Stimulation of interleukin-1 and -6 production in alveolar macrophages by the neotropical liana, Uncaria tomentosa (uña de gato)

J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Feb;64(2):109-15. doi: 10.1016/s0378-8741(98)00113-5.


Two extracts of different collections of the traditional medicine uña de gato (Uncaria tomentosa) from Peru were characterized by High Pressure Liquid Chromatography as containing approximately 6 mg/g total oxindole content prior to studies with alveolar macrophages. The plant preparations greatly stimulated IL-1 and IL-6 production by rat macrophages in a dose dependent manner in the range of 0.025-0.1 mg/ml. They were also able to enhance IL-1 and -6 in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages. The results suggest a strong immunostimulant action of this plant.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / drug effects*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / metabolism
  • Peru
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Rats
  • Rubiaceae / chemistry*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Plant Extracts