Medicine News

Epimedium and its vascularization-promoting ability

Researchers from Zhejiang Chinese Medical University examined the in vivo effects of epimedin C on vasculogenesis using a mouse model. The results of their study were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • Epimedin C is a major flavonoid found in Herba Epimedii (yin yang huo), a traditional Chinese medicinal herb used to treat bone diseases and gonadal dysfunction.
  • In their previous study, the researchers found that epimedin C could induce endothelial-like (but not osteogenic) differentiation of C3H/10T1/2 cells in vitro.
  • Since they know that vasculogenesis plays a pivotal role in bone formation, they used a bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2)-induced ectopic bone formation model and mice 4T1 breast cancer cells co-implanted with luciferase-labeled C3H/10T1/2 cells (4T1 + C3H/10T1/2-Luc) model in this study.
  • The researchers reported the following results:
    • Epimedin C significantly increased the bone weight and blood perfusion of mice in the BMP2=induced ectopic osteogenesis model.
    • The bone in the epimedin C + BMP2 group was more mature than that in the BMP2 group.
    • Tumor weight, blood perfusion, and tumor-associated angiogenesis were also significantly increased in the epimedin C-treated 4T1 tumor-bearing mice.
    • The mRNA levels of endothelial markers – namely, the platelet endothelial adhesive factor-1 (CD31), the endothelial cell-specific molecule-1 (ESM-1), and the vascular von Willebrand factor (vWF) in mouse 4T1 mammary tumor tissue — were found to occur alongside the luciferase (labeled in C3H/10T1/2 cells) expression and significantly increased after epimedin C treatment.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that epimedin C effectively promotes vascularization both in the BMP2-dependent bone formation model and in the 4T1 mammary tumor-bearing model by inducing the endothelial-like differentiation of C3H/10T1/2 in vivo.

Journal Reference:

Shui YM, Lv GY, Shan LT, Fan CL, Tian N, Zhang L, He TC, Gao JL. EPIMEDIN C PROMOTES VASCULARIZATION DURING BMP2-INDUCED OSTEOGENESIS AND TUMOR-ASSOCIATED ANGIOGENESIS. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2017;45(05):1093–1111. DOI: 10.1142/s0192415x17500598

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