed genes regulated by Heshouwuyin and related to cell apoptosis. The expression of these genes was observed by quantitative fluorescence PCR, immunofluorescence staining, and western blot. The results showed that the expression of 14-3-3σ was significantly lower and that the expression of DR6, BAX, caspase-3 and Cytc were significantly higher in the natural aging group than in the young control group, but intervention with Heshouwuyin significantly reversed this phenomenon. Moreover, the curative efficacy of Heshouwuyin after 60 days was better than that of Heshouwuyin after 30 days. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that Heshouwuyin has anti-aging effects on the testis by means of inhibiting the occurrence of apoptosis in spermatogenic cells, thus improving the spermatogenic function of the testis. This is mainly achieved by regulating the expression of key genes in the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway.