Author(s): Denzler KL, Waters R, Jacobs BL, Rochon Y, Langland JO
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Abstract Many hundreds of botanicals are used in complementary and alternative medicine for therapeutic use as antimicrobials and immune stimulators. While there exists many centuries of anecdotal evidence and few clinical studies on the activity and efficacy of these botanicals, limited scientific evidence exists on the ability of these botanicals to modulate the immune and inflammatory responses. Using botanogenomics (or herbogenomics), this study provides novel insight into inflammatory genes which are induced in peripheral blood mononuclear cells following treatment with immunomodulatory botanical extracts. These results may suggest putative genes involved in the physiological responses thought to occur following administration of these botanical extracts. Using extracts from immunostimulatory herbs (Astragalus membranaceus, Sambucus cerulea, Andrographis paniculata) and an immunosuppressive herb (Urtica dioica), the data presented supports previous cytokine studies on these herbs as well as identifying additional genes which may be involved in immune cell activation and migration and various inflammatory responses, including wound healing, angiogenesis, and blood pressure modulation. Additionally, we report the presence of lipopolysaccharide in medicinally prepared extracts of these herbs which is theorized to be a natural and active component of the immunostimulatory herbal extracts. The data presented provides a more extensive picture on how these herbs may be mediating their biological effects on the immune and inflammatory responses.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology