Effect of Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) flavone on immune system: an in-vitro approach

Phytother Res. 2008 Nov;22(11):1490-5. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2518.


There are several reports, which suggest that the consumption of foods rich in flavonoids is associated with a lower incidence of certain degenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Flavones, of Seabuckthorn (SBT) (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) fruit berry can modulate the production and level of several signaling molecules associated with immune function and inflammation in vitro, including several cytokines. We have evaluated the immunomodulatory activity of ethanolic solution of SBT flavone (FLV) in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The SBT flavone was found to stimulate production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in PBMCs. However, increased expressions of p-IkappaB, NF-kappaB, and p-p38 were found in flavone-treated human PBMCs with significantly suppressed expression of CD25 (IL-2R). There was no alteration found in the nitric oxide (NO) production in mouse macrophage cell line RAW 264.7. These observations suggest that stimulation of IL-6 and TNF-alpha secretion may contribute to the putative beneficial effects of dietary flavone against microbial infection.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival
  • Flavones
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / immunology*
  • Hippophae / chemistry
  • Hippophae / immunology*
  • Humans
  • I-kappa B Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Immunologic Factors / immunology
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / biosynthesis
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / biosynthesis


  • Flavones
  • Flavonoids
  • I-kappa B Proteins
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • Interleukin-6
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • flavone