The anti-allergic activity of Cymbopogon citratus is mediated via inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B (Nf-Κb) activation.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015 ;15:168. Epub 2015 Jun 6. PMID: 26048391
Marta Santos Serafim Machado
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of allergic diseases such as asthma has significantly increased worldwide, making it a public health concern. There is an urgent need for new anti-inflammatory agents with selective pharmacology and lower toxicity. Plant extracts have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to alleviate inflammatory diseases. In this work, we evaluated the anti-allergic activity of Cymbopogon citratus (Cy), a medicinal herb used by folk medicine to treat asthma.
METHODS: We used a murine model of respiratory allergy to the mite Blomia tropicalis (Bt) and evaluated certain parameters known to be altered in this model. A/J mice were sensitized (100μg/animal s.c.) and challenged (10 μg/animal i.n.) with Bt mite extract and treated with 60, 120 or 180 mg/kg of Cy standardized hexane extract. The parameters evaluated included: cellular infiltrate in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL); eosinophil peroxidase activity (EPO); histopathological examination of the lung; serum levels of specific IgE, IgG1 and IgG2a; Th2 cytokine concentrations in BAL and expression of NF-κB.
RESULTS: Our results showed that oral administration of a Cy hexane extract (especially 180 mg/Kg) reduced the numbers of leukocytes/eosinophils in BAL; the eosinophil peroxidase activity in BAL; the infiltration of leukocytes in lung tissue; the production of mucus in the respiratory tract; the level of IL-4 in BAL and the nuclear expression of NF-κB.
CONCLUSIONS: The results presented demonstrate the potential of the Cy hexane extract to modulate allergic asthma; this extract may be an alternative future approach to treat this pathology.