Immunosuppressive activity of ethanolic extract of seeds of Moringa oleifera Lam. in experimental immune inflammation

J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jul 6;130(1):183-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.04.024. Epub 2010 May 6.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Traditionally, the plant Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) is used for the treatment of ascites and rheumatism, while the dried seeds of the plant are used as an 'anti-allergic' agent.

Aim of the study: The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy of ethanolic extract of seeds from Moringa oleifera Lam. in experimental immune inflammation.

Materials and methods: Circulatory and splenic leukocyte counts, delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions and humoral antibody responses were measured in mice using SRBC as the antigen. In addition, macrophage phagocytosis was measured by the carbon clearance test.

Results: The extract dose-dependently (50, 100 and 200mg/kg) inhibited spleen weight as well as circulatory leukocyte and splenocyte counts. The delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction was significantly inhibited (P<0.01) by decreasing the mean foot pad thickness at 48 h. The production of the humoral antibody titer was significantly ameliorated at a dose of 100 and 200mg/kg (P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively). Furthermore, the extract caused a down-regulation of macrophage phagocytosis due to carbon particles.

Conclusion: Taken together, the above findings suggest that the seeds of Moringa oleifera have immunosuppressive activity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Ethanol / chemistry*
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Mice
  • Moringa oleifera / embryology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Seeds / chemistry*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Ethanol