Thymol attenuates allergic airway inflammation in ovalbumin (OVA)-induced mouse asthma.

PMID 24785965


Thymol, a naturally occurring monocyclic phenolic compound derived from Thymus vulgaris (Lamiaceae), has been reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory property in vivo and vitro. However, the mechanism of thymol is not clear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of thymol on allergic inflammation in OVA-induced mice asthma and explore its mechanism. The model of mouse asthma was established by the induction of OVA. Thymol was orally administered at a dose of 4, 8, and 16 mg/kg body weight 1h before OVA challenge. At 24h after the last challenge, mice were sacrificed, and the data were collected by various experimental methods. The results revealed that pretreatment with thymol reduced the level of OVA-specific IgE, inhibited recruitment of inflammatory cells into airway, and decreased the levels of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 in BALF. Moreover, the pathologic changes of lung tissues were obviously ameliorated and goblet cell hyperplasia was effectively inhibited by the pretreatment of thymol. In addition, thymol reduced the development of airway hyperresponsiveness and blocked the activation of NF-κB pathway. All data suggested that thymol ameliorated airway inflammation in OVA-induced mouse asthma, possibly through inhibiting NF-κB activation. These findings indicated that thymol may be used as an alternative agent for treating allergic asthma.