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Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2013 Jun;35(3):365-72. doi: 10.3109/08923973.2013.775588.

Assessment of the immunosuppressive and hemolytic activities of an edible fern, Diplazium esculentum.

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Cellular Immunology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of North Bengal, Siliguri, West Bengal, India.



Diplazium esculentum is the most commonly consumed fern throughout Asia and Oceania. Systemic toxicity and pathological effects on its consumption have already been demonstrated. But, the immunosuppressive and hemolytic activities of the boiled Diplazium esculentum (BDE), the form in which human consumes it, have not yet been studied.


To investigate the immunosuppressive as well as hemolytic activities, if any, of BDE in Swiss albino mice.


Body weight, relative spleen weight, plaque forming cell assay, hemaggutination antibody (HA) titer assay and macrophage counting were performed in BDE treated mice and respective control groups within a span of 180 days, and in vitro assays such as counting of cultured splenocytes, splenocytes proliferation assay and hemolytic assay were performed to justify the immunomodulatory as well as hemolytic activities of D. esculentum.


Body weight and relative spleen weight were significantly decreased in BDE fed mice. Significant decreases were observed in the number of plaques formed, HA titer value and in the number of peritoneal macrophages within a span of 180 d. Significant dose-dependent decrease was observed in the number of cultured splenocytes. Significant dose-dependent increases in the percentage inhibition of splenocyte proliferation as well as percentage of hemolysis were evident by in vitro assays.


These results suggest that the intake of D. esculentum may evoke immune dysfunction as well as may cause destruction of erythrocytes even after cooking.


Therefore, the consumption of D. esculentum is alarming and may act as immunosuppressive agent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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