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      Therapeutic Potential of the Rhizomes of Anemarrhena asphodeloides and Timosaponin A-III in an Animal Model of Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Lung Inflammation

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          Investigations into the development of new therapeutic agents for lung inflammatory disorders have led to the discovery of plant-based alternatives. The rhizomes of Anemarrhena asphodeloides have a long history of use against lung inflammatory disorders in traditional herbal medicine. However, the therapeutic potential of this plant material in animal models of lung inflammation has yet to be evaluated. In the present study, we prepared the alcoholic extract and derived the saponin-enriched fraction from the rhizomes of A. asphodeloides and isolated timosaponin A-III, a major constituent. Lung inflammation was induced by intranasal administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mice, representing an animal model of acute lung injury (ALI). The alcoholic extract (50–200 mg/kg) inhibited the development of ALI. Especially, the oral administration of the saponin-enriched fraction (10–50 mg/kg) potently inhibited the lung inflammatory index. It reduced the total number of inflammatory cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Histological changes in alveolar wall thickness and the number of infiltrated cells of the lung tissue also indicated that the saponin-enriched fraction strongly inhibited lung inflammation. Most importantly, the oral administration of timosaponin A-III at 25–50 mg/kg significantly inhibited the inflammatory markers observed in LPS-induced ALI mice. All these findings, for the first time, provide evidence supporting the effectiveness of A. asphodeloides and its major constituent, timosaponin A-III, in alleviating lung inflammation.

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          Most cited references 27

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           Peter Jeffery (2001)
          Asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) are both inflammatory conditions of the lung associated with structural "remodeling" inappropriate to the maintenance of normal lung function. The clinically observed distinctions between asthma and COPD are reflected by differences in the remodeling process, the patterns of inflammatory cells and cytokines, and also the predominant anatomic site at which these alterations occur. In asthma the epithelium appears to be more fragile than that of COPD, the epithelial reticular basement membrane (RBM) is significantly thicker, there is marked enlargement of the mass of bronchial smooth muscle, and emphysema does not occur in the asthmatic nonsmoker. In COPD, there is epithelial mucous metaplasia, airway wall fibrosis, and inflammation associated with loss of surrounding alveolar attachments to the outer wall of small airways: bronchiolar smooth muscle is increased also. Emphysema is a feature of severe COPD: in spite of the destructive process, alveolar wall thickening and focal fibrosis may be detected. The hypertrophy of submucosal mucus-secreting glands is similar in extent in asthma and COPD. The number of bronchial vessels and the area of the wall occupied by them increase in severe corticosteroid-dependent asthma: it is likely that these increases also occur in severe COPD as they do in bronchiectasis. Pulmonary vasculature is remodeled in COPD. In asthma several of these structural alterations begin early in the disease process, even in the child. In COPD the changes begin later in life and the associated inflammatory response differs from that in asthma. The following synopsis defines and compares the key remodeling processes and proposes several hypotheses.
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            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is associated with chronic inflammation affecting predominantly lung parenchyma and peripheral airways and results in largely irreversible and progressive airflow limitation. This inflammation is characterized by increased numbers of alveolar macrophages, neutrophils, and T lymphocytes, which are recruited from the circulation. Oxidative stress plays a key role in driving this inflammation. The pulmonary inflammation may enhance the development and growth of lung cancer. The peripheral inflammation extends into the circulation, resulting in systemic inflammation with the same inflammatory proteins. Systemic inflammation may worsen comorbidities. Treatment of pulmonary inflammation may therefore have beneficial effects. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              Activation of the STAT pathway in acute lung injury.

              Acute lung injury (ALI) is a devastating clinical problem with a mortality as high as 60%. It is now appreciated that ALI represents a cytokine excess state that involves the microvasculature of multiple organs. The signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) family of transcription factors activate critical mediators of cytokine responses, but there is limited knowledge about their role in mediating ALI. In the present study, we demonstrate that the STAT transcription factors are activated rapidly in the lungs after intraperitoneal and intranasal LPS administration in mice. We also demonstrated that LPS activates both the STAT kinases, Src and JAK, in the lung with kinetics that are consistent with STAT activation. LPS treatment resulted in STAT3 activation throughout the resident lung cells, as well as in the recruited inflammatory cells. Whereas direct LPS treatment did not lead to STAT activation in cultured epithelial or endothelial cells, IL-6 activated STAT3 in both of these cell types. Furthermore, IL-6 was induced by LPS in serum and in the lung with kinetics consistent with STAT3 activation, suggesting that IL-6 may be one mechanism of STAT activation by LPS. In addition, STAT activation required reactive oxygen species, as the overexpression of catalase in mice prevented LPS-mediated STAT activation in the lung. STATs may be a common pathway for mediating ALI, regardless of the inciting factor, as STAT activation also occurred in both a gastric acid aspiration and acute pancreatitis model of ALI. Finally, STATs are activated in the lung long before signs of ALI are present, suggesting that the STAT transcription factors may play a role in initiating the inflammatory response seen in the lung.

                Author and article information

                Biomol Ther (Seoul)
                Biomol Ther (Seoul)
                Biomol Ther (Seoul)
                Biomolecules & Therapeutics
                The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology
                November 2018
                21 June 2018
                : 26
                : 6
                : 553-559
                [1 ]College of Pharmacy, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Republic of Korea
                [2 ]Department of Food and Nutrition, Andong National University, Andong 36729, Republic of Korea
                [3 ]Gyeongbuk Institute for Bio Industry, Andong 36618, Republic of Korea
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding Author: E-mail: hpkim@ , Tel: +82-33-250-6915, Fax: +82-33-255-7865
                Copyright ©2018, The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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