Immunomodulatory Effects of a Methanol Extract from Opuntia ficus indica on Murine Splenocytes

  • Ahn, Gin-Nae (Department of Marine Life Science, Jeju National University) ;
  • Kim, Jin-Hee (Department of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Radiological Science Institute, Jeju National University) ;
  • Park, Eun-Jin (Department of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Radiological Science Institute, Jeju National University) ;
  • Lim, Yoon-Kyu (Department of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Radiological Science Institute, Jeju National University) ;
  • Jeon, You-Jin (Department of Marine Life Science, Jeju National University) ;
  • Jee, Young-Heun (Department of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Radiological Science Institute, Jeju National University)
  • Published : 2009.12.31

Abstract

Multiple beneficial properties of Opuntia ficus indica (OPF) are well established. In the present study, we have investigated the immunological role of OPF extract (OPFE) on murine splenocytes. OPFE dose- and time-dependently enhanced the proliferation of splenocytes without cytotoxicity. Our results also showed that the number of $CD4^+$ helper T cells and CD45R/$B220^+$ pan B cells increased markedly, but not $CD8^+$ cytotoxic T cells or $CD11b^+$ granulocytes/macrophages. In addition, OPFE significantly decreased the production levels of T helper (Th) 1 type cytokines, interferon (IFN)-$\gamma$, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-$\alpha$, although had no significantly differences in those of interleukin (IL)-4, a Th2 type cytokine in concanavalin A (Con A)-stimulated blastogenic cells. Furthermore, OPFE alone strongly increased IL-4 production and decreased TNF-$\alpha$ production even in the absence of Con A. On the basis of these results, this study suggests that OPFE enhances immunity by regulating the pro- and anti-inflammatory response, indicating that this extract exerts a marked immunomodulatory effect, confirming its usefulness as therapy for immune-related diseases.

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