Anti-allergic activity of a Kampo (Japanese herbal) medicine "Sho-seiryu-to (Xiao-Qing-Long-Tang)" on airway inflammation in a mouse model

Takayuki Nagai, Yumiko Arai, Michiko Emori, Shin-Yu Nunome, Takeshi Yabe, Tadahiro Takeda, Haruki Yamada
International Immunopharmacology 2004, 4 (10): 1353-65
Effects of a Kampo (Japanese herbal) medicine "Sho-seiryu-to (SST, Xiao-Qing-Long-Tang in Chinese)", which has been used for the treatment of allergic bronchial asthma clinically, were examined on ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized allergic airway inflammation model (i.e., bronchial asthma) in a mouse. When SST was orally administered at 0.5 g/kg/day from day 1 to 6 days after OVA inhalation, SST reduced the OVA-specific IgE antibody titer in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids at 7 days after the OVA inhalation. CD4(+) T cells obtained from the mouse lung produced more interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 but less interferon (IFN)-gamma than T cells from nonsensitized control animals. However, oral administration of SST reduced the production of IL-4 and IL-5 and the production of IFN-gamma returned to the control level. In addition, the IL-4 level was increased in the BAL fluid of the OVA-sensitized animals compared to the nonsensitized control, while the IFN-gamma levels decreased. SST reduced the IL-4 levels in the BAL fluids and returned the IFN-gamma level to control levels. Nerve growth factor (NGF) was increased in the BAL fluids of the OVA-sensitized mice over that of nonsensitized mice, but oral administration of SST augmented the NGF levels to approximately 2 times higher than in the sensitized mice. Although lung cells obtained from sensitized mice produced higher levels of NGF than nonsensitized mice, oral administration of SST augmented the production of NGF by the lung cells even higher ( approximately 2 times more than cells from sensitized mice). Administration of anti-NGF antibody to the airway blocked the effects of SST. These results suggest that SST modulates Th1/Th2 balance in the lungs and augmentation of NGF in the lungs may be related to the effects of SST. Pinellic acid (9S, 12S, 13S-trihydroxy-10E-octadecenoic acid), one component of the herbs of SST [Int. Immunopharmacol. 2 (2002) 1183], was purified from the tuber of Pinellia ternata Breitenbach. Oral administration of pinellic acid (50 microg/kg/day) also reduced the OVA-specific IgE antibody titer in BAL fluids from the sensitized mouse. This result suggests that pinellic acid is one of active ingredient(s) in SST.


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