Tinospora cordifolia inhibits autoimmune arthritis by regulating key immune mediators of inflammation and bone damage.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2015 Oct 14. Epub 2015 Oct 14. PMID: 26467057
K M Sannegowda
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints leading to tissue damage. Despite the availability of potent drugs including the biologics, many patients fail to respond to them, whereas others suffer adverse effects following long-term use of these drugs. Accordingly, the use of natural herbal products by RA patients has been increasing over the years. However, limited information about the mechanism of action of these natural products is a major shortcoming that prevents the widespread acceptance of herbal therapy by professionals and patients alike. In this study, we demonstrated the anti-arthritic activity of Tinospora cordifolia extract (TCE) using the rat adjuvant-induced arthritis model of human RA and elaborated the immune mechanisms underlying this effect. TCE treatment suppressed arthritic inflammation and bone and cartilage damage. The anti-inflammatory effect of TCE was mediated via reduction of the pro-inflammatory cytokines such as: IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-17; the frequency of IL-17-producing T cells; and the production of chemokines such as RANTES. Furthermore, TCE treatment limited bone damage by shifting the balance of mediators of bone remodeling (e.g., receptor activator of nuclear factor-kB ligand [RANKL] and MMP-9) in favor of anti-osteoclastic activity. Our results suggest that TCE and its bioactive components should be evaluated for their utility as therapeutic adjuncts to conventional drugs against RA.