Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid, a constituent of a herbal medicine from Boswellia serrata resin, attenuates experimental ileitis


Krieglstein CF, Anthoni C, Rijcken EJ, Laukotter M, Spiegel HU, et al




Int J Colorectal Dis


The gum resin extract from Boswellia serrata (H15), an herbal product, was recently shown to have positive therapeutic effects in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the mechanisms and constituents responsible for these effects are poorly understood. This study examined the effect of the Boswellia extract and its single constituent acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) on leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions in an experimental model of IBD. Ileitis was induced by two subcutaneous injections of indomethacin (7.5 mg/kg) in Sprague-Dawley rats 24 h apart. Rats also received oral treatment with the Boswellia extract (H15) or AKBA at two different doses (low and high) equivalent to recommendations in human disease over 2 days. Controls received only the carriers NaHCO3 (subcutaneously) and tylose (orally). Effects of treatment were assessed by intravital microscopy in ileal submucosal venules for changes in the number of rolling and adherent leukocytes and by macroscopic and histological scoring. Increased leukocyte-endothelial cell adhesive interactions and severe tissue injury accompanied indomethacin-induced ileitis. Treatment with the Boswellia extract or AKBA resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in rolling (up to 90%) and adherent (up to 98%) leukocytes. High-dose Boswellia extract as well as both low- and high-dose AKBA significantly attenuated tissue injury scores. Oral therapy with the Boswellia extract or AKBA significantly reduces macroscopic and microcirculatory inflammatory features normally associated with indomethacin administration, indicating that the anti-inflammatory actions of the Boswellia extract in IBD may be due in part to boswellic acids such as AKBA.