J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Dec 4. pii: S0378-8741(15)30240-3
Kyung-Ok-Ko (KOK), a traditional herbal prescription, contains six main ingredients; Rehmannia glutinosa var. purpurae, Lycium chinense, Aquillaria agallocha, Poria cocos, Panax ginseng, and honey. KOK has been widely taken as a traditional oriental medicine for improving blood circulation or age-related symptoms, such as dementia and stroke. However, the effect of KOK on platelet activity has not been clarified.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
To evaluate the effect of KOK on platelet function, we evaluated its effect on functional markers of platelet activation such as aggregation and shape change. As a mechanism study for the effect of KOK, we examined its effect on granule secretion, intracellular Ca2+ increase, and PLCγ and Akt activation. To investigate the effect of orally administered KOK (0.5, 1, 2g/kg), we examined its ex vivo effect on platelet aggregation in rat, and its in vivo anti-thrombotic effect in mice thromboembolism model. Furthermore, the effect of KOK on bleeding time was examined to estimate its potential side effect.
KOK (0.3, 1, 3, 10mg/ml) inhibited collagen-induced platelet aggregation and shape change in rat platelets in a concentration-dependent manner. The mechanism for the anti-platelet effect of KOK seems to involve the inhibition of ATP release, intracellular Ca2+ elevation, and the phosphorylation of PLCγ and Akt. In rat ex vivo study, KOK (2g/kg, p.o. for 1 day, and 0.5, 1, 2g/kg, p.o. for 7 days) also had significant inhibitory effects on collagen-induced platelet aggregation. In addition, KOK showed a significant protective effect against thrombosis attack in mice. The prolongation of bleeding time by KOK was much less than that by ASA, suggesting a beneficial potential of KOK than ASA in view of side effect.
These findings suggest that KOK elicits remarkable anti-platelet and anti-thrombotic effects with less side effect of bleeding, and therefore, it may have a therapeutic potential for the prevention of platelet-associated cardiovascular diseases.