Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the joints causing pain, inflammation and stiffness leading towards joints destruction1. Conventionally used treatments for arthritis are; disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
NSAIDs can relieve pain and disease symptoms but it cannot prevent joint destruction and disease development2. DMARDs on other hand also have many side effects with limited clinical effectiveness. They can cause gastrointestinal irritation, bone marrow suppression, liver and kidney damage, etc3.
Recent reports have stated that rate of RA is increasing day by day leading to higher disability rates. Its prevalence is just below Malaria and just above the Iodine deficiency4. This accounts for discovery of new anti-arthritis drugs with high affectivity and minimized toxicity.
Two traditional Chinese herbs QingFengTeng (Sinomenii caulis) and GuiZhi (Cmnamomi mmulus) were previously used together in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with high frequency in China. Due to limited therapeutic studies on these herbs, researchers conducted a study to investigate the anti-RA activities of different combination of the two herbs on Adjuvant induced Arthritis (AA) rats and further explore its possible mechanism5.
Researchers prepared extracts of 4 herbs with 70% ethanol from different combination of the two herbs. The AA rats were induced by different injections. . Sinomenone hydrochloride tablets (Sin) was chosen as the positive drug. Paw swelling and histopathological changes were evaluated. The serum levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were detected.
It was found that ethanol extracts of Chinese herbs combination ameliorated the Adjuvant induced Arthritis (AA) symptoms. Paw swelling was decreased. The IL-10 levels were elevated, also got better results in improving pathological changes and their efficacies were slightly superior to the other treatment groups.
The examination revealed good anti-RA effects of a Chinese herb formula based on a combination of QingFengTeng and GuiZhi in different ratios and revealed possible mechanism. This study will help the researchers to uncover a new formula which may be a potential candidate for the treatment of RA.
Written by: Rabeeia
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27 September, 2019