Effects of lactose-beta-sitosterol and beta-sitosterol on ovalbumin-induced lung inflammation in actively sensitized mice

Ji Eun Yuk, Jin Suk Woo, Chi-Young Yun, Ji-Sook Lee, Joo-Hwan Kim, Gyu-Yong Song, Eun Ju Yang, In Kang Hur, In Sik Kim
International Immunopharmacology 2007 December 5, 7 (12): 1517-27
Asthma is a disease marked by chronic lung inflammation and the number of patients suffering from asthma increases annually. Both beta-sitosterol (BS) and beta-sitosterol glucoside exist in a variety of plants and have anti-tumor, anti-microbial, and immunomodulatory activities. However, the precise role of BS and beta-sitosterol glucoside in asthma has not been well understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of BS and lactose-BS (L-BS) on the pathophysiological process in ovalbumin-induced asthmatic mice. The total cells and eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid markedly decreased (p<0.05) after L-BS or BS administration (1 mg/kg; i.p.), and the ROS production also decreased in comparison to the asthma control. Histopathological features were detected by performing histochemistry, including H&E and alcian blue & P.A.S staining. Both L-BS and BS mitigated the inflammation by eosinophil infiltration and mucus hypersecretion by goblet hyperplasia. These effects of L-BS were superior to those of BS. L-BS and BS inhibited the increased mRNA and protein expression of IL-4 and IL-5 in the lung tissue and BAL fluid, respectively. The IgE concentration in the BAL fluid and serum was measured by performing ELISA and the ovalbumin-specific IgE in the BAL fluid was uniquely inhibited by L-BS (p<0.05). The splenocytes were isolated from the normal and asthmatic mice and incubated in the absence and presence of 100 microg/ml ovalbumin, respectively. L-BS blocked the survival rate of the splenocytes of the mice (p<0.01). This finding indicates the possibility of L-BS and BS as potential therapeutic molecules in asthma and may contribute to the need to improve current therapeutic drugs.

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