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Shengmai Formula Ameliorates Pathological Characteristics in AD C. elegans



Type of Spiritual Experience


Ophiopogon japonicus (dwarf lilyturf, mondograss, fountainplant, monkeygrass; Japanese: リュウノヒゲ ryu-no-hige ("dragon's beard") or ジャノヒゲ ja-no-hige ("snake's beard")) is a species of Ophiopogon native to China, India, Japan, and Vietnam

A description of the experience

Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2016 Feb 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Shengmai Formula Ameliorates Pathological Characteristics in AD C. elegans.

Zhang W1, Zhi D1, Ren H1, Wang D2, Wang X1, Zhang Z1, Fei D1, Zhu H1, Li H3,4.


Shengmai (SM) formula, a classical traditional Chinese medicine formula, is composed of Panax ginseng (Pg), Ophiopogon japonicus (Oj), and Schisandra Chinesis (Sc).

SM has been clinically used to treat heart failure and ischemic heart disease. Although SM formula has been reported to be potential for fighting against Alzheimer's disease (AD) by previous works, there are many gaps in our knowledge on its usage in AD treatment on an organism level and will then need to be further clarified.

In this study, transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans expressing human Aβ1-42 are used to evaluate SM formula efficacy to treat AD phenotype and to investigate its underlying mechanism. The results showed that SM formula ameliorated AD pathological characteristics of paralysis behavior and chemotaxis defect in transgenic C. elegans.

With SM treatment, the number of Aβ deposits decreased, the levels of gene expressions of hsp16-2, hsp16-41, ace-1, ace-2, and TNFA1P1 homolog genes were down-regulated.

Our results also showed that Oj exhibited more stronger effect on delaying paralysis in worms than Pg and Sc did, and synergistic action was observed between Pg and Oj, and Sc further enhanced the activity of Pg/Oj combination on delaying paralysis behavior. Further, SM with herbs of Pg, Oj, and Sc at a dose proportion of 9:9:6 exhibited superior therapeutic efficacy in comparison with herbs at other dose proportions.

After SM formula extracted by ethanol, it delayed AD symptoms on a wider dose from 0.2 to 10.0 mg/mL with no toxic effect. These results provided more evidence for SM formula being potential to be used to treat AD.


AD; Caenorhabditis elegans; Chemotaxis; Paralysis; SM formula; Synergistic effect



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