IMR Press / JIN / Volume 19 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin.2020.01.1226
Open Access Original Research
Herbal complex ‘Buyang Huanwu Tang’ improves motor endplate function of denervated-dependent skeletal muscle atrophy in rat
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1 Basic Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine Staff Room, Basic Medical College, Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210029, P. R. China
2 Pathological Staff Room, Basic Medical College, Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210029, P. R. China
3 Pharmacological Staff Room, School of Pharmacy, Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210029, P. R. China
4 Department of Gastroenterology, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, 210008, P. R. China
*Correspondence: (Xiao-Yun Mei); (Jun Cao)
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2020, 19(1), 89–99;
Submitted: 30 October 2019 | Accepted: 7 February 2020 | Published: 30 March 2020
Copyright: © 2020 Zhou et al. Published by IMR press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Denervated-dependent skeletal muscle atrophy is a disease induced by skeletal muscle associated peripheral neuro-disconnection. Its specific molecular mechanisms remain unknown. The treating for denervated-dependent skeletal muscle atrophy is applied with an herbal complex Buyang Huanwu Tang used in traditional Chinese medicine and subjected to the established denervated-dependent skeletal muscle atrophy in rat models, and the therapeutic effects and associated mechanisms were evaluated in the pathogenesis of denervated-dependent skeletal muscle atrophy. Denervated-dependent skeletal muscle atrophy in rats was established and randomly divided into eight groups, including Normal control, Model, Positive control, Model + Buyang Huanwu Tang, Model + astragalus extracts, Model + Buyang Huanwu Tang-astragalus, Buyang Huanwu Tang + LY294002, and astragalus extract + LY294002 group. Hematoxylin-eosin staining and quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) assay were used to examine the inflammatory response of muscle tissues. Quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting assay were utilized to analyze mRNA and protein expression. Immunohistochemistry assay was used to detect molecule expression in anterior cervical muscle tissues. Motor endplate activity was examined using the wholemount acetylcholinesterase staining method. The wet mass ratio of anterior cervical muscle was measured. The results indicated that Buyang Huanwu Tang treatment significantly alleviated inflammatory response, enhanced acetylcholinesterase activity, and motor endplate functions, and promoted wet mass of anterior cervical muscle compared to denervated-dependent skeletal muscle atrophy rat models (P < 0.05). Buyang Huanwu Tang regulated molecules of PI3K/PKB/GSK3β/FOXO1 signaling pathway. Buyang Huanwu Tang significantly reduced muscle atrophy F-box protein, MuFR-1, Bax and caspase 9 expression, significantly enhanced Bcl-2 expression, and remarkably increased element-binding protein and vascular endothelial growth factor levels, compared to Model group (P < 0.05). Buyang Huanwu Tang suppressed caspase 9 and caspase 3 activity and associated apoptosis. Moreover, PI3K specific blocker, LY294002, significantly inhibited the effects of Buyang Huanwu Tang on the above molecule expression (P < 0.05). In conclusion, Buyang Huanwu Tang improved motor endplate functions of denervated-dependent skeletal muscle atrophy rat model through suppressing mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and activating PI3K/PKB/FOXO1 signaling pathway.

Molecular mechanisms
denervated-dependent skeletal muscle atrophy
Buyang Huanwu Tang
mitochondria-mediated apoptosis
Figure 1.
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