Objective: To evaluate the influence and long-term effects on systemic and local inflammation responses in rat with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treated with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for regulating and invigorating the lung and kidney, including invigorating the lung and spleen (Bufei Jianpi) therapy, supplementing the lung and kidney (Bufei Yishen) therapy, and nourishing qi and kidney (Yiqi Zishen) therapy.
Methods: Rats were randomly divided into six groups: control, model, aminophyline, Bufei Jianpi, Bufei Yishen and Yiqi Zishen groups. The stable COPD model of rat was duplicated by cigarette smoke inhalations and bacterial infection. From the ninth week, the rats with stable COPD were treated with Bufei Jianpi, Bufei Yishen, Yiqi Zishen granules or aminophyline respectively until the 20th week. Half of the animals were sacrificed at the 20th or 32nd week respectively. The leukocyte count and neutrophil percentage in peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were measured; levels of interleukin (IL)-8, IL-10 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in BALF, and levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and TNF-α and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor Ⅱ (sTNFR2) in serum and lungs were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or immunohistochemical method.
Results: There were no statistical differences in leukocyte count and neutrophil percentage in peripheral blood among six groups (P>0.05). At the 20th week, leukocyte count in BALF was higher in the model group than in the control group (P<0.01), and was lower in the three TCM groups and the aminophyline group than in the model group (P<0.05, P<0.01), and that of the Bufei Jianpi group was lower than the aminophyline group (P<0.01); while at the 32nd week, leukocyte count in BALF of the three TCM groups decreased and was lower than that of the aminophyline group (P<0.05, P<0.01). At the 20th and 32nd weeks, levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-α and sTNFR2 in serum and lungs, and IL-8, IL-10 and TNF-α in BALF of the model group increased, which were higher than those in the control group (P<0.05, P<0.01); the mentioned cytokines were decreased in the three TCM groups compared with the model group (P<0.05, P<0.01), and were also lower in serum and BALF of the three TCM groups than those of the aminophyline group (P<0.05, P<0.01). Expressions of cytokines in lung tissues were depressed in the three TCM groups as compared to those in the aminophyline group. There was no statistical difference on expressions of the mentioned cytokines either in serum and BALF or in the lungs between week 32 and week 20.
Conclusion: The Bufei Jianpi, Bufei Yishen and Yiqi Zishen therapies can significantly reduce the systemic and local inflammation responses in rats with stable COPD, and have evident long-term effects.