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Apoptosis-associated generation of reactive oxygen intermediates and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human lymphocytes and granulocytes by extracts from the seeds of Acalypha wilkesiana


Apoptosis-associated generation of reactive oxygen intermediates and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human lymphocytes and granulocytes by extracts from the seeds of Acalypha wilkesiana



Journal of Ethnopharmacology 66(3): 301-309



ISSN/ISBN: 0378-8741

PMID: 10473177

DOI: 10.1016/s0378-8741(98)00227-x

Seeds from Acalypha wilkesiana (Euphorbiaceae) are an essential component of a complex plant mixture used empirically by traditional healers in Southwest Nigeria to treat breast tumours and inflammation. To investigate their biological properties, we incubated human lymphocytes and granulocytes with aqueous and ethanolic extracts of A. wilkesiana seeds (AWS). In lymphocytes, we observed an induction of apoptosis and generation of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI), as measured by the oxidation of hydroethidine, within 2 h, while in granulocytes, an aqueous seed extract induced the oxidative burst and enhanced phagocytosis of Escherichia coli within 10-20 min. In the supernatants of 72-h cultured lymphocytes, AWS induced the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6, and also T-cell-associated cytokines interleukin-5 and interferon-gamma. These preliminary results encourage further investigations of this drug with both cytotoxic and immunomodulating properties.

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Accession: 003044455

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