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Proliferative effect of Hachimijiogan, a Japanese herbal medicine, in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells

Authors Takeda T, Tsuiji K, Li B, Tadakawa M, Yaegashi N

Received 16 October 2014

Accepted for publication 31 December 2014

Published 10 February 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 445—451

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S75945

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Takashi Takeda,1,2 Kenji Tsuiji,2 Bin Li,2 Mari Tadakawa,2 Nobuo Yaegashi2

1Division of Women’s Health, Research Institute of Traditional Asian Medicine, Kinki University School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan


Background: Hachimijiogan (HJG), Ba-Wei-Di-Huang-Wan in Chinese, is one of the most popular herbal medicines in Japanese Kampo. HJG is often prescribed for the prevention and treatment of age-related diseases. Muscle atrophy plays an important role in aging-related disabilities such as sarcopenia. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible beneficial effect of HJG on skeletal muscle.
Methods: Cells of murine skeletal muscle myoblast cell line C2C12 were used as an in vitro model of muscle cell proliferation and differentiation. The effect of HJG on C2C12 cell proliferation and differentiation was assessed. We counted the number of myotubes morphologically to assess the degree of differentiation.
Results: HJG treatment (200 µg/mL) for 3 days significantly increased C2C12 cell number by 1.23-fold compared with that of the control. HJG promoted the proliferation of C2C12 cells through activation of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway without affecting the Akt signaling pathway. HJG did not affect the differentiation of C2C12 cells.
Conclusion: HJG had beneficial effects on skeletal muscle myoblast proliferation. These findings may provide a useful intervention for the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.

Keywords: ERK1/2 signaling pathway, herbal medicine, myoblast, proliferation, sarcopenia

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