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Assessment of the embryotoxicity of four Chinese herbal extracts using the embryonic stem cell test

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Rhizoma Atractylodes macrocephala, Radix Isatidis, Coptis chinensis and Flos Genkwa are common herbal remedies used by pregnant woman in China. In this study, their potential embryotoxicity was assessed using the embryonic stem cell test (EST) and a prediction model. The potential embryotoxicity of the herbs was based on three endpoints: the concentrations of the compounds that inhibited the proliferation of 50% of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) (IC50ES), the concentrations that inhibited 50% of 3T3 cells (IC503T3), and the concentrations that inhibited the differentiation of 50% of ESCs (ID50ES). The results revealed that Rhizoma Atractylodes macrocephala and Radix Isatidis are nonembryotoxic compounds. Coptis chinensis extracts appeared to demonstrated weak embryotoxicity, and Flos Genkwa exhibited strong embryotoxicity. These results may be useful in guiding the clinical use of these herbs and in expanding the application of the EST to the field of traditional Chinese medicine.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiological and Biochemical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510632, P.R. China 2: Department of Biopharmaceutical Research and Development Centre, Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510632, P.R. China

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • Molecular Medicine Reports is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal available in print and online, that includes studies devoted to molecular medicine, underscoring aspects including pharmacology, pathology, genetics, neurosciences, infectious diseases, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. In vitro and in vivo studies of experimental model systems pertaining to the mechanisms of a variety of diseases offer researchers the necessary tools and knowledge with which to aid the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
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