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Int J Immunopharmacol. 1992 Oct;14(7):1187-93.

Immunomodulatory effects of neem (Azadirachta indica) oil.

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National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India.


Immunomodulatory effects of neem oil were studied in mice. The animals were treated intraperitoneally (i.p.) with neem oil; control animals received the emulsifying agent with or without peanut oil. Peritoneal lavage, collected on subsequent days, showed a maximum number of leukocytic cells on day 3 following treatment with neem oil; peritoneal macrophages exhibited enhanced phagocytic activity and expression of MHC class-II antigens. Neem oil treatment also induced the production of gamma interferon. Spleen cells of neem oil-treated animals showed a significantly higher lymphocyte proliferative response to in vitro challenge with Con A or tetanus toxoid (TT) than that of the controls. Pre-treatment with neem oil, however, did not augment the anti-TT antibody response. The results of this study indicate that neem oil acts as a non-specific immunostimulant and that it selectively activates the cell-mediated immune (CMI) mechanisms to elicit an enhanced response to subsequent mitogenic or antigenic challenge.

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