The anti-inflammatory effects of pentaherbs formula on ovalbumin-induced asthmatic mice model
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AbstractIntroduction: Allergic asthma is an inflammatory airway disease, affecting as many as 334 million people

worldwide. Inhaled steroids have long been used as the major treatment of asthma. Yet, a long-term

use of steroids may bring undesirable effects. Previous studies show that pentaherbs formula (PHF),

which consists of five traditional Chinese herbal medicines, flos lonicerae, herba menthae, cortex

phellodendri, cortex moutan and rhizoma atractylodis at w/w ratio of 2:1:2:2:2 exhibited therapeutic

potential in treating oxazolone-induced atopic dermatitis-like mice model.

Objectives: As allergic asthma and atopic dermatitis are immunologically related to each other, we

hypothesize that PHF also poses potential anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities on

asthmatic mice. This study aims at investigating the potential anti-inflammatory and

immunomodulatory activities of PHF in asthmatic mice model.

Methods: Acute asthmatic mouse models were established by sensitizing the BALB/c mice with an

immunogen 20 µg ovalbumin (OVA) - Al(OH) 3 by i.p. injection on day one and day 15; followed by

challenging the mice with 1% OVA on day 27, 28 and 29. PHF water extract (920 mg/kg/day) was

administered to the mice by intragastrical delivery on day 1, 2, 3, 15, 16, 17, and/or from day 22 to 29.

One day after the last OVA challenge, the airway hyper-responsiveness was measured in the enhanced

pause (penh) value with Buxco Whole Body Plethysmography. Serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid

(BALF) were collected for the determination of inflammatory cytokines and chemokine by ELISA and

Multiplex assay, respectively. Eosinophils infiltration and mucus-secreting goblet cells in the lung tissues

were stained by Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining methods,


Results: Upon a 25 mg/mL methacholine challenge, the penh value of the asthmatic mice under a 14-

day PHF treatment is improved (p=0.08). However, an eight-day PHF treatment does not affect the

airway hyperresponsiveness of the mice (p>0.05). Serum IFN-Ƴ is decreased in both 14-day and 8-day

PHF treatment groups. The IL-5 level in BALF is significantly supressed upon a 14-day PHF treatment

(p<0.05); while the levels of IL-10, IL-13 and IL-17 in BALF and serum decreased. The levels of IL-4, IL-5

and CCL5 in BALF; and the level of IL-5 in serum are all reduced in the eight-day PHF-treated group,

although not statistically significant (all p>0.05). H&E and PAS staining show that less eosinophils and

goblet cells were observed in the PHF-treated groups.

Conclusion: In this study, pentaherbs formula was found to improve the airway hyper-responsiveness

and reduce the asthma-related inflammatory cytokine levels in both serum and BALF of ovalbumin-

induced asthmatic mice, indicating the potential use of PHF as a supplement for treating allergic

All Author(s) ListMiranda Sin-Man Tsang, Jing Zhu, Dehua Liu, Helen Yau-Tsz Chan, Pang-Chui Shaw, Ellis Kam-Lun Hon, Ping-Chung Leung, Chun-Kwok Wong
Name of ConferenceHong Kong Society of Flow Cytometry 22nd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Meeting
Start Date of Conference18/03/2017
End Date of Conference18/03/2017
Place of ConferenceHong Kong
Country/Region of ConferenceHong Kong
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2018-18-01 at 08:19