Iranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology 2017. 16(3):256-270.

The Extract of Portulaca oleracea and Its Constituent, Alpha Linolenic Acid Affects Serum Oxidant Levels and Inflammatory Cells in Sensitized Rats
Mahsa Kaveh, Akram Eidi, Ali Nemati, Mohammad Hossein Boskabady


The effects of Portulaca oleracea and its constituent, alpha linolenic acid on serum oxidant levels and inflammatory cells in sensitized rats were examined. Eight groups of rats including control, sensitized, sensitized rats treated with 1, 2 and 4 mg/mL extract of P. oleracea, 0.2 and 0.4 mg/mL alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and 1.25 μg/mL dexamethaswere studied serum levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT, thiol groups, NO2, NO3, and Malondialdehyde (MDA) as well as total and differential WBC in blood were measured. Serum concentrations of SOD, CAT and thiol were significantly decreased but NO2, NO3 and MDA as well as total WBC number and percentages of eosinophil and neutrophil were increased in sensitized group (p<0.001 for all cases).Treatment of sensitized animals with dexamethasone, high concentrations of the extract and ALA improved all measured variables except monocyte for all three treatment groups and eosinophil for dexamethasone treatment (p<0.01 to p<0.001). In addition, treatment with low and medium extract and low ALA concentrations improved serum levels of NO2, NO3 and total WBC count (p<0.001 for all cases). Neutrophil and lymphocyte percentages and serum level of thiol also improved due to treatment with medium extract and low ALA concentration (p<0.01 to p<0.001). Medium extract and low ALA treatment also caused improvement of serum level of CAT and eosinophil percentage as well as SOD level respectively (p<0.01 to p<0.001). The effect of the extract of P. oleracea and ALA on serum oxidants and inflammatory cells were demonstrated in sensitized rats, which was comparable with dexamethasone effects at used concentrations.


Alpha linolenic acid; Oxidant and antioxidant levels; Portulaca oleracea; Sensitized rats; White blood cell

Full Text:



1. Koh GC, Shek LP, Goh DY, Bever H, Koh DS. Eosinophil cationic protein: Is it useful in asthma? A systematic review. Respir Med 2007; 101(4):696-705.

2. Chanez P, Dent G, Yukawa T, Barnes PJ, Chang KF. Generation of oxygen free radicals from blood eosinophils from asthma patients after stimulation with PAF or phorbol ester. Eur Respir J 1990; 3(9):1002-7.

3. Cluzel M, Damon M, Chanaz P, Bonsquet J, Crastesde Paulet A, Michel FB, et al. Enhanced alveolar cell luminol-dependent chemiluminiscence in asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1987; 80(2):195-201.

4. Calhoun WJ, Salisbury SM, Bush RK, Busse WW. Increased superoxide release from alveolar macrophages in symptomatic asthma. Am Rev Respir Dis 1987; 135:A224.

5. Vachier I, Damon M, Le Doucen C, De Paulet AC, Chanez P, Michel FB, et al. Increased oxygen species generation in blood monocytes of asthma patients. Am Rev Respir Dis 1992; 146(5):1161-6.

6. Heffner JE, Repine JE. Antioxidants and the lung. In: Crystal RG, West WB, editor. The lung: scientific foundations. New York: Raven Press 1991:1811-20.

7. Van Asbeck BS, Hoidal J, Vercelloti GM, Schwartz BA, Moldow CF, Jacob HS. Protection against lethal hyperoxia by tracheal insufflation of erythrocytes: role of red cell glutathione. Science 1985; 227(4688):756-9.

8. Agar NS, Sadradeh SM, Hallaway PE, Eaton JW. Erythrocyte catalase. A somatic oxidant defense. J Clin Invest 1986; 77(1):319-21.

9. Toth KM, Clifford DP, Berger EM, White CW, Repine JE. Intact human erythrocyte prevent hydrogen peroxide mediated damage to isolated perfused rat lungs and cultured bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells. J Clin Invest 1984; 74(1):292-5.

10. Rahman I, Morrison D, Donaldson K, MacNee W. Systemic oxidative stress in asthma, COPD and smokers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1996; 154(4):1055-60.

