Publications by authors named "Xianrong Lai"

13 Publications

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Tibetan Medicines and Tibetan Prescriptions for the Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2021 17;2021:5532159. Epub 2021 May 17.

School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, China.

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most serious diseases threatening human health and because of that, it is imperative to look for drugs to tackle it. The Tibetan medicine, a traditional medical system used in China, is currently being the focus of research towards the discovery of new effective drugs against several diseases. Based on the literature survey of Tibetan medicine monographs and drug standards, the Tibetan medicine, and Tibetan prescription used in the traditional Tibetan medical system, here, we summarise the methods indicated for DM treatment. In the Tibetan medical system, 56 types of Tibetan medicine and 25 Tibetan prescriptions were found for the treatment of DM. The most commonly used are Curcuma, Berberidis Cortex, and Carthami Flos. Their names, families, medicinal parts, phytochemical components, and pharmacological activities were described in detail in our research. These Tibetan medicines and prescriptions are valuable gifts from the Tibetan medicine to the world and may be the source of potential drugs for the treatment of DM. With the help of modern phytochemistry, pharmacology, metabonomics, and/or clinical trial methods, further research is needed to prove its medicinal value, identify bioactive components, elucidate potential mechanisms of action, and assess potential side effects or toxicity. This study provides the first available data compilation for the ethnic medical knowledge of Tibetan medicine for the treatment of DM, providing new ideas and sources for drugs against DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/5532159DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8149248PMC
May 2021

Amelioration of diabetic retinopathy in db/db mice by treatment with different proportional three active ingredients from Tibetan medicine Berberis dictyophylla F.

J Ethnopharmacol 2021 Aug 6;276:114190. Epub 2021 May 6.

Innovative Institute of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, 611137, China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Berberis dictyophylla F., a famous Tibetan medicine, has been used to prevent and treat diabetic retinopathy (DR) for thousands of years in clinic. However, its underlying mechanisms remain unclear.

Aim Of The Study: The present study was designed to probe the synergistic protection and involved mechanisms of berberine, magnoflorine and berbamine from Berberis dictyophylla F. on the spontaneous retinal damage of db/db mice.

Materials And Methods: The 14-week spontaneous model of DR in db/db mice were randomly divided into eight groups: model group, calcium dobesilate (CaDob, 0.23 g/kg) group and groups 1-6 (different proportional three active ingredients from Berberis dictyophylla F.). All mice were intragastrically administrated for a continuous 12 weeks. Body weight and fasting blood glucose (FBG) were recorded and measured. Hematoxylin-eosin and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) stainings were employed to evaluate the pathological changes and abnormal angiogenesis of the retina. ELISA was performed to assess the levels of IL-6, HIF-1α and VEGF in the serum. Immunofluorescent staining was applied to detect the protein levels of CD31, VEGF, p-p38, p-JNK, p-ERK and NF-κB in retina. In addition, mRNA expression levels of VEGF, Bax and Bcl-2 in the retina were monitored by qRT-PCR analysis.

Results: Treatment with different proportional three active ingredients exerted no significant effect on the weight, but decreased the FBG, increased the number of retinal ganglionic cells and restored internal limiting membrane. The results of PAS staining demonstrated that the drug treatment decreased the ratio of endothelial cells to pericytes while thinned the basal membrane of retinal vessels. Moreover, these different proportional active ingredients can markedly downregulate the protein levels of retinal CD31 and VEGF, and serum HIF-1α and VEGF. The gene expression of retinal VEGF was also suppressed. The levels of retinal p-p38, p-JNK and p-ERK proteins were decreased by drug treatment. Finally, drug treatment reversed the proinflammatory factors of retinal NF-κB and serum IL-6, and proapoptotic Bax gene expression, while increased antiapoptotic Bcl-2 gene expression.

Conclusions: These results indicated that DR in db/db mice can be ameliorated by treatment with different proportional three active ingredients from Berberis dictyophylla F. The potential vascular protection mechanisms may be involved in inhibiting the phosphorylation of the MAPK signaling pathway, thus decreasing inflammatory and apoptotic events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2021.114190DOI Listing
August 2021

A review of traditional Chinese medicine on treatment of diabetic retinopathy and involved mechanisms.

