Immunomodulation by pycnogenol in retrovirus-infected or ethanol-fed mice

Life Sci. 1996;58(5):PL 87-96. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(95)02303-8.


Pycnogenol is a commercial mixture of bioflavonoids that exhibits antioxidative activity. The effects of dietary pycnogenol on immune dysfunction in normal mice as well as those fed ethanol or infected with the LP-BM5 murine retrovirus were determined. The ethanol consumption and retrovirus infection caused abnormalities in the function and/or structure of a broad array of cells involved in humoral and cellular immunity. Pycnogenol enhanced in vitro IL-2 production by mitogen-stimulated splenocytes if its production was suppressed in ethanol-fed or retrovirus-infected mice. Mitogenesis of splenocytes did not show a significant change in mice treated with pycnogenol. It reduced the elevated levels of interleukin-6 produced in vitro by cells from retrovirus infected mice and IL-10 secreted by spleen cells from mice consuming ethanol. Natural killer cell cytotoxicity was increased with pycnogenol treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology*
  • Alcoholism / immunology
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / drug effects
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Leukemia, Experimental
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Murine Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Plant Extracts
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Vitamin E / metabolism


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Cytokines
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Vitamin E
  • Ethanol
  • pycnogenols