Anti-cytokine therapy for prevention of atherosclerosis

Phytomedicine. 2016 Oct 15;23(11):1198-210. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2015.12.002. Epub 2015 Dec 19.


Background: Currently a chronic inflammation is considered to be the one of the most important reasons of the atherosclerosis progression. A huge amount of researches over the past few decades are devoted to study the various mechanisms of inflammation in the development of atherosclerotic lesions.

Purpose: To review current capabilities of anti-inflammatory therapy for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and its clinical manifestations.

Methods: Appropriate articles on inflammatory cytokines in atherosclerosis and anti-inflammatory prevention of atherosclerosis were searched in PubMed Database from their respective inceptions until October 2015.

Sections: "The role of inflammatory cytokines in the development of atherosclerotic lesions" describes available data on the possible inflammatory mechanisms of the atherogenesis with a special attention to the role of cytokines. "Modern experience of anti-inflammatory therapy for the treatment of atherosclerosis" describes modern anti-inflammatory preparations with anti-atherosclerotic effect including natural preparations. In "the development of anti-inflammatory herbal preparation for atherosclerosis prevention" an algorithm is demonstrated that includes screening of anti-cytokine activity of different natural products, the development of the most effective combination and estimation of its effect in cell culture model, in animal model of the acute aseptic inflammation and in a pilot clinical trial. A natural preparation "Inflaminat" based on black elder berries (Sambucus nigra L.), violet tricolor herb (Viola tricolor L.) and calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis L.) possessing anti-cytokine activity was developed using the designed algorithm. The results of the following 2-year double blind placebo-controlled clinical study show that "Inflaminat" reduces carotid IMT progression, i.e. has anti-atherosclerotic effect.

Conclusion: Anti-cytokine therapy may be a promising direction in moderation of atherogenesis, especially when it begins on the early stages of subclinical atherosclerosis. The use of herbal preparations with anti-cytokine mechanism of action is the most perspective for timely prevention of atherosclerosis, as they have no significant side effects and can be prescribed for long-term administration.

Keywords: Anti-cytokine therapy; Atherosclerosis prevention; Herbal preparation; Inflammation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Plant Preparations