• RK Lab

    Research in RK Laboratory

    Our research works aim to define the pharmacological basis of health-promoting actions of Chinese tonifying herbs, with emphases on anti-oxidant and immuno-modulatory properties. We have been able to elucidate the biochemical mechanism involved in the generalized tissue protection afforded by schisandrin B – the most abundant active ingredient in the fruit of Schisandra chinenesis. We thus establish the biochemical basis of the purported ‘Qi-invigorating’ action of Schisandra chinensis in major organs, which involve the enhancement of mitochondrial glutathione antioxidant status and functional ability, as well as the induction of heat shock proteins.  Earlier studies indicated that while most of the ‘Yang-invigorating’herbs possessed potent free radical scavenging activity, almost all

    ‘Yin-nourishing’ herbs produced immuno-stimulatory activity. Recently, using both animal and cell assay models, we have demonstrated the ability of ‘Yang-invigorating’ Chinese tonifying herbs to stimulate the mitochondrial ATP generation - a characteristic pharmacological action of “Yang-invigoration” in Chinese medicine.

    On-going researches include studies on signaling processes involved in the cytoprotection afforded by schisandrin B and the effect of life-long schisandrin B treatment on age-dependent impairments in mitochondrial antioxidant status and functional ability in various tissues of mice and the associated changes in survival. A parallel study was performed using a ‘Yang-invigorating’ Chinese herbal formula.

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