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Cover Illustration
2017, Vol.8  No.6

Figure 2. Illustration of the cellular and molecular targets of total and individual Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS) on neural cells destroyed by Alzheimer's disease. (1)pan> Prevention of Aβ formation and Amelioration of Aβ cytotoxicity. In the non-amyloidogenic pathway, α-secretase (α-sec) cleaves amyloid precursor protein (APP) within the Aβ domain, therefore precludes the formation of Aβ. In the amyloidogenic pathway, β-secretase (β-sec) and γ-secretase cleaves APP to produce Aβ. (2). Reduction of intracellular calcium overload. Increased calcium entered cells via the voltage-gated calcium channel currents (VGCC), resulting in calcium overload. (3) Regulation of Tau protein phosphorylation. In AD, there is a reduction in the ability of Tau to bind to tubulin and promote microtubule assembly. Hyperphosphorylated Tau contributes to the destabilization of microtubules and ultimately the formation of neurofibrillary tangle (NFT). (4) Increasing the activation of the cholinergic nervous system. Acetylcholine (ACh) is synthesized in the cytosol of cholinergic presynaptic neurons from choline and acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) by the enzyme choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and is then transferred into synaptic vesicles. In the synaptic cleft, ACh is rapidly hydrolyzed by the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), releasing acetate and choline. Red arrow, promotion; green arrow, inhibition.

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  • Table of Content
      01 December 2017, Volume 8 Issue 6 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Traditional Chinese Medicine and Aging Intervention
    Zhao Haiping, Luo Yumin
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 688-690.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.1002
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (852KB) ( 688 )
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    Emerging Roles of Ganoderma Lucidum in Anti-Aging
    Wang Jue, Cao Bin, Zhao Haiping, Feng Juan
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 691-707.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0410
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1574KB) ( 1633 )

    Ganoderma lucidum is a white-rot fungus that has been viewed as a traditional Chinese tonic for promoting health and longevity. It has been revealed that several extractions from Ganoderma lucidum, such as Ethanol extract, aqueous extract, mycelia extract, water soluble extract of the culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia, Ganodermasides A, B, C, D, and some bioactive components of Ganoderma lucidum, including Reishi Polysaccharide Fraction 3, Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides I, II, III, IV, Ganoderma lucidum peptide, Ganoderma polysaccharide peptide, total G. lucidum triterpenes and Ganoderic acid C1 could exert lifespan elongation or related activities. Although the use of Ganoderma lucidum as an elixir has been around for thousands of years, studies revealing its effect of lifespan extension are only the tip of the iceberg. Besides which, the kinds of extractions or components being comfrimed to be anti-aging are too few compared with the large amounts of Ganoderma lucidum extractions or constituients being discovered. This review aims to lay the ground for fully elucidating the potential mechanisms of Ganoderma lucidum underlying anti-aging effect and its clinical application.

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    Ginseng: An Nonnegligible Natural Remedy for Healthy Aging
    Yang Yong, Ren Changhong, Zhang Yuan, Wu XiaoDan
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 708-720.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0707
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1100KB) ( 825 )

    Aging is an irreversible physiological process that affects all humans. Numerous theories have been proposed to regarding the process from a Western medicine perspective; however, ancient Chinese medicine practices and theories have increasingly gained attention, particularly ginseng, a grass that has been studied for the anti-aging properties of its active constituents. This review seeks to analyze current data on ginseng and its anti-aging properties. The plant species, characteristics, and active ingredients will be introduced. The main part of this review is focused on ginseng and its active components with regards to their effects on prolonging lifespan, the regulation of multiple organ systems including cardiovascular, nervous, immune, and skin, as well as the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The molecular mechanisms of these properties elucidated via various studies are summarized as further evidence of the anti-aging effects of ginseng.

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    Therapeutic Potential and Cellular Mechanisms of Panax Notoginseng on Prevention of Aging and Cell Senescence-Associated Diseases
    Zhao Haiping, Han Ziping, Li Guangwen, Zhang Sijia, Luo Yumin
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 721-739.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0724
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1388KB) ( 1100 )

    Owing to a dramatic increase in average life expectancy, most countries in the world are rapidly entering an aging society. Therefore, extending health span with pharmacological agents targeting aging-related pathological changes, are now in the spotlight of gerosciences. Panax notoginseng (Burk.) F. H. Chen, a species of the genus Panax, has been called the "Miracle Root for the Preservation of Life," and has long been used as a Chinese herb with magical medicinal value. Panax notoginseng has been extensively employed in China to treat microcirculatory disturbances, inflammation, trauma, internal and external bleeding due to injury, and as a tonic. In recent years, with the deepening of the research pharmacologically, many new functions have been discovered. This review will introduce its pharmacological function on lifespan extension, anti-vascular aging, anti-brain aging, and anti-cancer properties, aiming to lay the ground for fully elucidating the potential mechanisms of Panax notoginseng’s anti-aging effect to promote its clinical application.

