The aim of this study was to assess changes in the expression levels of relevant factors associated with inflammation after Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) infection and compare the therapeutic effects of Qing Zhi Zhi Ke formula (QZZKF), QZZKF combined with azithromycin (AZM) and AZM on experimental mice. Fifty female BALB/c mice were randomly divided into five groups: control, model, AZM (0.01 g/kg/day), QZZKF (10.16 g/kg/day), AZM (0.01 g/kg/day) combined with QZZKF (10.16 g/kg/day). QZZKF and AZM were administered by oral gavage every day for five days.Pathological changes in lung tissue were determined by hematoxylin and eosin. The levels of cytokines in lung tissues were assessed by Immunohistochemistry staining and Quantitative real-time (qRT)-PCR assays were performed to explore the effects of QZZKF on the expression of surfactant protein A (SP-A), B7 homolog 3 protein (B7-H3), interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-13. The expression levels of B7-H3 and IL-13 were upregulated after MPP infection in the mouse model (P<0.05), while the expressions of SP-A and IL-12 were significantly decreased (P<0.05). After five days of therapy, the protein and mRNA expression levels of B7-H3 and IL-13 decreased, while SP-A and IL-12 increased, in response to QZZKF, QZZKF combined with AZM, and AZM. Statistical differences were detected between QZZKF and AZM, as well as between QZZKF combined with AZM and AZM, and between QZZKF and QZZKF combined with AZM. In conclusion: these results demonstrate that QZZKF combined with AZM exhibited protective effects on airway inflammation and inhibited the progression of MPP better than conventional treatments combined with western medicine.
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