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Chin Med. 2019 Jul 31;14:25. doi: 10.1186/s13020-019-0250-0. eCollection 2019.

A review on the immunomodulatory activity of Acanthopanax senticosus and its active components.

Lau KM1,2, Yue GG1,2, Chan YY3, Kwok HF1,2, Gao S1,2, Wong CW1,2, Lau CB1,2,3.

Author information

1
1Institute of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories Hong Kong.
2
2State Key Laboratory of Research on Bioactivities and Clinical Applications of Medicinal Plants, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories Hong Kong.
3
3Li Dak Sum Yip Yio Chin R & D Centre for Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories Hong Kong.

Abstract

Acanthopanacis Senticosi Radix et Rhizoma seu Caulis, the dried root and rhizome or stem of Acanthopanax senticosus, is commonly known as Siberian ginseng or Ciwujia in Chinese. It is used all over the world as an adaptogen to enhance physical and mental performance for the sake of normal physiological functioning of human bodies under stress. In the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, Ciwujia can strengthen the spleen that is an essential organ for immunological response. Its traditional applications include inflammation, fatigue and cancer in which the immune-regulating function is always involved. In this article, the immunomodulatory activities of Ciwujia extracts, fractions and pure compounds were extensively reviewed first. Then, the possibility of upgrading the chemical markers to bioactive markers was explored. Finally, the potency of aqueous extract and ethanol extract in regulating cytokines production from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells was compared. We conclude that although various phytochemicals such as isofraxidin, syringin and eleutheroside E from Ciwujia have been shown to modulate immunological functions, the aqueous extract of Ciwujia as a whole possesses the most potent efficacy. Therefore, aqueous (rather than ethanol) extract of Ciwujia should be used in order to benefit from its immunomodulatory properties.

KEYWORDS:

Acanthopanacis Senticosi Radix et Rhizoma seu Caulis; Acanthopanax senticosus; Chinese medicine; Eleutheroside E; Immunomodulation; Isofraxidin; Syringin

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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