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Chem Biodivers. 2015 Apr;12(4):538-46. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201400376.

Suppression of splenic lymphocyte proliferation by Eucommia ulmoides and genipin.

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Integrated Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon 420-743, Korea, (phone: +82-2-21644095; fax: +82-2-21644059).


We investigated the modulation of innate and adaptive immune cell activation by Eucommia ulmoides Oliver extract (EUE) and its ingredient genipin. As an innate immunity indicator, the phagocytic activity of macrophages was determined by measuring engulfed, fluorescently labeled Escherichia coli. As a surrogate marker for the respective activation of cellular and humoral adaptive immunity, concanavalin A (Con A) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induction of primary splenocyte proliferation was assayed in in vitro and ex vivo systems. EUE and genipin suppressed the proliferation of primary splenic lymphocytes induced by Con A or LPS, but not macrophage phagocytosis. Oral administration of EUE and genipin to mice decreased splenic lymphocyte proliferation induced by Con A or LPS. These results revealed that E. ulmoides and genipin suppressed cellular and humoral adaptive immunity, and they suggest that E. ulmoides and genipin are promising candidates for immunosuppressive drugs that target diseases that involve excessive activation of adaptive immunity.


Cellular immunity; Humoral immunity; Immunosuppression; Lymphocytes, splenic; Macrophages

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