Defined small molecules produced by Himalayan medicinal plants display immunomodulatory properties

Wangchuk, Phurpa, Apte, Simon H., Smout, Michael J., Groves, Penny L., Loukas, Alex, and Doolan, Denise L. (2018) Defined small molecules produced by Himalayan medicinal plants display immunomodulatory properties. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19 (11). 3490.

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Plant-derived compounds that modulate the immune responses are emerging as frontline treatment agents for cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmunity. Herein we have isolated 40 phytochemicals from five Bhutanese Sowa Rigpa medicinal plants—Aconitum laciniatum, Ajania nubegina, Corydalis crispa, Corydalis dubia and Pleurospermum amabile—and tested 14 purified compounds for their immunomodulatory properties using a murine dendritic cell (DC) line, and cytotoxicity against a human cholangiocyte cell line using xCELLigence real time cell monitoring. These compounds were: pseudaconitine, 14-veratryolpseudaconitine, 14-O-acetylneoline, linalool oxide acetate, (E)-spiroether, luteolin, luteolin-7-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, protopine, ochrobirine, scoulerine, capnoidine, isomyristicin, bergapten, and isoimperatorin. Of the 14 compounds tested here, scoulerine had adjuvant-like properties and strongly upregulated MHC-I gene and protein expression whereas bergapten displayed immunosuppressive properties and strongly down-regulated gene and protein expression of MHC-I and other co-stimulatory molecules. Both scoulerine and bergapten showed low cytotoxicity against normal healthy cells that were consistent with their immunoregulatory properties. These findings highlight the breadth of immunomodulatory properties of defined compounds from Bhutanese medicinal plants and show that some of these compounds exert their mechanisms of action by modulating DC activity.

Item ID: 56158
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1422-0067
Keywords: medicinal plants; phytochemicals; scoulerine; bergapten; immunomodulator; adjuvant; cytoxicity; dendritic cells; immune modulation
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (APP1091011), NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship (1137285), NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship (1117504)
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2018 01:16
FoR Codes: 34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3404 Medicinal and biomolecular chemistry > 340401 Biologically active molecules @ 70%
34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3405 Organic chemistry > 340502 Natural products and bioactive compounds @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970103 Expanding Knowledge in the Chemical Sciences @ 50%
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