Protective effects of the roots of Angelica sinensis on strenuous exercise-induced sports anemia in rats.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Dec 4 ;193:169-178. Epub 2016 Aug 4. PMID: 27497636
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Sports anemia is a persistent and severe problem in athletes owing to strenuous exercise-induced oxidative stress and hepcidin upregulation. The roots of Angelica sinensis (AS), a familiar traditional Chinese medicine, has been used for replenishing blood since antiquity.
AIM OF THE STUDY: To evaluate the effects of ethanolic AS extract in a 4-week study on sports anemia in female Wistar rats.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To induce anemia, a strenuous exercise protocol consisting of running and swimming was employed with increasing intensity. Animals were randomly assigned to the following groups: control group; strenuous exercise group; and strenuous exercise and AS extract-treated group (300mgkg(-1)d(-1)). After 4 weeks, rats underwent exhaustive swimming and forelimb grip strength test. The blood biochemical markers and hepatic antioxidant activities were determined. Hepatic interleukin-6 and muscle glycogen were observed through immunohistochemical and Periodic acid-Schiff staining, respectively.
RESULTS: AS extract (consisting of ferulic acid, Z-ligustilide, and n-butylidenephthalide) treatment improved forelimb grip strength and rescued exercise-induced anemia by significantly elevating the red blood cell counts and hemoglobin concentrations as well as hematocrit levels (p<0.05). AS modulated the iron metabolism through decreasing serum hepcidin-25 concentrations by 33.0% (p<0.05) and increasing serum iron levels by 34.3% (p<0.01). The hepatic injury marker serum alanine aminotransferase concentrations were also reduced, followed by increased antioxidant enzyme catalase expression in the liver (p<0.05). Furthermore, substantial attenuation of hepatic interleukin-6 expression and preservation of muscle glycogen content suggested the additional roles of AS acting on sports anemia and physical performance.
CONCLUSION: Our findings evidenced a novel and promising therapeutic approach for AS treatment for rescuing the anemic condition induced following 4 weeks of strenuous exercise.