Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2010, Vol. 8 ›› Issue (3): 280-286.doi: 10.3736/jcim20100314

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Yiqi Huayu Decoction on brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in rats with lumbar nerve root injury

Bing Shu, Xiao-feng Li, Le-qin Xu, Yong-jun Wang, Qi Shi, Chong-jian Zhou   

  1. Institute of Spine, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Received:2009-10-29 Accepted:2009-01-10 Online:2010-03-20 Published:2010-03-15
  • Contact: Chong-jian Zhou


To observe the effects of Yiqi Huayu Decoction, a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine, on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in lumbar nerve root and soleus of rats after lumbar nerve root compression injury.

A total of 120 male SD rats were randomly allocated into sham-operated group, untreated group, methycobal injection group and Yiqi Huayu Decoction group. Surgery were performed on rats of untreated group, methycobal injection group and Yiqi Huayu Decoction group by placing a micro-silica gel on right L4 dorsal root ganglia, while rats in sham-operated group received skin and paravertebral muscle incision only. Rats in the methycobal injection group and the Yiqi Huayu Decoction group were given intramuscular injection of methycobal and intragastric administration of Yiqi Huayu Decoction respectively. Rats in the sham-operated group and the untreated group received intragastric administration of normal saline of equal volume as Yiqi Huayu Decoction. The compressed nerve roots and right soleus were harvested after 10-, 30- and 60-day treatment. Microstructure of the compressed nerve roots were revealed under a transmission electron microscope. BDNF protein expression in the compressed nerve roots and mRNA expression in right solues were detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction respectively.

The protein expression level of BDNF in compressed nerve root in the untreated group was slightly changed with no significance as compared with sham-operated group. BDNF protein expression in the Yiqi Huayu Decoction group was gradually increased and reached the peak level after 60-day treatment with significant difference as compared with the untreated group (P<0.01). The expression of BDNF mRNA in soleus was significantly up-regulated 10 days after nerve root injury (P<0.01), and was slowly decreased to the normal level at day 60 (P>0.05). Compared with the untreated group, BDNF mRNA expression in soleus muscle in the Yiqi Huayu Decoction group was significantly down-regulated after 10-day treatment (P<001), while was increased after 60-day treatment (P<0.01).

Yiqi Huayu Decoction can inhibit the increase of BDNF expression at the early phase after nerve injury, which may have something to do with alleviation of neuropathic pain, and increase BDNF expression at the late phase to promote nerve regeneration.

Key words: Nerve root injury, Compound (TCD), Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Rats

Figure 1

Microstructure of injured L4 nerve root of rats (Transmission electron microscopy, ×6 000)"

Table 2

BDNF mRNA expression in soleus muscle of rats with L4 nerve root injury (x±s)"

