Life Sci. 1995 ; 56(7): PL143-8.
The herbal medicine sho-saiko-to induces nitric oxide synthase in rat hepatocytes.
Department of Endocrinology, Dokkyo University School of Medicine, Tochigi, Japan.
We have examined the effects of the herbal medicine sho-saiko-to (SST) on nitric oxide (NO) biosynthesis in rat hepatocytes by measuring the stable end-product nitrite and the mRNA of inducible NO synthase (iNOS). Interferon-gamma (IFN) by itself failed to induce NO synthesis (IFN: 1-1,000 u/ml). SST also did not elicit NO synthesis at concentrations up to 300 micrograms/ml when administered alone, but dose-dependently induced NO production in the presence of IFN. Whereas SST or IFN induced barely detectable levels of iNOS mRNA when administered alone, a combination of SST and IFN markedly induced iNOS mRNA in the cells. SST also modestly increased NO synthesis caused by interleukin-1 or bacterial lipopolysaccharide as a single agent, or in combination with IFN. On the other hand, SST had no effects on the NO synthesis produced by iNOS which were already induced. Thus, we found that SST stimulates cultured hepatocytes to produce NO by inducing iNOS gene expression under appropriate conditions. The capability of SST to induce NO biosynthesis might be related to the therapeutic efficacy of SST on the liver diseases.