Euonymus alatus (Thunb.) Siebold leaf extract enhanced immunostimulatory effects in a cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppressed rat model
Background: Euonymus alatus (Thunb.) Siebold (EA) is a medicinal plant used in some Asian countries to treat various diseases, including cancer, hyperglycemia, diabetes, urticaria, dysmenorrhea, and arthritis. Owing to the wide range of pharmacological applications of EA, various roles of EA are being studied.
Objective: We evaluated the immune-enhancing effect of EA treatment in a cyclophosphamide (Cy)-induced immunosuppressed rat model.
Design: We analyzed the immune enhancement effect of EA on macrophages by western blotting. In addition, cell viability and natural killer (NK) cell activity were analyzed in splenocytes following EA treatment. For in vivo studies, analysis of weekly body weight, spleen weight, immune cell count, cytokine levels, and spleen histological findings was performed following EA administration in Cy-induced immunocompromised rats.
Results: EA significantly increased cell viability and phospho-nuclear factor-kappa B and phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase protein levels in the macrophages. EA significantly increased NK cell activity in splenocytes compared with the control group. In Cy-induced immunosuppressed rats, EA administration increased spleen tissue weight and the contents of leukocytes, lymphocytes, granulocytes, intermediate cells, and plasma cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ). In addition, improvement in the damaged spleen tissue was observed.
Conclusions: These findings confirm that EA exerts an immune-enhancing effect, thereby suggesting its potential as an immunostimulatory agent or functional food.
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