Echinacea purpurea Protects Against Restraint Stress-Induced Immunosuppression in BALB/c Mice

J Med Food. 2018 Mar;21(3):261-268. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.4073. Epub 2017 Dec 7.

Abstract

Echinacea purpurea has been widely used for the prevention and treatment of upper respiratory tract infections and the common cold. The restraint stress has been reported to suppress a broad spectrum of immune functions. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of the pressed juice of E. purpurea (L.) Moench (EFLA®894; Echinacea) against restraint stress-induced immunosuppression in BALB/c mice. Echinacea significantly normalized the restraint stress-induced reduction in splenocyte proliferation and splenic natural killer (NK) cell activity (P < .05). Echinacea treatment significantly increased the percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes in the blood (P < .05). In addition, Echinacea restored serum cytokine levels, including interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and interleukin-17 (IL-17), as well as the mRNA expressions of these cytokines in spleen (P < .05). Our findings suggest that Echinacea might have beneficial effects on restraint stress-induced immunosuppression by increasing splenocyte proliferation and NK cell activity, while modulating T lymphocyte subsets and cytokine levels in the blood.

Keywords: Echinacea purpurea; NK cell; T lymphocyte; cytokines; immune; restraint stress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Echinacea / chemistry*
  • Immunosuppression / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppression / psychology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / metabolism
  • Killer Cells, Natural / pathology
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Plant Components, Aerial / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Random Allocation
  • Restraint, Physical / adverse effects
  • Restraint, Physical / psychology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Stress, Physiological / immunology*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / immunology*
  • Stress, Psychological / metabolism
  • Stress, Psychological / pathology

Substances

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Plant Extracts