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.
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