Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease which leads to destruction of joints. Current treatment modalities for RA either produce symptomatic relief (NSAIDs) or modify the disease process (DMARDs). Though effective, their use is also limited by their side effects. As a result, the interest in alternative, well tolerated anti-inflammatory remedies has re-emerged. Our aim was to evaluate the antioxidant and antiarthritic activity of Boswellia serrata gum resin extract (BSE) in collagen induced arthritis. Arthritis was induced in male Wistar rats by collagen induced arthritis (CIA) method. BSE was administered at doses of 100 and 200mg/kg body weight once daily for 21 days. The effects of treatment in the rats were assessed by biochemical (articular elastase, MPO, LPO, GSH, catalase, SOD and NO), inflammatory mediators (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10, IFN-γ and PGE2), and histological studies in joints. BSE was effective in bringing significant changes on all the parameters (articular elastase, MPO, LPO, GSH, catalase, SOD and NO) studied. Oral administration of BSE resulted in significantly reduced levels of inflammatory mediators (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ and PGE2), and increased level of IL-10. The protective effects of BSE against RA were also evident from the decrease in arthritis scoring and bone histology. The abilities to inhibit proinflammatory cytokines and modulation of antioxidant status suggest that the protective effect of Boswellia serrata extract on arthritis in rats might be mediated via the modulation of immune system.
Keywords: Boswellia serrata; Collagen induced arthritis; Cytokines; PGE(2).
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