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Withania Somnifera & Rheumatoid Arthritis

Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

In vivo, Extract from Withania somnifera Root Ameliorates Arthritis via Regulation of Key Immune Mediators of Inflammation in Experimental Model of Arthritis


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a devastating disease characterized by continual addition of leukocytes and T cells within the articular cavity causing inflammation and cartilage destruction. Withania somnifera is one of the most precious medicinal herbs, reported to have antioxidant, anti‐inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate anti-inflammatory activity of aqueous extract of Withania somnifera roots (WSAq) in Collagen Induced Arthritic (CIA) rats.

To achieve this, we assessed the level of inflammatory cytokines such as Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10 in CIA rats. Further, transcription factor, oxidative stress parameters and CD+8 expressions were also analyzed in CIA rats.

Arthritic rats showed a greater increase in the levels of pro inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, transcription factor NF-κB and a decrease in IL-10 concentration than controls rats. Oral administration of WSAq at a dose of 300mg/kg.wt. (WSAq300) appreciably attenuated the production of these pro inflammatory cytokines. This anti-inflammatory activity of WSAq300 might be partly mediated through an increase in the secretion of IL-10 and inhibition of NF-κB activity. Further, arthritic rats also show increased oxidative stress as compared to control rats. This increased oxidative stress in the arthritic rats appears to be the outcome of both an activated pro-oxidant and a poor antioxidant defense system. Treatment with WSAq300 strongly ameliorates all these ROS parameters significantly to near normal. Additional, metalloproteinase MMP-8 levels were also measured and found to be increased in CIA rats, which after treatment with WSAq300 came down to near normal.

From the above results, it can be concluded that the use of WSAq300 may be a valuable supplement which can improve human arthritis.

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