Allergic airway inflammation is one of the major pathological events involved in the development of asthma. The B cell-activating factor (BAFF)-mediated abnormal activation of B cells plays a key role in developing allergic airway inflammation. Here, we investigated the effects of Gu-Ben-Fang-Xiao decoction (GBFXD), a TCM decoction used in the prevention and treatment of allergic asthma, on allergic airway inflammation and BAFF-mediated B cell activation. A mouse model of OVA-Severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) induced asthma in the remission stage was administrated with GBFXD by gavage for four weeks, after which, the pulmonary function was evaluated. Pathological changes of the lung were observed by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, and serum levels of IgE, BAFF, and inflammatory factors were detected by ELISA. The expression of BAFF, APRIL, and their related receptors in the lung and spleen was detected by Western blotting and RT-qPCR. Flow cytometry detected B cell subsets in the spleen, PBC, and monocyte subsets in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). The results showed that GBFXD improved the lung function, alleviated the inflammatory changes of the lung tissue in OVA-RSV sensitized mice, and reduced levels of IL-6, TNF-α, IL1-β, INOS, IL13 as well as IL-15, IgE, BAFF in the serum of OVA-RAV mice. Additionally, GBFXD significantly reduced the proportion of CD19+CD27+ B cell subpopulation and IgE + B cell subpopulation in the PBC and spleen cells of mice. Furthermore, the expression of BAFF, APRIL, BAFFR, TACI, and AID decreased in the lung and spleen of GBFXD-treated mice, as well as the proportion of CD11b + BAFF + cell subsets in BALF. In conclusion, GBFXD has an inhibitory effect on the secretion of BAFF by pulmonary macrophages and the expression of BAFF-related receptors, thereby reducing B cell activation and the release of IgE. This proposed mechanism contributes to the improvement of allergic airway inflammation and respiratory function in an asthmatic mouse model.
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