BEST PRACTICE PROGRAMME IN THE STANDARDISATION OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINES: EVALUATION OF AN IMMUNE BOOSTER FORMULATED BY TRADITIONAL HEALERS OF THE VAAL TRIANGLE, SOUTH AFRICA|
M.G., Pinkoane; M., Ngcobo & N.1, Gqaleni
Background: Regulation and standardization of African traditional medicines (ATM) prescribed by traditional healers in South
Africa is still far from being implemented. This is despite the fact that more people are using ATM products than ever. In an effort to
demonstrate that collaboration with traditional health practitioners (THPs) can yield standardized TM products, this study aimed to
evaluate the immunomodulatory effects of an herbal immune booster formulated by traditional healers from the Vaal Region, South
Materials and Methods: Using normal and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells
(PBMCs) models, doses of the immune booster ranging from 1000 to 10 μg/mL were evaluated for their cytotoxicity, inflammatory
cytokines and chemokines secretion, nitric oxide (NO) secretion, malondialdehyde (MDA) assay, and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl
Results: The immune booster induced a dose dependent cytotoxic effect on both normal and LPS stimulated PBMCs with higher
doses showing cytotoxicity while lower dose from 100μg/mL did not show any cytotoxicity. When re-dissolved in aqueous PBS
immune booster doses up to 100 μg/mL showed better DPPH radical inhibition (41%) than ascorbic acid at 40μg/mL (33%). The
immune booster also decreased lipid peroxides significantly (p< 0.05) and this was comparable to ascorbic acid. There was also a
significant (p< 0.05) increase in nitrite (NO) after treatment of LPS stimulated PBMCs with immune booster doses when compared
to untreated samples. The immune booster stimulated inflammatory cytokines secretion in normal PBMCs (IL 1α, IL 1β, IL 6, IL 10
and TNFα while showing a decrease in IFNγ at the higher dose) while in LPS stimulated PBMCs some cytokines were decreased (IL
1α, IL 17α and at lower doses IL 10 and TNFα) and others were increased (IFNγ, TNFα and GM-CSF) depending on the dose used.
In both normal and LPS stimulated PBMCs the immune booster significantly (p< 0.05) increased (MIP 1α) while causing significant
(p< 0.05) decreases in IP 10 (high dose), I-TAC and MIG secretion.
Conclusions: This immune booster showed potential immunostimulatory effects by increasing nitric oxide, inflammatory cytokines
and chemokines secretion in both normal and LPS stimulated PBMCs. This TM also showed promising antioxidant potential in the
MDA and DPPH assays. Further in vitro and animal studies are warranted.
Traditional healers; traditional medicines; regulation; standardization; immune stimulation