Abstract Title:

Fo Shou San, an ancient herbal decoction prepared from Rhizoma Chuanxiong and Radix Angelicae Sinensis, stimulates the production of hemoglobin and erythropoietin in cultured cells.

Abstract Source:

Planta Med. 2010 Oct;76(14):1525-9. Epub 2010 Mar 22. PMID: 20309798

Abstract Author(s):

Cathy Wen Bi, Heidi Qun Xie, Li Xu, Jun Li, Anna Wing Cheung, Judy Ting Zhu, Yu Zhong Zheng, Vicky Ping Chen, David Tai Lau, Roy Chi Choi, Tie Jie Wang, Tina Ting Dong, Karl Wah Tsim

Article Affiliation:

Department of Biology and Center for Chinese Medicine, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China.


Fo Shou San (FSS) is an ancient herbal decoction comprised of Rhizoma Chuanxiong (RC; Chuanxiong) and Radix Angelicae Sinensis (RAS; Danggui) in a ratio of 2 : 3. It is mainly prescribed for patients having a blood deficiency. This combination is considered the most popular herb pair among Chinese medicines; however, the rationale of having these two chemically similar herbs within the decoction has historically not been made clear. Here, we attempted to reveal the chemical and biological properties of this decoction as a means to deduce its mechanism of action. The effects of FSS were determined in different cell culture models. With respect to stimulation of blood circulation, FSS inhibited ADP-mediated platelet aggregation in a dose-dependent manner. In order to reveal the hematopoietic effect of this decoction, FSS was applied onto cultured K562 human leukemia cells and Hep3B human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Application of FSS in cultured K562 cells inhibited cell proliferation and subsequently induced the production of hemoglobin. Additionally, the mRNA expression of erythropoietin (EPO) was induced in a dose-dependent manner when FSS was applied to Hep3B cells. The current results reveal the effects of FSS in different cell models, paving a direction for mechanistic studies.

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