Biomed Pharmacother 2020 Dec 13;132:110852. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Innovative Institute of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, 611137, China. Electronic address:

As a common ocular complication and microangiopathy of type 2 diabetic mellitus, diabetic retinopathy (DR) can lead to vision loss or even blindness in diabetic patients. At present, the treatment methods of DR mainly include laser and anti-VEGF therapies. Nevertheless, the higher cost and obvious side effects seriously disturb the normal life of DR patients. Promisingly, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been demonstrated to be effective in treating DR by tonifying Qi and nourishing Yin, as well clearing heat and breeding body fluids, thus activating blood and removing blood stasis. Therefore, we screened the literatures on TCM treatment of DR through the web of science, ScienceDirect, PubMed, Google scholar and CNKI online databases. The representative prescriptions, herbs and extracts, and identified compounds for treatment of DR were further summarized and analyzed. Moreover, the detailed mechanisms and involved network pathways of herbs-compounds-targets were visualized by Cytoscape software. Meanwhile, we discussed the existing limitations and deficiencies of TCM on treatment of DR and gave corresponding measures. In conclusion, TCM could significantly ameliorate DR via anti-inflammation, anti-oxidative stress, anti-angiogenesis and anti-apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110852DOI Listing
December 2020

H NMR-Based Metabolomics Coupled With Molecular Docking Reveal the Anti-Diabetic Effects and Potential Active Components of on Type 2 Diabetic Rats.

Front Pharmacol 2020 19;11:932. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

School of Ethnic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, China.

The dried stem bark of C.K.Schneid., known as "Xiao-bo-pi" in Chinese, is a representative anti-diabetic herb in traditional Tibetan medical system. However, its anti-diabetic mechanisms and active components remain unclear. In this study, H NMR-based metabolomics, biochemistry assay, molecular docking, and network analysis were integrated to evaluate the anti-diabetic effects of extract on type 2 diabetic rats, and to explore its active components and underlying mechanisms. Diabetes was induced by high-fat diet and streptozotocin. After 30 days of treatment, extract significantly decreased the serum levels of fasting blood glucose, insulin, insulin resistance index, glycated serum protein, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, whereas significantly increased the serum levels of insulin sensitivity index in type 2 diabetic rats. A total of 28 endogenous metabolites were identified by H NMR-based metabolomics, of which 9 metabolites that were changed by diabetes were significantly reversed by extract. The constructed compound-protein-metabolite-disease (CPMD) interaction network revealed the correlation between chemical constituents, target proteins, differential metabolites, and type 2 diabetes. Ferulic acid 4---D-glucopyranoside, bufotenidine, jatrorrhizine, and berberine showed good hit rates for both the 30 disease-related proteins and 14 differential metabolites-related proteins, indicating that these four compounds might be the active ingredients of against type 2 diabetes. Moreover, pathway analysis revealed that the anti-diabetic mechanisms of might be related to its regulation of several metabolic pathways (e.g., butanoate metabolism) and disease-related signal pathways (e.g., adipocytokine signaling pathway). In summary, exerts a significant anti-diabetic effect and has potential as a drug candidate for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.00932DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7317004PMC
June 2020

A rapid method for simultaneous quantification of berberine, berbamine, magnoflorine and berberrubine in mouse serum using UPLC-MS/MS.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2020 Apr 24;1142:122040. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan 611137, PR China. Electronic address:

