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Article in Chinese | WPRIM | ID: wpr-909572


OBJECTIVE Compound Kushen injection (CKI) is a bis-herbal formulation extracted from Kushen (Radix Sophorae Flavescentis) and Baituling (Rhizoma Heterosmilacis Japonicae). Clinically, it is used as the adjuvant treat?ment of cancer. However, with the increased application, the cases of immediate hypersensitivity reactions (IHRs) also gradually rise. In this study, we investigated the underlying mechanism(s) and active constituent(s) for CKI-induced IHRs in experimental models. METHODS T helper 2 (Th2) immunity-amplified mice were prepared by aluminum adjuvant. Anaphylactic shock was detected by measuring rectal thermometry in propranolol pretreated mice. For evaluating micro?vascular permeability, Evans blue extravasation assay was used. Platelet-activating factor (PAF), serum total IgE (tIgE) and mouse mast cell protease 1 (MMCP1) were measured by ELISA. RESULTS The obtained results showed that CKI did not elevate serum tIgE and MMCP1 after consecutive immunization for five weeks, but could induce Evans blue extravasation (local) and cause obvious hypothermia (systemic) after a single injection. Further study showed that alka?loids in Kushen, especially matrine, were responsible for CKI-induced IHRs. Mechanism study showed that various PAF receptor antagonists could significantly counter CKI-induced IHRs locally or systemically. In cell system, CKI was able to promote PAF production in a non-cell-selective manner. In cell lysate, the effect of CKI on PAF production became stron?ger and could be abolished by blocking de novo pathway. CONCLUSION In conclusion, our study identifies, for the first time, that CKI is a PAF inducer. It causes non-immunologic IHRs, rather than IgE-dependent IHRs, by promoting PAF production through de novo pathway. Alkaloids in Kushen, especially matrine, are the prime culprits for IHRs. Our find?ings may provide a potential approach for preventing and treating CKI-induced IHRs.