Glossary
 
 

AKBA
A constituent of Boswellia serrata known as acetyl-11-keto-boswellic acid.

Apoptosis
Programmed cell death which is an essential process in normal cell cycle.

Arachidonic acid
An essential fatty acid which is synthesized in the body from dietary linoleate and is a precursor for the synthesis of leukotrienes and prostaglandins.

Bradykinin
Large peptide formed by the action of proteases on kininogens that exerts an effect on blood vessels. Bradykinin is a very potent vasodilator and increases permeability of small vessels. It also causes spasms in some smooth muscles, generating pain.

Bronchial asthma
A form of asthma caused by hypersensitivity to an allergan.

Camptothecin
An antitumor alkaloid isolated from the stem wood of the Chinese tree, Camptotheca acuminata Decsne, which has been used as a prototype DNA topoisomerase I inhibitor.

Degranulation
The release of secretory granule contents by fusion with the plasma memebrane e.g., mast cell degranulation in the process of allergic reaction.

Dyspnea
A sensation of shortness of breath and suffocation.

Edema
An accumulation of interstitial fluid in abnormally large amounts.

Eosinophils
A particular type of white blood cell which contain granules that stain with acid dyes. The eosinophils increase during allergic reactions.

Eosinophilic count
The number of eosinophils which accumulate in the blood.

ESR
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate establishes the rate at which the red blood cells settle down (sediment) in the test tube. The higher the ESR value, the more active the arthritic condition.

Expiration
Exhaling the air from the lungs.

FEV1
Forced expiratory volume measured in one second. A useful measurement of lung function.

5-lipoxygenase (5-LO)
An enzyme that helps in the conversion of arachidonic acid to hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (HETE) and leukotrienes (LT).

Histamine
A compound formed by decarboxylation of histidine. Potent pharmacological agent acting through receptors in smooth muscle and in secretory systems. Stored in mast cells and released by antigen, as in the process of allergic reaction. It causes smooth muscle contraction of bronchioles and small blood vessels and increases the permeability of capilaries as well as secretion by nasal and bronchial mucus glands.

Human leukocyte elastase
Serine protease enzyme that will digest elastin and collagen type IV.

Leukotrienes
Mediators of various allergic and inflammatory reactions produced by the lipoxygenase pathway in leukocytes, mast cells, platelets and in the lungs.

Malignant glioma
Tumor of non-nervous cells which may be invasive or produce symptoms by pressing on surrounding structures depending on the grade of malignancy.

Mast cells
Type of tissue cells which have a high histamine content and which participate in allergic reactions in the process called mast cell degranulation.

Myeloid leukemia
A variety of leukemia in which a type of blood cells originating from tissue in the bone marrow proliferate abnormally.

NSAID
(Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) A large group of anti-inflammtory agents that inhibit the production of prostaglandins. (e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen, and pyrazolone derivatives)

PEFR
Peak expiratory flow rate. A useful measurement of lung function.

Prostaglandins
Products from the cyclooxygenase pathway of arachidonic acid metabolism present in almost all tissues rather than in specialized glands. There are primarily two stable main groups, prostaglandin E and prostaglandin F. They inhibit a variety of T and B-cell functions. They modulate the release of norepinephrine from sympathetic nerve endings. Prostaglandins are chemically a closely related 20-carbon unsaturated fatty acid containing a cyclopentane ring.

Synergistic
Adding to the activity of another agent.

Topoisomerase
(DNA) An enzyme that can mediate transitions in the structures of DNA and chromatin by its ability to break and rejoin single or double strands of DNA.

Ulcerative colitis
Inflammation and ulceration of the colon and rectum.

Ursolic acid
A pentacyclic triterpenoid compound which naturally occurs in a large number of vegetative foods (the wax-like coatings of fruits), medicinal herbs, and other plants.

 
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