Anti-asthmatic effects of Phlomis umbrosa Turczaninow using ovalbumin induced asthma murine model and network pharmacology analysis

Biomed Pharmacother. 2022 Jan:145:112410. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112410. Epub 2021 Nov 11.


Background: Phlomis umbrosa Turczaninow has been used as a tradition herbal medicine for treating various inflammatory diseases.

Purpose: In present study, we explored the effects of P. umbrosa on asthma induced by ovalbumin (OVA) and elucidated the mechanism via in vivo verification and network pharmacology prediction.

Methods: The animals were intraperitoneally injected OVA on day 1 and 14, followed by OVA inhalation on days 21, 22, and 23. The animals were daily treated P. umbrosa extract (PUE, 20 and 40 mg/kg) by oral gavage from day 18 to day 23.

Results: PUE significantly decreased airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophilia, and the production of inflammatory cytokines and OVA specific immunoglobulin E in animals with asthma, along with a reduction in airway inflammation and mucus secretion in lung tissue. In network analysis, antiasthmatic effects of PUE were closely related with suppression of mitogen-activated protein kinases and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Consistent with the results from network analysis, PUE suppressed the phosphorylation of ERK and p65, which was accompanied by a decline in MMP-9 expression.

Conclusion: Administration of PUE effectively reduced allergic responses in asthmatic mice, which was associated with the suppressed phosphorylation of ERK and p65, and expression of MMP-9. These results indicate that PUE has therapeutic potential to treat allergic asthma.

Keywords: Asthma; ERK; MMP-9; Network analysis; Phlomis umbrosa Turczaninow.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism
  • Female
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Network Pharmacology
  • Ovalbumin
  • Phlomis / chemistry*
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / drug therapy
  • Transcription Factor RelA / metabolism


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Rela protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Ovalbumin
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Mmp9 protein, mouse