Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2021, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (2): 167-176.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2020.11.002

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Therapeutic effects of herbal formula Huangqisan on metabolic disorders via SREBF1, SCD1 and AMPK signaling pathway

Ya-lei Liu a, Zhen-yu Zhou a, Min Gao a,b, Guang Ji c, Cheng Huang a, Sheng-jie Fan a   

  1. a School of Pharmacy, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
    b College of Pharmacy, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan 030001, Shanxi Province, China
    c Institute of Digestive Diseases, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Received:2020-05-08 Accepted:2020-09-30 Online:2021-03-12 Published:2020-11-20
  • Contact: Sheng-jie Fan

Metabolic syndrome is a complex medical condition that has become an alarming epidemic, but an effective therapy for this disease is still lacking. The use of the herbal formula Huangqisan (HQS) to treat diabetes is documented in the Chinese medical literature as early as 1117 A.D.; however, its therapeutic effects and underlying mechanisms remain elusive.

To investigate the beneficial effects of HQS on metabolic disorders, high-fat diet-induced obesity (DIO), leptin receptor dysfunction (db/db) and low-density lipoprotein receptor-knockout (LDLR-/-) mice were used. Obese mice were treated with either HQS or vehicle. Blood, liver tissue, white fat tissue and brown adipose tissue were harvested at the end of the treatment. Metabolic disease-related parameters were evaluated to test HQS’s effects against diabetes, obesity and hyperlipidemia. Aortic arches from LDLR-/- mice were analyzed to investigate the effects of HQS on atherosclerosis. RNA-sequence, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot were performed to investigate the mechanisms of HQS against metabolic disorder.

HQS lowered body weight, fasting blood glucose and serum lipid levels and improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in DIO mice and db/db mice (P < 0.05). HQS also blocked atherosclerotic plaque formation in LDLR-/- mice. HQS suppressed de novo lipid synthesis by reducing the expression of messenger RNA for sterol regulatory element-binding factor 1, stearyl coenzyme A desaturase 1 and fatty acid synthase, and enhancing adenosine 5'-monophosphate-activated protein kinase signaling in both in vivo and in vitro experiments, indicating potential mechanisms for HQS’s activity against diabetes.

HQS is effective for reversing metabolic disorder and has the potential to be used as therapy for metabolic syndrome.

Key words: Tradition Chinese medicine, Diabetes, Hyperlipidemia, Obesity, Atherosclerosis

