Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2009, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (4): 349-353.doi: 10.3736/jcim20090409

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Chinese herbal formula Biminne in regulating endocrine-immune function in mice with airway allergy

Su-qin Zhanga, Zi-yin Shena,Guo-rang Hub, Run-hong Liua,Xin-ming Zhanga   

  1. a Institute of Chinese Integrative Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China
    b Department of Immunology and Allergy, Concord Hospital, Sydney University, Sydney 2006, Australia
  • Received:2008-10-09 Accepted:2008-12-31 Online:2009-04-20 Published:2009-04-15


To investigate the effects of Biminne, a traditional Chinese herbal formula, in regulating the endocrine-immune function in mice with airway allergy.

Forty BALB/c mice were randomly divided into four groups: control group, untreated group, Biminne group, and dexamethasone (Dex) group. The murine model of airway allergy was established by intraperitoneal injection sensitization and intranasal challenge with ovalbumin (OVA). On day 28, the mice were sacrificed and the sera were collected. The lung tissue of mice was removed for haematoxylin-eosin staining and the pathological changes were observed. The spleen cells of mice were isolated and the ratio of Th2/Th1 was determined by flow cytometry. The isolated spleen cells were also cultured in 24-well plates in the presence of concanavalin A and the supernatants were collected after 72-hour culture. Levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5 and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) in the supernatants and the corticosterone level in sera were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Biminne significantly relieved the inflammatory reaction in the lung tissue of airway allergic mice. Compared with the control group, the Th2 cells in the untreated group increased, while the IFN-γ level decreased and the ratio of Th2/Th1 increased significantly, showing a Th2 response priority. Biminne treatment could down-regulate the Th2 cells and their cytokines IL-4 and IL-5, and up-regulate the Th1 cells and their cytokine IFN-γ. So the ratio of Th2/Th1 decreased significantly, shifting to the control level. In addition, Biminne also inhibited the reduction of the serum corticosterone of sensitized mice.

The Chinese herbal formula Biminne can reverse the functional disorder of the endocrine-immune system, which may explain its therapeutic effects on airway allergic disease.

Key words: Allergy, Interleukin-4, Interleukin-5, Interferon-gamma, Corticosterone, Mice

Table 1

Effects of Biminne on the eosinophil infiltration in the lung tissues of sensitized mice (x±s, cells/HP)"

Group n EOS
Control 10 2.0±2.4
Untreated 10 19.0±6.4**
Dex 10 3.0±1.4△△
Biminne 10 3.1±2.3△△**

Table 2

Effects of Biminne on the Th1 and Th2 cells of sensitized mice (x±s)"

Group n Th2 cells (%) Th1 cells (%) Th2/Th1
Control 10 0.79±0.45 0.95±0.29 1.14±0.20
Untreated 10 1.47±0.56* 0.83±0.41 1.60±0.60*
Dex 10 0.91±0.51 0.68±0.46 1.29±0.45
Biminne 10 1.00±0.43 1.24±0.42 1.13±0.41

Table 3

Effects of Biminne on the IL-4, IL-5 and INF-γ levels in spleen cell culture supernatants (x±s)"

Group n IL-4 (ng/L) IL-5 (ng/L) INF-γ (ng/L) IL-4/IFN-γ
Control 10 47.93±17.40 52.87±24.19 123.50±88.58 0.51±0.37
Untreated 10 50.50±13.49 55.36±44.00 42.80±17.49* 1.07±0.37**
Dex 10 30.90±13.64 30.78±9.82 46.58±34.69 0.87±0.64
Biminne 10 18.25±5.81 33.15±15.34 126.50±91.38 0.24±0.20△△

Table 4

Effects of Biminne on the serum corticosterone level of sensitized mice (x±s, ng/L)"

