The immunomodulatory and antioxidant activities of crude polysaccharides extracted from Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino (GPMPP) were investigated. GPMPP was composed of rhamnose, arabinose, xylose, mannose, glucose and galactose in the molar ratio of 1.39:3.76:1.00:1.64:4.98:5.88. In vivo studies showed GPMPP significantly increased the spleen and thymus indices, activated the macrophage phagocytosis and NK cells, and exhibited activity on none or Con A/LPS-stimulated splenocytes in a dose-dependent manner in C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, GPMPP elevated CD4⁺ T lymphocyte counts as well as the CD4⁺/CD8⁺ ratio dose-dependently, and it increased IL-2 level in the sera and spleen of Cy-immunosuppressed mice. Furthermore, GPMPP significantly increased the SOD, GSH-Px, T-AOC, GSH and CAT level, and decreased the MDA level. The results showed that GPMPP might play an important role in prevention of oxidative damage in immunological system. These findings indicate GPMPP has immunomodulatory activity in vivo and seems to be an effective natural immunomodulatory agent.
Keywords: Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino; antioxidant; immunomodulatory; in vivo; polysaccharide.