Asthma is a common chronic respiratory disease. Qufeng Xuanbi Formula (QFXBF), a Chinese herbal decoction, has shown efficiency for the management of asthma. The purpose of current study is to investigate the potential therapeutic effects of QFXBF for the treatment of asthma both in vitro and in vivo.
PDGF-induced ASMCs proliferation model and MTT assay have been applied for exploring the effects of QFXBF on the proliferation of ASMCs. Moreover, 40 female BALB/c mice were randomly divided into five groups: control group, OVA group, High QFXBF group, Low QFXBF group, and dexamethasone (DEX) group (n = 8 per group). The mouse allergic asthma model has been established by intranasally administered ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization method. Morphological changes of the lung tissue have been examined by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and Masson’s staining. Finally, the protein expressions of α-SMA, PCNA, p-MEK1/2, MEK1/2, p-ERK1/2, and ERK1/2 in ASMCs and lung tissue were determined by western blotting and immunofluorescent staining assays.
PDGF induced significant increase in viability of ASMCs. Compared with mice in control group, the airway walls and airway smooth muscle of mice in OVA group mice thickened, and the inflammatory cells around the bronchus increased significantly. Moreover, administration of QFXBF markedly inhibited the proliferation of ASMCs and alleviated the pathologic changes induced by OVA. Furthermore, the protein expressions of p-ERK1/2, p-MEK1/2, PCNA, and α-SMA were significantly increased in OVA-treated mice and PDGF-treated ASMCs. Finally, treatment of QFXBF also significantly decreased the protein expression of p-ERK1/2, p-MEK1/2, α-SMA and PCNA.
QFXBF can inhibit the proliferation of ASMCs via suppressing the MEK/ERK signaling in PDGF-induced ASMCs and OVA-induced mice.