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Daru. 2014 Feb 24;22(1):28. doi: 10.1186/2008-2231-22-28.

The effects of cichorium intybus extract on the maturation and activity of dendritic cells.

Author information

1
Department of Immunology, Autoimmune Disease Research Center and Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. amirghz@sums.ac.ir.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cichorium intybus is a medicinal plant commonly used in traditional medicine for its benefits in immune-madiated disorders. There are several evidences showing that C. intybus can modulate immune responses. In the present study we have investigated the effects of the ethanolic root extract of this plant on the immune system by targeting dendritic cells (DCs). For this purpose, phenotypic and functional maturity of murine DCs after treatment with the extract was analyzed by flow cytometry and mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) assay.

RESULTS:

C. intybus did not change the expression of CD40, CD86 and MHC-II molecules as important co-stimulatory markers on DCs compared to the control, indicating that it could not promote DCs phenotypic maturation. Treatment of DCs with lower concentrations of the extract resulted in an increased production of IL-12 by these cells with no change in IL-10 release. The capacity of treated DCs to stimulate allogenic T cells proliferation and cytokines secretion was examined in the co-cuture of these cells with T cells in MLR. C. intybus at higher concentrations inhibited proliferation of allogenic T cells and in lower concentrations changed the level of cytokines such that IL-4 decreased and IFN-γ increased.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicated that C. intybus extract at higher concentrations can inhibit T cell stimulating activity of DCs, whereas at lower concentrations can modulate cytokine secretion toward a Th1 pattern. These data may in part explain the traditional use of this plant in treatment of immune-mediated disorders.

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