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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2005, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (5): 391-395.doi: 10.3736/jcim20050515

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Protective and therapeutic effects of Shugan Lifei Recipe on rats with asthma under stress and the mechanisms

Yao Tong1,Ning-xia Zhang2,Hui-juan Chen3,Li-qiang Ni4   

  1. 1. School of Chinese Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
    2. Department of Rehabilitation, Putuo Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200062, China
    3. Basic Medical College, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, 201203, China
    4. Shanghai Institute of Medical Information, Shanghai 200063, China
  • Received:2005-04-14 Online:2005-09-20 Published:2005-09-20
  • Contact: Yao Tong


To explore the influence of psychological factor on asthma, the protective and therapeutic effects of Shugan Lifei Recipe on rats with asthma under stress and the mechanisms.


Allergy and stress-induced asthma models were established in rats by giving ovalbumin and restraining stress. Radioimmunoassay, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, in situ hybridization and immunohistrochemical method were used to detect plasma corticosterone, IL-4, IFN-γ, expression of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA in hippocampus and adrenocorticotropic hormone corticoliberin (CRH) positve neuron in hypothalamus. Optical and electron microscopes were used to observe the morphological changes of pulmonary hilar and hippocampal tissues.


Shugan Lifei Recipe (SGLFR) could reduce plasma corticosterone, decrease CRH positive neurons in paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus, up-regulate the expression of GR mRNA in hippocampus and reduce the injury of hippocampal neuron. SGLFR had certain inhibitive effect on hyperfunction of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal cortex (HPA) axis in rats with asthma under stress and could also relieve the pathological changes of the pulmonary hilar tissue. The level of plasma IFN-γ was increased while the level of plasma IL-4 was decreased in SGLFR-treated group.


The mechanism of SGLFR in treating the rats with asthma under stress is probably to regulate the hyperfunction of HPA axis and the disorder of immuo-system.

Key words: Stress, Asthma, Dispersing stagnated liver qi and regulating lung qi

CLC Number: 

  • R562.65

Tab 1

Comparison of plasma corticosterone in different groups ($\bar{x}$±s, mg/L)"

Group n Plasma corticosterone
Normal control 8 235.27±46.64
Allergy-induced asthma model 8 323.32±100.40*
Stress-induced model 8 532.48±115.28**
Allergy and stress-induced
asthma model
8 569.89±72.32△△
Dexamethasone-treated 8 392.43±112.90▲▲
LFR-treated 8 528.60±130.72■■
SGLFR-treated 8 309.50±46.52▲▲□□■

Tab 2

Comparison of expression of GR mRNA in hippocampus and number of CRH positive neurons in paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus in different groups ($\bar{x}$±s )"

Group n GR mRNA (mg/L) CRH positive neuron (/7×104 μm2)
Normal control 3 7.67±0.52 14.33±3.07
Allergy-induced asthma model 3 6.00±0.63** 37.83±7.25**
Stress-induced model 3 3.67±0.52** 174.50±4.68**
Allergy and stress-induced asthma model 3 3.33±0.52△△ 174.33±3.93△△
Dexamethasone-treated 3 3.67±0.52 61.33±6.56▲▲
LFR-treated 3 4.00±0.89 170.17±3.18
SGLFR-treated 3 5.33±0.52▲▲□□■■ 108.17±16.18▲▲□□■■

Tab 3

Comparison of plasma IL-4 and IFN-γ in different groups ($\bar{x}$±s )"

Group n IL-4 (ng/L) IFN-γ (ng/L)
Normal control 8 37.53±5.20 79.44±25.30
Allergy-induced asthma model 8 58.90±18.13** 55.19±13.31**
Stress-induced model 8 54.07±9.29** 43.26±8.48**
Allergy and stress-induced asthma model 8 82.91±23.07△△ 37.07±5.65△△■
Dexamethasone-treated 8 42.68±2.41▲▲ 42.44±7.14
LFR-treated 8 40.51±2.79▲▲ 51.63±15.72
SGLFR-treated 8 39.82±6.48▲▲ 62.31±26.99▲▲□■
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