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J Med Food. 2012 Oct;15(10):923-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.2231. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Polysaccharide isolated from Angelica sinensis inhibits hepcidin expression in rats with iron deficiency anemia.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.


A novel polysaccharide named Angelica sinensis polysaccharide (ASP) was obtained from the powdered and defatted roots of A. sinensis (Oliv.) Diels. The molecular weight of ASP was determined to be 78 kDa and was 95.0% sugars consisting of mostly arabinose, glucose, and galactose with a molar ratio of 1:5.68:3.91. A previous study indicated that ASP may increase plasma iron levels by suppressing the expression of hepcidin, a negative regulator of body iron metabolism, in the liver. The present study aims to clarify the inhibitory effect of ASP on hepcidin expression in rat models of iron deficiency anemia (IDA), and clarify the mechanisms involved. It was demonstrated that ASP significantly reduced hepcidin expression by inhibiting the expression of mothers against decapentaplegic protein 4 (SMAD4) in liver and stimulating the secretion of erythropoietin, which further downregulated hepcidin by repressing CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα) and the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3/5. The results indicate that ASP can suppress the expression of hepcidin in rats with IDA, and may be useful for the treatment of IDA.

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