Dose-dependent in vivo effect of Rhodiola and Echinacea on the mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation in mice

Pol J Vet Sci. 2011;14(2):265-72. doi: 10.2478/v10181-011-0040-9.


Echinacea purpurea (EP) and Echinacea angustifolia (EA) are ones of the most important world's herbs with immunotropic activity. They were traditional medicinal plants used by North American Indians for the treatment of various illnesses. Now they are cultivated in many countries and are used mainly to treat respiratory tract infections. Rhodiola rosea (RR) and Rhodiola quadrifida (RQ) are medicinal plants originated from Asia and used traditionally as adaptogens, antidepressants, and anti-inflammatory remedies. We previously reported, that extracts of underground parts of RR and RQ exhibited immunotropic activity. We have demonstrated in pigs that in vitro RR or RQ supplementation of blood lymphocyte cultures stimulated T cell proliferative response to Con A in lower, and inhibited it in higher Rhodiola extract concentrations. The aim of this work was to evaluate the in vivo effect of these herbal remedies on the in vitro proliferative response of mouse splenic lymphocytes to another T-cell mitogen- Phaseolus vulgaris haemagglutinin (PHA). We have found significant stimulation of proliferative response, in comparison to the controls, in mice fed lower doses of tested remedies, and inhibition, no effect or lower stimulation, in mice fed higher doses of these drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Echinacea / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mitogens / toxicity*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rhodiola / chemistry*
  • Spleen / cytology


  • Mitogens
  • Plant Extracts