Group n Corticosterone
Control 10 898.04±645.58
Untreated 10 506.13±459.33*
Dex 10 20.64±8.07△△
Biminne 10 1 144.27±786.15
[1] Shen ZY, Shi SZ, Zha LL, Hu GR, Chen SZ, Chen WH, Zhou XX . Treatment of asthma by strengthening the kidney and the observation of the endocrine and immune function[J]. Zhong Yi Za Zhi, 1981,22(5):21
沈自尹, 施赛珠, 查良伦, 胡国让, 陈素珍, 陈伟华, 周杏仙 . 支气管哮喘采用补肾法防治及其内分泌和免疫方面的观察[J]. 中医杂志, 1981,22(5):21
[2] Kauffmann F, Guiochon-Mantel A, Neukirch F . Is low endogenous cortisol a risk factor for asthma?[J]. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 1999,160(4):1428
doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.160.4.16040_1
[3] Landstra AM, Postma DS , Boezen HM, van Aalderen WM.Role of serum cortisol levels in children with asthma[J]. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 2002,165(5):708-712
doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.165.5.2102115
[4] Buske-Kirschbaum A, von Auer K, Krieger S, Weis S, Rauh W, Hellhammer D . Blunted cortisol responses to psychosocial stress in asthmatic children: a general feature of atopic disease?[J]. Psychosom Med, 2003,65(5):806-810
doi: 10.1097/01.PSY.0000095916.25975.4F
[5] Wamboldt MZ, Laudenslager M, Wamboldt FS, Kelsay K, Hewitt J . Adolescents with atopic disorders have an attenuated cortisol response to laboratory stress[J]. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2003,111(3):509-514
doi: 10.1067/mai.2003.140
[6] Nomura S, Fujitaka M, Sakura N, Ueda K . Adrenocortical function in asthmatic children: low levels of adrenocortical hormones in children with persistent attacks[J]. Eur J Pediatr, 1997,156(4):323-328
doi: 10.1007/s004310050610
[7] Hu G, Walls RS, Bass D, Ramon B, Grayson D, Jones M, Gebski V . The Chinese herbal formulation biminne in management of perennial allergic rhinitis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 12-week clinical trial[J]. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol, 2002,88(5):478-487
doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)62386-1
[8] Gu YF, Zhang XM, Hu GR, Liu RH, Zhang SQ, Cai WJ, Ma YY . Effect of Biminne on vascular permeability of nasal mucosa in allergic rhinitis rats[J]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi, 2006,26(10):918-921
顾一峰, 张新民, 胡国让, 刘闰红, 张素琴, 蔡外娇, 马宇滢 . 中药别敏对大鼠鼻黏膜血管通透性的影响[J]. 中国中西医结合杂志, 2006,26(10):918-921
[9] Zhang SQ, Zhang XM, Hu GR, Liu RH, Chen WH . Experimental study of the Chinese herbal formulation Biminne in treating airway allergic disease[J]. Zhongguo Shi Yan Fang Ji Xue Za Zhi, 2007,13(4):37-40
张素琴, 张新民, 胡国让, 刘闰红, 陈伟华 . 中药复方“别敏”治疗呼吸道变应性疾病作用机制的实验研究[J]. 中国实验方剂学杂志, 2007,13(4):37-40
[10] Matsui T, Asakura K, Shirasaki H, Sato J, Himi T . Effects of anti-VLA-4 monoclonal antibody treatment in murine model of allergic rhinitis[J]. Acta Otolaryngol, 2000,120(6):761-765
doi: 10.1080/000164800750000315
[11] Romagnani S . The role of lymphocytes in allergic disease[J]. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2000,105(3):399-408
doi: 10.1067/mai.2000.104575
[12] Li LQ, Huo LL, Zhang XG, Yu JE . Progress in research on relationship between bronchial asthma and Th1/Th2 imbalance[J]. J Chin Integr Med, 2005,3(5):403-407
李利清, 霍莉莉, 张新光, 虞坚尔 . 支气管哮喘与Th1/Th2失衡研究进展[J]. 中西医结合学报, 2005,3(5):403-407
[1] Yi Ran Hu, San Li Xing, Chuan Chen, Ding Zhu Shen, Jiu Lin Chen. Tiaoxin Recipe, a Chinese herbal formula, inhibits microRNA-34a expression in the APPswe/PS1ΔE9 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(6): 404-409.
[2] Bhesh Raj Sharma, Dong Wook Kim, Dong Young Rhyu. Korean Chungtaejeon tea extract attenuates weight gain in C57BL/6J-Lep ob/ob mice and regulates adipogenesis and lipolysis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2017, 15(1): 56-63.
[3] Shi-li Jiang, Xu-dong Hu, Ping Liu. Immunomodulation and liver protection of Yinchenhao decoction against concanavalin A-induced chronic liver injury in mice. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2015, 13(4): 262-268.
[4] Elizabeth Abidemi Balogun, Sylvia Orume Malomo, Joseph Oluwatope Adebayo, Ahmed Adebayo Ishola, Ayodele Olufemi Soladoye, Lawrence Aderemi Olatunji, Olatunji Matthew Kolawole, Stephen Olubunmi Oguntoye, Abiola Samuel Babatunde, Oluwole Busayo Akinola . In vivo antimalarial activity and toxicological effects of methanolic extract of Cocos nucifera (Dwarf red variety) husk fibre. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(6): 504-511.
[5] Md. Asadujjaman, Ahmed Ullah Mishuk, Md. Aslam Hossain, Utpal Kumar Karmakar. Medicinal potential of Passiflora foetida L. plant extracts: Biological and pharmacological activities. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(2): 121-126.
[6] Marjan Nassiri-Asl, Taghi Naserpour Farivar, Esmail Abbasi, Hamid Reza Sadeghnia, Mehdi Sheikhi, Mina Lotfizadeh, Parisa Bazahang. Effects of rutin on oxidative stress in mice with kainic acid-induced seizure. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2013, 11(5): 337-342.
[7] Md. Khirul Islam, Imran Mahmud, Sanjib Saha, Asit Baron Sarker, Himangsu Mondal, A.S.M. Monjur-Al-Hossain, Md. Anisuzzman. Preliminary pharmacological evaluation of Alocasia indica Schott tuber. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2013, 11(5): 343-351.
[8] Sanjib Saha, Faroque Hossain, Md. Anisuzzman, Md. Khirul Islam. Pharmacological evaluation of Musa seminifera Lour. Fruit. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2013, 11(4): 253-261.
[9] Bolleddula Jayaprakasam, Nan Yang, Ming-Chun Wen, Rong Wang, Joseph Goldfarb, Hugh Sampson, Xiu-Min Li. Constituents of the anti-asthma herbal formula ASHMITM synergistically inhibit IL-4 and IL-5 secretion by murine Th2 memory cells, and eotaxin by human lung fibroblasts in vitro. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2013, 11(3): 195-205.
[10] Sunil A. Nirmal, Jayashri M. Ingale, Shashikant R. Pattan, Sanjay B. Bhawar. Amaranthus roxburghianus root extract in combination with piperine as a potential treatment of ulcerative colitis in mice. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2013, 11(3): 206-212.
[11] Lin Wang, Guan-liang Wang, Jia-han Liu, Di Li, De-zeng Zhu, Liang-neng Wu . Effects of ursolic acid in ameliorating insulin resistance in liver of KKAy mice via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors α and γ. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(7): 793-799.
[12] Yi-tao Zhao , Xin-guang Zhang , Li Bai , Li-qing Li , Jian-er Yu . Effects of Chinese herbal medicine Pingchuan Formula on airway inflammation, interferon-γ and interleukin-4 in mice with asthma. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(7): 807-813.
[13] Mei-jiao Mao, Jun-ping Hu, Cong Wang, Yi-yi Zhang, Ping Liu. Effects of Chinese herbal medicine Guanxinkang on expression of PPARγ-LXRα-ABCA1 pathway in ApoE-knockout mice with atherosclerosis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(7): 814-820.
[14] Dong-mei Zhang, Li-xia Lou, Ai-ming Wu, Xi-ying Lü, Zhao-juan Hu, Yan-hong Zhang, Hong-fang Liu. Effects of Astragalus membranaceus and Potentilla discolor mixture on insulin resistance and its related mRNA expressions in KKAy mice with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(7): 821-826.
[15] Surendra Kr. Sharma, Naveen Goyal. Protective effect of Heliotropium eichwaldi against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in mice. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(5): 555-560.
Full text



