To investigate the immunomodulating mechanisms of a Chinese herbal medicine Yi Shen Juan Bi (YJB) in treatment of adjuvant arthritis (AA) in rats.
Materials and Methods:
Levels of serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) were measured by the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Expression of TNF-α mRNA and IL-1β mRNA in synovial cells was measured with the semi-quantitative technique of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), while caspase-3 was examined by western blot analysis.
The administration of YJB significantly decreased the production of serum TNF-α and IL-1β. It also decreased significantly the TNF-α mRNA, IL-1β mRNA, and caspase-3 expression in synoviocytes.
YJB produces the immunomodulatory effects by downregulating the over-activated cytokines, while it activates caspase-3, which is the key executioner of apoptosis in the immune system. This may be the one of the underlying mechanisms that explains how YJB treats the rheumatoid arthritis.