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Evaluation of the immunomodulatory effects of a South African commercial traditional immune booster in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Evaluation of the immunomodulatory effects of a South African commercial traditional immune booster in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Author Information (click to view)

Ngcobo M, Gqaleni N,


Ngcobo M, Gqaleni N, (click to view)

Ngcobo M, Gqaleni N,

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BMC complementary and alternative medicine 2016 08 2216(1) 300 doi 10.1186/s12906-016-1294-7

Abstract
BACKGROUND
With the burden of HIV and AIDS still very high, South Africa has seen an increase in commercial traditional medicines claiming to have immune-enhancing effects. Because of lack of regulation of the traditional medicine sector, these products have proliferated. This study aimed to evaluate the immunomodulatory effects of uMakhonya®, a commercial traditional immune booster, using various models of normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).

METHODS
Immunosuppressed, mitogen-, and peptidoglycan (PG)-stimulated PBMCs were treated with various doses of uMakhonya® and incubated for 24 h. The treated and control samples were analyzed for cytotoxicity, secretion of 12 different inflammatory cytokines, soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) levels, and nitric oxide (NO) secretion.

RESULTS
In cytotoxicity assays, uMakhonya® induced dose-dependent cytotoxic effects in all three models, with IC50 values of 512.08, 500, and 487.91 μg/mL for immunosuppressed, phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-, and PG from Staphylococcus. aureus (PG-S. aureus)-stimulated PBMCs, respectively. UMakhonya® at 100 and 10 μg/mL induced a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the secretion of IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF)-α, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in cyclosporine-, immunosuppressed, and PHA-stimulated PBMCs. In the same samples, there was a significant increase (p < 0.05) in sIL-2R concentration, which correlated with an increase in the secretion of inflammatory cytokines. In PBMCs stimulated with PG-S. aureus, uMakhonya® at doses of 100 and 10 μg/mL significantly (p < 0.05) suppressed the secretion of inflammatory cytokines, especially IL-1β and TNF-α. PG-S. aureus-stimulated PBMCs also showed a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in sIL-2R concentration when compared to control samples. UMakhonya® insignificantly (p > 0.05) decreased NO levels in PBMCs after PG-S. aureus stimulation.

CONCLUSIONS
These results showed that uMakhonya® can induce both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects depending on the initial stimuli applied to immune cells.

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