Ethnopharmacological relevance: Ji-Ming-Shan (JMS) is a traditional herbal prescription consisting of seven herbs including Areca cathechu Burm.f., Citrus reticulata Blanco, Chaenomeles speciosa (Sweet) Nakai, Euodia ruticarpa (A. Juss.) Benth., Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton, Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Platycodon grandiflorus (Jacq.). It was first recorded during the Song dynasty and has been used extensively for protection against rheumatism, treatment of swelling of tendons, relief from foot pain, gout and diuresis and other forms of inflammation. Aim of the study: The aim of this study is to evaluate the anti-inflammatory and anti-osteoarthritis activity of JMS extracts with the use of different cell lines (RAW 264.7 cells, SW1353 cells and primary cultured rat chondrocytes). MIA-induced rat animal models were used to assess the anti-osteoarthritis activity of the extract. Materials and methods: This study investigated the anti-inflammatory activity of JMS-95E on LPS-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages and IL-1β-stimulated chondrocytes. For the in vivo study, male Wistar rats were used and they were randomly assigned in different groups: blank, control, positive control and three different JMS-95E treatment groups (200, 400, 800 mg/kg/d). Paw edema, hind-limb weight bearing, serum inflammatory cytokines including hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining experiments were used to assess the efficacy of the extract in the rat model. Result: JMS 95% ethanol extract (JMS-95E, marker substance: narirutin (5.10 mg/g) and hesperidin (11.33 mg/g) has been identified in the extract using high pressure liquid chromatography. For in vitro assays, JMS-95E did not exhibit cytotoxicity and was able to downregulate the protein expression of iNOS, COX-2 and MMP-13. The production of inflammatory mediators such as NO and PGE2 were also reduced with an increase in dose-dependent manner in various cell lines. Inhibitory activity on the key enzyme xanthine oxidase was also observed in this study. In rat animal models, JMS-95E reduced the inflammatory responses such as acute swelling, chondrocyte degradation and pain section of paw edema in rat model. Molecular marker studies of inflammation demonstrated that JMS-95E significantly decrease PGE2 expression in MIA model. Conclusion: JMS-95E inhibited the inflammatory pathway leading to the production or expression levels of NO, iNOS, COX-2 and PGE2 in macrophage cells. In primary cultured rat chondrocytes iNOS and SW1353 MMP-13 expression were downregulated after JMS-95E treatment. For the in vivo study JMS-95E significantly reduced the paw volume of carrageenan-induced rat paw edema through each dose and significantly inhibited paw volume, counterweight the distribution of hind-paw weight bearing through the MIA model which means JMS-95E could promote recovery of the acute swelling and chondrocyte degradation of the ankle joints. The above results provided the multiple mechanism of JMS-95E in OA treatment of the scientific founding which supported the description of JMS in traditional use.
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