Berberidis cortex, the dry bark of Berberis L., is used to treat diabetes and contains at least three bioactive components: berberine (BBR), berbamine (BBM) and magnoflorine (MGF). BBR in turn is metabolized into berberrubine (BRB). Although it is possible to quantify each of these components individually in serum, there are currently no methods for simultaneously quantifying all four. Here, we developed a specific and rapid method for simultaneously quantifying BBR, BBM, MGF and BRB in mouse serum using ultra high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). Samples were pretreated by protein precipitation, separated using an ACQUITY UPLC® BEH C18 column and detected by a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer with electrospray ionization. The compound [9,10-(OCH)]-BBR (d-BBR) was used as internal standard for BBR and BRB, boldine (BOL) for MGF and tetrandrine (TET) for BBM. The m/z transitions for precursor/product ion pairs were 336.1/320.2 for BBR, 305.2/566.3 for BBM, 342.0/297.1 for MGF, 322.1/307.2 for BRB, 342.2/294.3 for d-BBR, 312.2/580.3 for TET and 328.1/265.2 for BOL. We validated our method in terms of selectivity, linearity and lower limit of quantification, accuracy, precision, matrix effect and recovery, dilution integrity and stability. This method showed good linearity from 0.1 to 40 ng/mL for BBR, 8 to 3200 ng/mL for BBM, 5 to 2000 ng/mL for MGF and 0.2 to 80 ng/mL for BRB. The chromatographic run time was 3.9 min, and sample preparation took approximately 15 min per batch. Finally, we used our method to measure BBR, BBM, MGF and BRB in serum from diabetic mice after gavage administration of BBR hydrochloride, BBM hydrochloride, and MGF. This method is precise, accurate and suitable for high-throughput sample analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2020.122040DOI Listing
April 2020

Amelioration of dry eye syndrome in db/db mice with diabetes mellitus by treatment with Tibetan Medicine Formula Jikan Mingmu Drops.

J Ethnopharmacol 2019 Sep 29;241:111992. Epub 2019 May 29.

Tibetan Medical College, Qinghai University, Xining, 810001, China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Jikan Mingmu Drops (JMD), a traditional Tibetan medicine containing six herbs, has been used to treat dry eye syndrome (DES) in individuals with diabetes mellitus.

Aim Of Study: However, the activity of JMD ameliorates DES with diabetes mellitus has not been previously examined. The aim of the study is to investigate the molecular mechanism of JMD on db/db mice.

Materials And Methods: The main chemical constituents of JMD were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. DES was then induced in db/db mice by applying 0.2% benzalkonium chloride to the ocular surface for 7 days. Eye drops containing JMD (0.25, 0.5, or 1 g/mL) or vehicle subsequently were administered three times daily for another 7 days, and the therapeutic effects were evaluated by phenol red thread tear and sodium fluorescein tests. Conjunctival specimens were subjected to hematoxylin and eosin staining and periodic acid-Schiff staining to examine pathological changes and number of goblet cells. ELISA was performed to assess the levels of various inflammatory cytokines.

Results: JMD contains hydroxysafflor yellow A, magnoflorine, jatrorrhizine hydrochloride, palmatine hydrochloride, berberine hydrochloride, gallic acid, ellagic acid, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, camphor, isoborneol, borneol, trans-cinnamic acid, and muscone. JMD treatment significantly increased the tear volume, decreased the corneal fluorescein staining score, restored the morphology and structure of conjunctival epithelial cells, and markedly downregulated the levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17α, IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and vascular endothelial growth factor in the conjunctiva. Further data showed that these protective effects were accompanied by inhibition of inflammation in a dose-dependent manner.

Conclusions: Amelioration of DES in db/db mice with diabetes mellitus by treatment with Tibetan medicine formula JMD maybe related to its anti-inflammatory effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.111992DOI Listing
September 2019

Amelioration of diabetic nephropathy in db/db mice treated with tibetan medicine formula Siwei Jianghuang Decoction Powder extract.

Sci Rep 2018 11 12;8(1):16707. Epub 2018 Nov 12.

School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, 611137, China.

Siwei Jianghuang Decoction Powder (SWJH) documented originally in the Four Medical Tantras-Blue Glaze exhibited beneficial effects on diabetic nephropathy (DN) via combined synergistically action of multiple formula components including Curcumae longae Rhizoma, Berberidis dictyophyllae Cortex, Phyllanthi Fructus and Tribuli Fructus. This study investigated the effects of SWJH on DN in db/db mice and possible underlying mechanisms. The ten weeks old db/db mice treated with SWJH by intra-gastric administration once a day for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, body weight, water and food intake of mice were recorded. The level of fasting blood glucose (FBG) was measured. Serum creatinine (Scr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), urine microalbumin (UMAlb), serum uric acid (UA) and urinary albumin excretion (UAE) were detected. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed to test serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). Real-time PCR and Western blot analysis were used to test mRNA and protein expression of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), VEGF and TGF-β1 in kidney tissue. SWJH treatment significantly reduced the levels of FBG, Scr, BUN, UMAlb, UA and UAE and retarded renal fibrosis. SWJH treatment further significantly reduced serum TGF-β1 level and downregulated the expression of HIF-1α, VEGF and TGF-β1 at both mRNA and protein levels. Principal component analysis and partial least squares regression and hierarchical cluster analysis demonstrated that SWJH treatment significantly ameliorated renal damage in DN mice. These consequences suggested that SWJH formulations were effective in the treatment of DN through regulating the HIF-1α, VEGF and TGF-β1 overexpression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-35148-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6232159PMC
November 2018

