Ethnopharmacological relevance: Several Northern Hemisphere Drosera species have been used in the therapy of respiratory tract infections as the traditional medicine Droserae Herba.
Aim of the study: To determine the anti-inflammatory effects of Drosera species and to investigate a substitute material for Droserae Herba, we examined the effect of extracts of Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera tokaiensis and Drosera spatulata on activated T cell membrane (aTc-m)-induced inflammatory gene expression in HMC-1 human mast cells.
Materials and methods: Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera spatulata and Drosera tokaiensis were collected in Japan. Herbs were extracted with 80% EtOH, and subsequently applied to OASIS HLB column. HMC-1 cells were treated with each Drosera column-adsorbed fraction for 15min, and subsequently added to aTc-m and incubated for 16h. Inflammatory gene and protein expressions were determined by DNA microarray, RT-PCR and Western blotting.
Results: Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera tokaiensis fractions, but not the Drosera spatulata fraction, suppressed inflammatory gene expression induced by aTc-m in HMC-1 cells.
Conclusions: Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera tokaiensis suppressed activation of HMC-1 cells induced by aTc-m. Since the Drosera tokaiensis fraction was more effective than the traditionally used Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera tokaiensis is a likely substitute as a source of Droserae Herba.