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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

6-Shogaol reduced chronic inflammatory response in the knees of rats treated with complete Freund's adjuvant

Arkene SA Levy1*, Oswald Simon1, Janet Shelly1 and Michael Gardener2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Pharmacology Section, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica

2 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Anatomy Section, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica

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BMC Pharmacology 2006, 6:12  doi:10.1186/1471-2210-6-12

Published: 1 October 2006



6-Shogaol is one of the major compounds in the ginger rhizome that may contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties. Confirmation of this contribution was sought in this study in Sprague- Dawley rats (200–250 g) treated with a single injection (0.5 ml of 1 mg/ml) of a commercial preparation of complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA) to induce monoarthritis in the right knee over a period of 28 days. During this development of arthritis, each rat received a daily oral dose of either peanut oil (0.2 ml-control) or 6-shogaol (6.2 mg/Kg in 0.2 ml peanut oil).


Within 2 days of CFA injection, the control group produced maximum edematous swelling of the knee that was sustained up to the end of the investigation period. But, in the 6-shogaol treated group, significantly lower magnitudes of unsustained swelling of the knees (from 5.1 ± 0.2 mm to 1.0 ± 0.2 mm, p < 0.002, n = 6) were produced during the investigation period. Unsustained swelling of the knees (from 3.2 ± 0.6 mm to 0.8 ± 1.1 mm, p < 0.00008, n = 6) was also produced after 3 days of treatment with indomethacin (2 mg/Kg/day) as a standard anti-inflammatory drug, but during the first 2 days of drug treatment swelling of the knees was significantly larger (11.6 ± 2.0 mm, p < 0.0002, n = 6) than either the controls or the 6-shogaol treated group of rats. This exaggerated effect in the early stage of indomethacin treatment was inhibited by montelukast, a cysteinyl leukotriene receptor antagonist. Also, 6-shogaol and indomethacin were most effective in reducing swelling of the knees on day 28 when the controls still had maximum swelling. The effect of 6-shogaol compared to the controls was associated with significantly lower concentration of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in the blood and infiltration of leukocytes, including lymphocytes and monocytes/macrophages, into the synovial cavity of the knee. There was also preservation of the morphological integrity of the cartilage lining the femur compared to damage to this tissue in the peanut oil treated control group of rats.


From these results, it is concluded that 6-shogaol reduced the inflammatory response and protected the femoral cartilage from damage produced in a CFA monoarthritic model of the knee joint of rats.