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Int Immunopharmacol. 2009 Sep;9(10):1137-44. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2009.05.011. Epub 2009 Jun 12.

Restoration of stress-induced altered T cell function and corresponding cytokines patterns by Withanolide A.

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Cell Biology Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu Tawi, India.


This study was taken up to see the effect of Withanolide A (WS-1), a compound isolated from Withania somnifera root extract on chronic stress-induced alterations on T lymphocyte subset distribution and corresponding cytokine secretion patterns in experimental Swiss albino mice. Stress disturbs the homeostatic state of the organism and brings about behavioral, endocrine and immunological changes. The chronic suppression induced by stress depresses the immune functioning and increases susceptibility to diseases. Oral administration of WS-1 once daily at the graded doses of 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 mg/kg p.o. caused significant recovery of stress-induced depleted T cell population causing an increase in the expression of IL-2 and IFN-gamma (a signature cytokine of Th1 helper cells) and a decrease in the concentration of corticosterone in stressed experimental animals. It also reversed the restraint stress-induced increase in plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase(AST) and hepatic lipid peroxidation (LP) levels and improved the restraint stress-induced decrease in hepatic glutathione (GSH), and glycogen levels, thus showing the significant antistress potential of the test drug.

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