Aims: Lavender essential oil (Lvn) has been reported to have anti-inflammatory effects. Bronchial asthma is characterized by bronchial allergic inflammation with airway remodeling. Therefore, we evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of Lvn on experimentally induced bronchial asthma in a murine model.
Main methods: BALB/c mice were sensitized by an intraperitoneal injection of ovalbumin (OVA) at days 0 and 14, and subsequently challenged with nebulized OVA on days 28-30 (Control-Asthma group). Mice in the treatment group inhaled Lvn on days 14-31 (Lvn-Asthma group). The allergic inflammatory response was determined on days 32 and 33.
Key findings: An increase in airway resistance was inhibited in the Lvn-Asthma group than in the Control-Asthma group. The Lvn-Asthma group showed lower total cell numbers and eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids and peribronchial and perivascular tissues when compared with the Control-Asthma group. The Lvn-Asthma group also had less mucin hyperplasia than the Control-Asthma group. Furthermore, the Lvn-Asthma group showed lower interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-13 cytokine levels in BAL fluids, as well as reduced IL-4 and IL-5 mRNA expression in lung tissue, compared with the Control-Asthma group and determined by FlowCytomix and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), respectively. In addition, Lvn inhalation reduced Muc5b mRNA expression in the lungs without significantly changing the expression of Muc5ac mRNA.
Significance: Lvn inhibits allergic inflammation and mucous cell hyperplasia with suppression of T-helper-2 cell cytokines and Muc5b expression in a murine model of asthma. Consequently, Lvn may be useful as an alternative medicine for bronchial asthma.
Keywords: Alternative medicine; Asthma; Cytokines; Lavender; Mucin.
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