Allergic asthma is a chronic and progressive inflammatory disease for which there is no satisfactory treatment. Studies reported tolerability and efficacy of an anti-asthma herbal medicine intervention (ASHMI) for asthma patients, developed from traditional Chinese medicine. To investigate the pharmacological actions of ASHMI on early- and late-phase airway responses (EAR and LAR), Ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice received 6 weeks of ASHMI treatment beginning 24 h following the first intratracheal OVA challenge. EAR were determined 30 min following the fourth challenge and LAR 48 h following the last challenge. ASHMI effects on cytokine secretion, murine tracheal ring contraction and human bronchial smooth muscle cell prostaglandin (PG) production were also determined. ASHMI abolished EAR, which was associated with significantly reduced histamine, leukotriene C4, and OVA-specific IgE levels, as well as LAR, which was associated with significantly reduced bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) eosinophils, decreased airway remodeling, and lower Th2 cytokine levels in BALF and splenocyte cultures. Furthermore, ASHMI inhibited contraction of murine tracheal rings and increased production of the potent smooth muscle relaxer PGI2. ASHMI abrogation of allergic airway responses is associated with broad effects on asthma pathological mechanisms.
- Airway hyperreactivity
- Allergic asthma
- Th2 cytokines and airway smooth muscle contractility
- Traditional Chinese herbal medicine