DNA barcoding based identification of Hippophae species and authentication of commercial products by high resolution melting analysis.

Food Chem 2018 Mar 9;242:62-67. Epub 2017 Sep 9.

Key Laboratory of Beijing for Identification and Safety Evaluation of Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China. Electronic address:

Sea buckthorn (Hippophae), an ancient crop with modern virtues, is increasingly consumed in source of foods and nutraceuticals. The growing demand leads to the adulteration of commercial sea buckthorn products, which is a common form of food fraud. Herein, a high resolution melting assay, targeting a DNA barcoding region of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) (Bar-HRM) was developed to identify the seven native Chinese Hippophae species, and to authenticate commercial sea buckthorn products. Melting data from the HRM assay demonstrated that all Hippophae species could be clearly distinguished. Then, application to commercial sea buckthorn products indicated the existence of adulterants or contamination, further confirmed using Sanger sequencing results for PCR products from HRM. The Bar-HRM technique proposed in this work could provide a method for regulatory agencies, promoting consumers trust, and raise the quality and safety of sea buckthorn products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.09.040DOI Listing
March 2018

Weigh Biomaterials by Quantifying Species-specific DNA with Real-time PCR.

Sci Rep 2017 07 6;7(1):4774. Epub 2017 Jul 6.

Natural Products Research Center, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, 610041, P. R. China.

What's on the label is not what's in the bottle, from food products to herbal medicinal products (HMPs), economically-motivated biomaterials adulteration is a long-term problem affecting the food and drug industry. Accurate identification of the biomaterial ingredients in processed commodities is highly desirable. In this field, DNA-based techniques have proved to be powerful tools to overcome qualitative challenges. However, is it possible to quantify the weight of biological materials with PCR? Therefore, a basic scientific question needs to be answered: what's the relationship between DNA content and the mass of biological materials? Is DNA content directly proportional to the mass of biological materials as most of the researchers previously thought? In this study, we firstly found that there exists a linear relation between DNA contents and the weight of biomaterials indeed when the analytical practices are fully controlled. In this case, the mass of targeted biomaterials in the highly processed commercial products can also be calculated by quantifying the species-specific DNA through classic real-time PCR with a good reproducibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-05083-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5500521PMC
July 2017

Metabolic discrimination of sea buckthorn from different Hippophaë species by H NMR based metabolomics.

Sci Rep 2017 05 8;7(1):1585. Epub 2017 May 8.

College of Ethnic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, 611137, China.

Sea buckthorn (Hippophaë; Elaeagnaceae) berries are widely consumed in traditional folk medicines, nutraceuticals, and as a source of food. The growing demand of sea buckthorn berries and morphological similarity of Hippophaë species leads to confusions, which might cause misidentification of plants used in natural products. Detailed information and comparison of the complete set of metabolites of different Hippophaë species are critical for their objective identification and quality control. Herein, the variation among seven species and seven subspecies of Hippophaë was studied using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (H NMR) metabolomics combined with multivariate data analysis, and the important metabolites were quantified by quantitative H NMR (qNMR) method. The results showed that different Hippophaë species can be clearly discriminated and the important interspecific discriminators, including organic acids, L-quebrachitol, and carbohydrates were identified. Statistical differences were found among most of the Hippophaë species and subspecies at the content levels of the aforementioned interspecific discriminators via qNMR and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test. These findings demonstrated that H NMR-based metabolomics is an applicable and effective approach for simultaneous metabolic profiling, species differentiation and quality assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-01722-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5431470PMC
May 2017

[Determination of loganin in Pterocephalus hookeri by HPLC].

