Acacia catechu L., (Fabaceae) named as “catechu” is a plant, the decoction of heartwood of which is daily consumed as thirst quencher by a good percentage of the population in South India. The plant is mainly distributed in India and other Asian countries. It has been used in Indian traditional medicine for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, colic, diarrhea, boils, skin afflictions, sores and stomatitis. The present investigation was aimed to study the immunomodulatory effects of different fractions of ethanol extract of A. catechu heartwood and HPLC analysis of the active fraction. Three fractions namely, butanol, chloroform and ethyl acetate were prepared from ethanol extract of A. catechu heartwood. Each of these fractions was assessed for its immunomodulatory activity. In vivo immunomodulatory activity was analyzed by sheep red blood cells (SRBC) specific hemagglutinating antibody titer, plaque-forming cell assay and delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction in Swiss albino mice. In vitro immunomodulating potential of the fractions was studied using murine peritoneal macrophages and splenocytes. Non-specific immune functions such as phagocytosis (nitroblue tetrazolium reduction assay and cellular lysosomal enzyme assay), nitric oxide (NO) production and cytokine release (TNF-α and IL-10) were studied in macrophages. In addition, splenocyte proliferation was also studied. In the in vivo experiments, butanol and chloroform fractions showed an increase in antibody titer dose-dependently. At higher dose (400 mg/kg b. w.) treatment the butanol fraction produced an enhancement in the number of plaque-forming cells (antibody producing cells) in the spleen. SRBC induced DTH reaction was significantly increased with butanol fraction in a dose-dependent manner. Peritoneal macrophages showed an increased phagocytic response on treatment with butanol fraction (100 μg/mL) as evidenced by its effect on nitroblue tetrazolium reduction and cellular lysosomal enzyme activity. All three fractions inhibited the production of NO and the release of TNF-α. Interleukin-10 production was significantly increased after treatment with butanol fraction. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of the butanol fraction showed the presence of high concentration of catechin. The results suggested that butanol fraction of ethanol extract of A. catechu heartwood had immunomodulatory effects on non-specific, humoral, and cell-mediated immune functions. This study may be useful in validating the rationality of daily consumption of decoction of A. catechu and also its use in traditional medicine system. The study also suggests the possible use of A. catechu in the immunostimulatory herbal preparations. © 2018
Sunil, M.A.; Sunitha, V.S.; Ashitha, A.; Neethu, S.; Midhun, S.J.; Radhakrishnan, E.K.; and Jyothis, M.
"Catechin rich butanol fraction extracted from Acacia catechu L. (a thirst quencher) exhibits immunostimulatory potential,"
Journal of Food and Drug Analysis: Vol. 27
, Article 25.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfda.2018.06.010
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