Angiogenic and immunomodulatory activity of P. notoginseng Saponins.
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Panax notoginseng (P. notoginseng) has been used as an important herbal ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for (TCM) for thousands of years. Evidence suggests that P. notoginseng saponins (PNS), the primary pharmacologically active components of the plant, may promote wound healing and inhibit tumor growth through opposing effects on angiogenesis (Sengupta et al., 2010) and may also induce anti-inflammatory and immuno-protective effects by enhancing the survival of immune cells and by mediating the release of important cytokines (Son et al., 2010; Rhule et al., 2006). This paper presents two related studies that investigated the effects of P. notoginseng on angiogenesis and wound healing, as well as immune cell regulation and inflammatory response. The first study applied an In vivo experiment using the zebrafish caudal fin regeneration model in order to investigate the angiogenic effects of two different PNS extracts; one extract contained PNS isolated from the roots of P. notoginseng (PNS root extract – PNSRE) and the other extract contained PNS isolated from the stem, leaves and flower of the plant (PNS plant extract – PNSPE). Results indicated that PNSRE had a significant inhibitory effect on angiogenesis with exposure to 500 μg/ml while PNSPE did not show any significant effect. The second study used and in vitro model and investigated the effect of PNSRE on human CD4+ T cell differentiation and/or polarization with particular interest IFN-γ, IL-17A, and FOXP3 expression in TH1, TH2 and TH17, and Treg cells. Results suggest that low concentrations of PNSRE have a stimulatory effect on the proliferation of human CD4+ T cells while high concentrations of PNSRE have an anti-proliferative effect on human CD4+ T cells. Similarly, IFN-γ, IL-17A, and FOXP3 were down-regulated in all cell types at high concentrations of the drug. Cells from Sarcoidosis patients appeared to be similarly affected by PNSRE. Further studies should be conducted to confirm these results.
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