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Therapeutic potential of biodegradable microparticles containing Punica granatum L. (pomegranate) in murine model of asthma


Objective and design

Among the options for treatment of diseases affecting the respiratory system, especially asthma, drug delivering systems for intranasal application represent an important therapeutic approach at the site of inflammation. The present study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic effect of biodegradable microparticles formed by poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) containing encapsulated pomegranate extract on a murine model of asthma.


The extract was acquired from the leaves of P. granatum and characterized qualitatively by HPLC. A w/o/w emulsion solvent extraction–evaporation method was chosen to prepare the microparticles containing pomegranate encapsulated extract (MP).


OVA-sensitized BALB/c mice were used as asthma model and treated with dexamethasone and P. granatum extract in solution form or encapsulated into microparticles.


MP were able to inhibit leukocytes’ recruitment to bronchoalveolar fluid, especially, eosinophils, decreasing cytokines (IL-1β and IL-5) and protein levels in the lungs.


This approach can be used as an alternative/supplementary therapy based on the biological effects of P. granatum for managing inflammatory processes, especially those with pulmonary complications.

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This study was supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico do Maranhão (FAPEMA) and Universidade Ceuma, São Luis, Maranhão. We would like to thank the technician Ana Cleia Pestana from the Universidade Ceuma for the assistance in the histological sections.

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Correspondence to Roberto Nicolete.

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Responsible Editor: Ji Zhang.

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de Oliveira, J.F.F., Garreto, D.V., da Silva, M.C.P. et al. Therapeutic potential of biodegradable microparticles containing Punica granatum L. (pomegranate) in murine model of asthma. Inflamm. Res. 62, 971–980 (2013).

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  • Punica granatum L.
  • Inflammation
  • Asthma
  • Microparticles
  • Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)