[Modulatory effect of Astragalus membranaceus on Th1/Th2 cytokine in patients with herpes simplex keratitis]

Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004 Feb;24(2):121-3.
[Article in Chinese]


Objective: To explore the influence of Astragalus membranaceus (AM) on serum cytokines, Th1, including interleukin-2 (IL-2) and gamma-interferon (gamma-IFN), and Th2, including interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-10 (IL-10), in patients with herpes simplex keratitis (HSK).

Methods: One hundred and six HSK patients were randomly divided into the AM treated group and the ribavirin treated group. Levels of serum IL-2, IL-4, IL-10 and gamma-IFN of all the patients and 62 healthy person, selected from donors for control group, were determined by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique.

Results: Levels of serum IL-4 and IL-10 in HSK patients were significantly higher and those of IL-2 and gamma-IFN were significantly lower than those in the healthy control (all P < 0.01). These parameters were significantly improved in the patients of the AM group after treatment, but with no change in patients of the ribavirin group.

Conclusion: AM can modulate the imbalance state of Th1/Th2 in HSK patients, improve their immune function disturbance, that shows important significance in treating HSK.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Astragalus propinquus*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Interleukin-2 / blood
  • Interleukin-4 / blood
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / drug therapy*
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Ribavirin / therapeutic use
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-4
  • Ribavirin
  • Interferon-gamma