Suppression of allergic reactions by dehulled adlay in association with the balance of TH1/TH2 cell responses

J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Jun 18;51(13):3763-9. doi: 10.1021/jf021154w.


Dehulled adlay is known as a natural Chinese medicine having antiallergic activity, although its mechanism remains unclear. This study examined the effects of dehulled adlay on antigen-specific antibody and cytokine production. Mice were immunized three times with ovalbumin (OVA) in alum adjuvant. It was found that oral administration of dehulled adlay in mice suppressed the production of IgE against OVA antigen. Serum anti-OVA IgG(2a) antibody levels were significantly increased in mice after oral administration of dehulled adlay. Furthermore, the production of IL-2 by OVA-stimulated splenocytes was augmented in dehulled adlay-fed mice. Although dehulled adlay had no effect on the serum anti-OVA IgG(1) antibody levels, it had a great capacity to reduce IL-5 secretion by means of OVA-stimulated splenocytes. Hydrothermal processes, including steaming and extrusion cooking, did not change the capacity of dehulled adlay to suppress IgE production. Three fractions of dehulled alday, including methanolic extract, warm water extract, and residue, were obtained. The methanolic extract exhibited the greatest capacity to reduce anti-OVA IgE production. These results suggest that dehulled adlay has a modulating ability to shift the balance from Th2 to Th1 dominance in the T cell mediated immune system and may be beneficial for the treatment of allergic disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coix* / chemistry
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Immunization
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Interleukin-5 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Methanol
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interleukin-5
  • Plant Extracts
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ovalbumin
  • Methanol