Preclinical modelling using nasal epithelial cells for the evaluation of herbal extracts for the treatment of upper airway diseases

Planta Med. 2008 May;74(6):693-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-993764. Epub 2008 Jan 10.


The epithelium constitutes the interface between the internal milieu and the external environment, and the nasal epithelium is the initial point of contact for respiratory viruses, airborne allergens and environmental pollutants. The major function of the nasal epithelium was regarded to be primarily that of a physical barrier, but recent studies clearly indicate that its cells are metabolically very active with the capacity to modulate a variety of inflammatory processes through the action of an array of receptor-mediated events. This review summarizes the current view of the active role of the nasal epithelium in the inflammation of the upper airways and its possible modulation by herbal extracts to treat diseases of the upper airways such as common cold and sinusitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nasal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Nasal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Rhinitis / drug therapy*
  • Second Messenger Systems
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Toll-Like Receptors