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Effects of Liuwei Dihuang Pills on expressions of apoptosis-related genes bcl-2 and Bax in pancreas of OLETF rats

Keywords: diabetes mellitus type 2 , apoptosis , gene , bcl-2 , gene Bax , Liuwei Dihuang Decoction , rats , OLETF

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Objective: To investigate the effects of Liuwei Dihuang Pills (LWDHP) on expressions of apoptosis-related genes bcl-2 and Bax in pancreas of OLETF rats. Methods: Forty male OLETF rats were randomly divided into LWDHP-treated group and untreated group. Another ten male LETO rats were included in normal control group. OLETF rats in the LWDHP-treated group were given LWDHP (2.4 g·kg-1·d-1) orally since the age of 8 weeks and the rats in the other two groups were given distilled water orally. Body weights of rats were recorded weekly and blood glucose concentration was determined by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Pancreas weights were recorded after rats were killed and the expression levels of bcl-2 mRNA and Bax mRNA were detected by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results: In the LWDHP-treated group, the expression of bcl-2 mRNA in the pancreas of rats at the age of 40 weeks (1.25±0.07) was much higher than that in the untreated group (1.01±0.16), P<0.01. Bax mRNA level in the LWDHP-treated group (0.57±0.11) was obviously lower than that in the untreated group (1.18±0.28), P<0.01. There was no significant difference of pancreas-to-body weight ratios between the LWDHP-treated group and the untreated group. The ability of glucose tolerance was improved in the LWDHP-treated group. Conclusion: LWDHP can up-regulate the expression of bcl-2 and down-regulate the expression of Bax at transcription level, which maybe contribute to the anti-apoptosis effects of LWDHP.


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