2006 Volume 29 Issue 5 Pages 884-888
As part of an ongoing investigation to find bioactive medicinal herbs exerting anti-inflammation activity, the effect of an ethanol extract from the parts of Ailanthus altissima (Simaroubaceae) was evaluated in both in vitro and in in vivo system. The ethanol extract of A. altissima (EAa) inhibited generation of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) dependent phases of prostaglandin D2 in bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMC) in a concentration-dependent manner with an IC50 value of 214.6 μg/ml. However, this compound did not inhibit COX-2 protein expression up to a concentration of 400 μg/ml in the BMMC, indicating that EAa directly inhibits COX-2 activity. In addition, EAa inhibited leukotriene C4 production with an IC50 value of 25.7 μg/ml. Furthermore, this compound inhibited degranulation reaction in a dose dependent manner, with an IC50 value of 27.3 μg/ml. Ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice were orally pretreated with EAa before aerosol challenges. EAa reduced the eosinophil infiltration into the airway and the eotaxin, IL-4, and IL-13 mRNA expression levels. These results suggest that the anti-inflammation activity of A. altissima in OVA-induced lung inflammation may occur in part via the down regulation of TH2 cytokines and eotaxin transcripts as well as the inhibition of inflammatory mediators.