Original Research

Inhibitory effect of medicinal plants on in vitro human peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation, interleukin-2 secretion and antioxidant activity


Many plant parts have been widely used in the treatment of immune diseases in Vietnam, yet just few of them are known about their mechanism of action. The goal of this study was to investigate the in vitro inhibitory effects of in vitro inhibitory effect of crude ethanol extracts and fractions of thirteen medicinal plants on proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), interleukin-2 secretion and antioxidant activity. PBMCs were extracted from the whole blood of healthy volunteers. The effects of thirteen crude extracts in ethanol and twenty four fractionated extracts in chloroform, ethyl acetate and water on in vitro proliferation of PBMCs were evaluated using MTT test. Interleukin - 2 (IL - 2) concentrations secreted by PBMC were determined by ELISA method. The antioxidant capacity of ethanol extracts and fractionated extracts were assessed using the DPPH method. The results showed that out of thirteen crude ethanol extracts, six extracts inhibited PBMC proliferation and two extracts stimulated PBMC proliferation and five extracts had no effect on PBMC proliferation. The inhibitory extracts reduced the amount of IL-2, while the stimulant extracts while the stimulant extracts had no effect on IL-2 secretion compared to the control. The chloroform extract of Wedelia chinesis showed the strongest inhibitory activity with an IC50 concentration 16.1 µg/ml. The chloroform extract of Piper betle showed the strongest DPPH capture capacity with DPPH50 1.94 µg/ml and 2.1 times stronger than vitamin C. In conclusion, the chloroform extract of Wedelia chinensis may be considered for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

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