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Prophylactic dose of neem (Azadirachta indica) leaf preparation restricting murine tumor growth is nontoxic, hematostimulatory and immunostimulatory.

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Department of Immunoregulation and Immunodiagnostics, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, India.


Significant restriction of growth of Ehrlich's carcinoma was observed following prophylactic treatment on Swiss albino mice with neem leaf preparation (NLP-1 unit) once weekly for four weeks. Toxic effects of this particular dose (1 unit), along with 0.5 unit and 2 units of NLP doses, were evaluated on different murine physiological systems. One hundred percent of mice could tolerate 4 injections of 0.5 and 1 unit NLP doses. Body weight, different organ-body weight ratios and physical behavior of treated mice remained completely unchanged during treatment with different NLP doses. All of these NLP doses were observed to stimulate hematological systems as evidenced by the increase in total count of RBC, WBC and platelets and hemoglobin percentage. As histological changes as well as elevation in serum alkaline phosphatase, SGOT, SGPT were not observed in mice treated with three different doses of NLP, the nonhepatotoxic nature of NLP was proved. The level of serum urea remained unaltered and normal architecture of the cortical and medullary parts of the kidney were also preserved after NLP treatment. Increased antibody production against B16 melanoma antigen was detected in mice immunized with 0.5 unit and 1 unit of NLP. Number of splenic T lymphocytes (CD4+ and CD8+) and NK cells were also observed to be increased in mice injected with 0.5 unit and 1 unit of NLP. However, NLP dose of 2 units could not exhibit such immunostimulatory changes; NLP mediated immunostimulation was correlated well with the growth restriction of murine carcinoma. In other words, tumor growth restriction was observed only when mice were injected with immunostimulatory doses of NLP (0.5 unit and 1 unit).

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