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Effect of acupuncture on target tissue distribution of Schisandra lignans
  1. Tu-Lin Lu1,2,
  2. Xiao-Yan Wu1,
  3. Yu Song1,
  4. Hao Chen3,
  5. Bin Xu3,
  6. Yuan Zhou1,
  7. Zhi-Jun Huang1,
  8. Yong Sun3,
  9. Chun-Qin Mao1
  1. 1Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China
  2. 2Key Research Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Processing of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China
  3. 3Key Laboratory of Acupuncture of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China
  1. Correspondence to C-Q Mao, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, 138 Xianlin Road, Nanjing 210046, China; mcq63{at}163.com

Abstract

Background Recently, the combination of acupuncture and Chinese medicine as a practical strategy to treat diseases is receiving considerable attention worldwide as they are usually found to exhibit intriguing therapeutic effectiveness. The current study aimed to study the adjunct effect of acupuncture on target tissue distribution of schisandra lignans when acupuncture is combined with Schisandra chinensis.

Methods A simple and reliable high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray tandem-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS) method for simultaneous analysis of three bioactive lignans (schisandrin, deoxyschisandrin and schisandrin B) in rat tissues was established. Using this analytical method we evaluated whether acupuncture had a synergistic effect on the tissue distribution of schisandra lignans.

Results Tissue concentrations of the three lignans in the group receiving acupuncture were significantly higher than those in the schisandra only group, suggesting that acupuncture may potently increase tissue concentrations of schisandra lignans. The highest concentrations of the three lignans occurred in the liver compared with other tissues, and tissue concentrations in the heart, spleen, lungs and kidneys were increased by 315%, 203%, 250% and 224%, respectively. In addition, retention times of the lignans in tissues were prolonged for a relative long time.

Conclusions Our date indicate that the combined use of acupuncture and Schisandra chinensis could produce a synergistic effect which could play a beneficial role on promoting the tissue distribution of lignans. This has supported our initial hypothesis. The HPLC-MS method showed good sensitivity in quantifying the three schisandra lignans in different tissues.

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