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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2009, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (4): 354-359.doi: 10.3736/jcim20090410

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of San'ao decoction and its analogous prescriptions on airway inflammation in mice with respiratory syncytial virus- and ovalbumin-induced asthma

Ying Zhanga,Huang-jin Tonga,Jing-hua Yub,Peng-cheng Gua,Xin-sheng Fanc,Hui-qin Xua   

  1. a Department of Pharmacology, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210029, Jiangsu Province, China
    b Institute of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210029, Jiangsu Province, China
    c Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Traditional Chinese Medicine Formula Research, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210046, Jiangsu Province, China
  • Received:2008-11-28 Accepted:2009-02-04 Online:2009-04-20 Published:2009-04-15


To evaluate the effects of San'ao decoction (SAD) and its analogous prescriptions (APs), compounds of traditional Chinese herbal medicine for asthma, on airway inflammation in mice with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)- and ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma.

A total of 110 mice were randomly divided into control group, untreated group, dexamethasone (DM) group, small-dose SAD (SAD-S) group, large-dose SAD (SAD-L) group, APⅠ-S group, APⅠ-L group, APⅡ-S group, APⅡ-L group, APⅢ-S group, and APⅢ-L group. The asthma model was reproduced by sensitization with multipoint intraperitoneal injection of OVA, followed by repeated inhalation of OVA combined with intranasal instillation of RSV. Cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were counted and classified. The supernatant of the BALF was used for detecting the contents of interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-5 (IL-5) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Pathological changes in lung tissue were observed by hematoxilin and eosin staining and the scores of pathological changes were also calculated to determine the degree of inflammation.

Compared with the control group, the amounts of lymphocytes, eosinophils, neutrophils in BALF in the untreated group were increased significantly (P<0.01); the changes of lung histopathology in the untreated group were much more serious, and the content of IFN-γ was sharply decreased, while the contents of IL-4 and IL-5 were significantly increased (P<0.05). The counts of eosinophils in BALF of the treated groups all decreased obviously (P<0.01) as compared with the untreated group. The count of the neutrophils in BALF of the APⅡ-L group was obviously lower than that in the untreated group (P<0.01). Most of Chinese herbal formulas and DM could increase the level of IFN-γ, and decrease the level of IL-4. All concentrations of the APs and SAD could decrease the level of IL-5 as compared with the untreated group, especially of the APⅡ-L and APⅠ-L (P<0.05, P<0.01).

SAD and its APs had some therapeutic effects on RSV-induced asthma in mice. Among the formulas, APⅡ has a better therapeutic efficacy in treatment of asthma by decreasing the amount of neutrophils.

Key words: Respiratory syncytial virus, Asthma, San'ao decoction, Neutrophils, Mice

Table 1

Differential counts about inflammatory cells in BALF in each group (x±s, ×105/mL)"

Group Dose (g/kg) n Cell count
Macrophages Lymphocytes Eosinophils Neutrophils
Control 10 10.14±2.30 2.23±1.00 0 0
Untreated 10 35.17±19.49 31.45±18.15** 3.83±1.24** 13.60±4.13**
DM 0.002 4 10 16.21±4.50 3.71±1.65 0.66±0.66△△ 9.45±8.31
SAD-S 4.4 10 11.33±2.92 5.06±0.65**▲▲ 0.34±0.18△△ 6.45±4.91
SAD-L 8.8 10 13.12±4.60 14.63±6.25* 0.59±0.47△△ 6.70±3.85
APⅠ-S 7.4 10 6.55±2.07 4.92±2.19 0.34±0.29△△ 10.77±7.19
APⅠ-L 14.8 10 8.79±3.52 5.06±4.26 0.29±0.19△△ 9.67±4.68*
APⅡ-S 13.4 10 11.92±7.30 4.25±2.25 0.11±0.11△△ 6.75±5.22
APⅡ-L 26.8 10 13.95±7.17 0.73±0.64 0.42±0.50△△ 2.85±1.87△△
APⅢ-S 4.8 10 12.75±8.99 5.68±1.51**▲▲ 0.60±0.65△△ 14.03±11.78
APⅢ-L 9.6 10 18.55±6.89 7.23±3.60 0.58±0.51△△ 7.58±6.22

Table 2

Levels of IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-5 in supernatant of BALF in each group (x±s, ng/L)"

Group Dose (g/kg) n IFN-γ IL-4 IL-5
Control 10 30.08±4.01 12.11±1.51 15.25±4.07
Untreated 10 18.77±4.01* 23.30±12.04* 40.15±10.02*
DM 0.002 4 10 44.43±19.39 11.71±1.59 18.29±3.97
SAD-S 4.4 10 42.68±16.89 30.12±23.51 21.93±9.78
SAD-L 8.8 10 62.09±35.64 19.97±13.81 19.80±9.71
APⅠ-S 7.4 10 17.70±3.19* 16.04±14.09 26.87±18.93
APⅠ-L 14.8 10 66.43±20.10 14.72±10.02 7.66±3.20△△
APⅡ-S 13.4 10 19.08±2.32* 12.27±2.60 19.02±1.64
APⅡ-L 26.8 10 29.02±11.60 11.57±0.62 9.05±2.32
APⅢ-S 4.8 10 59.20±24.30 21.39±14.48 21.67±16.70
APⅢ-L 9.6 10 65.72±38.40 19.77±15.62 14.69±8.98

Table 3

Scores of pathological change in each group (x±s)"

Group Dose (g/kg) n Pathological change score
Control 10 1.00±0.71
Untreated 10 5.00±1.27**
DM 0.002 4 10 2.00±0.79△△
SAD-S 4.4 10 4.20±1.30
SAD-L 8.8 10 4.80±2.08
APⅠ-S 7.4 10 2.80±0.76
APⅠ-L 14.8 10 3.10±1.88
APⅡ-S 13.4 10 2.20±1.61△△
APⅡ-L 26.8 10 2.50±0.71
APⅢ-S 4.8 10 2.70±1.20
APⅢ-L 9.6 10 4.20±2.51

Figure 1

Pathological changes of lung tissues observed by HE staining (Light microscopy, ×200) A: Control group; B: Untreated group; C: DM group; D: SAD-S group; E: SAD-L group; F: APⅠ-S group; G: APⅠ-L group; H: APⅡ-S group; I: APⅡ-L group; J: APⅢ-S group; K: APⅢ-L group."

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