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2011 Dec;36(24):3472-4

College of Ethnic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, China.

Objective: To develop an HPLC method for determination of loganin in Pterocephalus hookeri.

Method: The analysis was performed on a Welchrom C18 column (4.6 mm x 250 mm, 5 microm) with acetonitrile-water (12:88) as the the mobile phase at a flow rate of 1 mL x min(-1) and the detection wavelength was 240 nm.

Result: The peak areas and injection amounts of loganin had a good linear relationship at the range of 0.06-1.2 microg. The average recovery was 97.0%, and the RSD was 1.4%.

Conclusion: The method is simple, accurate, and can be used for its quality control.
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December 2011

Development of a rapid resolution liquid chromatographic method combined with chemometrics for quality control of Angelicae dahuricae radix.

Phytochem Anal 2012 Jul-Aug;23(4):299-307. Epub 2011 Sep 30.

College of Ethnic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 611137 Chengdu, People's Republic of China.

Introduction: Angelicae dahuricae radix (Baizhi) is a widely used traditional Chinese medicine, for which the traditional processing method has been sun-drying after harvesting. In recent years this method has been replaced by sulphur-fumigation for the sake of improving its appearance and pest control. Correct identification of sulphur-fumigated Baizhi and rapid finding of appropriate chemical markers for the quality control of Baizhi are of very great importance.

Objective: To develop a rapid and efficient method of rapid resolution liquid chromatography (RRLC) combined with chemometrics for discriminating sulphur-fumigated Baizhi and controlling its quality.

Methodology: The samples were separated on a Zorbax SB-C₁₈-column with a gradient elution programme using methanol and water. The optimal RRLC method was validated in terms of linearity, precision, stability and recovery test. In addition, hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA) and principle component analysis (PCA) were applied to differentiate the different samples.

Results: All the constituents were well separated within 18 min. The results of chemical fingerprinting and quantitative analysis showed that the sulphur-fumigated method obviously destroyed the phytochemical profiles of Baizhi. Moreover, the sun-dried and sulphur-fumigated Baizhi could be clearly separated by HCA and PCA, and the critical markers such as oxypeucedanin and imperatorin accountable for such differences were ultimately screened out.

Conclusion: This study revealed that sulphur-fumigation is an inappropriate approach for processing crude drugs and should be prohibited, and that the proposed RRLC method combined with chemometrics demonstrated an efficient strategy for quality control of Baizhi.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pca.1358DOI Listing
October 2012

[Pharmacodyamic material basis of rhizoma coptidis on insulin resistance].

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2010 Jul;35(14):1855-8

Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chendu 611137, China.

Objective: To observe the impact of Rhizoma Coptidis (drug-chemical extract parts-components) on 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes differentiation and adipocytes insulin resistance, and reveal the pharmacodyamic material basis of Rhizoma Coptidis on insulin resistance.

Method: 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes were well cultured, and then induced to differentiate into fat cells by using dexamethasone, 3-isobutyl-1-methyl-xanthine and insulin together, and establish the insulin resistance model. Based on the experience of traditional medicine use, the adipocytes differentiation and the glucose consumption in the cell culture medium were observed independently.

Result: Aqueous extract, different chemical extract fraction and different alkaloid extract from the herb showed inhibitory effects on 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes differentiation, especially the compound coptisine significantly inhibited the differentiation in the concentration of 16.5 micromol x L(-1), but non-alkaloid extract from the herb promoted cell differentiation significantly in the concentration of 6.0 micromol x L(-1). Each treatment group, especially jatrorrhizine hydrochloride (in the concentration of 10.5 micromol x L(-1)) significantly decreased the concentration of glucose in 3T3-L1 adipocytes culture, at the same time improved insulin resistance. These effects are similar to the role of rosiglitazone maleate.

Conclusion: Rhizoma Coptidis significantly improved insulin resistance, prevented pre-adipocytes differentiation. Its efficacy may be the synergistic effect of various components. Meanwhile, its role in inhibiting differentiation of pre-adipocytes indicates that coptis to increasing glucose uptake dose not cause fat accumulation and weight increasing. This has some clinical significance in the insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4268/cjcmm20101419DOI Listing
July 2010