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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 429606, 10 pages
Research Article

Chinese Herbal Formula Huo-Luo-Xiao-Ling Dan Protects against Bone Damage in Adjuvant Arthritis by Modulating the Mediators of Bone Remodeling

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
3Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, East Hall, 520 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

Received 20 December 2012; Revised 8 March 2013; Accepted 8 March 2013

Academic Editor: Vincenzo De Feo

Copyright © 2013 Siddaraju M. Nanjundaiah 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.


Huo-luo-xiao-ling dan (HLXL) is an herbal mixture that has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other inflammatory disorders. Despite the availability of potent conventionally used drugs for RA, their limited efficacy in a proportion of patients coupled with their high cost and severe adverse effects has necessitated the search for novel therapeutics for this debilitating disease. Further, the control of both inflammation and bone damage is essential for effective management of arthritis. The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of HLXL against arthritic bone damage in adjuvant arthritis (AA) model of RA. Our results show that HLXL treatment suppressed inflammatory arthritis and reduced bone and cartilage damage in the joints of arthritic Lewis rats. HLXL-induced protection against bone damage was mediated primarily via inhibition of mediators of osteoclastic bone remodeling (e.g., receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand; RANKL), skewing of RANKL/osteoprotegerin (OPG) ratio in favor of antiosteoclastic activity, reduction in the number of osteoclasts in the arthrodial joint's bone, and inhibition of cytokine production and MMP activity. Our results suggest that HLXL might offer a promising alternative/adjunct treatment for both inflammation and bone damage in RA.