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Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 333–348 | Cite as

Herbal decoctosome is a novel form of medicine

  • Xiaoyun Li
  • Zhu Liang
  • Jianchao Du
  • Zhiqing Wang
  • Song Mei
  • Zhiqing Li
  • Yan Zhao
  • Dandan Zhao
  • Yiming Ma
  • Jun Ye
  • Jiantao Xu
  • Yu Zhao
  • Jiahui Chang
  • Yuhao Qin
  • Lanlan Yu
  • Chenxuan WangEmail author
  • Chengyu JiangEmail author
Research Paper

Abstract

Traditionally, herbal medicine is consumed by drinking decoctions produced by boiling herbs with water. The functional components of the decoction are heat stable. Small RNAs (sRNAs) were reported as a new class of functional components in decoctions. However, the mechanisms by which sRNAs survive heat treatment of the decoction and enter cells are unclear. Previous studies showed that plant-derived exosome-like nanoparticles (ELNs), which we call botanosomes, could deliver therapeutic reagents in vivo. Here, we report that heat-stable decoctosomes (ELNs) from decoctions have more therapeutic effects than the decoctions in vitro and demonstrate therapeutic efficacy in vivo. Furthermore, sRNAs, such as HJT-sRNA-m7 and PGY-sRNA-6, in the decoctosome exhibit potent anti-fibrosis and anti-inflammatory effects, respectively. Decoctosome is comprised of lipids, chemical compounds, proteins, and sRNAs. A medical decoctosome mimic is called bencaosome. A single lipid sphinganine (d22:0) identified in the decoctosome was mixed and heated with the synthesized sRNAs to form the simplest bencaosome. This simple bencaosome structure was identified by critical micelle concentration (cmc) assay that sRNAs coassembled with sphinganine (d22:0) to form the lipid layers of vesicles. The heating process facilitates co-assembly of sRNAs and sphinganine (d22:0) until a steady state is reached. The artificially produced sphinganine-HJT-sRNA-m7 and sphinganine- PGY-sRNA-6 bencaosomes could ameliorate bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis and poly(I:C)-induced lung inflammation, respectively, following oral administration in mice. Our study not only demonstrates that the herbal decoctosome may represent a combinatory remedy in precision medicine but also provides an effective oral delivery route for nucleic acid therapy.

Keywords

decoctosome bencaosome sphinganine 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81788101), the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2015CB553406), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81490531) and the CAMS Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences (2017-I2M-1-009).

Supplementary material

11427_2018_9508_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material, approximately 1.56 MB.
11427_2018_9508_MOESM2_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 20.2 KB.

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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoyun Li
    • 1
  • Zhu Liang
    • 1
  • Jianchao Du
    • 1
  • Zhiqing Wang
    • 1
  • Song Mei
    • 1
  • Zhiqing Li
    • 1
  • Yan Zhao
    • 1
  • Dandan Zhao
    • 1
  • Yiming Ma
    • 1
  • Jun Ye
    • 1
  • Jiantao Xu
    • 1
  • Yu Zhao
    • 1
  • Jiahui Chang
    • 1
  • Yuhao Qin
    • 1
  • Lanlan Yu
    • 2
  • Chenxuan Wang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Chengyu Jiang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical SciencesChinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Department of Biochemistry, Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Department of Biophysics and Structural BiologyPeking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina

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