Interventional mechanisms of herbs or herbal extracts on renal interstitial fibrosis.
J Integr Med. 2016 May ;14(3):165-73. PMID: 27181123
Renal interstitial fibrosis (RIF) is a common development in chronic renal diseases that can lead to uremia and be life-threatening. The RIF pathology has complicated extracellular and intercellular mechanisms, involving many cells and cytokines, resulting in an incomplete mechanistic understanding of the disease. Finding effective herbs or herbal extracts for prevention and treatment of RIF is crucial because current medical approaches do not reliably slow or reverse RIF. In recent years, many experts have worked to identify herbs or herbal extracts to combat RIF both in vivo and in vitro, with some success. This review attempts to summarize the possible interventional mechanisms of herbs or herbal extracts involved in protecting and reversing RIF. The authors found some herbs and their extracts that may ameliorate renal impairments through anti-inflammation, anti-fibrogenesis and stabilization of extra cellular matrix. Among them, tetramethylpyrazine/ligustrazine, curcumin and polyglucoside of Tripterygium have experimentally shown good potential for improving RIF. However, conclusive evidence is still needed, especially in randomized controlled clinical trials. We expect that herbs or herbal extracts will play an important role in RIF treatment and reversal in the future.