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Int Immunopharmacol. 2006 Feb;6(2):198-203. Epub 2005 Sep 2.

The effect of triptolide on CD4+ and CD8+ cells in Peyer's patch of SD rats with collagen induced arthritis.

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Institute of Basic Theory, China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700, China.


Triptolide is a purified component from a traditional Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive activities by its inhibitory effect on T cells. But the effect of triptolide on Peyer's patch cells is unknown. Enteric mucosal immune system, including Peyer's patch, is regarded as one of the sites for inducing immunity tolerance, and this intolerance effect has been used to induce oral tolerance which can considerably reduce arthritis severity in several models of experimental polyarthritis and RA patients. In this study, we investigated the effect of triptolide on the Peyer's patch cells and peripheral lymphocytes in collagen induced arthritis (CIA) in rats. CIA in rat is a widely studied animal model of inflammatory polyarthritis with similarities to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our data show that triptolide could lower the arthritic scores and delay the onset of CIA. There are more Peyer's patches in triptolide treated rats than in control rats, while there is no difference in Peyer's patch numbers between CIA rats and triptolide treated rats. In the Peyer's patch, more CD4+ cells are observed in CIA rats, and the numbers of CD4+ cells in triptolide treated rats and control rats are similar. While more CD8+ cells are observed in triptolide treated rats, and the numbers of CD8+ cells in CIA rats and control rats are similar. In periphery, more CD4+ cells and less CD4+ cells in CIA rats and triptolide treated rats are respectively observed. Therefore, the regulation on Peyer's patch might explain some of the immunosuppressive activities of triptolide, and enteric immune response might be actively involved in CIA pathogenesis. It is suggested that the Peyer's patch is one of the primary targets of the immunosuppressive activity of triptolide.

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