Anil Kumar Saksena
Objectives: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic progressive inflammatory disease that affects the multiple joints in symmetric pattern. The worldwide prevalence of RA is about 1% while in India it is approximately 0.75%. The current therapy for RA includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and some recently developed biologic agents but all of these are associated with adverse effects. Some herbal drugs such as Boswellia serrata has been reported to possess anti-inflammatory activity. So in order to develop a safer alternative therapy for RA, we planned this study to evaluate the anti-arthritic activity of Boswellia serrata extract (BSE) in complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) induced arthritis in rats.
Results: BSE at dose 180 mg/kg showed significant improvement in body weight and decrease in ankle diameter, paw thickness and arthritic index (p<0.05), however, there was insignificant change in paw volume (p=0.056). This improvement was comparable with Indomethacin. The level of TNF-α did not show any significant change (p=0.076). Histopathological results also exhibited reduction in inflammatory parameters.
Conclusion: BSE might have a usefulness as an adjunct to conventional therapy of RA.