Many clinical experiments and studies have demonstrated that traditional Chinese medicines possess the capacity for being used in anti-sepsis. In this paper, we screened 78 herbs based on biosensor technology by targeting of lipid A. Terminaliachebula Retz was found to possess the highest capability of binding lipid A. With CER (cation-exchange resin) and HPLC, we obtained three active components extracted from Terminaliachebula Retz, and named them TCR1, TCR2 and TCR3 respectively. These three components were evaluated with the biosensor, and it was found that the TCR3 was the most capable candidate to bind lipid A. We also studied the biological activities of TCR3 against sepsis in vitro and in vivo. in vitro, TCR3 could significantly inhibit LPS (lipopolysaccharide)-induced LAL (Limulus amoebocyte lysate)) from agglutination and decrease TNFα (tumour necrosis factor α) release from RAW264.7 cells induced by LPS in a dose-dependent manner. in vivo, TCR3 could significantly protect mice against a lethal challenge with LPS and heat-killed Escherichia coli 35218 in a dose-dependent manner. These results demonstrate that Terminaliachebula Retz is an important herb to neutralize LPS and it has the potential to serve as a treatment for sepsis.

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