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Active fraction combination from Liuwei Dihuang decoction (LW-AFC) ameliorates corticosterone-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) impairment in mice in vivo

Huang, Yan, Li, Dong, Cheng, Bin, Liu, Gang, Zhang, Yong-Xiang, Zhou, Wen-Xia
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2019 v.236 pp. 147-154
Alisma plantago-aquatica, Cornus officinalis, Dioscorea polystachya, Oriental traditional medicine, Paeonia, Rehmannia glutinosa, Wolfiporia, animal models, antibiotics, bark, corticosterone, fruits, glutamic acid, glycosides, herbs, immune response, immunomodulation, intestinal microorganisms, kidneys, mice, neuroplasticity, oligosaccharides, oral administration, polysaccharides, protective effect, rhizomes, serine
Liuwei Dihuang decoction (LW), a classic formula in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been used for nearly one thousand years for various diseases with characteristic features of kidney yin deficiency. LW consists of 6 herbs including Dihuang (prepared root of Rehmannia glutinosa (Gaertn.) DC.), Shanyao (rhizome of Dioscorea polystachya Turcz.), Shanzhuyu (fruit of Cornus officinalis Siebold & Zucc.), Mudanpi (root bark of Paeonia × suffruticosa Andrews), Zexie (rhizome of Alisma plantago-aquatica L.) and Fuling (scleorotia of Wolfiporia extensa (Peck) Ginns). LW-active fraction combination (LW-AFC) is extracted from LW, it is effective for the treatment of kidney yin deficiency in many animal models. Recent researches indicate that the “kidney deficiency” is related to a disturbance in the neuroendocrine immunomodulation (NIM) network, and glucocorticoids play an important role in kidney deficiency.This study evaluated the effects of LW-AFC and the active fractions (polysaccharide, LWB-B; glycoside, LWD-b; oligosaccharide, CA-30) on corticosterone (Cort)-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) impairment in vivo.In this study, LTP was used to evaluate the synaptic plasticity. LW-AFC was orally administered for seven days. The active fractions were given by either chronic administration (i.g., i.p., 7 days) or single administration (i.c.v., i.g., i.p.). Cort was injected subcutaneously 1 h before the high-frequency stimulation (HFS) to induce LTP impairment. Moreover, in order to research on the possible effective pathways, an antibiotic cocktail and an immunosuppressant were also used.Chronic administration (i.g.) of LW-AFC and its three active fractions could ameliorate Cort-induced LTP impairment. Single administration (i.c.v., i.g., i.p.) of any of the active fractions had no effect on Cort-induced LTP impairment, while chronic administration (i.g., i.p.) of LWB-B or LWD-b showed positive effects against Cort. Interestingly, CA-30 only showed protective effects via i.g. administration, and there was little effect when CA-30 was administered i.p. In addition, when the intestinal microbiota was disrupted by application of the antibiotic cocktail, CA-30 showed little protective effects against Cort. The effects of LW-AFC were also abolished when the immune function was inhibited. In the hippocampal tissue, Cort treatment increased corticosterone and glutamate, and LW-AFC could inhibit the Cort-induced elevation of corticosterone and glutamate; there was little change in D-serine in Cort-treated animals, but LW-AFC could increase the D-serine levels.LW-AFC and its three active fractions could ameliorate Cort-induced LTP impairment. Their protective effects are unlikely by a direct way, and immune modulation might be the common pathway. CA-30 could protect LTP from impairment via modulating the intestinal microbiota. Decreasing corticosterone and glutamate and increasing D-serine in the Cort-treated animals’ hippocampal tissue might be one of the mechanisms for the neural protective effects of LW-AFC. Further study is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms.