The Effect of Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceus and Glycyrrhiza glabra on CD69 Expression and Immune Cell Activation in Humans

Helfgott Research Institute, National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, OR, USA.
Phytotherapy Research (Impact Factor: 2.66). 08/2006; 20(8):687-95. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1938
Source: PubMed


The increasing use of medicinal herbs among the general public has piqued the need for scientific-based research to determine the mechanism of action of herbs administered orally in human subjects. The ability of three herbs, Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceus and Glycyrrhiza glabra, to activate immune cells in human subjects was assessed in this pilot study. The effect of these herbs when ingested for 7 days was measured both when administered singly, and in combination, using flow cytometry. The primary cell activation marker measured was CD69. The results demonstrate that Echinacea, Astragalus and Glycyrrhiza herbal tinctures stimulated immune cells as quantified by CD69 expression on CD4 and CD8 T cells. This activation took place within 24 h of ingestion, and continued for at least 7 days. In addition, these three herbs had an additive effect on CD69 expression when used in combination.

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Available from: Heather Zwickey, Mar 17, 2014
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    • "Research is beginning to address traditional preparations of herbal medicines and individual prescribing practices of WHM practitioners in the treatment of disease. (Brush et al., 2006; Clare et al., 2009; Grant, 2010; Hipps et al., 2009; Picon et al., 2010; Wahl et al., 2008; Zwickey et al., 2007). Likewise, research that investigates patient outcomes with herbalist-prescribed personalized polyherbal formulations, reflective of real life applications of WHM, is emerging (Green et al., 2007; Hamblin et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Traditional knowledge of Western herbal medicine (WHM) supports experiential approaches to healing that have evolved over time. This is evident in the use of polyherb formulations comprised of crude plant parts, individually tailored to treat the cause of dysfunction and imbalance by addressing the whole person holistically. The challenge for WHM is to integrate science with traditional knowledge that is a foundation of the practice of WHM. The purpose of this paper is to provide a plausible theoretical hypothesis by applying complex systems science to WHM, illustrating how medicinal plants are complex, adaptive, environmentally interactive systems exhibiting synergy and nonlinear healing causality. This paper explores the conceptual congruence between medicinal plants and humans as complex systems coherently coupled through recurrent interaction. Complex systems science provides the theoretical tenets that explain traditional knowledge of medicinal plants while supporting clinical practice and expanding research and documentation of WHM.
    Journal of Herbal Medicine 09/2013; 3(3):112-119. DOI:10.1016/j.hermed.2013.03.001 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    • "CD25 is as IL-2 receptor α that expressed on CD4+T cells during an early period of the immune response, and this type of CD25 expression indicates T cell activation16. CD69 is generally thought to be the earliest cell surface activation marker on T cells, which may act as a co-stimulatory molecule for T cell activation and proliferation17,18. To examine activated cell surface marker expression, splenocytes were stimulated with anti-CD3 (5 μg/mL) for 36 h. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: To investigate the immunomodulating activity of astragalosides, the active compounds from a traditional tonic herb Astragalus membranaceus Bge, and to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the actions, focusing on CD45 protein tyrosine phosphatase (CD45 PTPase), which plays a critical role in T lymphocyte activation. Methods: Primary splenocytes and T cells were prepared from mice. CD45 PTPase activity was assessed using a colorimetric assay. Cell proliferation was measured using a [3H]-thymidine incorporation assay. Cytokine proteins and mRNAs were examined with ELISA and RT-PCR, respectively. Activation markers, including CD25 and CD69, were analyzed using flow cytometry. Activation of LCK (Tyr505) was detected using Western blot analysis. Mice were injected with the immunosuppressant cyclophosphamide (CTX, 80 mg/kg), and administered astragaloside II (50 mg/kg). Results: Astragaloside I, II, III, and IV concentration-dependently increased the CD45-mediated of pNPP/OMFP hydrolysis with the EC50 values ranged from 3.33 to 10.42 μg/mL. Astragaloside II (10 and 30 nmol/L) significantly enhanced the proliferation of primary splenocytes induced by ConA, alloantigen or anti-CD3. Astragaloside II (30 nmol/L) significantly increased IL-2 and IFN-γ secretion, upregulated the mRNA levels of IFN-γ and T-bet in primary splenocytes, and promoted CD25 and CD69 expression on primary CD4+ T cells upon TCR stimulation. Furthermore, astragaloside II (100 nmol/L) promoted CD45-mediated dephosphorylation of LCK (Tyr505) in primary T cells, which could be blocked by a specific CD45 PTPase inhibitor. In CTX-induced immunosuppressed mice, oral administration of astragaloside II restored the proliferation of splenic T cells and the production of IFN-γ and IL-2. However, astragaloside II had no apparent effects on B cell proliferation. Conclusion: Astragaloside II enhances T cell activation by regulating the activity of CD45 PTPase, which may explain why Astragalus membranaceus Bge is used as a tonic herb in treating immunosuppressive diseases.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 03/2013; 34(4). DOI:10.1038/aps.2012.208 · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    • "The active components present in Echinacea may vary due to differences in plant age and organ portion, agricultural conditions, geographical location and tissue extraction methods (Perry et al., 2001). An accumulating number of studies have reported the effects of E. purpurea from the perspective of immune functions and systems (Brush et al., 2006; Mishima et al., 2004). The most frequently reported pharmacological activities of Echinacea are the activation of macrophages and polymorphonuclear neutrophils immune cells (Goel et al., 2005; Sullivan et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Imbalance or malfunction of the immune systems is associated with a range of chronic diseases including autoimmune diseases, allergies, cancers and others. Various innate and adaptive immune cells that are integrated in this complex networking system may represent promising targets for developing immunotherapeutics for treating specific immune diseases. A spectrum of phytochemicals have been isolated, characterized and modified for development and use as prevention or treatment of human diseases. Many cytotoxic drugs and antibiotics have been developed from phytocompounds, but the application of traditional or new medicinal plants for use as immunomodulators in treating immune diseases is still relatively limited. In this review, a selected group of medicinal herbs, their derived crude or fractionated phytoextracts and the specific phytochemicals/phytocompounds isolated from them, as well as categorized phytocompound groups with specific chemical structures are discussed in terms of their immunomodulatory bioactivities. We also assess their potential for future development as immunomodulatory or inflammation-regulatory therapeutics or agents. New experimental approaches for evaluating the immunomodulatory activities of candidate phytomedicines are also discussed.
    Advances in Botanical Research, Edited by Lie-Fen Shyur and Allan S.Y. Lau, 01/2012: pages 197-272; Academic Press.
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