In the present study, the therapeutic effect and underlying mechanism of α-pinene (α-PN) in the ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized allergic rhinitis (AR) model were investigated. Our results showed that pretreatment with α-PN caused a decrease in clinical symptoms, including a decrease in the number of nasal, eye, and ear rubs, and spleen weight in the OVA-sensitized mice. The level of interleukin (IL)-4 was decreased on the spleen tissue of α-PN treated mice. Pretreatment with α-PN significantly decreased levels of nasal immunoglobulin E. Protein levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 were decreased by the administration of α-PN in the nasal mucosa of the OVA-sensitized mice. The increased numbers of eosinophils and mast cells infiltrating the nasal mucosal tissue of mice with AR were decreased following oral administration of α-PN. Post-treatment with α-PN 1h after OVA challenge also resulted in a significant reduction of clinical symptoms and IgE levels. In addition, the expression and phosphorylation of receptor-interacting protein 2 (RIP2) and IκB kinase (IKK)-β and activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), and caspase-1 were all increased in the activated human mast cell line, HMC-1 cells, however, increased activations of RIP2, IKK-β, NF-κB, and caspase-1 were inhibited by treatment with α-PN. Taken together, we suggest that α-PN is a promising anti-allergic agent and may be useful in the clinical management of AR.
Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; Inflammation; Mast cells; α-Pinene.
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