Yang-Invigorating Chinese Herbal Formula Enhances Mitochondrial Functional
Ability and Antioxidant Capacity in Various Tissues of Male and Female Rats
Hoi Yan Leung, Po Yee Chiu, Michel K.T. Poon, Kam Ming Ko.
The practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) always emphasizes the prevention of diseases and delaying the onset of senility. In this regard, the maintenance of a balance of Yin and Yang—two opposing components involved in life activities as exemplified by the antagonistic action of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems—is essential in achieving a healthy condition. Previous studies have shown that long-term treatment with a Yang-invigorating Chinese herbal formula (VI-28) could increase red cell CuZn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in male human subjects. In the present study, we examined the effects of chronic VI-28 treatment (80 and 240 mg/kg/day for 30 days) on red cell CuZn-SOD activity as well as mitochondrial functional ability and antioxidant components in various tissues of male and female rats. The results indicated that VI-28 treatment increased red cell CuZn-SOD activity as well as mitochondrial ATP generation capacity, reduced glutathione and α-tocopherol levels, and Mn-SOD activity in brain, heart, liver, and skeletal muscle tissues in both male and female rats to varying extents. The VI-28–induced increase in mitochondrial antioxidant capacity in various tissues was evidenced by the significant reduction in the extent of reactive oxygen species generation assessed by in vitro measurement. The red cell CuZn-SOD activities correlated positively with tissue mitochondrial antioxidant component levels/activity. The beneficial effect of VI-28 treatment on mitochondrial functional ability and antioxidant capacity may have clinical implications in the prevention of age-related diseases.