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Open Access Research article

The effects of Gamijinhae-tang on elastase/lipopolysaccharide-induced lung inflammation in an animal model of acute lung injury

Sung-Hwa Sohn17, HaRyeon Jang2, Youngeun Kim1, Young Pyo Jang34, Seung-Hun Cho5, Heejae Jung2, Sungki Jung2* and Hyunsu Bae16*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physiology, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, #1, Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-701, Republic of Korea

2 Division of Allergy and Respiratory System, Department of Oriental Internal Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, #1, Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-701, Republic of Korea

3 Division of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Kyung Hee University, #1, Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-701, Republic of Korea

4 Department of Life and Nanopharmaceutical Science, College of Pharmacy, Kyung Hee University, #1, Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-701, Republic of Korea

5 Department of Neuropsychiatry, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, #1, Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-701, Republic of Korea

6 Institute of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, 130-701, South Korea

7 Present Address: National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Suwon, 441-707, South Korea

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:176  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-176

Published: 16 July 2013

Abstract

Background

Gamijinhae-tang (GJHT) has long been used in Korea to treat respiratory diseases. The therapeutic effect of GJHT is likely associated with its anti-inflammatory activity. However, the precise mechanisms underlying its effects are unknown. This study was conducted to evaluate the protective effects of GJHT in a porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) and lipopolysaccharide(LPS) induced animal model of acute lung injury (ALI).

Methods

In this study, mice were intranasally exposed to PPE and LPS for 4 weeks to induce chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-like lung inflammation. Two hours prior to PPE and LPS administration, the treatment group was administered GJHT extracts via an oral injection. The numbers of neutrophils, lymphocytes, macrophages and total cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were counted, and pro-inflammatory cytokines were also measured. For histologic analysis, hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stains and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) stains were evaluated.

Results

After inducing ALI by treating mice with PPE and LPS for 4 weeks, the numbers of neutrophils, lymphocytes and total cells were significantly lower in the GJHT group than in the ALI group. In addition, the IL-1β and IL-6 levels were significantly decreased in the GJHT group. The histological results also demonstrated the attenuation effect of GJHT on PPE- and LPS-induced lung inflammation.

Conclusions

The results of this study indicate that GJHT has significantly reduces PPE- and LPS-induced lung inflammation. The remarkable protective effects of GJHT suggest its therapeutic potential in COPD treatment.

Keywords:
ALI; COPD; Gamijinhae-tang; Elastase; IL-6; IL-1β; Goblet cell