Background/purpose: Acute bronchitis (AB) is a common lung condition characterized by inflammation of the large bronchi in response to infection. Bronchipret(®) syrup (BRO), a fixed combination of thyme and ivy extracts has been effectively used for the treatment of AB. Combining in vivo and mechanistic in vitro studies we aimed to provide a better understanding of the therapeutic potential of BRO on key aspects of AB and to identify potential mechanisms of action.
Methods: Bronchoalveolitis in rats was induced by intratracheal LPS instillation. BRO was administered p.o. once daily at 1- to 10-fold equivalents of the human daily dose. Animals were sacrificed 24-72 h post LPS challenge to analyze leukocyte numbers in lung tissue, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and blood as well as goblet cells in bronchial epithelium. Inhibitory effects of BRO analogue on leukotriene (LT) production were determined in human neutrophils and monocytes as well as on isolated 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO).
Results: BRO significantly reversed the LPS-induced increase in leukocyte numbers in lung tissue, BALF and blood as well as goblet cell numbers in bronchial epithelium. In vitro, BRO analogue suppressed cellular release of LTB4 (IC50 = 36 µg⋅ml(-1)) and cysLT (IC50 = 10 µg⋅ml(-1)) and inhibited the activity of isolated 5-LO (IC50 = 19 µg⋅ml(-1)).
Conclusion: BRO exerts significant anti-inflammatory effects and attenuates goblet cell metaplasia in LPS-induced bronchoalveolitis in vivo potentially via interference with 5-LO/LT signaling. These effects may contribute to its observed clinical efficacy in AB.
Keywords: 5-lipoxygenase; Acute bronchitis; Anti-inflammatory; Goblet cells; Ivy; Thyme.
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