Sambucus ebulus extract stimulates cellular responses in cutaneous leishmaniasis

Summary

This is the first study aiming to determine the therapeutic effects of the Sambucus ebulus aquatic extract as an antileishmanial herbal drug and evaluate the immune responses in Leishmania major major infected BALB/c mice. The antileishmanial activity of S ebulus aquatic extract was evaluated using MTT test as well as parasite rescue and transformation assay. Footpad swelling and parasite load of infected mice were measured by several techniques. The immune responses were evaluated by measuring the levels of IFN‐γ, IL‐4, nitric oxide and arginase. The results indicated that S. ebulus can significantly decrease L. major promastigotes and amastigotes viability, but it was not toxic to macrophages. The lesion size, parasite burden and the level of ARG decreased in the treated infected mice, while the IFN‐γ‐to‐IL‐4 ratio and the level of NO increased significantly. Altogether, the S. ebulus extract is an effective compound for killing Leishmania parasite without excessive toxicity to the host cells and can cure the CL by switching the host immune responses towards Th1 response. Thus, it may be a perfect therapeutic option for CL treatment

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