11. Wood LG, Fitzgerald DA, Gibson PG, Cooper DM, Garg ML. Lipid peroxidation as determined by plasma  isoprostanes is related to disease severity in mild asthma. Lipids 2000; 35(9):967-74.

12. Chanez P, Dent G, Yukawa T, Barnes PJ, Chang KF. Generation of oxygen free radicals from blood eosinophils from asthma patients after stimulation with PAF or phorbol ester. Eur Respir J 1990; 3(9):1002-7.

13. Vachier I, Damon M, Le Doucen C, De Paulet AC, Chanez P, Michel FB, et al. Increased oxygen species generation in blood monocytes of asthma patients. Am Rev Respir Dis 1992; 146(5):1161-6.

14. Kelly FJ, Mudway L, Blomberg A, Frew A, Sandstorm T. Altered lung antioxidant status in patients with mild asthma. The Lancet 1999; 354(9177):482-3.

15. Kharitinov SA, Yates D, Robbins RA, Logan-Sinclair R, Shinebourne EA, Barnes PJ. Increased nitric oxide in exhaled air of asthmatic patients. The Lancet 1994; 343(8890):133-5.

16. Birben E, Sahiner UM, Sackesen C, ErzurumS, Kalyaci O. Oxidative stress and antioxidant defense. World Allergy Organ J 2012; 5(1):9-19.

17. Shane-McWhorter L. Botanical dietary supplements and the treatment of diabetes: what is the evidence? Curr Diab Rep 2005; 5(5):391–8.

18. Elkhayat ES, Ibrahim SR, Aziz MA. Portulene, a new diterpene from Portulaca oleracea L. J Asian Nat Prod Res 2008; 10(11):1039–43.

19. Chan K, Islam MW, Kamil M et al. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of Portulaca oleracea L. subsp. Sativa (Haw.) Celak. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2000; 73(3):445–451.

20. Chen B, Zhou H, Zhao W, Zhou W,Yuan Q, Yang G. Effects of aqueous extract of Portulaca oleracea L. on oxidative stress and liver, spleen leptin, PAR and FAS mRNA expression in high-fat diet induced mice. Mol Biol Rep 2012; 39(8):7981–88.

21. Rashed AN, Afifi FU, and Disi AM. Simple evaluation of the wound healing activity of a crude extract of Portulaca oleracea L. (growing in Jordan) in Mus musculus JVI-1. J Ethnopharmacol 2003; 88(2-3):131–6.

22. Parry O, Okwuasaba Fk, Ejike C. Skeletal muscle relaxant action of an aqueous extract of Portulaca oleracea in the rat. J Ethnopharmacol 1987; 19(3):247-53.

23. Boskabady MH, Brushaki MT, Aslani MR. Relaxant effect of Portulaca oleraceae on guinea pig tracheal chains and its possible mechanism(s) of action. Med Hypothesis Res 2004; 1(2/3):139-47.

24. Hashemzehi M, Khazdair MR, Kiyanmehr M, Askari VR, Boskabady MH. Portulaca oleracea Affects Muscarinic Receptors of Guinea Pig Tracheal Smooth Muscle. Ind J  Pharmac Scei 2016; 78(3):388-94.

25. Malek F, Boskabady MH, Borushaki MT, Tohidi M. Bronchodilatory effect of Portulaca oleracea in airways of asthmatic patients. J Ethnopharmacol 2004; 93(1):57-62.

26. Boroushaki MT, Boskabady MH, Malek F. Antitussive effect of Portulaca oleracea L. in guinea pigs. Iran J Pharm Res 2004; 3(3):187-190.

27. Askari VR, Rezaee SA, Abnous K, Iranshahi M, Boskabady MH. The Influence of Hydro-Ethanolic Extract of Portulaca oleracea on Th1/Th2 balance in Isolated Human Lymphocytes. J Ethnopharmacol 2016; 194:1112-21.

28. Palaniswamy UR, McAvoy RJ, Bible BB. Stage of harvest and polyunsaturated essential fatty acid concentrations in purslane (Portulaca oleraceae) leaves. J Agric Food Chem 2001; 49(7):3490–3.

