Immunological adjuvant activities of saponin extracts from the pods of Acacia concinna

Int Immunopharmacol. 2006 Nov;6(11):1729-35. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2006.07.008. Epub 2006 Aug 4.


Pods of Acacia concinna (Leguminosae) contain several saponins. In this study, four saponin fractions which were acetone fraction (AAC), aqueous fraction (WAC), hydromethanolic fraction (HAC) and methanolic fraction (MAC) were generated and their haemolytic activities and surface activities were determined in comparison with quillaja saponin (QS). There were no significant differences between the haemolytic activities of MAC and QS. However, the surface tensions of MAC was significantly lower than QS (p < 0.001). Furthermore, the immunomodulatory effect and the adjuvant potential of MAC on the cellular and humoral immune response of BALB/c mice against ovalbumin were investigated. The splenocyte proliferations induced by MAC were significantly higher than QS at the concentrations of 200, 400, 800 and 1000 microg/ml (p < 0.05). BALB/c mice were immunized subcutaneously either with OVA 20 microg alone or with OVA 20 microg combining with QS (10 microg) or MAC (10 and 40 microg). Ten days after the second immunization, concanavalin A (Con A)-, pokeweed mitogen (PWM)-, and OVA-stimulated splenocyte proliferation and OVA-specific antibodies in serum were measured. The results suggested that MAC (40 microg) could activate T and B cells. In addition, OVA-specific IgG, IgG1 IgG2a and IgG2b antibody levels in serum were significantly enhanced by MAC (40 microg) as compared with OVA control group (p < 0.001). This finding suggested that MAC might be effect on Th1 and Th2 helper T cells. In conclusion, the results indicated that MAC at a dose of 40 microg could be used as vaccine adjuvant to increase immune responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acacia / chemistry*
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Hemolysis / drug effects
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Methanol / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ovalbumin / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Rabbits
  • Saponins / pharmacology*
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Plant Extracts
  • Saponins
  • Ovalbumin
  • Methanol