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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 642027, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/642027
Research Article

Suppression of Ongoing Experimental Arthritis by a Chinese Herbal Formula (Huo-Luo-Xiao-Ling Dan) Involves Changes in Antigen-Induced Immunological and Biochemical Mediators of Inflammation

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, HSF-1, Suite 380, 685 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
2Mailman Research Center, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA 02478, USA
3Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
4Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, East Hall, 520 W. Lombard St., Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

Received 24 January 2010; Revised 20 June 2010; Accepted 1 September 2010

Copyright © 2011 Ying-Hua Yang 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

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the major autoimmune diseases of global prevalence. The use of the anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of RA is associated with severe adverse reactions and toxicity. This limitation has necessitated the search for novel therapeutic products. We report here a traditional Chinese medicine-based herbal formula, Huo luo xiao ling dan (HLXL), which has potent antiarthritic activity as validated in the rat adjuvant-induced arthritis (AA) model. HLXL (2.3 g/Kg) was fed to Lewis (RT. ) rats daily by gavage beginning at the onset of arthritis and then continued through the observation period. HLXL inhibited the severity of ongoing AA. This suppression of arthritis was associated with significant alterations in the T cell proliferative and cytokine responses as well as the antibody response against the disease-related antigen, mycobacterial heat-shock protein 65 (Bhsp65). There was a reduction in the level of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-17 and IL-1 but enhancement of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 level. In addition, there was inhibition of both the anti-Bhsp65 antibody response and the serum level of nitric oxide. Thus, HLXL is a promising CAM modality for further testing in RA patients.