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      Pharmacological Properties and Safe Use of 12 Medicinal Plant Species and Their Bioactive Compounds Affecting the Immune System

      , ,
      Applied Sciences
      MDPI AG

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          Abstract

          This paper presents raw plant materials and their characteristic compounds which may affect the immune system. Plant-derived agents in specific doses affect the body’s non-specific, antigen-independent defense system. They have immunostimulatory effects on the entire immune regulatory system. They can enhance the immune response through various factors such as macrophages, leukocytes, and granulocytes, as well as through mediators released by the cellular immune system. This paper was inspired by the threats caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proper functioning of the immune system is important in limiting the effects of viral infection and restoring the normal functioning of the body. This paper also emphasizes the importance of the skillful use of plant immunostimulants by potential patients, but also by those who prescribe drugs. It is important not only to choose the right plant drug but above all to choose the correct dose and duration of treatment.

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          Most cited references68

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          The role of macrophages in the resolution of inflammation

          Macrophages are tissue-resident or infiltrated immune cells critical for innate immunity, normal tissue development, homeostasis, and repair of damaged tissue. Macrophage function is a sum of their ontogeny, the local environment in which they reside, and the type of injuries or pathogen to which they are exposed. In this Review, we discuss the role of macrophages in the restoration of tissue function after injury, highlighting important questions about how they respond to and modify the local microenvironment to restore homeostasis.
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            Interleukin 1α and the inflammatory process.

            Inflammation occurs after disruption of tissue homeostasis by cell stress, injury or infection and ultimately involves the recruitment and retention of cells of hematopoietic origin, which arrive at the affected sites to resolve damage and initiate repair. Interleukin 1α (IL-1α) and IL-1β are equally potent inflammatory cytokines that activate the inflammatory process, and their deregulated signaling causes devastating diseases manifested by severe acute or chronic inflammation. Although much attention has been given to understanding the biogenesis of IL-1β, the biogenesis of IL-1α and its distinctive role in the inflammatory process remain poorly defined. In this review we examine key aspects of IL-1α biology and regulation and discuss its emerging importance in the initiation and maintenance of inflammation that underlie the pathology of many human diseases.
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              Plant-derived immunomodulators: an insight on their preclinical evaluation and clinical trials

              The phagocyte–microbe interactions in the immune system is a defense mechanism but when excessively or inappropriately deployed can harm host tissues and participate in the development of different non-immune and immune chronic inflammatory diseases such as autoimmune problems, allergies, some rheumatoid disorders, cancers and others. Immunodrugs include organic synthetics, biological agents such as cytokines and antibodies acting on single targets or pathways have been used to treat immune-related diseases but with limited success. Most of immunostimulants and immunosuppressants in clinical use are the cytotoxic drugs which possess serious side effects. There is a growing interest to use herbal medicines as multi-component agents to modulate the complex immune system in the prevention of infections rather than treating the immune-related diseases. Many therapeutic effects of plant extracts have been suggested to be due to their wide array of immunomodulatory effects and influence on the immune system of the human body. Phytochemicals such as flavonoids, polysaccharides, lactones, alkaloids, diterpenoids and glycosides, present in several plants, have been reported to be responsible for the plants immunomodulating properties. Thus the search for natural products of plant origin as new leads for development of potent and safe immunosuppressant and immunostimulant agents is gaining much major research interest. The present review will give an overview of widely investigated plant-derived compounds (curcumin, resveratrol, epigallocatechol-3-gallate, quercetin, colchicine, capsaicin, andrographolide, and genistein) which have exhibited potent effects on cellular and humoral immune functions in pre-clinical investigations and will highlight their clinical potential.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                ASPCC7
                Applied Sciences
                Applied Sciences
                MDPI AG
                2076-3417
                June 2023
                May 25 2023
                : 13
                : 11
                : 6477
                Article
                10.3390/app13116477
                420a2073-4fbf-40e1-9957-617f52506628
                © 2023

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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