Group n Expression of BDNF mRNA (Normalized to beta-actin)
10 d 30 d 60 d
Sham-operated 6 0.006 19±0.001 18 0.003 94±0.000 35 0.002 85±0.000 04
Untreated 6 0.009 93±0.000 72** 0.004 93±0.000 20 0.002 49±0.000 44
Methycobal injection 6 0.007 78±0.000 57*△△ 0.001 97±0.000 41**△△ 0.002 38±0.000 03
Yiqi Huayu Decoction 6 0.005 84±0.000 54△△ 0.002 61±0.000 96*△△ 0.005 16±0.0003 6**△△
[1] Xie XW, Wang YJ, Mo W, Ye J . Study on Professor Shi Qi's academic thoughts in treating cervical spondylosis from arthralgia-syndrome[J]. Shanghai Zhong Yi Yao Da Xue Xue Bao, 2006,20(1):35-37
谢兴文, 王拥军, 莫文, 叶洁 . 施杞教授从“痹”论治颈椎病的学术思想初探[J]. 上海中医药大学学报, 2006,20(1):35-37
[2] Zhou CJ, Su JR, Wang YJ, Hou BX, Liu M, Shi Q . Effect of Yiqi Huayu Recipe on peanut agglutinin-binding molecules and Schwann's cells in rats after lumbar nerve root compression[J]. J Chin Integr Med, 2004,2(5):353-357
周重建, 苏俊仁, 王拥军, 侯宝兴, 刘梅, 施杞 . 益气化瘀方对大鼠腰神经根损伤后花生凝集素结合分子和施万细胞的作用[J]. 中西医结合学报, 2004,2(5):353-357
[3] Zhou CJ, Wang YJ, Hou BX, Liu M, Shi Q . Effect of Yiqi Huayu Fang on rats’ lumbar nerve root during regeneration and repair of nerve[J]. Zhongguo Lin Chuang Kang Fu, 2004,8(1):192-194
周重建, 王拥军, 侯宝兴, 刘梅, 施杞 . 益气化瘀方对大鼠腰神经根神经再生修复过程的影响[J]. 益气化瘀方对大鼠腰神经根神经再生修复过程的影响, 2004,8(1):192-194
[4] Tang ZY, Shu B, Cui XJ, Zhou CJ, Shi Q, Holz J, Wang YJ . Changes of cervical dorsal root ganglia induced by compression injury and decompression procedure: a novel rat model of cervical radiculoneuropathy[J]. J Neurotrauma, 2009,26(2):289-295
doi: 10.1089/neu.2008.0506
[5] Koliatsos VE, Clatterbuck RE, Winslow JW, Cayouette MH, Price DL . Evidence that brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a trophic factor for motor neurons in vivo[J]. Neuron, 1993,10(3):359-367
doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(93)90326-M
[6] Clatterbuck RE, Price DL, Koliatsos VE . Further characterization of the effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor on axotomized neonatal and adult mammalian motor neurons[J]. J Comp Neurol, 1994,342(1):45-56
doi: 10.1002/(ISSN)1096-9861
[7] Funakoshi H, Frisén J, Barbany G, Timmusk T, Zachrisson O, Verge VM, Persson H . Differential expression of mRNAs for neurotrophins and their receptors after axotomy of the sciatic nerve[J]. J Cell Biol, 1993,123(2):455-465
doi: 10.1083/jcb.123.2.455
[8] Omura T, Sano M, Omura K, Hasegawa T, Doi M,Sawada T, Nagano A .Different expressions of BDNF, NT3, and NT4 in muscle and nerve after various types of peripheral nerve injuries[J]. J Peripher Nerv Syst,2005,10(3):293-300
[9] Marcol W, Kotulska K, Larysz-Brysz M, Kowalik JL . BDNF contributes to animal model neuropathic pain after peripheral nerve transection[J]. Neurosurg Rev, 2007,30(3):235-243
doi: 10.1007/s10143-007-0085-5
[10] Zhao J, Seereeram A, Nassar MA, Levato A, Pezet S, Hathaway G, Morenilla-Palao C, Stirling C, Fitzgerald M, McMahon SB, Rios M, Wood JN ; London Pain Consortium.Nociceptor-derived brain-derived neurotrophic factor regulates acute and inflammatory but not neuropathic pain[J]. Mol Cell Neurosci, 2006,31(3):539-548
doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2005.11.008
[11] Chien CC, Fu WM, Huang HI, Lai YH, Tsai YF, Guo SL, Wu TJ, Ling QD . Expression of neurotrophic factors in neonatal rats after peripheral inflammation[J]. J Pain, 2007,8(2):161-167
doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2006.07.004
[12] Ye XL, Wang YJ . Cervical spondylotic radiculopathy treated with Chinese medicine and exercises: a report of 72 cases[J]. Zhong Yi Zheng Gu, 2001,13(6):25-26
叶秀兰, 王拥军 . 中药结合操练治疗神经根型颈椎病72例报告[J]. 中医正骨, 2001,13(6):25-26
[13] Liang QQ, Zhang M, Zhou Q, Shi Q, Wang YJ .Muscone protects vertebral end-plate degeneration by antiinflammatory property[J].Clin Orthop Relat Res, 2009, Epub ahead of print
[14] Lin DL, Chang HC, Huang SH . Characterization of allegedly musk-containing medicinal products in Taiwan[J]. J Forensic Sci, 2004,49(6):1187-1193
[15] Shu B, Zhou CJ, Ma YH, Wang YJ, Shi Q . Research progress on pharmacological activities of the available compositions in Chinese medicinal herb Ligusticum chuanxiong[J]. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Tong Bao, 2006,22(9):1043-1047
舒冰, 周重建, 马迎辉, 王拥军, 施杞 . 中药川芎中有效成分的药理作用研究进展[J]. 中国药理学通报, 2006,22(9):1043-1047
[16] Wu FB, Chen XY . Review on pharmacological activities of Astragalus[J]. Zhong Yao Cai, 2004,27(3):232-234
吴发宝, 陈希元 . 黄芪药理作用研究综述[J]. 中药材, 2004,27(3):232-234
[17] Zhang JY, Luo XG, Xian CJ, Liu ZH, Zhou XF . Endogenous BDNF is required for myelination and regeneration of injured sciatic nerve in rodents[J]. Eur J Neurosci, 2000,12(12):4171-4180
[18] Vogelin E, Baker JM, Gates J, Dixit V, Constantinescu MA, Jones NF . Effects of local continuous release of brain derived neurotrophic factor(BDNF) on peripheral nerve regeneration in a rat model[J]. Exp Neurol, 2006,199(2):348-353
doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2005.12.029
[19] Kimpinski K, Campenot RB, Mearow K . Effects of the neurotrophins nerve growth factor, neurotrophin-3, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor(BDNF) on neurite growth from adult sensory neurons in compartmented cultures[J]. J Neurobiol, 1997,33(4):395-410
doi: 10.1002/(ISSN)1097-4695
