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Immunosuppressive properties of flavonoids isolated from Boerhaavia diffusa Linn.

Department of Immunology, Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow 226 014, India.
International Immunopharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.71). 04/2005; 5(3):541-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.intimp.2004.11.001
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ABSTRACT Plant extracts have been widely evaluated for possible immunomodulatory properties. We have earlier reported that ethanolic extract of Boerhaavia diffusa root, a plant used in Indian traditional medicine, has significant immunomodulatory potential. B. diffusa hexane, chloroform and ethanol extracts, and two pure compounds Bd-I (eupalitin-3-O-beta-D-galactopyranoside) and Bd-II (eupalitin) were evaluated in vitro for their effect on T cell mitogen (phytohemagglutinin; PHA) stimulated proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC), mixed lymphocyte culture, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated nitric oxide production by RAW 264.7, PHA and LPS induced IL-2 and TNF-alpha production, in human PBMCs, superoxide production in neutrophils, human natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity and nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-(kappa)B and AP-1 in PHA stimulated PBMCs. The chloroform and ethanol extracts inhibited PHA stimulated proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, two-way MLR, NK cell cytotoxicity as well as LPS induced NO production by RAW 264.7; the hexane extract showed no activity. Bd-I purified from the ethanolic extract at equivalent dose, inhibited PHA-stimulated proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, two-way MLR and NK cell cytotoxicity as well as LPS induced NO production by RAW 264.7 equally or more effectively than the parent ethanolic extract. Bd-I inhibited production of PHA stimulated IL-2 at the protein and mRNA transcript levels and LPS stimulated TNF-alpha production in human PBMCs; it also blocked the activation of DNA binding of nuclear factor-(kappa)B and AP-1, two major transcription factors centrally involved in expression of the IL-2 and IL-2R gene, which are necessary for T cell activation and proliferation. Our results report selective immunosuppressive activity of B. diffusa leaf extracts and that this activity lies in eupalitin-3-O-beta-D-galactopyranoside (Bd-I) isolated and purified from the ethnaolic extract. Thus, Bd-I could be a candidate for development as an immunosuppressive agent.

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