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Aging (Albany NY). 2019 Feb 13;11(3):986-1007. doi: 10.18632/aging.101804.

Shaoyao Gancao Tang (SG-Tang), a formulated Chinese medicine, reduces aggregation and exerts neuroprotection in spinocerebellar ataxia type 17 (SCA17) cell and mouse models.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang-Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan 33305, Taiwan.
2
Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 11677, Taiwan.
3
Brion Research Institute, New Taipei City 23143, Taiwan.

Abstract

Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) type 17 is an autosomal dominant ataxia caused by expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in the TATA-box binding protein (TBP). Substantial studies have shown involvement of compromised mitochondria biogenesis regulator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), nuclear factor-Y subunit A (NFYA), and their downstream target genes in the pathogenesis of polyQ-expansion diseases. The extracts of Paeonia lactiflora (P. lactiflora) and Glycyrrhiza uralensis (G. uralensis) have long been used as a Chinese herbal medicine (CHM). Shaoyao Gancao Tang (SG-Tang) is a formulated CHM made of P. lactiflora and G. uralensis at a 1:1 ratio. In the present study, we demonstrated the aggregate-inhibitory and anti-oxidative effect of SG-Tang in 293 TBP/Q79 cells. We then showed that SG-Tang reduced the aggregates and ameliorated the neurite outgrowth deficits in TBP/Q79 SH-SY5Y cells. SG-Tang upregulated expression levels of NFYA, PGC-1α, NRF2, and their downstream target genes in TBP/Q79 SH-SY5Y cells. Knock down of NFYA, PGC-1α, and NRF2 attenuated the neurite outgrowth promoting effect of SG-Tang on TBP/Q79 SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, SG-Tang inhibited aggregation and rescued motor-deficits in SCA17 mouse model. The study results suggest the potential of SG-Tang in treating SCA17 and probable other polyQ diseases.

KEYWORDS:

NFYA; NRF2; PGC-1α; Shaoyao Gancao Tang; oxidative stress; polyQ aggregates; spinocerebellar ataxia 17/TBP

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