Therapeutic effects of Aloe vera in experimental sepsis
Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response syndrome and remains the major causes of death in intensive care units. In this study, we show that Aloe vera protects mice against lethality after cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), a clinically relevant model of sepsis. In order to examine the protective effect of Aloe vera (50mg/kg, immediate i.v. after CLP) on multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), the enzyme activity profile of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine was established at six time points (1, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48h) post-CLP. In CLP control, the peak of ALT, AST, LDH, BUN, and creatinine increased to 180.7±8.0 U/L, 370.5±34.6 U/L, 2251.3±178.3 U/L, 91.3±12.7mg/dl and 0.72±0.10mg/dl, respectively. In contrast, Aloe vera significantly ameliorated MODS by attenuating the increase in enzyme activities (74.5%, 72.2%, 70.2%, 43.6%, and 55.6% of CLP control, respectively), and this protective effect was supported by the histological analysis of lung, liver, heart, and kidney tissue samples isolated 24h post CLP. In order to investigate the pharmacological mechanisms of Aloe vera, the levels of cytokines; tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6, were determined by ELISA at various time points. The levels of TNF-α and IL-1β reached a peak at 3h after CLP (997.5±67.9 and 155.8±5.1 pg/ml, respectively) and IL-6 appeared at 6h after CLP (9672.6±696.1 pg/ml). The increase in the levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 were significantly inhibited by Aloe vera (25.5%, 26.8%, and 52.1% of CLP control, respectively). These results suggest that Aloe vera effectively reverses sepsis-induced lethality, prevents MODS, and suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokine release. Thus, Aloe vera is a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of sepsis.