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J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Apr;80(1):15-20.

Evaluation of immunomodulatory potential of Ocimum sanctum seed oil and its possible mechanism of action.

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Department of Pharmacology, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, 110095, New Delhi, India.


The present study investigates the effect of Ocimum sanctum seed oil (OSSO) on some immunological parameters in both non-stressed and stressed animals. An attempt has also been made to explore the possible mechanism of immunomodulatory activity. OSSO (3 ml/kg, ip) produced a significant increase in anti-sheep red blood cells (SRBC) antibody titre and a decrease in percentage histamine release from peritoneal mast cells of sensitized rats (humoral immune responses), and decrease in footpad thickness and percentage leucocyte migration inhibition (LMI) (cell-mediated immune responses). Restraint stress (RS) produced a significant reduction in the anti-SRBC antibody titre, foot pad thickness and percentage LMI (% LMI). The effects of RS on humoral as well as cell-mediated immune responses were effectively attenuated by pretreating the animals with OSSO. Co-administration of diazepam (1 mg/kg, sc), a benzodiazepine (BZD), with OSSO (1 ml/kg, ip) enhanced the effect of OSSO on RS-induced changes in both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. Further, flumazenil (5 mg/kg, ip), a central BZD receptor antagonist inhibited the immunomodulatory action of OSSO on RS-induced immune responsiveness. Thus, OSSO appears to modulate both humoral and cell-mediated immune responsiveness and these immunomodulatory effects may be mediated by GABAergic pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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