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    Herba Cistanches: Anti-aging
    Wang Ningqun, Ji Shaozhen, Zhang Hao, Mei Shanshan, Qiao Lumin, Jin Xianglan
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 740-759.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0720
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1134KB) ( 988 )

    The Cistanche species (“Rou Cong Rong” in Chinese) is an endangered wild species growing in arid or semi-arid areas. The dried fleshy stem of Cistanches has been used as a tonic in China for many years. Modern pharmacological studies have since demonstrated that Herba Cistanches possesses broad medicinal functions, especially for use in anti-senescence, anti-oxidation, neuroprotection, anti-inflammation, hepatoprotection, immunomodulation, anti-neoplastic, anti-osteoporosis and the promotion of bone formation. This review summarizes the up-to-date and comprehensive information on Herba Cistanches covering the aspects of the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology, to lay ground for fully elucidating the potential mechanisms of Herba Cistanches’ anti-aging effect and promote its clinical application as an anti-aging herbal medicine.

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    Rhizoma Coptidis and Berberine as a Natural Drug to Combat Aging and Aging-Related Diseases via Anti-Oxidation and AMPK Activation
    Xu Zhifang, Feng Wei, Shen Qian, Yu Nannan, Yu Kun, Wang Shenjun, Chen Zhigang, Shioda Seiji, Guo Yi
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 760-777.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.0620
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1431KB) ( 1501 )

    Aging is the greatest risk factor for human diseases, as it results in cellular growth arrest, impaired tissue function and metabolism, ultimately impacting life span. Two different mechanisms are thought to be primary causes of aging. One is cumulative DNA damage induced by a perpetuating cycle of oxidative stress; the other is nutrient-sensing adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and rapamycin (mTOR)/ ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) pathways. As the main bioactive component of natural Chinese medicine rhizoma coptidis (RC), berberine has recently been reported to expand life span in Drosophila melanogaster, and attenuate premature cellular senescence. Most components of RC including berberine, coptisine, palmatine, and jatrorrhizine have been found to have beneficial effects on hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia and hypertension aging-related diseases. The mechanism of these effects involves multiple cellular kinase and signaling pathways, including anti-oxidation, activation of AMPK signaling and its downstream targets, including mTOR/rpS6, Sirtuin1/ forkhead box transcription factor O3 (FOXO3), nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor-2 (Nrf2), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathways. Most of these mechanisms converge on AMPK regulation on mitochondrial oxidative stress. Therefore, such evidence supports the possibility that rhizoma coptidis, in particular berberine, is a promising anti-aging natural product, and has pharmaceutical potential in combating aging-related diseases via anti-oxidation and AMPK cellular kinase activation.

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    Lycium Barbarum: A Traditional Chinese Herb and A Promising Anti-Aging Agent
    Gao Yanjie, Wei Yifo, Wang Yuqing, Gao Fang, Chen Zhigang
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 778-791.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0725
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (905KB) ( 1786 )

    Lycium barbarum has been used in China for more than 2,000 years as a traditional medicinal herb and food supplement. Lycium barbarum contains abundant Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs), betaine, phenolics, carotenoids (zeaxanthin and β-carotene), cerebroside, 2-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-l-ascorbic acid (AA-2βG), β-sitosterol, flavonoids and vitamins (in particular, riboflavin, thiamine, and ascorbic acid). LBPs are the primary active components of Lycium barbarum. In this review, we discuss the pharmacological activities of LBPs and other major components. They have been reported to mediate significant anti-aging effects, through antioxidant, immunoregulative, anti-apoptotic activities and reducing DNA damage. Thus, the basic scientific evidence for anti-aging effects of LBPs is already available. However, additional studies are needed to understand mechanisms by which LBPs mediate anti-aging properties. Novel findings from such studies would likely pave the way for the clinical application of traditional chinese medicine Lycium barbarum in modern evidence-based medicine.

