Asthma is one of the major public health problems worldwide and the morbidity and mortality of asthma has increased in the past two decades. Accumulating data suggest that unnecessary immune responses and inflammation should be suppressed to treat asthma. The purpose of this study is to investigate the anti-asthmatic effects of DA-9201, an ethanolic extract of black rice (Oryza sativa L. var japonica), on an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced mouse model of asthma. Balb/c mice immunized with OVA were administered with DA-9201 (30, 100 or 300 mg/kg, p.o.) or dexamethasone (3 mg/kg, p.o.) and challenged with 1% aerosolized OVA for 30 min. The effects on airway inflammation, airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), antibody profiles and cytokines were evaluated. DA-9201 treatment significantly reduced the number of eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and ameliorated the AHR. Lung histological features also showed that DA-9201 reduced airway inflammation. Furthermore, DA-9201 treatment decreased IFN-γ as well as IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 levels in the supernatant of cultured splenocytes, and suppressed the level of OVA-specific IgG, IgG2a, IgG1 and total IgE in plasma. DA-9201 showed anti-asthmatic effects by suppressing unnecessary immune responses, airway inflammation, eosinophilia, AHR and IgE level. These results suggest DA-9201 might be beneficial for the treatment of asthma.
2006 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan