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Immunobiology. 2011 Oct;216(10):1103-9. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2011.05.002. Epub 2011 May 31.

Kaempferol from Semen cuscutae attenuates the immune function of dendritic cells.

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School of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chinese Medicine Resources, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are the critical leukocytes in regulating immune responses. Accordingly, DCs are the major target in the development of immunomodulators. In this study, we examined the effect of Semen cuscutae (SC), an important traditional Chinese medicine, on mouse bone marrow-derived DCs. We found that the n-butanol and methanol extracts of SC significantly suppressed LPS-stimulated DC activation. Several flavonoids were verified in the extracts using HPLC, and then kaempferol was identified as the major flavonoid in the methanol fraction of SC. Kaempferol was able to reduce cytokines and chemokines produced by LPS-stimulated DCs, and this reduction was not due to its cytotoxicity on DCs. In addition, DC maturation was impaired by kaempferol. Furthermore, kaempferol abrogated the ability of LPS-stimulated DCs to promote Ag-specific T cell activation, both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, we show for the first time that SC exhibits an immunosuppressive effect on DCs and that the active ingredient kaempferol attenuates DC function, which suggests that kaempferol has potential in the treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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