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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 108626, 11 pages
Research Article

Anti-Inflammatory Activity Is a Possible Mechanism by Which the Polyherbal Formulation Comprised of Nigella sativa (Seeds), Hemidesmus indicus (Root), and Smilax glabra (Rhizome) Mediates Its Antihepatocarcinogenic Effects

1Department of Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, Sri Lanka
2Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology, University of Colombo, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka
3Department of Physiology, South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, Malabe, Sri Lanka
4Animal Research Centre, Medical Research Institute, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka
5Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka

Received 17 July 2012; Revised 11 September 2012; Accepted 12 September 2012

Academic Editor: Cassandra L. Quave

Copyright © 2012 Prasanna B. Galhena 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.


The present study investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of a polyherbal decoction comprised of Nigella sativa, Hemidesmus indicus, and Smilax glabra in order to justify its claimed antihepatocarcinogenic activity. Activation of hepatic nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), IκB kinase (IKK α/β) proteins, and TNFα and IL-6 expression was investigated in diethylnitrosamine- (DEN-) induced C3H mice-bearing early hepatocarcinogenic changes. Acute phase inflammatory response was evaluated by carrageenan-induced rat paw edema formation. Anti-inflammatory mechanisms were also assessed by determining effect on (a) membrane stabilization, (b) nitric oxide (NO) inhibitory activity, and (c) inhibition of leukocyte migration. A significant inhibition of the paw edema formation was observed in healthy rats as well as in rats bearing early hepatocarcinogenic changes with oral administration of the decoction. As with the positive control, indomethacin (10 mg/kg b.w.) the inhibitory effect was pronounced at 3rd and 4th h after carrageenan injection. A notable IKK α/β mediated hepatic NF-κB inactivation was associated with a significant hepatic TNFα downregulation among mice-bearing hepatocarcinogenic changes subjected to decoction treatment. Inhibition of NO production, leukocyte migration, and membrane stabilization are possible mechanisms by which anti-inflammatory effect is mediated by the decoction. Overall findings imply that anti-inflammatory activity could be one of the mechanisms by which the decoction mediates its antihepatocarcinogenic effects.