[20] Eberhardt KA, Irintchev A, Al-Majed AA, Simova O, Brushart TM, Gordon T, Schachner M . BDNF/TrkB signaling regulates HNK-1 carbohydrate expression in regenerating motor nerves and promotes functional recovery after peripheral nerve repair[J]. Exp Neurol, 2006,198(2):500-510
doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2005.12.018
[21] Mousavi K, Parry DJ, Jasmin BJ . BDNF rescues myosin heavy chain ⅡB muscle fibers after neonatal nerve injury[J]. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 2004,287(1):C22-C29
doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00583.2003
[1] Bing-rong Li, Shi-yun Shao, Long Yuan, Ru Jia, Jian Sun, Qing Ji, Hua Sui, Li-hong Zhou, Yi Zhang, Hui Liu, Qi Li, Yan Wang, Bi-meng Zhang. Effects of mild moxibustion on intestinal microbiome and NLRP3 inflammasome in rats with 5-fluorouracil-induced intestinal mucositis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(2): 144-157.
[2] Sitthichai Iamsaard, Supatcharee Arun, Jaturon Burawat, Supataechasit Yannasithinon, Saranya Tongpan, Sudtida Bunsueb, Natthapol Lapyuneyong, Pannawat Choowong-in, Nareelak Tangsrisakda, Chadaporn Chaimontri, Wannisa Sukhorum. Evaluation of antioxidant capacity and reproductive toxicity of aqueous extract of Thai Mucuna pruriens seeds. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(3): 265-273.
[3] Morufu Eyitayo Balogun, Elizabeth Enohnyaket Besong, Jacinta Nkechi Obimma, Ogochukwu Sophia Mbamalu, Fankou Serges Athanase Djobissie. Protective roles of Vigna subterranea (Bambara nut) in rats with aspirin-induced gastric mucosal injury. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(5): 342-349.
[4] Lucky Legbosi Nwidu, Raphael Ellis Teme. Hot aqueous leaf extract of Lasianthera africana (Icacinaceae) attenuates rifampicin-isoniazid-induced hepatotoxicity. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(4): 263-272.
[5] Kylie Connolly, Douglas Jackson, Candice Pullen, Andrew Fenning. Alpha-adrenoceptor antagonism by Crassostrea gigas oyster extract inhibits noradrenaline-induced vascular contraction in Wistar rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2015, 13(3): 194-200.
[6] Udhaya Lavinya Baskaran, Sherry Joseph Martin, Rasool Mahaboobkhan, Sabina Evan Prince. Protective role of Triphala, an Indian traditional herbal formulation, against the nephrotoxic effects of bromobenzene in Wistar albino rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2015, 13(2): 115-121.
[7] Hussein O. B. Oloyede, Matthew C. Adaja, Taofeek O. Ajiboye, Musa O. Salawu. Anti-ulcerogenic activity of aqueous extract of Carica papaya seed on indomethacin-induced peptic ulcer in male albino rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2015, 13(2): 105-114.
[8] Anirudha A. Lande, Shirishkumar D. Ambavade, Uma S. Swami, Prafulla P. Adkara Prashant D. Ambavade, Arun B. Waghamare. Saponins isolated from roots of Chlorophytum borivilianum reduce acute and chronic inflammation and histone deacetylase. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2015, 13(1): 25-33.
[9] Elizabeth Abidemi Balogun, Sylvia Orume Malomo, Joseph Oluwatope Adebayo, Ahmed Adebayo Ishola, Ayodele Olufemi Soladoye, Lawrence Aderemi Olatunji, Olatunji Matthew Kolawole, Stephen Olubunmi Oguntoye, Abiola Samuel Babatunde, Oluwole Busayo Akinola . In vivo antimalarial activity and toxicological effects of methanolic extract of Cocos nucifera (Dwarf red variety) husk fibre. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(6): 504-511.
[10] Urmila Aswar, Mayuri Gurav, Ganesh More, Khaled Rashed, Manoj Aswar. Effect of aqueous extract of Solanum xanthocarpum Schrad. & Wendl. on postmenopausal syndrome in ovariectomized rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(5): 439-446.
[11] Xin-fang Zhang, Ji Zhu, Wen-ye Geng, Shu-jun Zhao, Chuan-wei Jiang, Sheng-rong Cai, Miao Cheng, Chuan-yun Zhou, Zi-bing Liu. Electroacupuncture at Feishu (BL13) and Zusanli (ST36) down-regulates the expression of orexins and their receptors in rats with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(5): 417-424.
[12] Benjamin Perry, Junzeng Zhang, Tarek Saleh, Yanwen Wang. Liuwei Dihuang, a traditional Chinese herbal formula, suppresses chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in obese rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(5): 447-454.
[13] Upendarrao Golla, Praveen Kumar Gajam, Solomon Sunder Bhimathati. Evaluation of diuretic and laxative activity of hydro-alcoholic extract of Desmostachya bipinnata (L.) Stapf in rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(4): 372-378.
[14] Qian Zhang, Xin-hua Xiao, Ming Li, Wen-hui Li, Miao Yu, Hua-bing Zhang, Fan Ping, Zhi-xin Wang, Jia Zheng ​. Chromium-containing traditional Chinese medicine, Tianmai Xiaoke Tablet improves blood glucose through activating insulin-signaling pathway and inhibiting PTP1B and PCK2 in diabetic rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(3): 162-170.
[15] Amir Rashidian​, Saeed Mehrzadi, Ali Reza Ghannadi, Parvin Mahzooni, Samira Sadr, Mohsen Minaiyan​. Protective effect of ginger volatile oil against acetic acid-induced colitis in rats: A light microscopic evaluation. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(2): 115-120.
Full text



