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pISSN 1226-4512 eISSN 2093-3827


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Original Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2021; 25(6): 555-564

Published online November 1, 2021

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

Beneficial effects of naringenin and morin on interleukin-5 and reactive oxygen species production in BALB/c mice with ovalbumin-induced asthma

Peng Qi, Chunhua Wei, and Dianbo Kou*

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Treatment, Weifang Wei 'en Hospital, Weifang, Shandong 261031, China

Correspondence to:Dianbo Kou

Received: May 9, 2021; Revised: June 22, 2021; Accepted: July 5, 2021

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol, pISSN 1226-4512, eISSN 2093-3827


We investigated the effects of naringenin and morin on IL-5 and ROS production in PMA+ionomycin-treated EL-4 cells with the corroboration of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties using an asthma-induced mouse model. The EL-4 cell line was used to study the outcomes of naringenin or morin, followed by cell viability studies. Western blot analysis and ELISA test were used to determine Th2 mediated cytokines. In vivo studies were carried out on BALB/c mice to induce allergic asthma using ovalbumin administered intraperitoneally. Intracellular ROS was determined using 2’,7’-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, followed by serum enzymatic (AST and ALT) estimations and inflammatory cell count in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissues. Histopathological studies were conducted to examine lung tissue-stained architecture. Our findings suggested that naringenin and morin significantly suppressed IL-5 and ROS production via various pathways. Interestingly, by reducing NFAT activity, naringenin and morin stimulated HO-1 expression, thereby suppressing IL-5 secretion due to regulating the transcription factor Nrf2 via P13/Akt or ERK/JNK signalling pathways in EL-4 cells, demonstrating the involvement of HO-1 expression in inhibiting asthmatic inflammation. The increased inflammatory cells in the BALF were substantially decreased by both naringenin and morin, followed by inhibition in the elevated Th-2 cytokines levels. The TNF-α protein levels in an allergic asthma mouse model were significantly reduced by suppressing Akt phosphorylation and eosinophil formation. Recent findings confirmed that naringenin and morin possess the potential to control asthma-related immune responses through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, indicating potential therapeutic agents or functional foods.

Keywords: Asthma, Ionomycin, Morin, Naringenin