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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:287631. doi: 10.1155/2014/287631. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

Differential Effects of Naja naja atra Venom on Immune Activity.

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  • 1Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Translational Research and Therapy for Neuro-Psycho-Diseases (BM2013003), Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Aging and Nervous Diseases, Soochow University School of Pharmaceutical Science, Suzhou 215123, China.
  • 2The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China.


Previous studies reported that Naja naja atra venom (NNAV) inhibited inflammation and adjuvant arthritis. Here we investigated the role of NNAV in regulation of immune responses in mice. Oral administration of NNAV to normal mice showed significant increase in natural killer cell activity, B lymphocyte proliferation stimulated by lipopolysaccharides, and antibody production in response to sheep red blood cells. Meanwhile, NNAV markedly decreased T lymphocyte proliferation stimulated by concanavalin A, arrested the cell cycle at G0/G1 phase, and suppressed CD4 and CD8 T cell divisions. Furthermore, NNAV inhibited the dinitrofluorobenzene-induced delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction. This modulation of immune responses may be partly attributed to the selective increase in Th1 and Th2 cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-4) secretion and inhibition of Th17 cytokine (IL-17) production. In dexamethasone-induced immunosuppressed mice, NNAV restored the concentration of serum IgG and IgM, while decreasing the percentage of CD4 and CD8 T-cell subsets. These results indicate that NNAV enhances the innate and humoral immune responses while inhibiting CD4 Th17 and CD8 T cell actions, suggesting that NNAV could be a potential therapeutic agent for autoimmune diseases.

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