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Arthritis Res Ther. 2007;9(4):R64.

Reduction of urate crystal-induced inflammation by root extracts from traditional oriental medicinal plants: elevation of prostaglandin D2 levels.

Author information

1
Division of Rheumatology, University of Pennsylvania, 3600 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

Dried roots of the plants Acanthopanax senticosus, Angelica sinensis and Scutellaria baicalensis are used in traditional oriental medicine and reportedly possess anti-inflammatory properties. Using the murine air pouch model of inflammation, we investigated the efficacy and mode of action of an extract from these three plants in crystal-induced inflammation. Air pouches were raised on the backs of 8-week-old BALB/c mice. Mice were fed 100 mg/kg body weight of root extracts (A. senticosus:A. sinensis:S. baicalensis mixed in a ratio of 5:4:1 by weight) or vehicle only on days 3-6. Inflammation was elicited on day 6 by injecting 2 mg of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals into the pouch. Neutrophil density and IL-6 and TNF-alpha mRNA levels were determined in the pouch membrane, and the leukocyte count and IL-6, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) levels were determined in the pouch exudate. Treatment with the root extracts led to a reduction in all inflammatory parameters: the leukocyte count in the pouch exudate decreased by 82%; the neutrophil density in the pouch membrane decreased by 68%; IL-6 and TNF-alpha mRNA levels in the pouch membrane decreased by 100%; the IL-6 concentration in the pouch fluid decreased by 50%; and the PGE2 concentration in the pouch fluid decreased by 69%. Remarkably, the concentration of the potentially anti-inflammatory PGD2 rose 5.2-fold in the pouch exudate (p < 0.005), which led to a normalization of the PGD2:PGE2 ratio. A 3.7-fold rise in hematopoietic PGD synthase (h-PGDS) mRNA paralleled this rise in PGD2 (p = 0.01). Thus, the root extracts diminished MSU crystal-induced inflammation by reducing neutrophil recruitment and expression of pro-inflammatory factors and increasing the level of the potentially anti-inflammatory PGD2. These results support a need for further studies of the efficacy of these extracts in the treatment of inflammatory arthropathies and suggest elevation of PGD2 levels as a novel mechanism for an anti-inflammatory agent.

PMID:
17612394
PMCID:
PMC2206389
DOI:
10.1186/ar2222
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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