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Immunostimulative effects of Cyperus rotundus, Alpinia calcarata, Solanum surattense, Clerodendrum infortunatum and Croton laccifer extracts combination on cyclophosphamide-induced immunosupression in rats

Ediriweera P. S. Chandana, Kankanam K. A. Kithmini, Thibbotuwa D. K. S. C. Gunasekara.

Objective: The present work was undertaken to validate the combinatorial effect of the ethanol extractions of rhizomes of Cyperus rotundus Linn. (“Kalanduru”) and Alpinia calcarata Rosc. (“Heen Araththa”), and root barks of Solanum surattense Burm.f. (“Elabatu”), Clerodendrum infortunatum Linn. (“Pinna”) and Croton laccifer Linn. (“Keppetiya”) as immunomodulators in rats.
Methods: Wistar rats were orally fed with combined crude products of the five plant species (200 mg/ml) at each day for a period of 14 days while control group was orally fed with 1 ml of distilled water each day for the same period. Differential white blood cell (WBC) count, leukocyte adhesion, IL-4, IL-10 and IL-12 levels were measured in all rats after the treatments. Subsequently, animals in each group were orally fed with 1 ml of cyclophosphamide solution at a concentration 20 mg/ml.
Results: Hematological analyses revealed that total WBC and leukocyte adhesion were not significantly different in control and extract-treated groups. Expression of IL-4 and IL-10 was significantly different in treated and control groups while expression of IL-12 was not significantly different. Cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression of the control group caused moderate to severe skin lesions while the rats in the extract-treated group did not sustain any skin lesions. All the rats in the cyclophosphamide-treated control group died after three months while 83.33% of the cyclophosphamide + plant extract received group survived, indicating the ability of the plant combination to alleviate the immunosuppression induced by cyclophosphamide.
Conclusions: Treating with ethanolic extract combination of above plant species might exert their immunomodulatory effect via cytokine expression and can attenuate the immunosuppression induced by cyclophosphamide.

Key words: Cyclophosphamide, cytokines, immunomodulation, immunosuppression, medicinal plants

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