Apigenin Attenuates Experimental Autoimmune Myocarditis by Modulating Th1/Th2 Cytokine Balance in Mice.
Inflammation. 2015 Dec 11. Epub 2015 Dec 11. PMID: 26658748
This study aims to investigate the protective effect of apigenin on the development of experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) and the underlying mechanisms. An EAM model was induced in BALB/c mice by the injection of porcine cardiac myosin. Apigenin was orally administered from day 1 to 21. The severity of myocarditis was assessed by determination of heart weight/body weight ratio (HW/BW) and histopathological evaluation. Echocardiography was conducted to evaluate the cardiac function and heart structure. Antigen-specific T cell proliferation responses to cardiac myosin were evaluated by the lymphocyte proliferation assay. ELISA was used to determine serum levels of type 1 helper (Th1) and Th2 cytokines. Apigenin treatment significantly decreased HW/BW. Histopathologic analysis showed that the infiltration of inflammatory cells was reduced significantly by apigenin treatment. Meanwhile, apigenin administration effectively ameliorated autoimmune myocarditis-induced cardiac hypertrophy and cardiac dysfunction as well as inhibited lymphocyte proliferation in mice immunized with myosin. Furthermore, Th1 cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), and interleukin-2 (IL-2) were significantly downregulated, while Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-10 were markedly upregulated. The results indicated that apigenin can alleviate EAM due to its immunomodulatory reactions in modification of helper T cell balance.