Modulation of the immune system by Boswellia serrata extracts and boswellic acids

ArticleinPhytomedicine: international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology 17(11):862-7 · September 2010with143 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.03.003 · Source: PubMed
Extracts from the gum resin of Boswellia serrata and some of is constituents including boswellic acids affect the immune system in different ways. Among the various boswellic acids 11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (KBA) and acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid have been observed to be active. However, also other boswellic acids may exhibit actions in the immune system. In the humoral defence system a mixture of boswellic acis at higher doses reduced primary antibody titres; on the other hand lower doses enhanced secondary antibody titres following treatment with sheep erythrocytes. In the cellular defence boswellic acides appear to increase lymphocyte proliferation whereas higher concentrations are even inhibitory. Moreover, BAs increase phagocytosis of macrophages. BAs affect the cellular defence system by interaction with production/release of cytokines. Thus, BAs inhibit activation of NFkappaB which is a product of neutrophile granulocytes. Consequently a down regulation of TNF-alpha and decrease of IL-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6 and IFN-gamma, which are proinflammatory cytokines by BEs and BAs has been reported. Suppressions of the classic way of the complement system was found to be due to inhibition of the conversion of C3 into C3a and C3b. However, which of these pharmacological actions contribute to the therapeutic effects and which is finally the best dosage of a standardized extract needs further examination. And it is also a question whether or not a single BA will have the same therapeutic effect as a standardized extract. Among the mediators of inflammatory reaction, mast cell stabilisation has been described by a BE. Inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis appears to play only a minor role as far as the anti-inflammatory effect is concerned. On the other hand the inhibitory action of BAs on 5-LO leading to a decreased production of leukotrienes has received high attention by the scientific community since a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases is associatied with increased leukotriene activity. At the end of the cascade of events in the cellular immune system as far as it directs to various tissues of the body - i.e. autoimmune diseases - formation of oxygen radicals and proteases (for example elastase) play an important destructive role. Here, BEs as well as BAs have been found to be inhibitory. From the pharmacological properties of BEs and BAs it is not surprising that positive effects of BEs in some chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease have been reported.
    • "It is commonly used to reduce swelling and alleviate the pain caused by inflammatory diseases or tumors and to invigorate blood circulation [15, 16] . Moreover, the boswellic acids isolated from frankincense have potential immunomodulatory effects [17, 18]. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of frankincense on peripheral nerve regeneration using an established rat sciatic nerve injury model. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effect of frankincense extract on peripheral nerve regeneration in a crush injury rat model. Forty-eight Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: control and frankincense extract low-, medium-, and high-dose groups. At days 7, 14, 21, and 28 following the surgery, nerve regeneration and functional recovery were evaluated using the sciatic functional index (SFI), expression of GAP-43, and the proliferation of Schwann cells (SCs) in vivo and in vitro. At day 7, the SFI in the frankincense extract high-dose group was significantly improved compared with the control group. After day 14, SFI was significantly improved in the medium- and high-dose groups. There was no significant difference in GAP-43 expression among the groups at day 7. However, after day 14, expression of GAP-43 in the high-dose group was higher than that in the control group. Histological evaluation showed that the injured nerve of frankincense extract high-dose group recovered better than the other groups 28 days after surgery. Further, S100 immunohistochemical staining, MTT colorimetry, and flow cytometry assays all showed that frankincense extract could promote the proliferation of SCs. In conclusion, frankincense extract is able to promote sciatic nerve regeneration and improve the function of a crushed sciatic nerve. This study provides a new direction for the repair of peripheral nerve injury.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016
    • "These triterpenoids are lupeol, beta-boswellic acid, 11-ke- to-beta-boswellic acid, acetyl beta-boswellic acid, acetyl 11-keto-beta-boswellic acid, acetyl-alpha-boswellic acid, 3-oxo-tirucallic acid and 3-hydroxy-tirucallic acid. Among the various boswellic acids, 11-keto-β-boswellic acid (KBA) and acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid have been observed to be active [7]. In the humoral defence system, a mixture of boswellic acids at higher doses reduced primary antibody titres; on the other hand, lower doses enhanced secondary antibody titres following treatment with sheep erythrocytes. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, an increasing interest in natural dietary and therapeutic preparations used as dietary supplements has been observed. One of them is frankincense. The traditional medicine of the East is believed to have an anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antiseptic, and even anxiolytic and anti-neurotic effect. This study aims to verify the reported therapeutic properties of frankincense resin and describe its chemical composition based on available scientific studies. The main component of frankincense resin is oil (60%). It contains mono- (13%) and diterpenes (40%) as well as ethyl acetate (21.4%), octyl acetate (13.4%), and methylanisole (7.6%). The highest biological activity among terpenes is characteristic of 11-keto-ß-acetyl-beta-boswellic acid, acetyl-11-keto-ß-boswellic acid, and acetyl-α-boswellic acid. Contemporary studies have shown that frankincense resin indeed has an analgesic, tranquilising, and anti-bacterial effect. From the point of view of therapeutic properties, extracts from Boswellia serrata and Boswellia carteri are reported to be particularly useful. They reduce inflammatory conditions in the course of rheumatism by inhibiting leukocyte elastase and degrading glycosaminoglycans. Boswellia preparations inhibit 5-lipoxygenase and prevent the release of leukotrienes, thus having an anti-inflammatory effect in ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, bronchitis, and sinusitis. Inhalation and consumption of Boswellia gum resin reduces the risk of asthma. In addition, boswellic acids have an antiproliferative effect on tumours. They inhibit proliferation of tumour cells of the leukaemia and glioblastoma subset. They have an anti-tumour effect since they inhibit topoisomerase I and II-alpha and stimulate programmed cell death (apoptosis).
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016
    • "Their results showed that add-on NDC-052 besides ICS therapy had benefits in both ΔPEFR and asthma symptoms. Last year, a review by Ammon [104] showed multiple effects of Boswellia serrata extracts on immune system modulation in basic research, including inhibiting activation of NFí µí¼…B, mast cell stabilisation , and antioxidant and inhibitory action on 5-LOX. However , related clinical research in the past five years can only be found for reducing the need for inhalation therapy with ICS + LABAs [105]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asthma is one of the most common chronic inflammatory disorders, associated with reversible airflow obstruction, airway hyperresponsiveness, and airway remodeling. This disease has a significant impact on individuals, their families, and society. Standardized therapeutics such as inhaled corticosteroid in combination with long acting β 2 agonist have been applied for asthma control; however, complementary and alternative medicines, especially herbal medicines, are still widely used all over the world. A growing body of literature suggests that various herbals or related products might be effective in inhibiting asthmatic inflammation. In this review, we summarize recent advances about the mechanistic studies of herbal medicines on allergic airway inflammation in animal models and their potential application into clinic for asthma control.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016
Show more