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Phytother Res. 2011 Nov;25(11):1604-11. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3451. Epub 2011 Mar 11.

In vivo Th1 and Th2 cytokine modulation effects of Rhodiola rosea standardised solution and its major constituent, salidroside.

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  • 1School of Dentistry, Chung Shang Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.


Although Rhodiola rosea (L.) is used widely and disseminated in Oriental medicine, its in vivo effects on cytokine modulation remain unclear. Among the biologically active components of Rhodiola rosea, salidroside was suggested to be the most active compound. The objectives of this study were to assess the toxicity and cytokine modulation effects of Rhodiola rosea standardised solution (RRSS) and salidroside. Quantitative high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis determined the content of salidroside in RRSS to be 4.39% (w/v). Groups of Balb/c mice were fed daily with different doses of RRSS or salidroside, with CAPE or distilled water used as positive and negative controls, respectively. The acute and subacute toxicity tests did not reveal weight differences, pathological changes, or abnormalities in liver or kidney function indices among the treated groups. Ovalbumin-primed mouse cytokine assays demonstrated that both T helper (Th1) (IL-2 and IFN-γ) and Th2 (IL-4 and IL-10) cytokines were significantly increased by feeding with RRSS in a dose- and time-dependent manner (p < 0.05). Moreover, the cytokine modulation effects of salidroside were less prominent than that of RRSS treatment and not dose-dependent. These findings suggest that increased secretion of both Th1- and Th2-pattern cytokines can be achieved with RRSS and salidroside treatment.

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