Monday, February 2, 2009

Abstract: Bunnies, butterflies, and the lacrimal gland

Studies on castrated rabbits don't often grab my eye but this one was really quite interesting. Sounded like it was quite a well structured study too.

They used the extract of the pole butterfly bush on two of the five groups of rabbits and mention an "androgen-like" activity as well as inhibition of inflammation. What's not to like about that. I would like to see more on this.

Zhonghua Yan Ke Za Zhi. 2008 Nov;44(11):1011-9.Links
[Effects of extract of buddleja officinalis on prevention of dry eye in castrated rabbits.][Article in Chinese]

Peng QH, Yao XL, Wu QL, Chen M.
The First Hospital affiliated to Hunan University of TCM, Changsha 410007, China.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the preventive effects of extract of buddleja officinalis on dry eye in castrated rabbits and to discuss the mechanism of these effects.

METHODS: It was a experimental study. Thirty male rabbits were divided equally into normal group (A), disease group (B) and treatment group (C, D, and E). The dry eye model was established with orchiectomy (ORX) in Group B, C, D and E. Group C, D and E were gastrically perfused with single-dose or double-does of buddleja officinalis extract or genistein for 30 days. All rabbits were examined with Schirmer I test (SIT). TGF-beta1, IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, Fas, FasL, Bax and bcl-2 were detected by immunohistochemistry. Morphological and ultrastructure changes were observed by electron microscopy.

RESULTS: The SIT value of group C, D, E was significantly greater than that of group B (P < 0.01). The expression of IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, Fas, FasL and Bax in acinar cells and glandular tube cells of group C, D, E were significantly lower than those of group B (P < 0.01) and the expression of TGF-beta1 and bcl-2 in acinar cells and glandular tube cells of group C, D, E were significantly higher than those of group B (P < 0.01). Furthermore, ultrastructure of lacrimal gland in group C, D, E was much healthier than that of group B. The results obtained from all of these studies showed that the lacrimal glands status in group C, D was significantly better than that of group E (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Extract of buddleja officinalis has a significant effect on the prevention of experimental dry eye in castrated male rabbits. The main components of extract of buddleja officinalis are the flavonoids. The flavonoids display androgen-like activity. Therefore, it can adjust gonadal hormone level in vivo. As a result, it can inhibit local inflammation in lacrimal gland and reduce apoptosis of lacrimal gland cells.