Epimedium flavonoids counteract the side effects of glucocorticoids on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

TitleEpimedium flavonoids counteract the side effects of glucocorticoids on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHuang J, Li J, Zheng S, Wu J, Zhang W, Sun T, Dewan SK, Kalionis B, Shen Z, Tai X, Xia S
JournalEvidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM
Volume2013
Pagination938425
Date Published2013
Abstract

Our previous studies demonstrated that the epimedium herb, when simultaneously used with GCs, counteracted suppressive effects of GCs on the HPA axis without adverse influence on the therapeutic action of GCs. Here, total flavones were extracted from the epimedium flavonoids (EFs) and then used to investigate whether EFs provide protective effects on the HPA axis. We found that GCs induced a significant decrease in body weight gain, adrenal gland weight gain, and plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and corticosterone levels. After treatment with EFs, body weight gain, adrenal gland weight gain, and plasma corticosterone level were significantly restored, whilst plasma ACTH level was partially elevated. EFs were also shown to promote cell proliferation in the outer layer of adrenal cortex and to enhance the migration of newly divided cells toward the inner layer. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms, the mRNA expression of insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) was measured, and EFs significantly upregulated IGF-II expression. Our results indicated that EFs counteract the suppression of the HPA axis induced by GCs. This may involve both the ACTH and IGF-II pathways and thereby promote regeneration of the adrenal cortex suggesting a potential clinical application of EFs against the suppressive effects of GCs on the HPA axis.

DOI10.1155/2013/635214
Alternate JournalEvid Based Complement Alternat Med