Treatment of chronic kidney disease using a traditional Chinese medicine, Flos Abelmoschus manihot (Linnaeus) Medicus (Malvaceae).
Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2016 Feb ;43(2):145-8. PMID: 26667396
The flowers of Abelmoschus manihot (Linnaeus) Medicus (Malvaceae; Flos A. manihot) have been used in China for many centuries as a traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of chronic kidney disease. The Huangkui capsule is a single-plant drug extracted from the dry corolla of Flos A. manihot that has been approved by China's State Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of chronic glomerulonephritis. The purpose of this paper is to review briefly some of the past experiences in rapid filtration and to present more fully a few facts brought out in recent studies. The primary chemical constituents of Flos A. manihot are flavonoids. In vivo, the flavonoids can be transformed into glucuronide-sulphate conjugates, which are the major metabolites of Flos A. manihot and could contribute to the renoprotective effects in vivo. Flos A. manihot can ameliorate proteinuria, podocyte apoptosis, glomerulosclerosis and mesangial proliferation. The renoprotective effects of Flos A. manihot are related to inhibition of caspase-3 and caspase-8 overexpression, reduction of the infiltration of ED1(+) and ED3(+) macrophages, downregulation of oxidative stress, inhibition of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and serine/threonine kinase pathways and suppression of transforming growth factor-β1 and tumour necrosis factor-α expression. Recently, a multicentre randomized controlled trial demonstrated that Flos A. manihot was more effective than the angiotensin-receptor blocker losartan in reducing proteinuria in patients with primary glomerular disease. Because Flos A. manihot is generally preferred by Chinese patients and clinicians, high-quality trials to test the efficacy and safety of Flos A. manihot are urgently needed.