Boskabady MH, Keyhanmanesh R, Khamneh S, Ebrahimi MA. The effect of nigella sativa extract on tracheal responsiveness and lung inflammation in ovalbumin-sensitized guinea pigs. 1. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2011;66(5):879-87.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the preventive effect of a hydro-ethanolic extract of nigella sativa on the tracheal responsiveness and white blood cell count in the lung lavage fluid of sensitized guinea pigs. METHODS: Three groups of guinea pigs sensitized to intraperitoneally injected and inhaled ovalbumin were given drinking water alone (group S), drinking water containing a low concentration of N. sativa extract (group S+LNS) or drinking water containing a high concentration of N. sativa extract (group S+HNS). The tracheal responses of control animals (group C) and the three groups of sensitized guinea pigs (n = 7 for all groups) to methacholine were measured by the assessment of the tracheal smooth muscle response to increasing concentrations of methacholine, and the effective concentration causing 50% of the maximum response (EC50) was determined. Tracheal responses to 0.1% ovalbumin and white blood cell counts in the lung lavage fluid were also examined. RESULTS: The tracheal response of the group S guinea pigs to both methacholine and ovalbumin was significantly higher than the response of the controls (p<0.01 for both cases). The tracheal responses of the S+LNS and S+HNS groups to both methacholine and ovalbumin were significantly decreased compared to those of the S group (p<0.05 to p<0.01). The total white blood cell and eosinophil counts in the lung lavage fluid of group S were significantly higher than those of group C (p<0.01). The white blood cell counts in both treated groups showed significant improvements (p<0.01 for both cases). CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate the preventive effect of the N. sativa extract on the tracheal response and lung inflammation in sensitized guinea pigs.