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Purpose: To investigate the anti-rheumatic potential of Wu-Wei-Gui-Shao decoction (WGD) and its possible mechanism of action.
Methods: Adjuvant arthritis (AA) rats were established using complete Freund's adjuvant. The rats were then given different doses of WGD (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg, for 28 days). The anti-arthritic effects of WGD were evaluated. Furthermore, the in vitro anti-arthritic effects of WGD and its related mechanisms were also determined in MH7A cells.
Results: WGD (100 - 400 mg/kg) exhibited significant anti-rheumatic properties after 28 days of treatment, inhibiting paw edema in AA rats, reducing arthritis score and thymus and spleen index, and inhibiting the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and the interleukin (IL)-6. In addition, the results of in vitro cell experiments also confirmed that WGD reduced the release of cytokines, as well as mRNA levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) -2, -3, and -9.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that WGD can be further developed as a traditional Chinese medicine to treat rheumatic arthritis.
Keywords: Wu-Wei-Gui-Shao decoction, Complete Freund's adjuvant, Arthritis, Molecular mechanism, Traditional Chinese Medicine