Characterization of chemical components in extracts from Si-wu decoction with proliferation-promoting effects on rat mesenchymal stem cells

Bioorg Med Chem. 2008 May 1;16(9):5109-14. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2008.03.024. Epub 2008 Mar 14.


Si-wu decoction (SDE), a classic prescription in Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been used for the treatment of a variety of anaemia in China for centuries. In order to explore the scientific basis of the formula, we investigated the relationship between its chemical components and proliferation-promoting effects on rat marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Twenty (F-1-F-20) components were obtained and their proliferation-promoting effects on MSCs were investigated. The results showed that F-4, F-7, F-10, and F-11 stimulated the proliferation of the MSCs. The chemical components with proliferation-promoting effects on the MSCs were further identified by GC-MS, HPLC, LC-MS, and other spectra. Ligustilide (F-4) isolated from SDE showed the best proliferation-promoting effect. Palmitic acid methyl ester and stearic acid ethyl identified from F-7 and F-10 by HPLC were also confirmed to be responsible for stimulating MSC proliferation. A novel compound, 6,7-dihydroxy-3-(-prop-1-enyl)isobenzofuran-1(3H)-one, was found in the SDE for the first time by LC-MS(n), whose structure was similar to ligustilide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 4-Butyrolactone / analogs & derivatives*
  • 4-Butyrolactone / chemistry
  • 4-Butyrolactone / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Benzofurans / chemistry
  • Benzofurans / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / isolation & purification*
  • Flow Cytometry / methods
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Palmitates / chemistry
  • Palmitates / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stearates / chemistry
  • Stearates / pharmacology*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • 6,7-dihydroxy-3-(-prop-1-enyl)isobenzofuran-1(3H)-one
  • Benzofurans
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Palmitates
  • Stearates
  • si-wu decoction
  • stearic acid ethyl ester
  • ligustilide
  • methyl palmitate
  • 4-Butyrolactone