[1] Wei-xiong Liang. Problems-solving strategies in clinical treatment guideline for traditional Chinese medicine and integrative medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 1-4
[2] Zhao-guo Li. Discussion on English translation of commonly used sentences in traditional Chinese medicine: part one. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 107-110
[3] Jun Hu, Jian-ping Liu. Non-invasive physical treatments for chronic/recurrent headache. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 31
[4] Xue-mei Liu, Qi-fu Huang, Yun-ling Zhang, Jin-li Lou, Hong-sheng Liu, Hong Zheng. Effects of Tribulus terrestris L. saponion on apoptosis of cortical neurons induced by hypoxia-reoxygenation in rats. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 45-50
[5] . Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: Writing and editing for biomedical publication (Chinese version, part two). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1001-1005
[6] Daniel Weber, Janelle M Wheat, Geoffrey M Currie. Inflammation and cancer: Tumor initiation, progression and metastasis,and Chinese botanical medicines. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1006-1013
[7] Hong Liu , Guo-liang Zhang, Li Shen , Zhen Zeng, Bao-luo Zhou, Cheng-hai Liu, Guang Nie . Application and evaluation of a pseudotyped virus assay for screening herbs for anti-H5Nl avian influenza virus. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1036-1040
[8] Zhao-guo Li . A discussion of English translation of 1995 and 1997 Chinese National Standards of Traditional Chinese Medical Terminologies for Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1090-1096
[9] Rui Jin, Bing Zhang. A complexity analysis of Chinese herbal property theory: the multiple formations of herbal property (Part 1). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1198-1205
[10] Hui-min Liu, Xian-bo Wang, Yu-juan Chang, Li-li Gu. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of integrative medicine therapy for treatment of chronic severe hepatitis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1211-1228