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    The Effect of Traditional Chinese Medicine on Neural Stem Cell Proliferation and Differentiation
    Qin Wei, Chen Shiya, Yang Shasha, Xu Qian, Xu Chuanshan, Cai Jing
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 792-811.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0428
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1009KB) ( 1156 )

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) are special types of cells with the potential for self-renewal and multi-directional differentiation. NSCs are regulated by multiple pathways and pathway related transcription factors during the process of proliferation and differentiation. Numerous studies have shown that the compound medicinal preparations, single herbs, and herb extracts in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have specific roles in regulating the proliferation and differentiation of NSCs. In this study, we investigate the markers of NSCs in various stages of differentiation, the related pathways regulating the proliferation and differentiation, and the corresponding transcription factors in the pathways. We also review the influence of TCM on NSC proliferation and differentiation, to facilitate the development of TCM in neural regeneration and neurodegenerative diseases.

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    Advances in the Studies of Ginkgo Biloba Leaves Extract on Aging-Related Diseases
    Zuo Wei, Yan Feng, Zhang Bo, Li Jiantao, Mei Dan
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 812-826.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0615
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1446KB) ( 1020 )

    The prevalence of degenerative disorders in public health has promoted in-depth investigations of the underlying pathogenesis and the development of new treatment drugs. Ginkgo biloba leaves extract (EGb) is obtained from Ginkgo biloba leaves and has been used for thousands of years. In recent decades, both basic and clinical studies have established the effects of EGb. It is widely used in various degenerative diseases such as cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, macroangiopathy and more. Here, we reviewed several pharmacological mechanisms of EGb, including its antioxidant properties, prevention of mitochondrial dysfunctions, and effect on apoptosis. We also described some clinical applications of EGb, such as its effect on neuro and cardiovascular protection, and anticancer properties. The above biological functions of EGb are mainly focused on aging-related disorders, but its effect on other diseases remains unclear. Thus, through this review, we aim to encourage further studies on EGb and discover more potential applications

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    Dendrobium: Sources of Active Ingredients to Treat Age-Related Pathologies
    Cakova Veronika, Bonte Frederic, Lobstein Annelise
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 827-849.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0214
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (936KB) ( 1011 )

    Dendrobium represents one of the most important orchid genera, ornamentally and medicinally. Dendrobiums are sympodial epiphytic plants, which is a name they are worthy of, the name coming from Greek origin: "dendros", tree, and "bios", life. Dendrobium species have been used for a thousand years as first-rate herbs in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). They are source of tonic, astringent, analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory substances, and have been traditionally used as medicinal herbs in the treatment of a variety of disorders, such as, nourishing the stomach, enhancing production of body fluids or nourishing Yin. The Chinese consider Dendrobium as one of the fifty fundamental herbs used to treat all kinds of ailments and use Dendrobium tonic for longevity. This review is focused on main research conducted during the last decade (2006-2016) on Dendrobium plants and their constituents, which have been subjected to investigations of their pharmacological effects involving anticancer, anti-diabetic, neuroprotective and immunomodulating activities, to report their undeniable potential for treating age-related pathologies.

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    The Effects of Baicalin and Baicalein on Cerebral Ischemia: A Review
    Liang Wei, Huang Xiaobo, Chen Wenqiang
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 850-867.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0829
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1036KB) ( 1289 )

    Ischemic stroke, producing a high mortality and morbidity rate, is a common clinical disease. Enhancing the prevention and control of ischemic stroke is particularly important. Baicalin and its aglycon baicalein are flavonoids extracted from Scutellaria baicalensis, an important traditional Chinese herb. In recent years, a growing body of evidences has shown that baicalin and baicalein could be effective in the treatment of cerebral ischemia. Pharmacokinetic studies have shown that baicalin could penetrate the blood-brain barrier and distribute in cerebral nuclei. Through a variety of in vitro and in vivo models of ischemic neuronal injury, numerous studies have demonstrated that baicalin and baicalein have salutary effect for neuroprotection. Especially, the studies on the pharmacological mechanism showed that baicalin and baicalein have several pharmacological activities, which include antioxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-excitotoxicity effects, protection of the mitochondria, promoting neuronal protective factors expression and adult neurogenesis effects and many more. This review focuses on the neuroprotective effects of baicalin and baicalein in ischemia or stroke-induced neuronal cell death. We aimed at collecting all important information regarding the neuroprotective effect and its pharmacological mechanism of baicalin and baicalein in various in vivo and in vitro experimental models of ischemic neuronal injury.

