Ligusticum wallichii is a flowering plant in the carrot family best known for its use in traditional Chinese medicine where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. It is known by the common names chuānxiōng (川芎) and Szechuan lovage. Biologically active compounds in the plant include tetramethylpyrazine. It is native to India and Nepal.
and from pubmed:
link1: Microvasc Res. 2002 Mar;63(2):218-26. Links
Studies on single-cell adhesion probability between lymphocytes and endothelial cells with micropipette technique.Zhao H, Dong X, Wang X, Li X, Zhuang F, Stoltz JF, Lou J.
Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, 100029, China.
An in vitro model with micropipette technique was used to investigate single-cell adhesion probability between lymphocytes and endothelial cells. The basal adhesion probability between lymphocytes and endothelial cells was low and was significantly increased when either lymphocytes were activated by phytohemagglutinin (PHA) or endothelial cells were stimulated by tumor necrosis factor. The adhesion probability of lymphocytes to human umbilical vein endothelial cells was similar to that of lymphocytes to human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HB-MVEC). However, lymphocyte adhesion probability was higher in HB-MVEC than in mouse brain microvascular endothelial cells (MB-MVEC) under both resting and activated conditions. Furthermore, lymphocytes preincubated with monoclonal antibodies to lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) or HB-MVEC preincubated with monoclonal antibodies to intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) significantly down-regulated the adhesion probability between lymphocytes and endothelial cells, indicating that the adhesion probability is related to the expression of LFA-1 on lymphocytes and to the expression of ICAM-1 on endothelial cells. Lymphocytes isolated from patients with cerebral stroke exhibited increased adhesion probability to HB-MVEC as compared with lymphocytes from healthy donors. Preincubation of lymphocytes with tetramethylpyrazine (TMP), an extract from a Chinese traditional herb, effectively inhibited the adhesion probability to HB-MVEC, suggesting that TMP has a potential therapeutic value. These results indicate that the micropipette technique is a useful model for investigating single-cell adhesion probability between lymphocytes and endothelial cells in vitro.
PMID: 11866545 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
and this on spinal cord improvement:
Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) is one of the most important active ingredients of a Chinese herb Ligusticum wallichii Franchat, which is widely used in many ischemia disorders treatments. However, the exact mechanism by which TMP protects the spinal cord ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is still unknown. For this purpose, rabbits were randomly divided into sham group, control group and TMP group. After the evaluation of neurologic function, the spinal cords were immediately removed for biochemical and histopathological analysis. Apoptosis was measured quantitatively by the terminal transferase UTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) method and confirmed by electron microscopic examination, the expression of Bax and Bcl-2 was immunohistochemically evaluated and quantified by Western blot analysis.
Neurologic outcomes in the TMP-group were significantly better than those in the control group (P < 0.05). TMP decreased spinal cord malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and ameliorated the down regulation of spinal cord superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. TMP significantly reduced the loss of motoneurons and TUNEL-positive rate. Greater Bcl-2 and attenuated Bax expression was found in the TMP treating rabbits.
These findings suggest that TMP has protective effects against spinal cord I/R injury by reducing apoptosis through regulating Bcl-2 and Bax expression.