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Stimulatory Effect of the Herbal Medicine Keishi-bukuryo-gan on a Cytokine-induced Neutrophil Chemoattractant, in Rat Ovarian Cell Culture


Address reprint requests to Toshiyuki Yasui, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, The University of Tokushima, 3-18-15 Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan.


Problem and Method of Study:  We investigated the effects of Keishi-bukuryo-gan, a Japanese herbal medicine, and its crude ingredients in relation to the production of cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant (CINC/gro), interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), which are known to stimulate the secretion of CINC/gro in the ovulatory process, and the effects of Keishi-bukuryo-gan with those of Toki-shakuyaku-san, which has been shown to have an effect on the ovary. We cultured whole ovarian dispersates from immature (3-week-old) female rats with Keishi-bukuryo-gan, Toki-shakuyaku-san and crude ingredients of Keishi-bukuryo-gan. The contents of CINC/gro, IL-1β and TNFα in the cultured media were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: Keishi-bukuryo-gan stimulated the secretion of CINC/gro in a dose-dependent manner, and the secretion of CINC/gro into the culture medium increased significantly at concentrations of Keishi-bukuryo-gan of 10 and 100 μg/mL (P < 0.001). The stimulatory effect of Keishi-bukuryo-gan on the production of CINC/gro is significantly (P < 0.001) stronger than that of Toki-shakuyaku-san at the same concentrations of 100 μg/mL. In addition, Keishi-bukuryo-gan stimulated the secretion of IL-1β in a dose-dependent manner, while it did not stimulate the secretion of TNFα even at a concentration of 100 μg/mL. Moutan Cortex, Paeoniae Radix and Persicae Semen, which are crude ingredients of Keishi-bukuryo-gan, enhanced the secretion of CINC/gro significantly (P < 0.01) in cultured whole ovarian dispersates.

Conclusions:  These results show that Keishi-bukuryo-gan can stimulate the secretion of CINC/gro as well as the production of IL-1β and that this stimulatory effect of Keishi-bukuryo-gan was significantly stronger than that of Toki-shakuyaku-san in immature rat ovarian cell culture.