29. Arruda SF, Siqueira EMA, Souza EMT. Malanga (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) and purslane (Portulaca oleracea) leaves reduce oxidative stress in vitamin A-deficient rats. Ann Nutr Metab 2004; 48(4):288-95.

30. Yang Z, Liu C, Xiang L, Zheng Y. Phenolic alkaloids as a new class of antioxidants in Portulaca oleracea. Phytother Res 2009; 23(7):1032–5.

31. Abdel Moneim AE, Dkhil MA, Al-Quraishy S.The potential role of Portulaca oleracea as a neuroprotective agent in rotenone-induced neurotoxicity and apoptosis in the brain of rats. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 2013; 105(3):203-212.

32. Uddin MK, Juraimi AS, Hossain MS, Nahar MAU, Ali ME, Rahman MM. Purslane Weed (Portulaca oleracea): A Prospective Plant Source of Nutrition, Omega-3 Fatty Acid, and Antioxidant Attributes. ScientificWorldJournal 2014; 2014:951019.

33. Valivety R, Gill I. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, Part 1: occurrence, biological activities and applications. Trends Biotechnol 1997; 15(10):401–9.

34. Mccusker MM, Grant-Kels JM. Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the ω-6 and ω-3 fatty acids. Clin Dermatol 2010; 28(4):440-51.

35. Arm JP, Horton CE, Spur BW, Mencia-Huerta JM, Lee TH. The effects of dietary supplementation with fish oil lipids on the airways response to inhaled allergen in bronchial asthma. Am Rev Respir Dis 1989; 139(6):1395-400.

36. Endres S, Ghorbani R, Kelley VE, Georgilis K, Lonnemann G, Van Der Meer JW, et al. The effect of dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the synthesis of interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor by mononuclear cells. N Engl J Med 1989; 320(5):265-271.

37. Salmon M, Walsh D, Huang T, Barnes P, Leonard T, Hay D, et al. Involvement of cysteinyl leukotrienes in airway smooth muscle cell DNA synthesis after repeated allergen exposure in sensitized Brown Norway rats. Br J Pharmacol 1999; 127(5):1151-8.

38. Hosseinzadeh H, Sadeghnia HR. Safranal, a constituent of Crocus sativus (saffron), attenuated cerebral ischemia induced oxidative damage in rat hippocampus. J Pharm Pharm Sci 2005; 8(3):394-399.

39. Madesh M, Balasubramanian KA. Microtiter plate assay for superoxide dismutase using MTT reduction by superoxide. Indian J Biochem Biophys 1998; 35(3):184-8.

40. Beers RF Jr, Sizer IW. A spectrophotometric method for measuring the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide by catalase. J Biol Chem 1952; 195(1):133-40.

41. Yousefniapasha Y, Jorsaraei G, Gholinezhadchari M, Mahjoub S, Hajiahmadi M, Farsi M. Nitric Oxide Levels and Total Antioxidant Capacity in The Seminal Plasma of Infertile Smoking Men. Cell J 2015; 17(1):129-36.

42. Janero DR. Malondialdehyde and thiobarbituric acid-reactivity as diagnostic indices of lipid peroxidation and peroxidative tissue injury. Free Radical Bio Med 1990; 9(6):515-40.

43. Hall ED, Bosken JM. Measurement of oxygen radicals and lipid peroxidation in neural tissues. Curr Protoc Neurosci 2009; 17:1-51.

44. Kanazawa H, Shoji S, Yoshikawa T, Hirata K, Yoshikawa J. Increased production of endogenous nitric oxide in patients with bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseClin Exp Allergy 1998; 28(10):1244-50.

45. Ricciardolo FL, Nijkamp FP, Folkerts G. Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) as therapeutic target for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Curr Drug Targets 2006; 7(6):721-35.

46. Gutierrez HH, Nieves B, Chumley P, Rivera A, Freeman BA. Nitric oxide regulation of superoxide-dependent lung injury: oxidant-protective actions of endogenously produced and exogenously administered nitric oxide. Free Radic Biol Med 1996; 21(1):43–52.

