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      Phytochemistry and potential therapeutic actions of Boswellic acids: A mini-review

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      Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine

      Elsevier BV

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          Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid inhibits prostate tumor growth by suppressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2-mediated angiogenesis.

          The role of angiogenesis in tumor growth and metastasis is well established. Identification of a small molecule that blocks tumor angiogenesis and is safe and affordable has been a challenge in drug development. In this study, we showed that acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA), an active component from an Ayurvedic medicinal plant (Boswellia serrata), could strongly inhibit tumor angiogenesis. AKBA suppressed tumor growth in the human prostate tumor xenograft mice treated daily (10 mg/kg AKBA) after solid tumors reached approximately 100 mm(3) (n = 5). The inhibitory effect of AKBA on tumor growth was well correlated with suppression of angiogenesis. When examined for the molecular mechanism, we found that AKBA significantly inhibited blood vessel formation in the Matrigel plug assay in mice and effectively suppressed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced microvessel sprouting in rat aortic ring assay ex vivo. Furthermore, AKBA inhibited VEGF-induced cell proliferation, chemotactic motility, and the formation of capillary-like structures from primary cultured human umbilical vascular endothelial cells in a dose-dependent manner. Western blot analysis and in vitro kinase assay revealed that AKBA suppressed VEGF-induced phosphorylation of VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) kinase (KDR/Flk-1) with IC(50) of 1.68 micromol/L. Specifically, AKBA suppressed the downstream protein kinases of VEGFR2, including Src family kinase, focal adhesion kinase, extracellular signal-related kinase, AKT, mammalian target of rapamycin, and ribosomal protein S6 kinase. Our findings suggest that AKBA potently inhibits human prostate tumor growth through inhibition of angiogenesis induced by VEGFR2 signaling pathways.
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            Modulation of the immune system by Boswellia serrata extracts and boswellic acids.

             H.P.T. Ammon (2010)
            Extracts from the gum resin of Boswellia serrata and some of is constituents including boswellic acids affect the immune system in different ways. Among the various boswellic acids 11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (KBA) and acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid have been observed to be active. However, also other boswellic acids may exhibit actions in the immune system. In the humoral defence system a mixture of boswellic acis at higher doses reduced primary antibody titres; on the other hand lower doses enhanced secondary antibody titres following treatment with sheep erythrocytes. In the cellular defence boswellic acides appear to increase lymphocyte proliferation whereas higher concentrations are even inhibitory. Moreover, BAs increase phagocytosis of macrophages. BAs affect the cellular defence system by interaction with production/release of cytokines. Thus, BAs inhibit activation of NFkappaB which is a product of neutrophile granulocytes. Consequently a down regulation of TNF-alpha and decrease of IL-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6 and IFN-gamma, which are proinflammatory cytokines by BEs and BAs has been reported. Suppressions of the classic way of the complement system was found to be due to inhibition of the conversion of C3 into C3a and C3b. However, which of these pharmacological actions contribute to the therapeutic effects and which is finally the best dosage of a standardized extract needs further examination. And it is also a question whether or not a single BA will have the same therapeutic effect as a standardized extract. Among the mediators of inflammatory reaction, mast cell stabilisation has been described by a BE. Inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis appears to play only a minor role as far as the anti-inflammatory effect is concerned. On the other hand the inhibitory action of BAs on 5-LO leading to a decreased production of leukotrienes has received high attention by the scientific community since a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases is associatied with increased leukotriene activity. At the end of the cascade of events in the cellular immune system as far as it directs to various tissues of the body - i.e. autoimmune diseases - formation of oxygen radicals and proteases (for example elastase) play an important destructive role. Here, BEs as well as BAs have been found to be inhibitory. From the pharmacological properties of BEs and BAs it is not surprising that positive effects of BEs in some chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease have been reported. Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier GmbH.
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              Effects of gum resin of Boswellia serrata in patients with chronic colitis.

              Patients studied here suffered from chronic colitis characterized by vague lower abdominal pain, bleeding per rectum with diarrhoea and palpable tender descending and sigmoid colon. The inflammatory process in colitis is associated with increased formation of leukotrienes causing chemotaxis, chemokinesis, synthesis of superoxide radicals and release of lysosomal enzymes by phagocytes. The key enzyme for leukotriene biosynthesis is 5-lipoxygenase. Boswellic acids were found to be non-redox, non-competitive specific inhibitors of the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase. We studied the gum resin of Boswellia serrata for the treatment of this disease. Thirty patients, 17 males and 13 females in the age range of 18 to 48 years with chronic colitis were included in this study. Twenty patients were given a preparation of the gum resin of Boswellia serrata (900 mg daily divided in three doses for 6 weeks) and ten patients were given sulfasalazine (3 gm daily divided in three doses for 6 weeks) and served as controls. Out of 20 patients treated with Boswellia gum resin 18 patients showed an improvement in one or more of the parameters: including stool properties, histopathology as well as scanning electron microscopy, besides haemoglobin, serum iron, calcium, phosphorus, proteins, total leukocytes and eosinophils. In the control group 6 out of 10 patients showed similar results with the same parameters. Out of 20 patients treated with Boswellia gum resin 14 went into remission while in case of sulfasalazine remission rate was 4 out of 10. In conclusion, this study shows that a gum resin preparation from Boswellia serrata could be effective in the treatment of chronic colitis with minimal side effects.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine
                Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine
                Elsevier BV
                22211691
                June 2017
                June 2017
                : 7
                : 6
                : 513-523
                Article
                10.1016/j.apjtb.2017.05.001
                © 2017

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