Aims: To investigate the in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory effects of Bacopa monnieri extracts in HL-60
cells and in OVA-induced airway inflammation in BALB/C mice.
Materials and Methods: Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) leaves and stems were collected in Vidisha (M.P.), India, identified
and air-dried. The dried plant materials were pulverized to a powder, extracted in methanol to exhaustion, dried and fractionated.
The extracts and fractions were tested for their effects on leukotriene C4 synthase, leukotriene A4hydrolase and
cyclooxygenase-2 in HL-60 cells. The active dried methanol extract of B. monnieri was then tested in vivo in an OVAinduced
asthma mouse model and inflammation was assessed using 2-D imaging.
Results: Bacopa monnieri extracts and partitions inhibited leukotriene-C4-synthase, leukotriene-A4-hydrolase and/or cyclooxygenase-
2 (COX-2) activities in cultured HL-60 cells. The EtOAc partition of the extracts inhibited the activity of
leukotriene-C4-synthase by 69%, and down-regulated the expression of the mRNA of this enzyme in HL-60 cells. The results
demonstrated significant inhibition of leukotriene-C4-synthase, leukotriene-A4-hydrolase and cyclooxygenase-2
(COX-2) activities by the EtOAc fraction of B. monnieri, suggesting a plausible mechanism of action for the management
of asthma. Intragastric administration of the B. monnieri extract led to a reduction of OVA-induced lung inflammation as
determined by 2-D in vivo imaging using a Xenogen IVIS imaging system. Two compounds were isolated from the active
fraction, namely quercetin and isochlorogenic acid A.
Conclusions: Extracts of B. monnieri exhibited significant anti-inflammatory effects both in vitro and in vivo, which supported
its traditional use for the treatment of inflammatory lung disease and asthma.