Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (fennel) is used to flavor food, in cosmetics, as an antioxidant, and to treat microbial, diabetic and common inflammation. No study to date, however, has assessed the anti-inflammatory effects of fennel in experimental models of inflammation. The aims of this study were to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of fennel in model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute lung injury. Mice were randomly assigned to seven groups (n=7 ∼ 10). In five groups, the mice were intraperitoneally injected with 1% Tween 80-saline (vehicle), fennel (125, 250, 500 μ l/kg), or dexamethasone (1 mg/kg), followed 1 h later by intratracheal instillation of LPS (1.5 mg/kg). In two groups, the mice were intraperitoneally injected with vehicle or fennel (250 μ l/kg), followed 1 h later by intratracheal instillation of sterile saline. Mice were sacrificed 4 h later, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissues were obtained. Fennel significantly and dose-dependently reduced LDH activity and immune cell numbers in LPS treated mice. In addition fennel effectively suppressed the LPS-induced increases in the production of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, with 500 μ l/kg fennel showing maximal reduction. Fennel also significantly and dose-dependently reduced the activity of the proinflammatory mediator matrix metalloproteinase 9 and the immune modulator nitric oxide (NO). Assessments of the involvement of the MAPK signaling pathway showed that fennel significantly decreased the LPS-induced phosphorylation of ERK. Fennel effectively blocked the inflammatory processes induced by LPS, by regulating pro-inflammatory cytokine production, transcription factors, and NO.
- Foeniculum vulgare mill.
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