Therapeutic effects of Smilax glabra and Bolbostemma paniculatum on rheumatoid arthritis using a rat paw edema model

Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Dec:108:309-315. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.09.004. Epub 2018 Sep 15.


Smilax glabra Roxb. (Tufuling) and Bolbostemma paniculatum (Maxim.) Franquet (Tubeimu) are used as couplet medicine in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of arthritis. This study is conducted to provide evidence on their therapeutic effects on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to explore its possible mechanisms of action. The identification and quantification of representative components (Astilbin and Tubeimoside I) in the n-butyl alcohol fraction of this couplet medicine (BFCM) were carried out by HPLC-UV assays. The contents of Astilbin and Tubeimoside I in BFCM were 13.13% (15.434 min) and 3.4% (18.619 min) respectively. For the assessment of anti-RA and anti-inflammatory activities, a carrageenan-induced paw edema model in rats was used. The swelling rates of paws and levels of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α in the swelling tissue were determined. We observed that the BFCM exhibited significant inhibitory activity on carrageenan-induced paw edema model (p<0.01). The down regulated levels of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α (all p<0.05) were reported. The results indicate that BFCM possesses significant anti-RA and anti-inflammatory effects, and it has a potential to be developed as a new therapeutic agent against RA.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Anti-rheumatoid arthritis; Astilbin (PubChem CID: 119258); Bolbostemma paniculatum (Maxim.) Franquet; Couplet medicine; Smilax glabra Roxb.; Tubeimoside I (PubChem CID: 51346132).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Body Weight
  • Carrageenan
  • Cucurbitaceae / chemistry*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Edema / blood
  • Edema / complications
  • Edema / drug therapy*
  • Edema / pathology
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Organ Specificity
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Smilax / chemistry*


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Plant Extracts
  • Carrageenan