Objective: To explore the effects of Bushen Jianpi Huoxue Recipe, a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine for tonifying the kidney, invigorating the spleen and promoting blood circulation, on tibial stress injuries in rabbits.
Methods: Thirty-five mature male rabbits were used in the experiment, and randomly divided into 7 groups: sedentary control (SC) group, 1-week exercise (E-1W) group, 2-week exercise (E-2W) group, 3-week exercise (E-3W) group, 4-week exercise (E-4W) group, 3-week exercise and 1-week Chinese herbal medicine treatment (EMT-1W) group, and 4-week exercise and 2-week Chinese herbal medicine treatment (EMT-2W) group. There were 5 rabbits in each group. A rabbit model of tibial stress injuries was established by stimulating the rabbits to jump and run within a high-voltage and low-current electronic cage. Radiologic features, bone scintigraphy, histology and electron microscopy of rabbit tibia were observed, and the content of blood parathyroid hormone (PTH), bone gla protein (BGP) and testosterone was detected by using radioimmunoassay method.
Results: After 2-week exercise, changes in histology and osteocytes had a tendency towards stress injuries. Serum PTH and BGP levels were remarkably increased, while serum testosterone level was lower than that in the SC group. Three- and four-week continuous exercise resulted in tibial stress injuries, and the positive changes were observed in X-ray features and radionuclide images. Compared with E-3W group, the levels of serum BGP and testosterone were decreased remarkably. A series of positive results such as prevailing negativeness of X-ray features and radionuclide images, increasing process of osteogenesis, typical osteogenic phase of osteocytes and favorable transformation of biochemical markers was shown in EMT-1W and EMT-2W groups. It also showed remarkable rising levels of serum BGP and testosterone and remarkable reducing level of serum PTH in EMT-1W and EMT-2W groups as compared with E-1W and E-2W groups.
Conclusion: Bushen Jianpi Huoxue Recipe can prevent and treat exercise-induced tibial stress injuries by stimulating new bone formation and increasing serum testosterone level.