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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages 459-467
Original Article

Stimulating Effect of Japanese Herbal (Kampo) Medicine, Hochuekkito on Upper Respiratory Mucosal Immune System

1The Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences and Graduate, School of Infection Control Sciences, Kitasato University, Tokyo, Japan
2Oriental Medicine Research Center, The Kitasato Institute, Tokyo, Japan

Received 31 August 2005; Accepted 4 May 2006

Copyright © 2006 H. Kiyohara 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.


Japanese herbal (Kampo) medicine, Hochuekkito (Bu-Zhong-Yi-Qi-Tang in Chinese, TJ-41) and Juzentaihoto (Shi-Quan-Da-Bu-Tang in Chinese, TJ-48) are well-known Kampo formulas used as tonic. Although these medicines have separately been applied to the patients clinically depending on their symptoms, the differences of the pharmacological activities for these medicines have not been fully understood. TJ-48 and TJ-41 were compared for their effects on antibody response in upper respiratory mucosal immune system in vivo. Oral administration of TJ-41 (100 mg kg-1 per day) to early aged BALB/c mice, which were nasally sensitized with influenza hemagglutinin vaccine, significantly enhanced influenza virus-specific IgA and IgG antibody titers in nasal cavity and sera, respectively. However, oral administration of TJ-48 (100 mg kg-1 per day) failed to show the enhancing activity. TJ-41 increased not only influenza virus-specific IgA antibody titer but also total IgA antibody titer in nasal cavity. The stimulating activity of TJ-41 disappeared after treatment with methotrexate. The present study strongly suggests that TJ-41 can stimulate the mucosal immune system of upper respiratory tract, and results in enhancement of antigen-specific antibody response in upper respiratory mucosal and systemic immune systems.