Chamomile Flower, Myrrh, and Coffee Charcoal, Components of a Traditional Herbal Medicinal Product, Diminish Proinflammatory Activation in Human Macrophages
received 24 August 2016
revised 31 January 2017
accepted 10 February 2017
06 March 2017 (online)
A traditional herbal medicinal product, containing myrrh, chamomile flower, and coffee charcoal, has been used in Germany for the relief of gastrointestinal complaints for decades. Clinical studies suggest its use in the maintenance therapy of inflammatory bowel disease. However, the pharmacological mechanisms underlying the clinical effects are not yet fully understood.
The present study aims to elucidate immunopharmacological activities of myrrh, chamomile flower, and coffee charcoal by studying the influence of each plant extract on gene expression and protein release of activated human macrophages.
The plant extracts effect on gene and protein expression of activated human monocyte-derived macrophages was investigated by microarray gene expression analysis and assessment of the release of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators (TNFα, chemokine CXCL13, and interleukin-10) using an ELISA test system.
The extracts of myrrh, chamomile flower, and coffee charcoal influenced gene expression of activated human macrophages within the cytokine/chemokine signaling pathway. Particularly, chemokine gene expression was suppressed. Subsequently, the production of CXCL13 and, to a minor extent, cytokine TNFα was inhibited by all herbal extracts. Chamomile flower and coffee charcoal extracts enhanced interleukin-10 release from activated macrophages. The observed effects on protein release were comparable to the effect of budesonide, which decreased TNFα and CXCL13 and enhanced interleukin-10 release.
The components of the herbal medicinal product influence the activity of activated human macrophages on both gene and protein level. The induced alterations within chemokine/cytokine signaling could contribute to a positive effect on the immunological homeostasis, which is disturbed in patients with chronic intestinal inflammation.
Key wordsAsteraceae - Burseraceae - chamomile - Commiphora molmol - Coffea Arabica - coffee charcoal - gene expression - inflammatory bowel disease - Matricaria recutita - ulcerative colitis - myrrh - Rubiaceae
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