47. Barnes PJ, Liew FY. Nitric oxide and asthmatic inflammation. Immunol Today 1995; 16(3):128-30.

48. Ahmad A, Shameem M, Husain Q. Relation of oxidant-antioxidant imbalance with disease progression in patients with asthma. Ann Thorac Med 2012; 7(4):226-32.

 49. Corradi M, Pignatti P, Manini P, Andreoli R, Goldoni M, Poppa M, Moscato G, Balbi B Mutti A. Comparison between exhaled and sputum oxidative stress biomarkers in chronic airway inflammation. Eur Respir J 2004; 24(6):1011–7.

50. Luksza AR, Jones DK. Comparison of whole-blood eosinophil counts in extrinsic asthmatics with acute and chronic asthma. Br Med J 1982; 285(6350):1229-31.

51. Boskabady MH, Jalali S. Effect of Zataria multiflora extract on total and differential white blood cell count and endothelin level in blood of ovalbumin sensitized guinea pigs. Chin J Integr Med 2016.

52. Robroeks CM, Van de Kant KD, Jobsis Q, Hendriks HJ, Van Gent R, Wouters EF, et al. Exhaled nitric oxide and biomarkers in exhaled breath condensate indicate the presence, severity and control of childhood asthma. Clin Exp Allergy 2007; 37(9):1303–11.

53. Saleh D, Ernst P, Lim S, Barnes PJ, Giaid A. Increased formation of the potent oxidant peroxynitrite in the airways of asthmatic patients is associated with induction of nitric oxide synthase: effect of inhaled glucocorticoid. FASEB J 1998; 12(11):929–37

54. Fatani SH. Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress in Acute and Chronic Bronchial Asthma. J Asthma 2014; 51(6):578-84.

55. Zanatta AL, Junior PV, Nishiyama A. The prevention of oxidative stress improve asthmatic inflammation. Adv Biosci Biotechnol 2012; 3(8):1087-90.

56. Filley WV, Kephart GM, Holley KE, Gleich GJ. Identification by immunofluorescence of eosinophil granule MBP in lung tissues of patients with bronchial asthma. Lancet 1982; 320(8288):11-6.

57. Corrigan CJ, Kay AB. CD4 T-lymphocyte activation in acute severe asthma: relationship to disease severity and atopic status. Am Rev Respir Dis 1990; 141(4):970-7.

58. Riedl MA and Nel AE. Importance of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis and treatment of asthma. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 2008; 8(1):49-56.

59. Tang XY, Yu HP, Deng HJ, Chen X, Fan HZ, Gong YX, et al. Pathogenic mechanism of CD8(+)CD28(-)T cell and the effect of dexamethasone in asthmatic mouse. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi 2011; 91(26):1861-5.

60. Keyhanmanesh R, Boskabady MH, Eslamizadeh MJ, Khamneh S, Ebrahimi MA. The effect of thymoquinone, the main constituent of Nigella sativa on tracheal responsiveness and WBC count in lung lavage of sensitized guinea pigs. Planta Med 2010; 76(3):218–22.

61. Mohamed AI, Hussein AS. Chemical composition of purslane (Portulaca oleracea). Plant Foods Hum Nutr 1994; 45(1):1-9.

62. Dkhil MA, Abdel Moniem AE, Al-Quraishy S, Awadallah Saleh Reda. Antioxidant effect of purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and its mechanism of action. J Med Plant Res 2011; 5(9):1563-89.

63. Xie N, Zhang W, Li J , Liang H, Zhou H, Duan W, et al. Alpha-linolenic acid intake attenuates myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury through anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative stress effects in diabetic but not normal rats. Arch Med Res 2011; 42(3): 171–181.

64. Boskabady MH, Jalali S. Effect of carvacrol on tracheal responsiveness, inflammatory mediators, total and differential WBC count in blood of sensitized guinea pigs. Exp Biol Med 2013; 238(2):200-8.

65. Simopoulos AP, Norman HA, Gillaspy JE, Duke JA. Common purslane: a source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. J Am Coll Nutr 1992; 11(4):374-82.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.