Author(s): Costa RS, Carneiro TC, CerqueiraLima AT, Queiroz NV, AlcntaraNeves NM,
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Abstract Allergic asthma has emerged as an important public health problem of urban populations in developed countries. Very often herbal medicine is used to treat this widespread disease, due to the lack of efficacy and the important side effects related to the classical drugs in use. Along this line, Ocimum gratissimum (Og) is a plant widely used in Brazilian folk medicine to treat inflammatory disorders, such as asthma. In the present study we evaluated the immunomodulatory effects of Og and rosmarinic acid (RA, a polyphenolic compound) in a murine model of respiratory allergy induced by the Blomia tropicalis (Bt) mite. The respiratory allergy was induced in A/J mice by administration of Bt extract and the treatment was done using 25, 50 or 100mg/kg of an Og methanolic extract or using 2, 20 or 200mg/kg of RA. We then evaluated the changes induced by these drugs on immunological parameters related to the allergic process, which are up-regulated in this allergic model. The treatment of animals with 100mg/Kg Og and 200mg/Kg RA led to a significant reduction in the numbers of leukocytes/eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL); eosinophil peroxidase activity in BAL; presence of mucus in respiratory tract, histopathological changes in the lung, and IL-4 in BAL. These results suggest that the methanolic extract of Og and the polyphenol RA have therapeutic potential in this murine model of respiratory allergy to a clinically relevant human sensitizer allergen. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Int Immunopharmacol
and referenced in Medicinal & Aromatic Plants