Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid extracted frompromotes Schwann cell proliferation and sciatic nerve function recovery.
Neural Regen Res. 2018 Mar ;13(3):484-491. PMID: 29623934
Frankincense can promote blood circulation. Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA) is a small molecule with anti-inflammatory properties that is derived from Boswellia serrata. Here, we hypothesized that it may promote regeneration of injured sciatic nerve. To address this hypothesis, we established a rat model of sciatic nerve injury using a nerve clamping method. Rats were administered AKBA once every 2 days at doses of 1.5, 3, and 6 mg/kg by intraperitoneal injection for 30 days from the 1day after injury. Sciatic nerve function was evaluated using the sciatic functional index. Degree of muscle atrophy was measured using the triceps surae muscle Cuadros index. Neuropathological changes were observed by hematoxylin-eosin staining. Western blot analysis was used to detect expression of phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (p-ERK1/2) in injured nerve. S100 immunoreactivity in injured nerve was detected by immunohistochemistry. In vivo experiments showed that 3 and 6 mg/kg AKBA significantly increased sciatic nerve index, Cuadros index of triceps muscle, p-ERK1/2 expression, and S100 immunoreactivity in injured sciatic nerve of sciatic nerve injury model rats. Furthermore, for in vitro experiments, Schwann cells were treated with AKBA at 0-20μg/mL. Proliferation of Schwann cells was detected by Cell Counting Kit-8 colorimetry assay. The results showed that 2 μg/mL AKBA is the optimal therapeutic concentration. In addition, ERK phosphorylation levels increased following 2 μg/mL AKBA treatment. In the presence of the ERK1/2 inhibitor,PD98059 (2.5 μL/mL), the AKBA-induced increase in p-ERK1/2 protein expression was partially abrogated. In conclusion, our study shows that AKBA promotes peripheral nerve regeneration with ERK protein phosphorylation playing a key role in this process.