To investigate the effect of Earthworm decoction on the airway inflammation of experimental bronchial asthma in guinea pigs and inquire into the mechanism in the decoction.
Forty-eight guinea pigs were randomly divided into six groups: the control group, the model group, the dexamethasone group, the Xiaoqinglong decoction group, the earthworm decoction large dosage group and the Earthworm decoction low dosage group, 8 guinea pigs in each group. Except the control group, the other groups were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) by a combination of intraperitional injection and repeated intranasal challenges to establish the guinea pigs asthma model. However, in the control group, normal saline was used. The morphological changes of bronchial tube, the lung tectology and the inflammation germ cell quantity of eosinophils (Eos), lymphocytes (Ly), neutrophils (Neu) and total blood cells in the blood and bronchoalveolar lavaga fluid (BALF) were examinated in each group respectively.
The levels of Eos, Ly, Neu and total cell quantity in the blood and BALF after the earthworm decoction treatment in the large dosage group were significantly lower than those in the model group (P <0.01), and in the low dosage group were lower too (P <0.05). The Earthworm decoction large dosage could obviously improve the bronchial tube epidermis damage, the mucous membrane gland proliferation and hydrops, asthma pathology change and basilar membrane accumulation. Eos apoptosis was obsered in the bronchoalveolar, blood and BALF. The Earthworm decoction small dosage had a similar effect but slightly to the large dosage.
The Earthworm decoction can lighten the airway inflammation in asthmatic guinea pigs, its mechanism is related with the inhibition of Eos infiltration, acceleration of Eos apoptosis and improvement of the bronchial tube and the lung tectology changes. The effect of the decoction is dose-dependent.