Ethanol extract from birch bark (Betula pubescens) suppresses human dendritic cell mediated Th1 responses and directs it towards a Th17 regulatory response in vitro.
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Sigurpalsson, Marino Boas
Olafsdottir, Elin S
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CitationImmunol. Lett. 2011, 136(1):90-6
AbstractExtracts and fractions from birch bark have been used to treat various diseases, such as skin disorders and rheumatism, and for analgesic effects. Results from studies in vitro and in vivo have shown that birch bark extracts can have immunoregulatory effects. These effects have mainly been attributed to the various triterpenes found in birch bark. The effects of birch bark from Betula pubescens on immune responses have not been reported. Ethanol extract was prepared from dry birch bark (DBBEE) and five fractions made using various ratios of dichloromethane and methanol (fractions I-V). Human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) were matured with or without DBBEE or fractions I-V at several concentrations. The effects of the extract and fractions on DC maturation were determined by measuring cytokine secretion by ELISA and expression of surface molecules by flow cytometry. DBBEE and fractions III and IV reduced DC secretion of IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12p40 and expression of CD83, CD86, CCR7 and DC-SIGN compared with control DCs. Proliferation of allogeneic CD4(+) T cells co-cultured with DCs matured with fraction IV, as measured by (3)H-thymidine incorporation, was similar to proliferation of allogeneic CD4(+) T cells co-cultured with control DCs. However, IFN-γ secretion was reduced and IL-10 and IL-17 secretion was increased, a cytokine profile consistent with a Th17 regulatory phenotype. These results indicate that bark from Betula pubescens contains compound(s) that can modulate DCs so that their interaction with T cells leads to an immunoregulatory response.
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