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Am J Chin Med. 2012;40(2):295-308.

The regulatory effect of liuwei dihuang pills on cytokines in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

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School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, No. 10 Xitoutiao, Beijing, China.


The regulatory effect of Liuwei Dihuang Pills (LDP) was studied on cytokines in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model for human multiple sclerosis (MS), induced by immunization with MOG(35-55) and complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) supplemented with pertussis toxin (PTX). LDP was administrated orally for 40 days, and prednisone acetate (PA) was used as a control. The pathological changes in the spinal cords of mice were observed by light microscope with hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and transmission electron microscope (TEM). The protein and mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) in the spinal cords were assessed by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR assay, and the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in mice plasma was measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) on days 12, 25 and 40 post-immunization (PI). The results showed that inflammatory cells, demyelination and axonal loss were reduced, and that the protein and mRNA expression of TNF-α and the ratio of TNF-α/TGF-β were obviously decreased, to different extents. However, the levels of cAMP were enhanced in LDP-treated groups. These findings suggested that LDP regulates the cytokine balance in favor of T helper 1 (Th1)/regulatory T (Treg) cells, which depend on enhancement of cAMP levels. LDP has a potential role in the treatment of MS and other demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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