Objective: To study the effects of Radix Astragali on serum cytokines IL-1beta, TNFalpha and antigen expression of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in patients with Graves disease (GD).
Methods: Eighty GD patients at their first visit were randomly assigned to the methimazole (MMI) group (Group A) and the MMI combined Radix Astragali group (Group B), 40 in each. The improvement of clinical symptoms and thyroid functions were observed after one-month treatment. The serum IL-1beta and TNF-alpha levels in the peripheral blood were determined using radioimmunoassay. The expression levels of surface antigen CD80, CD54, and HLA-DR of PBMCs were detected using flow cytometry.
Results: The improvement of the thyroid gland function was similar in the two groups. There was no obvious change in the levels of autoantibody TGAb or TPOAb of the two groups. Symptoms such as fear of heat, hidrosis, palpitation, and so on were more obviously improved in Group B than in Group A (P < 0.05). The serum IL-betaP, TNFalphaa, CD00 levels in the peripheral blood were all improved in the two groups after treatment when compared with before treatment ( P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). But the serum levels of IL-beta and TNFalpha decreased more obviously in Group B than in Group A ( P < 0.05). The expression of CD54 decreased more obviously in Group B (P < 0.01), showing statistical difference when compared with Group A at the same time point (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Radix Astragali could significantly relieve the clinical symptoms such as hidrosis and palpitation, regulate the immune function of GD patients, playing an important role in the adjuvant therapy for GD.