Ethnopharmacological relevance: Plants from genus Lavandula have been used as anti-inflammatory drugs in Mediterranean traditional medicine. Nowadays, there is a growing interest for complementary medicine, including herbal remedies, to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Aim of the study: To test the anti-inflammatory properties of Lavandula dentata and Lavandula stoechas extracts in two inflammatory experimental models: TNBS model of rat colitis and the carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice, in order to mimic the intestinal conditions and the extra-intestinal manifestations of human IBD, respectively.
Material and methods: The extracts were characterized through the qualitative HPLC analysis. Then, they were assayed in vitro and in vivo. In vitro studies were performed in BMDMs and CMT-93 epithelial cells with different concentrations of the extracts (ranging from 0.1 to 100µg/ml). The extracts were tested in vivo in the TNBS model of rat colitis (10 and 25mg/kg) and in the carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice (10, 25 and 100mg/kg).
Results: L. dentata and L. stoechas extracts displayed immunomodulatory properties in vitro down-regulating different mediators of inflammation like cytokines and nitric oxide. They also showed anti-inflammatory effects in the TNBS model of colitis as evidenced by reduced myeloperoxidase activity and increased total glutathione content, indicating a decrease of neutrophil infiltration and an improvement of the oxidative state. Besides, both extracts modulated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and ameliorated the altered epithelial barrier function. They also displayed anti-inflammatory effects in the carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice, since a significant reduction of the paw thickness was observed. This was associated with a down-regulation of the expression of different inducible enzymes like MMP-9, iNOS and COX-2 and pro-inflammatory cytokines, all involved in the maintenance of the inflammatory condition.
Conclusion: L. dentata and L. stoechas extracts showed intestinal anti-inflammatory effect, confirming their potential use as herbal remedies in gastrointestinal disorders. In addition, their anti-inflammatory effect was also observed in other locations, thus suggesting a possible use for the treatment of the extra-intestinal symptoms of IBD.
Keywords: Antioxidant activity; Carrageenan-induced paw edema; Lavandula dentata L.; Lavandula stoechas L.; Polyphenols; TNBS colitis.
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