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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 481318, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/481318
Research Article

Effect of the Velvet Antler of Formosan Sambar Deer (Cervus unicolor swinhoei) on the Prevention of an Allergic Airway Response in Mice

1Taiwan Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Tainan 71246, Taiwan
2Department of Animal Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, No. 50, Lane 155, Section 3 Keelung Road,Taipei 10617, Taiwan
3Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tungnan University, Taipei 22202, Taiwan
4Center for Biotechnology, National Taiwan University, No. 81, Changxing, Taipei 10617, Taiwan

Received 1 October 2012; Accepted 27 November 2012

Academic Editor: Xiu-Min Li

Copyright © 2012 Ching-Yun Kuo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Two mouse models were used to assay the antiallergic effects of the velvet antler (VA) of Formosan sambar deer (Cervus unicolor swinhoei) in this study. The results using the ovalbumin- (OVA-) sensitized mouse model showed that the levels of total IgE and OVA-specific IgE were reduced after VA powder was administrated for 4 weeks. In addition, the ex vivo results indicated that the secretion of T helper cell 1 (Th1), regulatory T (Treg), and Th17 cytokines by splenocytes was significantly increased ( ) when VA powder was administered to the mice. Furthermore, OVA-allergic asthma mice that have been orally administrated with VA powder showed a strong inhibition of Th2 cytokine and proinflammatory cytokine production in bronchoalveolar fluid compared to control mice. An increase in the regulatory T-cell population of splenocytes in the allergic asthma mice after oral administration of VA was also observed. All the features of the asthmatic phenotype, including airway inflammation and the development of airway hyperresponsiveness, were reduced by treatment with VA. These findings support the hypothesis that oral feeding of VA may be an effective way of alleviating asthmatic symptoms in humans.