Potential Use of Plectranthus amboinicus in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Plectranthus amboinicus (P. amboinicus) is a folk herb that is used to treat inflammatory diseases or swelling symptoms in Taiwan. We investigated therapeutic efficacy of P. amboinicus in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) using collagen-induced arthritis animal model. Arthritis was induced in Lewis rats by immunization with bovine type II collagen. Serum anti-collagen IgG, IgM and C-reactive protein (CRP) were analyzed. To understand the inflammation condition of treated animals, production of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β from peritoneal exudates cells (PEC) were also analyzed. P. amboinicus significantly inhibited the footpad swelling and arthritic symptoms in collagen-induced arthritic rats, while the serum anti-collagen IgM and CRP levels were consistently decreased. The production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β were also decreased in the high dosage of P. amboinicus group. Here, we demonstrate the potential anti-arthritic effect of P. amboinicus for treating RA, which might confer its anti-rheumatic activity. This differs the pharmacological action mode of indomethacin.