Listed in Issue 216


BRUGIOLO and COLLEAGUES, Departamento de Parasitologia, Microbiologia e Imunologia, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil investigated the effect of aqueous extract of Echinodorus grandiflorus, a plant used in folk medicine for its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties, in a model of pulmonary allergy.


Asthma is a disease characterized by intermittent obstruction of the airways and chronic inflammation that affects approximately 300 million people worldwide. The immune response in asthma is predominantly T(H)2, with high levels of total and allergen-specific IgE and bronchial eosinophilia. Asthma treatment is aimed at controlling the disease, and the drugs used currently have systemic adverse effects and generally are not effective in difficult-to-control cases.


BALB/c mice were intraperitoneally sensitized and nasally challenged with ovalbumin. Aqueous extract and dexamethasone treatments (0.1 mL/d per mouse) were initiated on day 32 and concluded on day 40. Eight hours after the last challenge evaluations, of serum, bronchoalveolar lavage, and lung tissue were performed.


Oral treatment with the extract markedly reduced the number of total cells and eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage. The eosinophil peroxidase activity in lung tissue, the levels of ovalbumin-specific IgE in serum, the levels of CCL11, and the gene expression of interleukin 4 and interleukin 13 in lung tissue were also lower after treatment.


These results suggest that the aqueous extract of E grandiflorus is able to modulate allergic pulmonary inflammation and may be useful as a potential therapeutic agent for asthma.


Brugiolo AS,  Alves CC,  Gouveia AC,  Dias AT,  Rodrigues MF,  Pacifico LG,  Aarestrup BJ,  Machado MA,  Domingues R,  Teixeira HC,  Gameiro J and  Ferreira AP. Effects of aqueous extract of Echinodorus grandiflorus on the immune response in ovalbumin-induced pulmonary allergy. Annals of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. 106(6): 481-8, Jun 2011.

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