Psoriasis is categorized under papulosquamous disorders.[20
] It is a chronic, non-infectious, inflammatory skin disorder characterized by erythematous, sharply demarcated papules and rounded plaques covered by a silvery scale. Its exact etiopathogenesis is yet to be understood. Owing to this reason, its therapeutic management still remains empirical, aimed mainly at providing symptomatic relief. Owing to the paucity of information, the design of the experimental models to assess drug efficacy in a psoriatic condition also remains empirical to a large extent (Behl. 1998). At present, experimental model designing is mainly based on the probable mode of action of the drugs used in the treatment of psoriasis and the presumed etiopathogenesis.
The data generated during the study showed significant potentiation of antibody formation against SRBC in the Guduchi Taila-administered group, while Guduchi Ghrita did not affect antibody formation to a significant extent. Furthermore, there was a significant increase in the cellularity of the spleen, thymus, and lymph node during the histological examination indicating the presence of a significant immunostimulation effect. In allergic skin conditions, immunosuppression is expected to provide relief, especially if the allergy is antibody-mediated. However, immunopotentiation was observed with the test sample. Hence, it is difficult to envisage the role of this activity in clinical settings. In the immunological edema, which is representative of cell-mediated immunity, a significant potentiation was observed in the Guduchi Ghrita-administered group, and a moderate, but statistically nonsignificant suppression was observed in the Guduchi Taila–administered group. Cell-Mediated Immunity (CMI) suppression could contribute to the therapeutic efficacy of the drug. It would be interesting to study the mechanism of immunomodulation observed by the test samples.
It has already been mentioned that the emotional factor plays an important role in the etiopathogenesis of several skin diseases. According to one estimate (Dutta Ray, 1998), psychological factors are responsible for skin diseases in about 10 – 15% of the cases, especially in the educationally and economically well-off sectors of the society. Anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs are often used for treating dermatological diseases. Stress, especially anxiety and mental trauma are considered to be important etiological factors that may cause psoriasis.[20
] Owing to this reason, the test formulations were evaluated for anti-stress activity against forced swimming–induced stress; the parameters studied were stress-induced hypothermia and gastric ulceration. Furthermore, the hematological parameters were also recorded. Both the test samples, namely, Guduchi Ghrita
and Guduchi Taila
produced a moderate, but statistically nonsignificant decrease in hypothermia, indicating the presence of moderate anti-stress activity. Against the stress gastric ulcer, moderate attenuation was observed in the Guduchi Ghrita
–administered group in comparison to the Ghrita
–administered control rats. In the Guduchi Taila
–administered group, only a marginal decrease in the severity of gastric ulceration was observed in comparison to the Tila Taila
–administered group. It is necessary to point out here that in the Tila Taila
-administered control group itself, the severity of ulceration was less in comparison to the Ghrita
control group. In comparison to this control, moderate, although statistically nonsignificant decrease was observed in the Guduchi Taila
administered group. Overall, both the Guduchi Ghrita
and Guduchi Taila
had a moderate and similar magnitude of activity. The activity profile indicated presence of moderate anti-stress activity at the dose level studied. The presence of this antistress activity could be one of the major contributing factors in the treatment of psoriasis.
An earlier study from this laboratory has shown that during a forced swimming stress, the following changes occur: a decrease in white blood cell (WBC) count, in the lymphocyte, granulocyte, and monocyte counts, an increase in the red blood cell (RBC) count, increase in the level of macro RBC, increase in the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and hematocrit
(HCT), and a decrease in the mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration
(MCHC) and mercury (Hg) levels. Anti-stress drugs conceptually should reverse these changes. The data were analyzed in the above-mentioned background. In the present study, an increase in the platelet count of the Guduchi Ghrita
-administered group and a marginal, but statistically significant decrease, in the MCV with Guduchi Taila
are the only significant effects observed. Of them, a decrease in MCV may be indicative of the attenuation of stress. Another point that needs to be considered is that Ghrita
(ghee) itself has a Rasayana
] effect, hence, it might have attenuated stress-induced changes to a considerable extent, reducing the impact of the test drugs. Whether Tila Taila
] has similar properties[22
] needs to be investigated. Thus, changes in the hematological parameters do not contribute in analyzing the anti-stress activity of the test formulations.