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Experimental Study on the Immuno-Augment Effect of Astragalus membranaceus and Ligustrum Lucidum

Sun Yan, et al., Oncology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Medicine

In this artical:

Astragalus membranaceus (AM) and Ligustrum Lucidum(LL) are two medicinal herbs most commonly used in Fu-Zheng therapy. In cancer patients who were given long-term treatment with AM/or LL, thier immune competence was shown to become improved. In this communication, water-solubilized fractions of AM and LL were found to augment the in vitro blastogenic reponse of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) to suboptimal doses of PHA, Con A and PWM. This was true for PBL from both normal individuals and cancer patients, although the proliferation-augmenting effect was weaker in cancer patients as compared with normal individuals. AM and LL were also capable of augmenting the local xenogenic graft-versus-host reaction of immuno-suppressed rates to herb treated normal or cancer patients' PBL. The immno-augmenting effect of AM and LL was achieved, at least in part, through the elimination of suppressor T cell activity.

Results:

Table 1. Effects of AM & LL on in vitro blastogenic response of lymphocytes from normal individuals and cancer patients.

  Lymphocyte
Cases
Herbs
RPI ()
Herb ext. alone
PHA + herb ext.
Con A +herb ext.
PWM +herb ext.
  Normal
14
AM
2.4 1.6
70.4 139.7
24.9 42.9
72.5 231.0
  individual
LL
3.1 2.7
69.9 103.0
70.8 117.6
83.8 166.0
  Cancer

14

AM
2.6 3.5
11.7 26.0
8.9 24.3
16.2 47.6
  patients
LL
1.3 0.7
15.0 37.8
5.1 6.9
7.1 8.8

Fig. 1-2 Effects of AM and LL (10ug/ml, continuous exposure, 3-day culture) on in vitro blastogenic responses of mononuclear cells (MNC) from 14 normal donors (Fig. 1) and from 14 advanced cancer patients (Fig. 2) plotted as the actual changes of cpm 3H-thymidine incorporation between control (left) and herb extracted-treated (right), with or without additionl mitogens.

Fig. 3-4 Dose response of human MNC from a normal donor (Fig.3) and cancer patients (Fig.4) to AM and LL on the stimulation of suboptimal doses of mitogens. The results are the arithmetic mean of triplicate cultures.

Table 2 Effects of AM /LL on the inhibitory effects of lymphocytes of advanced cancer patients to normal lymphocytes

Cellular
Diagnosis
contents of
Melanoma
AML
Melanoma
NPC
cultures
PHA
Con A
PHA
Con A
PHA
PHA
Con A
N
53.4
5.6
80.7
11.2
18.0
46.4
2.1
N + N'
102.3
19.6
118.4
16.4
12.9
66.3
5.9
N + P
16.5
4.1
7.6
1.3
0.1
13.8
5.9
N + P (irradiat.)
86.3
10.4
40.6
4.8
3.8
37.4
14.3
N + P (THF)
91.1
15.4
150.1
14.5
11.2
49.3
5.1
N + P (AM)
79.8
8.8
141.1
11.6
6.5
68.6
5.6
N + P (LL)
86.2
7.4
57.8
9.6
9.7
66.0
4.1

N = Normal, P = Cancer patient

Table 3 Effects of AM /LL on local GVH reaction

Lymphocytes
Local GVH reaction induced by lymphocytes ( )
Control (n=19)
AM (n=10)
LL (n=13)
Cancer patients
26.0 31.7
112.9 94.2
118.4 104.9
(0-145.6)
(36.0-351.4)
(43.7-407.6)
Normal individual
82.4 41.1
248.2 249.7
241.8 147.5
(46.1-174.4)
(51.5-765.4)
(72.0-543)

Discuss:

Table 1. - Blastogenic response of lymphocytes. With low dosage of T cell mitogen, Both AM and LL have strong effect on blastogenic response of lymphocytes

Table 2. - Inhibitory effects of lymphocytes of advanced cancer patients. By eliminating the activity of Ts cells, AM/LL can reverse this inhibitory effect.
Table 3. - Local GVH reaction. As MLC, GVH reaction, shows the function of T cells. According to the result, AM/LL can amplify this function of effector T lymphocyte.

Conclusion

AM/LL can obviously release the suppression of immune system and boost immunity of cancer patients.


 

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