[1] Theocharis Koufakis, Kalliopi Kotsa, Nikolaos Papanas. Remission of type 2 diabetes depends on prompt comprehensive lifestyle changes upon diagnosis: How can this “Road to Damascus” experience be supported?. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(4): 288-291.
[2] Zeinab Vafaeipour, Bibi Marjan Razavi, Hossein Hosseinzadeh. Effects of turmeric (Curcuma longa) and its constituent (curcumin) on the metabolic syndrome: An updated review. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(3): 193-203.
[3] Yunita Sari, Akhyarul Anam, Annas Sumeru, Eman Sutrisna. The knowledge, attitude, practice and predictors of complementary and alternative medicine use among type 2 diabetes mellitus patients in Indonesia. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(4): 347-353.
[4] Abdulhakim Abubakar, Abdullahi Balarabe Nazifi, Idris Mohammed Maje, Yusuf Tanko, Joseph Akpojo Anuka, Ezzeldin Mukthar Abdurahman. Antihyperglycaemic activity of ethylacetate extract of Chlorophytum alismifolium in type 2 diabetes: The involvement of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ and dipeptidyl peptidase-4. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(1): 78-84.
[5] Dastan M. Khoshnaw, Abhijit A. Ghadge. Yoga as a complementary therapy for metabolic syndrome: A narrative review. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(1): 6-12.
[6] Pukar Khanal, Basanagouda M. Patil. Integration of network and experimental pharmacology to decipher the antidiabetic action of Duranta repens L.. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(1): 66-77.
[7] Baoyi Shao, Saiying Hou, Yuenyan Chan, Changchun Shao, Lixing Lao. Remission of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus in an adolescent using an integrative medicine approach: A case report. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(1): 85-88.
[8] Nurul Afiedia Roslim, Aryati Ahmad, Mardiana Mansor, Myat Moe Thwe Aung, Farrahdilla Hamzah, Haszalina Hassan, Pei Lin Lua. Hypnotherapy for overweight and obese patients: A narrative review. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(1): 1-5.
[9] Jafar Abolghasemi, Mohammad Ali Farboodniay Jahromi, Mohammad Hossein Sharifi, Zohreh Mazloom, Leila Hosseini, Nasrindokht Zamani, Majid Nimrouzi. Effects of Zataria oxymel on obesity, insulin resistance and lipid profile: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(5): 401-408.
[10] Dong-dong Yu, Liang-zhen You, Wan-qiu Huang, Hui Cao, Fan-jing Wang, Xiu-qin Tang, Zhao-hui Fang, Guo-ming Shen, Yu-xiang Guan. Effects of traditional Chinese exercises on blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels in patients with prediabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(4): 292-302.
[11] Noriko Shinjyo, James Parkinson, Jimmy Bell, Tatsuro Katsuno, Annie Bligh. Berberine for prevention of dementia associated with diabetes and its comorbidities: A systematic review. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(2): 125-151.
[12] Mohadeseh Ostovar, Abolfazl Akbari, Mohammad Hossein Anbardar, Aida Iraji, Mohsen Salmanpour, Salar Hafez Ghoran, Mojtaba Heydari, Mesbah Shams. Effects of Citrullus colocynthis L. in a rat model of diabetic neuropathy. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(1): 59-67.
[13] Dona Nirmani Ann Wijewickrama Samarakoon, Deepthi Inoka Uluwaduge, Malith Aravinda Siriwardhene. Mechanisms of action of Sri Lankan herbal medicines used in the treatment of diabetes: A review. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(1): 13-20.
[14] Pranay Soni, Rajesh Choudhary, Surendra H. Bodakhe. Effects of a novel isoflavonoid from the stem bark of Alstonia scholaris against fructose-induced experimental cataract. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(5): 374-382.
[15] Syed Kashif, Rema Razdan, Ramanaiah Illuri. Potential of phloroglucinol to improve erectile dysfunction associated with streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(4): 282-287.
Full text



[1] Jin-rong Fu. Establishment of multivariate diagnosis and treatment system of modern gynecology of traditional Chinese medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 22-24
[2] Hao Li, Ming-jiang Yao, Wen-ming Zhao, Jie Guan, Lin-lin Cai, Ling Cui. A randomized, controlled, double-blind trial of Huannao Yicong capsule in senile patients with mild cognitive impairment. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 25-31
[3] Zhi-chun Jin. Problems in establishing clinical guideline for integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 5-8
[4] SUN Ming-yu, ZUO Jian, DUAN Ji-feng, HAN Jun, FAN Shi-ming, ZHANG Wei, ZHU Li-fang, YAO Ming-hui. Antitumor activities of kushen flavonoids in vivo and in vitro. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 51-59
[5] Min Cheng, Qiong Feng, Shu-wen Qian, Hui Gao, Cui-qing Zhu. Preliminary assay of p-amyloid binding elements in heart-beneficial recipe. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 68-72
[6] Ning-qun Wang, Liang-duo Jiang, Zong-xing Li. Research progress in asthma-related quality of life. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 93-97
[7] Jing-yuan Mao, Chang-xiao Liu, Heng-he Wang, Guang-li Wei , Zhen-peng Zhang, Jie Xing, Wang Xian liang , Ying-fei Bi . Effects of Shenmai Injection on serum concentration and pharmacokinetics of digoxin in dogs with heart failure. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1070-1074
[8] Zhi-mei Wang, Bin Zhang. A study on translation of ellipses in Huangdi Neijing from perspective of hermeneutic theory. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1097-1100
[9] Gui Yu, Jie Wang. Thinking on building the network cardiovasology of Chinese medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1206-1210
[10] Pedro Saganha João, Doenitz Christoph, Greten Tobias, Efferth Thomas, J. Greten Henry. Qigong therapy for physiotherapists suffering from burnout: a preliminary study. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1233-1239