Research highlights from 1998 to 1999

Redefining Our Standards, Boswellin® The Only Natural Leukotriene and HLE Inhibitor®

Majeed M, Prakash L, Badmaev V, Nujoma Y, Natarajan S, Norton T, Sysler M, Gopinathan S, and Alegesan K. Sabinsa Corporation, 1999.

Acetyl-11-keto-β-Boswellic acid induces apoptosis in HL-60 and CCRF-CEM cells and inhibits and topoisomerase I

Hoernlein RF, Orlikowsky T, Zehrer C, Niethammer D, Sailer ER, Simmet T, Dannecker GE,
Ammon HP J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1999 Feb;288(2):613-9

The present study focused on the antiproliferative action of acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBBA). The possible effects of AKBBA on leukemic cell growth and the proliferation of HL-60 and CCRF-CEM cells in the presence of AKBBA and amyrin were investigated in this study. The results suggest that the induction of apoptosis in HL-60 by AKBBA may be due to the inhibition of topoisomerase I in these cells.

Boswellic acid acetate induces differentiation and apoptosis in leukemia cell lines

Jing Y, Nakajo S, Xia L, Nakaya K, Fang Q,
Waxman S, Han R Leuk Res. 1999 Jan;23(1):43-50

This study focused on the role of boswellicacid acetate (BC-4), a compound isolated from the herb Boswellia carterii Birdw., which can induce differentiation and apoptosis of leukemia cells. The growth inhibition effect of BC-4 was both dose and time-dependent, and further analysis had proved that BC-4 could induce cell apoptosis as well. Both the apoptotic and differentiation effects of BC-4 suggest that it maybe used in the treatment of leukemia.

Boswellic acids and malignant glioma: induction of apoptosis but no modulation of drug sensitivity

Glaser T, Winter S, Groscurth P, Safayhi H,
Sailer ER, Ammon HP, Schabet M, Weller M Br J Cancer. 1999 May;80(5-6):756-65

The authors explored the potential of boswellic acids to use as alternative drugs to corticosteroids in the treatment of cerebral edema. Here, they report that boswellic acids are cytotoxic to malignant glioma cells at low micromolar concentrations. This study also reported that boswellic acids induce apoptosis. In contrast to steroids, boswellic acidsatsubtoxic concentrations do not interfere with cancer drug toxicity. Further studies are required to determine whether boswellic acids may be useful as an adjunct for the management of human malignant glioma.

Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with bronchial asthma: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-week clinical study

Gupta I, Gupta V, Parihar A, Gupta S, Lüdtke R, Safayhi H,
Ammon HP Eur J Med Res. 1998 Nov;173(11):511-4

This is a double blind, placebo-controlled clinical study focused on the use of boswellic acids in patients (N = 80) having bronchial asthma (mean duration of 9.58 +/- 6.07 years). A total of 40 patients (23 males and 17 females) in the age range of 18–75 years were treated with a preparation of boswellia gum resin of 300 mg thrice daily for a period of 6 weeks. About 70% of the patients treated with Boswellia gum resin preparation showed improvement in symptoms and signs such as dyspnoea, rhonchi, lung parameters, ESR as well as the number of asthma attacks compared to only 27% in the control group. This data shows a definite role for Boswellia serrata in the treatment of bronchial asthma.

Characterization of an acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid and arachidonate-binding regulatory site of 5-lipoxygenase using photoaffinity labeling.

Sailer ER, Schweizer S, Boden SE, Ammon HP,
Safayhi H Eur J Biochem. 1998 Sep 1;256(2):364-8

This study used AKBBA (acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid), a natural pentacyclic triterpene, the only leukotriene-synthesis inhibitor identified and that inhibits 5-lipoxygenase with a non-competitive, non-redox mechanism. To characterize AKBBA’s effector site they prepared azido 125-IKBBA (4-azido-5-125 iodo-salicyloyl-beta-alanyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid) as a photoaffinity analog. The results conclude that the AKBBA-binding site is identical with a regulatory second arachidonate binding site of the enzyme.

Effects of boswellic acids extracted from a herbal medicine on biosynthesis of leukotrienes and course of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Wildfeuer A, Neu IS, Safayhi H, Metzger G, Wehrmann M, Vogel U,
Ammon HP Arzneimittelforschung. 1998 Jun;48(6):668-74

In this study, the authors explored acetylboswellic acids, pentacyclic triterpenes extracted from Boswellia serrata Roxb. The release of leukotrienes B4 and C4 were significantly inhibited from human polymorphonuclear neutrophils with IC50 values of 8.48 micrograms/ml and 8.43 micrograms/ml, respectively. Purified acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid was about three times more potent inhibitor. The boswellic acids are thus characterized as selective, non-redox and potent inhibitors of the biosynthesis of leukotrienes in vitro.

Inhibitory activity of boswellic acids from Boswellia serrata against human leukemia HL-60 cells in culture

Shao Y, Ho CT, Chin CK, Badmaev V, Ma W,
Huang MT Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):328-31

The study looked at the in vitro antitumor activity of four major triterpene acids isolated from the gum resin of Boswellia serrata—beta-boswellic acid, 3-O-acetyl-beta-boswellic acid, 11-keto-β-boswellic acid, and 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid. Among them, 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid-induced the most pronounced inhibitory effects on DNA, RNA and protein synthesis with IC50 values of 0.6, 0.5, and 4.1 microM, respectively. 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid significantly inhibited the cellular growth of HL-60 cells without affecting the cell viability.