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Open Access Research article

Angelica Sinensis promotes myotube hypertrophy through the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway

Tzu-Shao Yeh1, Cheng-Chen Hsu2, Suh-Ching Yang1, Mei-Chich Hsu34* and Jen-Fang Liu156*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan

2 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan

3 Department of Sports Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan

4 Graduate Institute of Sports Science, National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan 33301, Taiwan

5 Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan 33303, Taiwan

6 Research Center for Industry of Human Ecology, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan 33303, Taiwan

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:144  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-144

Published: 3 May 2014

Abstract

Background

Angelica Sinensis (AS), a folk medicine, has long been used in ergogenic aids for athletes, but there is little scientific evidence supporting its effects. We investigated whether AS induces hypertrophy in myotubes through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt (also termed PKB)/mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR) pathway.

Methods

An in vitro experiment investigating the induction of hypertrophy in myotubes was conducted. To investigate whether AS promoted the hypertrophy of myotubes, an established in vitro model of myotube hypertrophy with and without AS was used and examined using microscopic images. The role of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in AS-induced myotube hypertrophy was evaluated. Two inhibitors, wortmannin (an inhibitor of PI3K) and rapamycin (an inhibitor of mTOR), were used.

Result

The results revealed that the myotube diameters in the AS-treated group were significantly larger than those in the untreated control group (P < 0.05). Wortmannin and rapamycin inhibited AS-induced hypertrophy. Furthermore, AS increased Akt and mTOR phosphorylation through the PI3K pathway and induced myotube hypertrophy.

Conclusion

The results confirmed that AS induces hypertrophy in myotubes through the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.

Keywords:
C2C12; Dong Quai; Muscle; IGF-1