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    Anti-Aging Implications of Astragalus Membranaceus (Huangqi): A Well-Known Chinese Tonic
    Liu Ping, Zhao Haiping, Luo Yumin
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 868-886.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0816
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1198KB) ( 2211 )

    Owing to a dramatic increase in average life expectancy and the Family Planning program of the 1970s - 1990s, China is rapidly becoming an aging society. Therefore, the investigation of healthspan-extending drugs becomes more urgent. Astragalus membranaceus (Huangqi) is a major medicinal herb that has been commonly used in many herbal formulations in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat a wide variety of diseases and body disorders, or marketed as life-prolonging extracts for human use in China, for more than 2000 years. The major components of Astragalus membranaceus are polysaccharides, flavonoids, and saponins. Pharmacological research indicates that the extract component of Astragalus membranaceus can increase telomerase activity, and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory, anticancer, hypolipidemic, antihyperglycemic, hepatoprotective, expectorant, and diuretic effects. A proprietary extract of the dried root of Astragalus membranaceus, called TA-65, was associated with a significant age-reversal effect in the immune system. Our review focuses on the function and the underlying mechanisms of Astragalus membranaceus in lifespan extension, anti-vascular aging, anti-brain aging, and anti-cancer effects, based on experimental and clinical studies.

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    Original Article
    The Effects of Physical Training are Varied and Occur in an Exercise Type-Dependent Manner in Elderly Men
    Mari L. Sbardelotto,Giulia S. Pedroso,Fernanda T. Pereira,Helen R. Soratto,Stella MS. Brescianini,Pauline S. Effting,Anand Thirupathi,Renata T. Nesi,Paulo CL. Silveira,Ricardo A. Pinho
    A&D. 2017, 8 (6): 887-898.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0209
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1164KB) ( 720 )

    Regular exercise can decrease the deleterious effects of aging and limit the development and progression of chronic disease in elderly people, depending on the type, intensity, frequency, and duration of exercise. This study aimed to investigate the potential protective effects of different physical training programs on oxidative stress parameters and inflammatory and neurotrophic mediators in the serum of elderly men. Healthy male volunteers [60 to 80 years; n=55] were divided into four groups: control [Ctr, n=14], aerobic training on dry land [ATdl, n=12]; and combined training on dry land [CTdl, n=12] or in water [CTw, n=17]. The training protocols were performed over 8 weeks, three times per week. Each 1 h session included 5 min warming-up exercise, 50 min specific training [aerobic, strength, or combined], and 5 min stretching. Blood samples were drawn 72 h before [baseline] the beginning of the 8 weeks’ protocol and 48 h after the last training session, processed, and the serum was aliquoted and stored at -70 °C until biochemical assessment of oxidative damage, antioxidant system and neurotrophic, growth and inflammatory factors. Elevated BDNF or IGF-1 levels were observed in the ATdl or CTdl groups, respectively. Overall oxidative stress parameters were improved including reduced lipid oxidative damage and increased thioredoxin reductase and glutathione peroxidase activities and total glutathione. Significant decreases in the inflammatory mediators IL-6 and IL-8 were observed; IL-6 was more susceptible to the effects of type of physical training. Thus, the effects of training in elderly men vary in an exercise type-dependent manner.

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    Age-Related Gray and White Matter Changes in Normal Adult Brains
    Farokhian Farnaz, Yang Chunlan, Beheshti Iman, Matsuda Hiroshi, Wu Shuicai
    Aging and disease. 2017, 8 (6): 899-909.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0502
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1392KB) ( 1103 )

    Normal aging is associated with both structural changes in many brain regions and functional declines in several cognitive domains with advancing age. Advanced neuroimaging techniques enable explorative analyses of structural alterations that can be used as assessments of such age-related changes. Here we used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to investigate regional and global brain volume differences among four groups of healthy adults from the IXI Dataset: older females (OF, mean age 68.35 yrs; n=69), older males (OM, 68.43 yrs; n=66), young females (YF, 27.09 yrs; n=71), and young males (YM, 27.91 yrs; n=71), using 3D T1-weighted MRI data. At the global level, we investigated the influence of age and gender on brain volumes using a two-way analysis of variance. With respect to gender, we used the Pearson correlation to investigate global brain volume alterations due to age in the older and young groups. At the regional level, we used a flexible factorial statistical test to compare the means of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volume alterations among the four groups. We observed different patterns in both the global and regional GM and WM alterations in the young and older groups with respect to gender. At the global level, we observed significant influences of age and gender on global brain volumes. At the regional level, the older subjects showed a widespread reduction in GM volume in regions of the frontal, insular, and cingulate cortices compared to the young subjects in both genders. Compared to the young subjects, the older subjects showed a widespread WM decline prominently in the thalamic radiations, in addition to increased WM in pericentral and occipital areas. Knowledge of these observed brain volume differences and changes may contribute to the elucidation of mechanisms underlying aging as well as age-related brain atrophy and disease.

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Kunlin Jin, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
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