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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2000 Dec;44(6):342-6.

Theoretical basis for herbal medicines, Tokishakuyaku-san and Sairei-to, in the treatment of autoimmunity-related recurrent abortion by correcting T helper-1/T helper-2 balance.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.



To get insight into the basis for the empirical usage of herbal medicines in the treatment of recurrent abortion, we examined whether Tokishakuyaku-san (Toki) and Sairei-to (Sai) modulate T helper-1 (Th1) and T helper-2 (Th2) cytokine release from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The effects of these medicines were investigated as related to human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G, a non-classical HLA class I antigen expressed on trophoblasts and a putative crucial player involved in fetomaternal immune interplay.


Toki and Sai increased the release of Th1 group cytokines, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interferon (IFN)-gamma while preserving the inhibitory effect of HLA-G on the release of these cytokines. As for Th2 group cytokine release, Toki was without effect in modulating interleukin (IL)-4 release, regardless of the presence of HLA-G, whereas Sai nullified the effect of the presence of HLA-G to stimulate the release of IL-4 without affecting its release in the absence of HLA-G.


Toki and Sai may have therapeutic potential, particularly in autoimmunity-related recurrent abortion where Th2 response is pathologically enhanced, but not in recurrent abortion involving alloimmune fetomaternal derangement, a condition of, rather, an enhanced Thl response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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