Opuntia humifusa modulates morphological changes characteristic of asthma via IL-4 and IL-13 in an asthma murine model
Asthma is a chronic pulmonary disease that affects an estimated 235 million people worldwide, but asthma drugs have many adverse effects. Opuntia humifusa (eastern prickly pear) has been used as a food and traditional medicine worldwide; however, its anti-asthmatic effects have not been reported. We evaluated O. humifusa as a potential therapeutic or preventive component of anti-asthmatic drugs. We divided ovalbumin-sensitized mice into the following groups: normal control, asthma-induced control, dexamethasone-treated group (positive control), 50 mg/kg O. humifusa -treated group, 100 mg/kg O. humifusa -treated group, and 500 mg/kg O. humifusa- treated group. Levels of Th1/Th2/Th17-related cytokines were evaluated using RT-PCR, ELISA, and immunohistochemistry. O. humifusa dose-dependently suppressed the morphological changes typically observed in asthma, such as goblet cell hyperplasia, inflammatory cell infiltration, mucous hypersecretion, and relative basement membrane thickening in the respiratory system. These results may be attributable to regulation of Th1-/Th2-/Th17-related factors, especially interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13. We conclude that O. humifusa is a potential anti-asthmatic functional food. -
Abbreviations : O. humifusa: Opuntia humifusa ; Th: helper T; RT-PCR: real-time polymerase chain reaction; ELISA: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; IL: interleukin; WHO: World Health Organization; IFN-γ: interferon gamma; TNF-α: tumor necrosis factor-alpha; IgE: immunoglobulin E; CD: cluster of differentiation; OVA: ovalbumin; DEX: dexamethasone; BALF: bronchoalveolar fluid; H&E: hematoxylin and eosin; PAS: periodic acid-schiff; PBS: phosphate-buffered saline; BM: basement membrane; cDNA: complementary deoxyribonucleic acid; RNA: ribo nucleic acid; RIPA: radioimmunoprecipitation assay; IHC: immunohistochemistry; HPLC: high-performance liquid chromatography; SD: standard deviation; WBC: white blood cells; APCs: antigen-presenting cells
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