Role of Salvia Miltiorrhiza for Modulation of Th2-derived Cytokines in the Resolution of Inflammation

Immune Netw. 2011 Oct;11(5):288-98. doi: 10.4110/in.2011.11.5.288. Epub 2011 Oct 31.


Background: Salvia miltiorrhiza (SM) has been used to treat inflammatory diseases including edema and arthritis; however, the anti-inflammatory mechanism of SM action remains unresolved.

Methods: The effects of an ethanol extract of SM (ESM) on pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and NO, on anti-inflammatory cytokines including IL-4, IL-10, TGF-β, and IL-1Ra have been studied in an attempt to elucidate the anti-inflammatory mechanism in murine macrophages.

Results: ESM inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines via down-regulation of gene and protein expression whereas it increased the anti-inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, ESM inhibited the expression of the chemokines, RANTES and CX3CL1, as well as of inflammatory mediators such as TLR-4 and 11β-HSD1.

Conclusion: These results indicated that the regulatory effects of ESM may be mediated though the suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as the induction of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Consequently, we speculate that ESM has therapeutic potential for inflammation-associated disorders.

Keywords: Chemokine; Pro-inflammatory cytokines; Salvia miltiorrhiza; Th2 cytokine.