Evaluation of anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory activities of Stimunex® and Stimunex D3® in human monocytes/macrophages stimulated with LPS or IL-4/IL-13

Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Dec:132:110845. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110845. Epub 2020 Oct 17.


Macrophages exert an important role in maintaining and/or ameliorating the inflammatory response. They are involved in the activation of an immune response to pathogens, with a balance between the immunomodulatory role and tissue integrity maintenance, however, excessive macrophage activity promotes tissue injury and chronic disease pathogenesis. There is a high interest in evaluating the anti-inflammatory properties of new botanical preparations. Stimunex® and Stimunex D3® are two food supplements formulated as syrups, containing the extract of elderflower (Sambucus nigra, Caprifoliaceae), standardized in polyphenol (6%) and anthocyanins (4%), associated with wellmune WGP® β-glucan, with the addiction of vitamin D3 (in Stimunex D3® formulation). The aim of the work was the evaluation of Stimunex® and Stimunex D3® activity in human polarized-macrophages, in order to support their use as supplement for preventing and reducing the inflammatory processes. In primary human stimulated macrophages, both syrups were able to revert LPS- and IL-4/IL-13-mediated response, reducing the release of several pro-inflammatory cytokines. Results support that these standardized botanical preparations fortified with β-glucan, may have a potential use in the prevention and coadjuvant management of inflammatory process as respiratory recurrent infections and other similar conditions. Moreover, the addition of vitamin D3 revealed to be an advantage in Stimunex D3® for its important role in maintaining and enhancing the innate immune response.

Keywords: Immunomodulation; Inflammation; Macrophages; Sambucus nigra extract; Vitamin D3; β-glucan.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacology*
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Interleukin-13 / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Sambucus nigra / chemistry*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-13
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Interleukin-4