[1] Yi-ting He, Qing-lin Zha, Jian-ping Yu, Yong Tan, Cheng Lu, Ai-ping Lv. Principal factor analysis of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and their correlations with efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 32-36
[2] Dong Yang, Yong-ping Du, Qing Shen, Wei Chen, Yan Yu, Guang-lei Chen. Expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin in renal tubulointerstitium in patients with kidney collateral stasis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 41-44
[3] Xue-mei Liu, Qi-fu Huang, Yun-ling Zhang, Jin-li Lou, Hong-sheng Liu, Hong Zheng. Effects of Tribulus terrestris L. saponion on apoptosis of cortical neurons induced by hypoxia-reoxygenation in rats. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 45-50
[4] Zhi-chun Jin. Problems in establishing clinical guideline for integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 5-8
[5] Hai-feng Wei, Bai-liu Ya, Ling Zhao, Cui-fei Ye, Li Zhang, Lin Li. Evaluation of tongue manifestation of blood stasis syndrome and its relationship with blood rheological disorder in a rat model of transient brain ischemia. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 73-76
[6] Xi Lin, Jian-ping Liu. Tai chi for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 82
[7] Guo-hong Yuan, Xiao-jing Pang, He-chao Ma. Synergic effects of Danggui Buxue Decoction in reducing toxicity of cytoxan in tumor-bearing mice. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 83-88
[8] Ning-qun Wang, Liang-duo Jiang, Zong-xing Li. Research progress in asthma-related quality of life. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 93-97
[9] Jing-yuan Mao, Chang-xiao Liu, Heng-he Wang, Guang-li Wei , Zhen-peng Zhang, Jie Xing, Wang Xian liang , Ying-fei Bi . Effects of Shenmai Injection on serum concentration and pharmacokinetics of digoxin in dogs with heart failure. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1070-1074
[10] Tao Wang , Feng Qin. Effects of Chinese herbal medicine Xiaoyao Powder on monoamine neurotransmitters in hippocampus of rats with postpartum depression. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1075-1079