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Biofactors. 2017 May 6;43(3):388-399. doi: 10.1002/biof.1349. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

Anti-inflammatory effects of the petasin phyto drug Ze339 are mediated by inhibition of the STAT pathway.

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Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM), Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Center Munich, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Germany, Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Munich, Germany.
Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, TUM Medical School, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
Chair and institute of environmental medicine, UNIKA-T, Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Center Munich, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Augsburg, Germany.
CK CARE - Christine Kühne Center for allergy research and education, Davos, Switzerland.
Max Zeller Söhne AG, Romanshorn, Switzerland.


Ze339, an herbal extract from Petasites hybridus leaves is effective in treatment of allergic rhinitis by inhibition of a local production of IL-8 and eicosanoid LTB4 in allergen-challenged patients. However, the mechanism of action and anti-inflammatory potential in virally induced exacerbation of the upper airways is unknown. This study investigates the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of Ze339 on primary human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs) upon viral, bacterial and pro-inflammatory triggers. To investigate the influence of viral and bacterial infections on the airways, HNECs were stimulated with viral mimics, bacterial toll-like-receptor (TLR)-ligands or cytokines, in presence or absence of Ze339. The study uncovers Ze339 modulated changes in pro-inflammatory mediators and decreased neutrophil chemotaxis as well as a reduction of the nuclear translocation and phosphorylation of STAT molecules. Taken together, this study suggests that phyto drug Ze339 specifically targets STAT-signalling pathways in HNECs and has high potential as a broad anti-inflammatory drug that exceeds current indication.


STAT signalling; cytokines; human nasal epithelial cells; microbial patterns; petasin; viral inflammation

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