Herbal medicine reduces inflammation in asthma

Washington: Researchers have found that a traditional Korean medicine that has long been used for the treatment of allergic diseases in Asia can reduce inflammation in allergen-induced asthma.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), who used So-Cheong-Ryong-Tang (SCRT), found that it alleviates asthma-like pulmonary inflammation via suppression of specific chemokines or proteins.

“In order to elucidate the mechanism of how SCRT modulates the allergic response, we evaluated the immunomodulatory effects of SCRT in a murine model of asthma induced by a house dust extract containing cockroach allergens and endotoxin,” Jiyoun Kim, PhD, a research assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at BUSM, explained.

“In this study multiple aspects of pulmonary inflammation were examined including the production of inflammatory mediators and the pulmonary recruitment of inflammatory cells,” he added.

The researchers found SCRT treatment significantly reduced airway hyper-reactivity as measured by both whole body plethysmography and direct measurement of airway resistance.

The researchers report that the immune response of pulmonary inflammation was significantly inhibited by SCRT treatment as demonstrated by reduced plasma IgE antibody levels and improved lung histology.

SCRT significantly reduced the number of neutrophils in the bronchoalveolar (BAL) fluid and also significantly reduced the BAL levels of CXC chemokines both expressed as part of the immune response, providing a potential mechanism for the reduced inflammation.

The findings appear online in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

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