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Immunosuppressive effects of the standardized extract of Phyllanthus amarus on cellular immune responses in Wistar-Kyoto rats

Authors Illangovan M, Jantan I, Mesaik MA, Abbas Bukhari SN

Received 8 May 2015

Accepted for publication 23 June 2015

Published 26 August 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 4917—4930


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Shu-Feng Zhou

Menaga Ilangkovan, Ibrahim Jantan, Mohamed Ahmed Mesaik, Syed Nasir Abbas Bukhari

Drug and Herbal Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract: Phyllanthus amarus (family: Euphorbiaceae) is of immense interest due to its wide spectrum of biological activities. In the present study, the standardized 80% ethanol extract of P. amarus was investigated for its modulatory activity on various cellular immune parameters, including chemotaxis of neutrophils, engulfment of Escherichia coli by neutrophils, and Mac-1 expression, in leukocytes isolated from treated/nontreated Wistar-Kyoto rats. The detailed cell-mediated activity of P. amarus was also investigated, including analysis of the effects on T- and B-cell proliferation and CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets in splenic mononuclear cells, and estimation of serum cytokine production by activated T-cells. The main components of the extract, phyllanthin, hypophyllanthin, corilagin, geraniin, ellagic acid, and gallic acid were identified and quantitatively analyzed in the extracts, using validated reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods. N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP)-induced neutrophils isolated from rats administered with the extract of P. amarus, at doses ranging from 100 to 400 mg/kg for 14 days, revealed a significant dose-dependent reduction in neutrophil migration (P<0.05). Similar patterns of inhibition were also observed in phagocytic activity and in fMLP-induced changes in expression of β2 integrin polymorphonuclear neutrophils. The results in P. amarus-treated rats also demonstrated a dose-dependent inhibition of both lipopolysaccharide-stimulated B-cell proliferation and concanavalin A–stimulated T-cell proliferation as compared with sensitized control. At a dose of 400 mg/kg (P<0.01), there was a significant decrease in the (%) expression of CD4+ and CD8+ in splenocytes and in serum cytokines of T helper (Th1) (IL-2 and IFN-γ) and Th2 (IL-4). In conclusion, P. amarus showed effective immunosuppressive activities in cellular immune response, by various immune regulatory mechanisms, and may be useful for improvement of immune-related disorders.

Keywords: immunosuppression, leukocytes migration, phagocytic activity, splenic mononuclear cells, T- and B-cell proliferation

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