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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (7): 715-724.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110704

• Methodology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Study of biological performance of Chinese materia medica with either a cold or hot property based on the three-element mathematical analysis model

Rui Jin1, Bing Zhang1(), Xiao-qing Liu1, Sen-mao Liu2, Xin Liu1, Lian-zhen Li1, Qian Zhang1, Chun-miao Xue1   

  1. 1. School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102, China
    2. School of Mathematical Science, Peking University, Beijing 101871, China
  • Received:2011-03-23 Accepted:2011-04-11 Online:2011-07-20 Published:2011-06-15

Objective: The properties of Chinese materia medica are believed to be the summarization of the effects of biological performance on the various body states. Systemic discussion of chemical-factor elements, body-condition elements, biological-performance elements and their interrelationships is needed for research into the properties of Chinese materia medica. Following the practical characteristics of Chinese medicine, the three-element mathematical model was formed by introducing some mathematical concepts and methods and was used to study the cold or hot property of Chinese medicine, and to investigate the difference in biological performances of the two properties.
Methods: By using the concept of different functionality of Chinese medicine on abnormal states and the idea of interaction in mathematics, the effects of chemical-factor elements and body-condition elements were normalized to the amount of biological performance which was represented by some important indicators. The three-element mathematical model was formed with scatter plots through four steps, including effect separation, intensity calculation, frequency statistics and relevance analysis. A comparison pharmacology experiment of administration of hot property medicines, Fuzi (Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata) and Rougui (Cortex Cinnamomi), and cold property medicines, Huangbai (Cortex Phellodendri) and Zhizi (Fructus Gardeniae) on normal and glucocorticoid-induced yang-deficiency and yin-deficiency states was designed. The results were analyzed by the mathematical model. The scatter plots were the main output of model analysis. The expression of cold property and hot property was able to be quantified by frequency distribution of biological indexes of administrations on yang-deficiency and yin-deficiency states in the “efficacy zone” and “toxicity zone” of the plots and by the relevance analysis.
Results: The ratios of biological indicator frequency in the “efficacy zone” of administrations on yang-deficiency state and yin-deficiency state were 7∶3 for Fuzi, 3∶3 for Rougui, 4∶4 for Huangbai and 1∶5 for Zhizi. The sums of the biological indicator frequency in the “toxicity zone” of administration on the two states were 4 for Fuzi, 0 for Rougui, 2 for Huangbai and 4 for Zhizi. The relevance analysis showed that the order from Fuzi, Rougui, Huangbai to Zhizi was proportional to the change from “be true of yang-deficiency state” to “be true of yin-deficiency state”. The extent of the hot property decreased while that of the cold property increased in the order of Fuzi, Rougui, Huangbai and Zhizi. The stronger the efficacy of above medicines is, the more obvious the toxicity displayed.
Conclusion: The three-element mathematical model employed in this study is effectively capable of explaining the different biological expressions between hot property medicines and cold property medicines. This suggests that it may provide a mathematical tool and theoretical basis for the modern interpretation of cold property and hot property of Chinese medicine, and provide new ideas for further studing into the essence of Chinese medicine property theory.

Key words: cold (TCD), hot (TCD), four natures (TCD), models,theoretical, biological performance

Table 1

Comparative-intervention experiment design"

Chemical-factor Body-condition
Yang-deficiency Normal Yin-deficiency
Control
A
B
C
D

Table 2

Symbol set of mean value and standard deviation"

Group Mean value Standard
deviation
Number
of animals
Normal x1 s1 n
Normal+A x2 s2 n
Yang-deficiency x3 s3 n
Yang-deficiency+A x4 s4 n
Yin-deficiency x5 s5 n
Yin-deficiency+A x6 s6 n

Table 3

Standardization of mean"

Table 4

Summary of experimental program"

Group n Administration method
1-21 days 15-21 days
Normal group
Administration 1 10 Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata water decoction (12.0 g/kg body weight)
Administration 2 10 Cortex Cinnamomi Cassiae water decoction (30.0 g/kg body weight)
Administration 3 10 Cortex Phellodendri Amurensis water decoction (5.0 g/kg body weight)
Administration 4 10 Fructus Gardeniae water decoction (2.0 g/kg body weight)
Yang-deficiency group
Administration 5 10 Hydrocortisone sodium succinate (20.0 mg/kg body weight) Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata water decoction (12.0 g/kg body weight)
Administration 6 10 Hydrocortisone sodium succinate (20.0 mg/kg body weight) Cortex Cinnamomi Cassiae water decoction (30.0 g/kg body weight)
Administration 7 10 Hydrocortisone sodium succinate (20.0 mg/kg body weight) Cortex Phellodendri Amurensis water decoction (5.0 g/ kg body weight)
Administration 8 10 Hydrocortisone sodium succinate (20.0 mg/kg body weight) Fructus Gardeniae water decoction (2.0 g/kg body weight)
Yin-deficiency group
Administration 9 10 Dexamethasone acetate (0.35 mg/kg body weight) Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata water decoction (12.0 g/kg body weight)
Administration 10 10 Dexamethasone acetate (0.35 mg/kg body weight) Cortex Cinnamomi Cassiae water decoction (30.0 g/kg body weight)
Administration 11 10 Dexamethasone acetate (0.35 mg/kg body weight) Cortex Phellodendri Amurensis water decoction (5.0 g/kg body weight)
Administration 12 10 Dexamethasone acetate (0.35 mg/kg body weight) Fructus Gardeniae water decoction (2.0 g/kg body weight)

"

"

Figure 1

Data analysis of Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata"

Figure 2

Data analysis of Cortex Cinnamomi Cassiae"

Figure 3

Data analysis of Cortex Phellodendri Amurensis"

Figure 4

Data analysis of Fructus Gardeniae"

Table 7

Information in figures of four medicines"

Drug Number of “*”
in efficacy zone
Number of “△”
in toxicity zone
Number of “*”
in toxicity zone
Number of “△”
in efficacy zone
Radix AconitiLateralis Preparata 7 1 3 3
Cortex Cinnamomi Cassiae 3 0 0 3
Cortex Phellodendri Amurensis 4 1 1 4
Fructus Gardeniae 1 3 1 5
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