The use of alhagi extract as a traditional herbal medicine in ameliorating rheumatoid arthritis
,1,* Reyhane ebrahimi
,2 Mahbouba ahmadi
,3 Solaleh emamgholipour
1. Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran
2. Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3. Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4. Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
One of the most recognized elements in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (ra) is the up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (mmp-9), an enzyme responsible for matrix degradation. alhagi is known to have traditional uses in the treatment of inflammatory diseases including rheumatism. the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of alhagi extract as a traditional herbal medicine on the levels of mmp-9 and also tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (timp-1) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (pbmcs) of ra patients.
In this study, 12 ra patients and 12 healthy subjects aged between 38-66 years (all women) were recruited from the outpatient clinic of the rheumatology service of dr. shariati hospital of tehran university of medical sciences, tehran, iran. pbmcs were isolated and treated with two concentrations of alhagi extract (100 and 500 µg/ml) for 24 h. gene expression of mmp-9 was evaluated by real time-pcr based on sybr green. mmp-9 activity in pbmcs was measured using zymography and timp-1 levels in supernatant of pbmcs were quantified using the highly specific r&d systems quantikine® elisa kit (usa), according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Alhagi treatment caused a significant decrease in the expression of mmp-9 mrna in the concentration of 500 µg/ml in both healthy and patient groups (p= 0.003 and p=0.05), respectively. however, this effect was not observed when a concentration of 100 µg/ml of alhagi extract was used. moreover, the inhibitory effect of alhagi treatment on mmp-9 activity was statistically significant in the concentration of 500 µg/ml in both healthy (p=0.003) and patient (p=0.02) groups and also in the concentration of 100 µg/ml in healthy group (p=0.02). however, no significant effect was observed on timp-1 levels following exposure of pbmcs with alhagi extract in two studied groups.
Putting these findings together, alhagi may have an effective role in the control of joint destruction in ra at least partly by inhibition of mmp-9 production. this study provides supporting evidence for the use of this plant as an anti-inflammatory remedy in ra patients.
Rheumatoid arthritis, alhagi, matrix metalloproteinase 9 (mmp-9)