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Image: Xanthium strumarium, used in folk medicine, shown to have anti-inflammatory effects

(Natural News) Korean researchers investigated the anti-inflammatory potential of Xanthium strumarium, a plant extensively used in traditional Chinese medicine. Their findings were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • Rough cocklebur (X. strumarium) has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many years to treat arthritis, bronchitis, and rhinitis. The researchers investigated the mechanism by which it ameliorates inflammatory diseases.
  • To evaluate the therapeutic properties of methanol extracts of X. strumarium (Xs-ME), the researchers used lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated murine macrophage-like RAW264.7 cells and human monocyte-like U937 cells. They also used a LPS/D-galactosamine (GalN)-induced acute hepatitis mouse model.
  • To find the target inflammatory pathway, the researchers used holistic immunoblotting analysis, reporter gene assays, and mRNA analysis.
  • The researchers found that Xs-ME significantly suppressed the up-regulation of both the activator protein (AP)-1-mediated luciferase activity and the production of LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1-beta, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha.
  • They also found that Xs-ME strongly inhibited the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 and U937 cells.
  • These results demonstrated the hepatoprotective and curative effects of Xs-ME in a mouse model of LPS/D-GalN-induced acute liver injury with elevated serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and histological damage.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the ethnopharmacological role of Xs-ME in the treatment of hepatitis and other inflammatory diseases might be the result of its inhibitory activities on the inflammatory signaling of MAPK and AP-1.

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Journal Reference:

Hossen MJ, Kim MY, Cho JY. MAPK/AP-1-TARGETED ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITIES OF XANTHIUM STRUMARIUM. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2016;44(06):1111–1125. DOI: 10.1142/s0192415x16500622

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