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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:687958. doi: 10.1155/2013/687958. Epub 2013 Sep 28.

Song bu li decoction, a traditional uyghur medicine, protects cell death by regulation of oxidative stress and differentiation in cultured PC12 cells.

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Division of Life Science and Centre for Chinese Medicine, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay Road, Hong Kong.


Song Bu Li decoction (SBL) is a traditional Uyghur medicinal herbal preparation, containing Nardostachyos Radix et Rhizoma. Recently, SBL is being used to treat neurological disorders (insomnia and neurasthenia) and heart disorders (arrhythmia and palpitation). Although this herbal extract has been used for many years, there is no scientific basis about its effectiveness. Here, we aimed to evaluate the protective and differentiating activities of SBL in cultured PC12 cells. The pretreatment of SBL protected the cell against tBHP-induced cell death in a dose-dependent manner. In parallel, SBL suppressed intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. The transcriptional activity of antioxidant response element (ARE), as well as the key antioxidative stress proteins, was induced in dose-dependent manner by SBL in the cultures. In cultured PC12 cells, the expression of neurofilament, a protein marker for neuronal differentiation, was markedly induced by applied herbal extract. Moreover, the nerve growth factor- (NGF-) induced neurite outgrowth in cultured PC12 cells was significantly potentiated by the cotreatment of SBL. In accord, the expression of neurofilament was increased in the treatment of SBL. These results therefore suggested a possible role of SBL by its effect on neuron differentiation and protection against oxidative stress.

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