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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Aug;107(2):154-62. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2011.05.001. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Herbal medicine treatment reduces inflammation in a murine model of cockroach allergen-induced asthma.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.



Asthma is a significant disease among children, and its prevalence has increased notably during the last 2 decades. A traditional Korean medicine, So-Cheong-Ryong-Tang (SCRT), has been used for the treatment of asthma in Asia for centuries, but its mechanism for reducing bronchopulmonary inflammation in asthma has yet to be elucidated.


To investigate whether the herbal extract SCRT inhibits inflammation in a mouse model of cockroach allergen-induced asthma.


A house dust extract containing endotoxin and cockroach allergens was used for immunization and 2 additional pulmonary challenges in BALB/c mice. Mice were treated with SCRT or vehicle 1 hour before each pulmonary challenge. Respiratory parameters were evaluated by whole-body plethysmography and forced oscillation methods 24 hours after the last challenge. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was collected, and histologic sections of lung were prepared either 4 or 24 hours after the last house dust extract challenge.


SCRT treatment significantly reduced the hyperreactivity of the airways as measured by whole-body plethysmography and direct measurement of airway resistance. Inflammation was significantly inhibited by SCRT treatment as demonstrated by reduced plasma IgE levels and improved pulmonary histologic characteristics. SCRT significantly reduced the number of neutrophils in the BAL fluid and also significantly reduced the BAL levels of CXC chemokines, providing a potential mechanism for the reduced inflammation. In a similar fashion, SCRT reduced eosinophil recruitment and BAL levels of eotaxin and RANTES.


These data indicate that SCRT treatment alleviates asthma-like pulmonary inflammation via suppression of specific chemokines.

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