Ikwi-tang for the treatment of allergic rhinitis as a traditional medicine

  • Go, Ji-Hyun (Department of Pharmacology, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Jung, Jae-Hun (Department of Pharmacology, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Chang, Yu-Jung (Center for University-Wide Research Facilities, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Kim, Hyung-Min (Department of Pharmacology, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Chung, Yun-Jo (Center for University-Wide Research Facilities, Chonbuk National University)
  • Received : 2012.11.27
  • Accepted : 2013.02.15
  • Published : 2013.02.28


Ikwi-tang (IW) is an oriental medicine that has been used for the treatment of general symptoms due to a stomach yin deficiency. The aim of this study is to investigate precisely the effect of IW on allergic rhinitis (AR). We well show the effects and the mechanism of IW in the ovalbumin-sensitized AR model. IW significantly decreased the number of nasal/ear rubs and the increment of IgE levels in the AR mice. The levels of interferon-${\gamma}$ were enhanced while the levels of interleukin (IL)-4 were reduced in the spleen tissue of the IW-administered AR mice. Expressions of IL-$1{\beta}$ and cyclooxygenase-2 were inhibited by IW-administration in the nasal mucosa tissues. Infiltration of eosinophils and mast cells was decreased in the IW-administered AR mice. Our results indicate that IW may attenuate the development of AR by the inhibition of caspase-1 activity.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


  1. Onogawa M, Sun G, Takuma D, Hamada A, Yokota J, Yoshioka S, Kusunose M, Miyamura M, Kyotani S, Nishioka Y. Animal studies supporting the inhibition of mast cell activation by Eriobotrya japonica seed extract. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009;61:237-241.
  2. Pawankar R, Lee KH, Nonaka M, Takizawa R. Role of mast cells and basophils in chronic rhinosinusitis. Clin Allergy Immunol. 2007;20:93-101.
  3. Roh SS, Kim SH, Lee YC, Seo YB. Effects of radix adenophorae and cyclosporine A on an OVA-induced murine model of asthma by suppressing to T cells activity, eosinophilia, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Mediators inflamm. 2008;2008:781425.
  4. Stutz A, Golenbock DT, Latz E. Inflammasomes: too big to miss. J Clin Invest. 2009;119:3502-3511.
  5. Whitcup SM. Recent advances in ocular therapeutics. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2006;46:1-6.
  6. Woschnagg C, Rubin J, Venge P. Eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) is processed during secretion. J Immunol. 2009;183:3949-3954.
  7. Yazdi AS, Guarda G, 'Ombrain MC, Drexler SK. Inflammatory caspases in innate immunity and inflammation. J Innate Immun. 2010;2:228-237.
  8. Yoo NJ, Park WS, Kim SY, Reed JC, Son SG, Lee JY, Lee SH. Nod1, a CARD protein, enhances pro-interleukin-1beta processing through the interaction with pro-caspase-1. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002;299:652-658.
  9. Fuentes-Beltrán A, Montes-Vizuet R, Valencia-Maqueda E, Negrete-García MC, García-Cruz Mde L, Teran LM. Chemokine CC-ligand 5 production and eosinophil activation into the upper airways of aspirin-sensitive patients. Clin Exp Allergy. 2009;39:491-499.
  10. Fukui N, Honda K, Ito E, Ishikawa K. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma negatively regulates allergic rhinitis in mice. Allergol Int. 2009;58:247-253.
  11. Hellings PW, Fokkens WJ. Allergic rhinitis and its impact on otorhinolaryngology. Allergy. 2006;61:656-664.
  12. Howarth PH, Middleton E, Reed C. Allergic and nonallegic rhinitis Vol 2 Allergy principles and practice. 6th ed.
  13. Jeong HJ, Moon PD, Kim SJ, Seo JU, Kang TH, Kim JJ, Kang IC, Um JY, Kim HM, Hong SH. Activation of hypoxiainducible factor-1 regulates human histidine decarboxylase expression. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009;66:1309-1319.
  14. Johansson SG, Hiurihane JO, Bruijnzeel-Koomen C, Dreborg S, Haahtela T, Kowalski ML. A revised nomenclature for allergy: an EAACI position statement from the EAACI nomenclature task force. Allergy. 2011;56:813-824.
  15. Kim BH, Park KS, Chang IM. Elucidation of anti-inflammatory protencies of Eucommia ulmoides bark and Plantago asiatica seeds. J Med Food. 2009;12:764-769.
  16. Kim DI, Yang HJ, Park YM, Rha YH, Choung JT, Pyun BY. Clinical manifestations patterns of allergic disease in Korean children under the age of 6: multi-center study. Korean Journal of Pediatrics. 2008;5:51.
  17. Kuida K, Lippke JA, Ku G, Harding MW, Livingston DJ, Su MS, Flavell RA. Altered cytokine export and apoptosis in mice deficient in interleukin-1B converting enzyme. Science. 1995;267:2000-2002.
  18. Lamkanfi M, Declercq W, Depuydt B. In Caspases-Their role in Cell death and cell survival. Los M and Walczak H ed. (New York: Landes Bioscience and Kluwer Academic), 2003.
  19. Lee SS, Won TB, Kim JW, Rhee CS, Lee CH, Hong SC, Min YG. Effects of Dexamethasone on the Expression of Transforming Growth Factor-b in the Mouse Model of Allergic Rhinitis. Laryngoscope. 2007;117:1323-1328.
  20. Martinon F. NLRs join TLRs as innate sensors of pathogens. Trends Immunol. 2005;26:447-454.
  21. Montuschi P, Sala A, Dahlen SE, Folco G. Pharmacological modulation of the leukotriene pathway in allergic airway disease. Drug Discov. 2007;12:404-412.
  22. Moon PD, NA HJ, Jeong HJ, Hong SH. Inhibitory effect of gamibojungikgitang extract on mast cell-mediated allergic reaction in murine model. J Pharm Phamaceut Sci. 2005;8:94-101.
  23. Mosmann TR, Cherwinski H, Bond MW, Giedlin MA, Coffman RL. Two types of murine helper T cell clone. I. Definition according to profiles of lymphokine activities and secreted proteins. J Immunol. 1986;136:2348-2357.
  24. Ogura Y, Inohara N, Benito A, Chen FF, Yamaoka S, Nunez G. Nod2, a Nod1/Apaf-1 family member that is restricted to monocytes and activates NF-kappaB. J Biol Chem. 2001;276:4812-4818.
  25. Bach JF. The effect of infections on susceptibility to autoimmune and allergic diseases. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:911-920.
  26. Bournazou I, Mackenzie KJ, Duffin R, Rossi AG, Gregory CD. Inhibition of eosinophil migration by lactoferrin. Immunol Cell Biol. 2007;88:220-223.
  27. Bousquet J, Khaltaev N, Cruz AA, Denburg J, Fokkens WJ, Togias A, Zuberbier T, Baena-Cagnani CE, Canonica GW, van Weel C, et al. World Health Organization; GA (2) LEN; Allergen. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) 2008 update (in collaboration with the World Health Organization, GA (2) LEN and Allergen). Allergy. 2008;86:8-160.
  28. Chin AI, Dempsey PW, Bruhn K, Jeff FM, Yang X, Genhong C. Involvement of receptor-interacting protein 2 in innate and adaptive immune responses. Nature. 2002;416:190-194.