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Indian J Pharm Sci. 2013 May;75(3):270-6. doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.117408.

Water decoction of coptidis rhizoma prevents oxidative damage in erythrocytes of mice.

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  • 1Center for Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.


Coptidis Rhizoma (Coptis chinensis) has been reported to have antioxidative effect on hemolysis of erythrocytes induced by acetylphenylhydrazine in mice and rats. However, the ability of Coptidis Rhizoma to protect structure and function of erythrocytes membrane and morphology of erythrocytes against oxidative damage remains unknown. In this study, we undertook a characterization of antioxidative activity in erythrocytes membrane of Coptidis Rhizoma using an in vivo model of acetylphenylhydrazine-induced mice together with in vitro studies with 2,2-azo-bis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride-induced erythrocytes for further morphology characterization. Acetylphenylhydrazine-induced mice were treated intragastrically with Coptidis Rhizoma at doses of 0.3, 0.6, and 1.2 g/kg per day for 3 days and at the dose of 0.6 and 1.2 g/kg it showed that there was an increasing trend in membranes cytoskeletal proteins of band I-IV, especially a significant upregulation in band II. Significant increase in phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylcholine content at the dose of 1.2 g/kg Coptidis Rhizoma was obsereved. At all doses of Coptidis Rhizoma, the declined membrane fluidity of acetylphenylhydrazine-induced mice was significantly increased. In addition, at the dose of 1.2 g/kg Coptidis Rhizoma treatment showed a significant increase in Ca(2+)/Mg(2+)-ATPase activity and there was an increasing trend in the activity of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase. In vitro, Coptidis Rhizoma protected erythrocytes from 2,2-azo-bis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride-induced hemolysis in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations of 0.25-1.5 mg/ml, and also significantly inhibited the 2,2-azo-bis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride-induced morphological alterations in mice erythrocytes. These results demonstrate that Coptidis Rhizoma is capable of protecting erythrocytes against oxidative damage probably by acting as an antioxidant and maintaining membrane integrity.


Coptidis rhizoma; erythrocytes membranes; hemolysis; oxidative damage

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