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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011. pii: 639862. doi: 10.1155/2011/639862. Epub 2010 Sep 13.

Selective Th2 Upregulation by Crocus sativus: A Neutraceutical Spice.

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  • 1Cell Biology (Flowcytometry), Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Canal Road, Jammu Tawi 180001, India.


The immunomodulatory activity of an Indian neutraceutical spice, saffron (Crocus sativus) was studied on Th(1) and Th(2) limbs of the immune system. Oral administration of alcoholic extract of Crocus sativus (ACS) at graded dose levels from 1.56-50 mg/kg p.o. potentiated the Th(2) response of humoral immunity causing the significant increases in agglutinating antibody titre in mice at a dose of 6.25 mg/kg and an elevation of CD19(+) B cells and IL-4 cytokine, a signature cytokine of Th(2) pathway. Appreciable elevation in levels of IgG-1 and IgM antibodies of the primary and secondary immune response was observed. However, ACS showed no appreciable expression of the Th(1) cytokines IL-2 (growth factor for CD4(+) T cells) and IFN-γ (signature cytokine of Th(1) response). A significant modulation of immune reactivity was observed in all the animal models used. This paper represents the selective upregulation of the Th(2) response of the test material and suggests its use for subsequent selective Th(2) immunomodulation.

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