KGC3P attenuates ovalbumin-induced airway inflammation through downregulation of p-PTEN in asthmatic mice.
Phytomedicine. 2019 Apr 30 ;62:152942. Epub 2019 Apr 30. PMID: 31102886
BACKGROUND: The roots of Korean red ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A.Mey.; KGC) have been used as an herbal supplement to enhance vital energy and immune capacity. Salvia plebeia R.Br. has been used to treat inflammatory diseases.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to examine the anti-asthmatic effects of a mixture of Korean red ginseng and Salvia plebeia R.Br. (KGC3P), its component nepetin, and their modes of action in alleviating ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma in mice.
METHOD: BALB/c mice were sensitized with OVA then subjected to intratracheal, intraperitoneal, and aerosol challenges. KGC3P and nepetin were administered orally for four weeks. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), OVA-specific IgE levels, and Th2 cytokine- and gene expression levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and splenocytes were measured. Histological and immune cell subtype analyses were performed. PTEN and Akt phosphorylation levels were also evaluated.
RESULTS: KGC3P reduced OVA-induced AHR, serum IgE levels, histological changes, and eosinophils infiltration but also the absolute number of immune cell subtypes including CD3/CD4, CD3/CD8, CD4/CD69, and Gr-1/CD11bin the lungs, BALF, and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN). KGC3P also lowered the Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 in the BALF and splenocytes and downregulated the IL-4, IL-13, IL-17, TNF-α, and MUC5AC genes in the lung. KGC3P upregulated the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ gene but downregulated the p-Akt and p-PTEN phosphorylation. Similar results were obtained with nepetin treatment.
CONCLUSION: KGC3P and nepetin are anti-asthmatic because they reduce various immune cells such as eosinophils and Th2 cell as well as Th2 cytokines. These mechanisms may be accompanied by the regulation of PPARγ expression and the PTEN pathway. Taken together, our results indicate that KGC3P and nepetin may potentially prevent and treat asthma.