AATEX 13(1):1-10, 2008
A low cost and quick assay system has been developed using the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to determine the effects of Kampo medicines (traditional Japanese medicines) on life span. A key characteristic of this system is the use of a fer-15 mutant, which is sterile when grown at 25oC owing to the production of spermatids that fail to activate into spermatozoa. This prevented the production of progeny, which would otherwise complicate life span analyses. In addition, liquid culture medium permitted easy handling of the test subjects. We employed this system to examine the longevity effects of 26 Kampo medicines and crude drugs. Of these, Rhei Rhizoma was found to extend the life span and acts as an anti-oxidant that suppresses superoxide anion generation from mitochondria.
Key words: C. elegans; life span; Kampo medicines; crude drugs; oxidative stress
(AATEX: Altern. Animal Test. EXperiment.: Alternatives to Animal Testing and EXperimentation)