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Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2000 Aug;22(3):501-18.

Cytokine profile and natural killer cell activity in Listeria monocytogenes infected mice treated orally with Petiveria alliacea extract.

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  • 1Departmento de Farmacologia/Hemocentro, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, SP, Brazil.


In this work, we investigated the effects of Petiveria alliacea extract on the production of Th1-type and Th2-type cytokines and on NK cells activity in normal and Listeria monocytogenes infected mice. Our results demonstrated that in normal/non-infected mice P. alliacea administration led to increased levels of Interleukin-2 (IL-2). The infection alone enhanced INF-gamma levels and NK cell activity at 48 and 72 hours of infection. The treatment with five consecutive doses of 1000 mg/kg/day of P. alliacea extract, given previously to infection, led to further increases in IL-2 levels, in relation to normal/non-infected/P. alliacea treated controls, and in INF-gamma levels at 72 h of infection, compared to infected mice. On the other hand, the production of IL-4 and IL-10 were not altered either by the infection or by the treatment with P. alliacea extract. NK cells activity increased at 48 h and 72 h following the inoculation of the bacteria. When mice were treated with P. alliacea previously to infection, NK activity was higher than that observed at 48 h, 72 h and 120 h of infection in the infected animal. Based on these findings we suggest that P. alliacea up-regulates anti-bacterial immune response by enhancing both Th1 function and the activity of NK cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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