Potential Use of Plectranthus amboinicus in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Antrodia camphorata is used in folk medicine for the treatment of inflammation syndromes and liver-related diseases in Taiwan. The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the mycelial extract of A. camphorata (ACE) for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in SLE-prone NZB/W F1 mice. After antibodies against double-stranded DNA appeared in NZB/W mice, the mice were orally administered varying dosages of ACE (100, 200 and 400 mg kg(-1)) for 5 consecutive days per week for 12 weeks via gavage. To assess the efficacy of ACE, we measured SLE-associated biochemical and histopathological biomarkers levels of blood urine nitrogen (BUN), blood creatinine, urine protein and urine creatinine and thickness of the kidney glomerular basement membrane by staining with periodic acid-Schiff. Antroquinonol, an active component of ACE, was investigated for anti-inflammation activity in lipopolysaccharide-induced RAW 267.4 cells. ACE at 400 mg kg(-1) significantly suppressed urine protein and serum BUN levels and decreased the thickness of the kidney glomerular basement membrane. Antroquinonol significantly inhibited the production of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β by 75 and 78%, respectively. In conclusion, ACE reduced urine protein and creatinine levels and suppressed the thickening of the kidney glomerular basement membrane, suggesting that ACE protects the kidney from immunological damage resulting from autoimmune disease.