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Schisandra chinensis extracts have effects on cough and pulmonary inflammation in a cough hypersensitivity guinea pig model induced by cigarette smoke exposure

Date:2015/12/15 9:42:52

Schisandra chinensis extract (S.chinensis) is a traditional Chinese medicine commonly used in prescription medications for the treatment of chronic cough.


However, the material basis of Schisandra chinensis extract in relieving cough has not been completely elucidated yet. This study established a guinea pig model of cough hypersensitivity induced by 14 days of cigarette smoke (CS) exposure, to evaluate the antitussive, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects of three Schisandra chinensis extracts. And then the function of four lignans in reducing expression of TRPV1 and TRPA1 was examined using A549 cells induced by cigarette smoke extract (CSE). 

The results demonstrated that both ethanol extract (EE) and ethanol-water extract (EWE) of Schisandra chinensis extract, but not water extract (WE), significantly reduced the cough frequency enhanced by 0.4M citric acid solution in these cough hypersensitivity guinea pigs. Meanwhile, pretreatment with EE and EWE both significantly attenuated the CS-induced increase in infiltration of pulmonary neutrophils and total inflammatory cells, as well as pulmonary MDA, TNF-α, and IL-8, while remarkably increased activities of pulmonary SOD and GSH. According to H&E and immunofluorescence staining assays, airway epithelium hyperplasia, smooth muscle thickening, inflammatory cells infiltration, as well as expression of TRPV1 and TRPA1, were significantly attenuated in animals pretreatment with 1g/kg EE. 

Moreover, four lignans of EE, including schizandrin, schisantherin A, deoxyschizandrin and γ-schisandrin, significantly inhibited CSE-induced expression of TRPV1, TRPA1 and NOS3, as well as NO release in A549 cells. In conclusion, Schisandra chinensis extract reduces cough frequency and pulmonary inflammation in the CS-induced cough hypersensitivity guinea pigs.Lignans may be the active components.