Effects of Chinese medicinal herbs on a rat model of chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection

APMIS. 1996 May;104(5):350-4.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of two kinds of Chinese medicinal herbs, Isatis tinctoria L (ITL) and Daphne giraldii Nitsche (DGN), on a rat model of chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection mimicking cystic fibrosis (CF). Compared to the control group, both drugs were able to reduce the incidence of lung abscess (p < 0.05) and to decrease the severity of the macroscopic pathology in lungs (p < 0.05). In the great majority of the rats, the herbs altered the inflammatory response in the lungs from an acute type inflammation, dominated by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN), to a chronic type inflammation, dominated by mononuclear leukocytes (MN). DGN also improved the clearance of P. aeruginosa from the lungs (p < 0.03) compared with the control group. There were no significant differences between the control group and the two herbal groups with regard to serum IgG and IgA anti-P. aeruginosa sonicate antibodies. However, the IgM concentration in the ITL group was significantly lower than in the control group (p < 0.03). These results suggest that the two medicinal herbs might be helpful to CF patients with chronic P. aeruginosa lung infection, DGN being the most favorable.

MeSH terms

  • Agar
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Chronic Disease
  • Culture Media
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Lung Diseases / microbiology
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas Infections / pathology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / isolation & purification
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Culture Media
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Agar