Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of Schisandra and Paeonia extracts in the treatment of asthma.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of Paeonia and Schisandra extracts in asthmatic rats. An ethanol extraction method was used to prepare the Schisandra and Paeonia extracts, and the levels of hydroxyl radical, total antioxidant activity and total phenolic content were detected. The rats were divided into three groups: Treatment (group A), model (group B) and control (group C). The treatment group received traditional Chinese antiasthmatic medicine (mixed extract, 2 ml/day) for 10 days. Levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), Cu-Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) were detected in the serum, while interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, interferon (IFN)-?, IL-13 and IL-22 levels were analyzed in the serum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung tissue homogenates of the three groups. In addition, pathological changes of the tracheal tissues were observed via biopsies and the NF-?B p65 level was measured in the lung tissue using immunohistochemistry. Total antioxidant activity, hydroxyl radical levels and total phenolic content in the mixed herbal extracts were higher than those in the single herbal extracts. At day 5 following the treatment, the number of eosinophils was significantly reduced in the tracheal tissues. At day 10 following the treatment, the mucosa was significantly repaired. In vivo antioxidant levels revealed that the serum and erythrocyte SOD activity and GSH-Px were higher in group A as compared with group B, while the level of MDA in group A was lower than that in group B (P<0.05). The levels of serum and erythrocyte SOD activity and GSH-Px in group B were lower than those in group C, while the level of MDA in group B was higher than that in group C (P<0.05). IL-4, IL-6 and IL-13 levels in the serum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung tissue in group A were not significantly different from those in group B (P>0.05). However, IFN-? levels in group A significantly increased as compared with the level in group B, while IL-22 levels decreased significantly in group A as compared with group B (P<0.05). IL-4, IL-6, IL-13 and IL-22 levels in the lung tissue, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and serum in group B were significantly higher than those in group C. In addition, the IFN-? level decreased significantly in group B as compared with the level in group C (P<0.05). Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the protein expression of NF-?B p65 in group A was significantly lower compared with group B (P<0.05). Therefore, Paeonia and Schisandra extracts may be used to treat asthma through their in vivo antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.