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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 404761, 7 pages
Research Article

Panax notoginseng Attenuates Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis in Mice

1Department of Internal Medicine, China Medical University Beigang Hospital, Yunlin 651, Taiwan
2Institute of Molecular Biology, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi 62102, Taiwan
3Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Beigang Hospital, Yunlin 651, Taiwan
4Department of Respiratory Therapy, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
5College of Medical Science and Technology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 40204, Taiwan
6Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, Chiayi 600, Taiwan
7Department of Life Sciences, National, Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan

Received 23 October 2010; Revised 3 January 2011; Accepted 10 January 2011

Copyright © 2011 Kuen-Daw Tsai 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.


Panax notoginseng (PN) is a traditional Chinese herb experimentally proven to have anti-inflammatory effects, and it is used clinically for the treatment of atherosclerosis, cerebral infarction, and cerebral ischemia. This study aimed to determine the anti-inflammatory effects of PN against bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. First, in an in vitro study, culture media containing lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used to stimulate macrophage cells (RAW 264.7 cell line). TNF- and IL-6 levels were then determined before and after treatment with PN extract. In an animal model (C57BL/6 mice), a single dose of PN (0.5 mg/kg) was administered orally on Day 2 or Day 7 postbleomycin treatment. The results showed that TNF- and IL-6 levels increased in the culture media of LPS-stimulated macrophage cells, and this effect was significantly inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner by PN extract. Histopathologic examination revealed that PN administered on Day 7 postbleomycin treatment significantly decreased inflammatory cell infiltrates, fibrosis scores, and TNF- , TGF- , IL-1 , and IL-6 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid when compared with PN given on Day 2 postbleomycin treatment. These results suggest that PN administered in the early fibrotic stage can attenuate pulmonary fibrosis in an animal model of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.