Objective: To observe the levels of platelet-activating factor (PAF), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-17 in peripheral blood of rats with adjuvant arthritis (AA), and the effects of Xinfeng Capsule (XFC), a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
Methods: A total of 40 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into normal control group, model group, methotrexate (MTX) group, Tripterygium Wilfordii polycoride Tablet (TPT) group, and XFC group, respectively. AA was induced in rats by intracutaneous injection of 0.1 mL Freund's complete adjuvant in the right hindlimb. Contents of PAF, IL-6 and IL-17 in peripheral blood were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Body weight of rats, paw swelling and arthritis index (AI) were also observed.
Results: Compared with the normal control group, the levels of PAF, IL-6 and IL-17 in peripheral blood, paw swelling and AI were significantly increased in the model group (P<0.01). Compared with the model group, levels of PAF, IL-6 and IL-17, paw swelling and AI of the three drug-treated groups were significantly decreased (P<0.01). The body weight of the XFC group was significantly higher than those of the MTX- and TPT-treated groups. Compared with the MTX- and TPT-treated groups, level of PAF in the XFC group was significantly increased (P<0.05). The level of PAF in peripheral blood of the AA rats was positively correlated with IL-6 and IL-17 levels in peripheral blood, paw swelling and AI (P<0.01).
Conclusion: The expression of PAF increases in peripheral blood of rats with AA, and it correlates with IL-6, IL-17, paw swelling and AI. XFC can decrease the expression of PAF, restrain infection induced by the activation of platelets, decrease the levels of IL-6 and IL-17, and hence decrease the paw swelling of rats with AA.