Allergic rhinitis (AR), one of the common diseases of the upper respiratory system, is associated with high risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Biyuanling Granules (BLG), a formulated preparation of traditional Chinese medicine, has been used in China for treatment of AR for more than a decade; however, its exact action against allergic rhinitis and the mechanism involved remain unclear. In this study, we studied the effects of BLG on allergic rhinitis induced by toluene-2, 4- diisocyanate (TDI) in guinea pigs. The anti-AR effects of BLG were evaluated by behavior observations, histological examinations of the nasal tissues stained with hematoxylin and eosin staining (H & E), immunohistochemical analyses of pulmonary surfactant associated protein (SP), Bcl-2 Associated X Protei (Bax), tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in the nasal mucosa, and serum tests of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and human SARS-specific immunoglobulin (SIgE) levels. We observed that in the AR-positive animals treated with BLG, the symptom scores were significantly higher (P < 0.01), the nasal mucosa edemas and inflammatory infiltrates were significantly alleviated (P < 0.01) and the serum IL-4 and SIgE levels were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) as compared with the control group. Immunohistochemical examinations of the nasal mucosa demonstrated that the expressions of TNF-α, SP and VCAM-1 were significantly decreased (P < 0.01), whereas Bax expression was increased in the BLG treatment groups (P < 0.05). These results indicate that BLG can effectively suppress the TDI-induced AR, and that the protective effects of BLG were associated with reductions of TNF-α, SP and VCAM-1, and an elevation of Bax, suggesting that BLG exerts its AR-suppressive effects through inhibition of inflammatory response.
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