Dragon blood has been used in wound treatment for many years and can be obtained from several distinct plant species. Dracorhodin, the active substituent of dragon blood, is a characteristic compound of the palm tree, Daemonorops draco. At present, the only method to evaluate the quality of commercial dragon blood samples is a HPLC method which determines the amount of dracorhodin in a dragon blood sample. In this study, we used zebrafish embryos as a platform to demonstrate the in vivo pro-angiogenic activity of dracorhodin perchlorate, the chemically synthesized analog of dracorhodin. By using this platform, three different commercial dragon blood samples were also examined. Our results clearly show that even though the commercial dragon blood samples had similar amounts of dracorhodin, they showed highly variable biological activity, such as pro-angiogenic effects and toxicity. In short, an in vivo activity assay platform for rapidly examining the biological activity of commercial dragon blood samples was successfully established here, which complements the current HPLC-based assay method. © 2018

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