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J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Oct 30;120(1):44-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.07.028. Epub 2008 Jul 30.

Analgesic and anti-arthritic effects of Lingzhi and San Miao San supplementation in a rat model of arthritis induced by Freund's complete adjuvant.

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Department of Pharmacology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.



In this study, we have investigated the analgesic and anti-arthritic effects of a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) combination of Lingzhi and San Miao San (SMS) in a rat model of arthritis induced by Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA).


Sprague-Dawley rats were induced with monoarthritis by single unilateral injection of FCA into the knee joint. The TCM combination was administered to the rats daily by intraperitoneal injection (50mg/(kgday)) or via oral administration (500mg/(kgday)) for 7 days before induction of arthritis and 7 days after. Extension angle that provoked struggling behavior, and size and blood flow of the rat knees were measured to give indexes of allodynia, edema, and hyperemia, respectively. The extent of cell infiltration, tissue proliferation, and erosions of joint cartilage provided additional indexes of the arthritis condition.


FCA injection produced significant allodynia, edema, hyperemia, immune cell infiltration, synovial tissue proliferation, and erosions of joint cartilage in the ipsilateral knees compared with the contralateral saline-injected knees. Intraperitoneal injection of the TCM combination (50mg/(kgday)) suppressed allodynia, edema, and hyperemia in the inflamed knees, and oral administration (500mg/(kgday)) suppressed edema and hyperemia. Histological examination showed that the TCM administered by either route reduced immune cell infiltration and erosion of joint cartilage.


These findings suggest the Lingzhi and SMS formulation has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects in arthritic rat knees, and concur to previous clinical studies that showed the TCM combination reduced pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients, and extends its possible benefit to suppression of inflammatory symptoms in these patients.

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