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J Surg Res. 2013 Nov;185(1):399-409. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2013.05.093. Epub 2013 Jun 19.

Suppressive effects of fisetin on mice T lymphocytes in vitro and in vivo.

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Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, College of Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, People's Republic of China.



Most of the immunosuppressive drugs have satisfactory therapeutic effects on organ transplantation and autoimmune disease. However, their clinical application is limited by side effects. Therefore, new and safe immunosuppressive drugs against acute and chronic rejections are eagerly awaited. Fisetin, a flavonoid present in various types of vegetables and fruits, has few side effects and low level of toxicity, which would be a desirable clinical feature. In the present study, we investigated the immunosuppressive effects and underlying mechanisms of fisetin against T-cell activation in vitro and in vivo.


We measured the effect of fisetin on T-lymphocyte proliferation, T-cell subsets, cell cycle progression, cytokine production, and nuclear factor activation in vitro, as well as its influence on T cell-mediated delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction in vivo.


In vitro, the results showed that fisetin significantly suppressed mouse splenocytes proliferation, Th1 and Th2 cytokine production, cell cycle and the ratio of CD4(+)/CD8(+) T cells. Furthermore, fisetin exerts an immunosuppressive effect in mouse T lymphocytes through the suppression of nuclear factor kappa B activation and nuclear factor of activated T cells signaling in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo, fisetin treatment also significantly inhibited the dinitrofluorobenzene-induced delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions in mice.


Fisetin had strong immunosuppressive activity in vitro and in vivo, suggesting a potential role for fisetin as an immunosuppressive agent.


CD4(+)/CD8(+); Cycle; Cytokines; DTH; Fisetin; NF-κB; NFAT

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