An animal study demonstrated the ability of ligustrazine to alleviate airway inflammation in mice with neutrophilic asthma. Found in cocoa beans and natto, the chemical compound outperformed a corticosteroid drug when it came to alleviating the inflammation caused by this type of asthma.
The animal trial was supported by the Shandong University. Its findings were published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine.
A long-standing medicinal agent, ligustrazine has been used to treat classical asthma. However, there are few studies about its therapeutic effects on neutrophilic asthma.
Neutrophilic asthma was induced in mice. They were treated with either ligustrazine or dexamethasone for a total of 14 days. At the end of the treatment period, the animals were sacrificed and tissue samples were taken for analysis.
Asthmatic mice showed highly-reactive airways, high neutrophil and eosonophil levels, and large numbers of inflammatory cells from the areas around the bronchioles and blood vessels of the lung. They also displayed much larger amounts of IL-17, while their IL-10 levels were very low.
Treating the animals with either ligustrazine or dexamethasone improved every single one of these affected parameters. The inflammation and reactivity of their airways greatly decreased, while the levels of neutrophil, eosonophil, and IL-17 went down. Last but not least, their IL-10 levels improved.
Ligustrazine consistently outperformed dexamethasone in all parameters of alleviating symptoms of neutrophilic asthma.
The researchers believed that ligustrazine shows promise as a means of treating neutrophilic asthma, a slightly different and almost as common form of asthma.
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Liu X-M, Wang Y-B, Wu Q, Bian Z-R, Che X-W. EFFECTS OF LIGUSTRAZINE ON AIRWAY INFLAMMATION IN A MOUSE MODEL OF NEUTROPHILIC ASTHMA. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. 30 October 2017;24(5):353–358. DOI: 10.1007/s11655-017-2830-0.