Tectochrysin, a flavonoid compound, can be isolated from propolis, Alpinia oxyphylla Miq, and Lychnophora markgravii. This study evaluated the efficacy of tectochrysin in the treatment of shrimp tropomyosin (ST)-induced mouse asthma. Mice were sensitized with intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of ST together with aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant to establish a mouse model of asthma. Mice were i.p.-treated daily with tectochrysin. IgE levels in plasma, Th2 cytokines from both bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and splenocytes, and CD200R on basophils in peripheral blood were measured. Histological analyses of lung tissues and accumulation of leukocytes in BAL fluid were performed. Lung eosinophil peroxidase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities were examined. ST was found to markedly increase eosinophilic inflammation and Th2 response in mice. Tectochrysin treatment reduced the level of IgE in plasma, the percentage of eosinophils in total white blood cells in peripheral blood, the total number of cells in BAL fluid, and eosinophil peroxidase activity in lung tissues. Tectochrysin attenuated ST-induced infiltration of eosinophils and epithelial mucus secretion in lung tissues and suppressed the overproduction of Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-5) in BAL fluid. Tectochrysin also attenuated Th2 cytokine (IL-4 and IL-5) production from antigen-stimulated murine splenocytes in vitro, decreased the expression of CD200R on basophils in peripheral blood of asthmatic mice and inhibited IL-4 secretion from IgE-sensitized RBL-2H3 cells. In addition, tectochrysin enhanced catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities in lung tissues. Our findings demonstrate that TEC ameliorates allergic airway inflammation by suppressing Th2 response and oxidative stress.
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