The n-hexane and chloroform fractions of Piper betle L. trigger different arms of immune responses in BALB/c mice and exhibit antifilarial activity against human lymphatic filarid Brugia malayi.
Modulation of immune functions by using herbal plants and their products has become fundamental regime of therapeutic approach. Piper betle Linn. (Piperaceae) is a widely distributed plant in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and has been attributed as traditional herbal remedy for many diseases. We have recently reported the antifilarial and antileishmanial efficacy in the leaf extract of Bangla Mahoba landrace of P. betle which is a female plant. The present report describes the in vivo immunomodulatory efficacy of the crude methanolic extract and its n-hexane, chloroform, n-butanol fractions of the female plant at various dose levels ranging between 0.3 and 500 mg/kg in BALB/c. Attempts were also made to observe antifilarial activity of the active extracts and correlate it with the antigen specific immune responses in another rodent Mastomys coucha infected with human lymphatic filarial parasite Brugia malayi. The crude methanol extract and n-hexane fraction were found to potentiate significant (p<0.001) enhancement of both humoral (plaque forming cells, hemagglutination titre) as well as cell-mediated (lymphoproliferation, macrophage activation, delayed type hypersensitivity) immune responses in mice. The flow cytometric analysis of splenocytes of treated mice indicated enhanced population of T-cells (CD4(+), CD8(+)) and B-cells (CD19(+)). The n-hexane fraction (3 mg/kg) was found to induce biased type 2 cytokine response as revealed by increased IL-4(+) and decreased IFN-gamma(+) T-cell population while the chloroform fraction (10 mg/kg) produced a predominant type 1 cytokines. Crude methanolic extract (100 mg/kg) demonstrated a mixed type 1 and type 2 cytokine responses thus suggesting a remarkable immunomodulatory property in this plant. The induction of differential T-helper cell immune response appears ideal to overcome immunosuppression as observed in case of lymphatic, filarial Brugia malayi infection which may also be extended to other infections as well.
Singh, M; Shakya, S; Soni, VK; Dangi, A; Kumar, N; Bhattacharya, S-M
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