Research Papers:

An herbal formula attenuates collagen-induced arthritis via inhibition of JAK2-STAT3 signaling and regulation of Th17 cells in mice

Xin Wu, Qiyang Shou, Cuiwei Chen, Hao Cai, Jida Zhang, Songqi Tang, Baochang Cai, Dongxin Tang and Gang Cao _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:44242-44254. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17797

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Xin Wu1,*, Qiyang Shou2,*, Cuiwei Chen3,4,*, Hao Cai5, Jida Zhang6,7, Songqi Tang8, Baochang Cai5, Dongxin Tang9 and Gang Cao1

1Research Center of TCM Processing Technology, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China

2Experimental Animal Research Center, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China

3School of Pharmacy, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China

4Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, China

5School of Pharmacy, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China

6College of Basic Medical Science, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China

7Hangzhou Herbal Chinese Medicine Co., Ltd, Hangzhou, China

8College of TCM, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, China

9Guiyang University of Chinese Medicine, Guiyang, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Gang Cao, email: [email protected]

Dongxin Tang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: JAK2-STAT3 pathway, Th17 cells, rheumatoid arthritis, wenjinghuoluo prescription, herbal formula

Received: March 24, 2017     Accepted: April 19, 2017     Published: May 11, 2017


Wenjinghuoluo prescription, a traditional Chinese medicine compound treatment of rheumatoid arthritis characterized by wind–cold–dampness arthralgia, contains five herbs, namely, C. cassia Presl., Cinnamomum cassia Presl., Paeonia lactiflora Pall., Saposhnikovia divaricate (Turcz.) Schischk., and Clematis chinensis Osbeck. We have reported that WJHL could inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators in immune cells. This study explored the effect and mechanism of WJHL on collagen-induced arthritis mice. WJHL could significantly improve clinical arthritic conditions; inhibit bone erosion and osteophyte formation in joints; decrease expression of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-17); reduce protein expression levels of JAK2, p-JAK2, STAT3, p-STAT3 and gene expression levels of JAK2, STAT3, IL-17A, RORγt mRNA; elevate osteoprotegerin and Foxp3 mRNA levels and lower Th17 cell proportions in splenocytes. Results suggest that WJHL, specifically regulating the JAK2/STAT3 pathway and Th17 cells, may be a promising herbal medicine candidate for the treatment of RA.

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