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Effect of Withania somnifera on cytokine production in normal and cyclophosphamide treated mice.


Davis L, Kuttan G




Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol


Administration of an extract from the powdered root of the plant Withania somnifera (Family: Solanaceae) enhanced the levels of Interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) (75.87 pg/ml), Interleukin-2 (IL-2) (14.16 pg/ml) and Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) (49.22 pg/ml) in normal Balb/c mice. The lowered levels of IFN gamma--(30 pg/ml), IL-2 (4.5 pg/ml) and GM-CSF (19.12 pg/ml) after treatment with cyclophosphamide (CTX) was reversed by the administration of Withania somnifera extract (IFN gamma--74 pg/ml; IL- 2 7.5 pg/ml; GM-CSF 35.47 pg/ml). Withania extract lowered the levels of Tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) production. Administration of bonemarrow cells from donor mice treated with Withania extract increased the spleen nodular colonies in irradiated mice (8.33) compared to those treated with normal bonemarrow cells (3.03). The number of nodular colonies increased significantly when these animals were continued with Withania extract treatment. These results indicate the immunopotentiating and myeloprotective effect of Withania somnifera as seen from the enhancement of cytokine production and stem cell proliferation and its differentiation.

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