Biomol Ther 2018; 26(6): 553-559  https://doi.org/10.4062/biomolther.2017.249
Therapeutic Potential of the Rhizomes of Anemarrhena asphodeloides and Timosaponin A-III in an Animal Model of Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Lung Inflammation
Byung Kyu Park1, Kyung Su So1, Hye Jung Ko1, Hyun Joong Kim1, Ki Sun Kwon1, Yong Soo Kwon1, Kun Ho Son2, Soon Youl Kwon3 and Hyun Pyo Kim1,*
1College of Pharmacy, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341,
2Department of Food and Nutrition, Andong National University, Andong 36729,
3Gyeongbuk Institute for Bio Industry, Andong 36618, Republic of Korea
E-mail: hpkim@kangwon.ac.kr
Tel: +82-33-250-6915, Fax: +82-33-255-7865
Received: December 18, 2017; Revised: April 12, 2018; Accepted: May 8, 2018; Published online: June 21, 2018.
© The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
Investigations into the development of new therapeutic agents for lung inflammatory disorders have led to the discovery of plant-based alternatives. The rhizomes of Anemarrhena asphodeloides have a long history of use against lung inflammatory disorders in traditional herbal medicine. However, the therapeutic potential of this plant material in animal models of lung inflammation has yet to be evaluated. In the present study, we prepared the alcoholic extract and derived the saponin-enriched fraction from the rhizomes of A. asphodeloides and isolated timosaponin A-III, a major constituent. Lung inflammation was induced by intranasal administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mice, representing an animal model of acute lung injury (ALI). The alcoholic extract (50-200 mg/kg) inhibited the development of ALI. Especially, the oral administration of the saponin-enriched fraction (10-50 mg/kg) potently inhibited the lung inflammatory index. It reduced the total number of inflammatory cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Histological changes in alveolar wall thickness and the number of infiltrated cells of the lung tissue also indicated that the saponin-enriched fraction strongly inhibited lung inflammation. Most importantly, the oral administration of timosaponin A-III at 25-50 mg/kg significantly inhibited the inflammatory markers observed in LPS-induced ALI mice. All these findings, for the first time, provide evidence supporting the effectiveness of A. asphodeloides and its major constituent, timosaponin A-III, in alleviating lung inflammation.
Keywords: Anemarrhena asphodeloides, Timosaponin A-III, Lung inflammation, Cytokine


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