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Immunosuppressive activity of an aqueous Viola tricolor herbal extract.
J Ethnopharmacol 2014; 151(1):299-306JE

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE

Heartsease (Viola tricolor L.), a member of the Violaceae family, has a long history as a medicinal plant and has been documented in the Pharmacopoeia of Europe. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties it is regarded as a traditional remedy against skin diseases, for example for the treatment of scabs, itching, ulcers, eczema or psoriasis, and it is also used in the treatment of inflammation of the lungs and chest such as bronchitis or asthma. Because T-cells play an important role in the pathological process of inflammatory diseases we investigated the effect of an aqueous Viola extract on lymphocyte functions and explored the 'active' principle of the extract using bioactivity-guided fractionation.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

An aqueous Viola extract was prepared by C18 solid-phase extraction. Effects on proliferation of activated lymphocytes (using the cell membrane permeable fluorescein dye CFSE), apoptosis and necrosis (using annexin V and propidium iodide staining), interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor expression (using fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies) and IL-2 cytokine secretion (using an ELISA-based bead array system) were measured by flow cytometry. Influence on lymphocyte polyfunctionality was characterized by Viola extract-induced production of IFN-γ and TNF-α, as well as its influence on lymphocyte degranulation activity. Fractionation and phytochemical analysis of the extract were performed by RP-HPLC and mass spectrometry.

RESULTS

The aqueous Viola extract inhibited proliferation of activated lymphocytes by reducing IL-2 cytokine secretion without affecting IL-2 receptor expression. Similarly, effector functions were affected as indicated by the reduction of IFN-γ and TNF-α production; degranulation capacity of activated lymphocytes remained unaffected. Bioassay-guided fractionation and phytochemical analysis of the extract led to identification of circular plant peptides, so called cyclotides, as bioactive components.

CONCLUSION

An aqueous Viola extract contains bioactive cyclotides, which inhibit proliferation of activated lymphocytes in an IL-2 dependent manner. The findings provide a rationale for use of herbal Viola preparations in the therapy of disorders related to an overactive immune system. However, further studies to evaluate its clinical potency and potential risks have to be performed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Schwarzspanierstrasse 17, 1090 Vienna, Austria.Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Schwarzspanierstrasse 17, 1090 Vienna, Austria.Center for Complementary Medicine, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University Medical Center Freiburg, Breisacher Street 115B, 79106 Freiburg, Germany.Center for Complementary Medicine, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University Medical Center Freiburg, Breisacher Street 115B, 79106 Freiburg, Germany.Center for Complementary Medicine, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University Medical Center Freiburg, Breisacher Street 115B, 79106 Freiburg, Germany.Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Schwarzspanierstrasse 17, 1090 Vienna, Austria.Center for Complementary Medicine, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University Medical Center Freiburg, Breisacher Street 115B, 79106 Freiburg, Germany.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24216163

Citation

Hellinger, Roland, et al. "Immunosuppressive Activity of an Aqueous Viola Tricolor Herbal Extract." Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 151, no. 1, 2014, pp. 299-306.
Hellinger R, Koehbach J, Fedchuk H, et al. Immunosuppressive activity of an aqueous Viola tricolor herbal extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;151(1):299-306.
Hellinger, R., Koehbach, J., Fedchuk, H., Sauer, B., Huber, R., Gruber, C. W., & Gründemann, C. (2014). Immunosuppressive activity of an aqueous Viola tricolor herbal extract. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 151(1), pp. 299-306. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.10.044.
Hellinger R, et al. Immunosuppressive Activity of an Aqueous Viola Tricolor Herbal Extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;151(1):299-306. PubMed PMID: 24216163.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Immunosuppressive activity of an aqueous Viola tricolor herbal extract. AU - Hellinger,Roland, AU - Koehbach,Johannes, AU - Fedchuk,Halyna, AU - Sauer,Barbara, AU - Huber,Roman, AU - Gruber,Christian W, AU - Gründemann,Carsten, Y1 - 2013/11/08/ PY - 2013/07/04/received PY - 2013/10/16/revised PY - 2013/10/23/accepted PY - 2013/11/13/entrez PY - 2013/11/13/pubmed PY - 2014/9/10/medline KW - Anthroposophical medicine KW - Cyclotides KW - Immunosuppression KW - Phytotherapy KW - Psoriasis KW - Viola tricolor L. KW - Violaceae SP - 299 EP - 306 JF - Journal of ethnopharmacology JO - J Ethnopharmacol VL - 151 IS - 1 N2 - ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Heartsease (Viola tricolor L.), a member of the Violaceae family, has a long history as a medicinal plant and has been documented in the Pharmacopoeia of Europe. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties it is regarded as a traditional remedy against skin diseases, for example for the treatment of scabs, itching, ulcers, eczema or psoriasis, and it is also used in the treatment of inflammation of the lungs and chest such as bronchitis or asthma. Because T-cells play an important role in the pathological process of inflammatory diseases we investigated the effect of an aqueous Viola extract on lymphocyte functions and explored the 'active' principle of the extract using bioactivity-guided fractionation. MATERIAL AND METHODS: An aqueous Viola extract was prepared by C18 solid-phase extraction. Effects on proliferation of activated lymphocytes (using the cell membrane permeable fluorescein dye CFSE), apoptosis and necrosis (using annexin V and propidium iodide staining), interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor expression (using fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies) and IL-2 cytokine secretion (using an ELISA-based bead array system) were measured by flow cytometry. Influence on lymphocyte polyfunctionality was characterized by Viola extract-induced production of IFN-γ and TNF-α, as well as its influence on lymphocyte degranulation activity. Fractionation and phytochemical analysis of the extract were performed by RP-HPLC and mass spectrometry. RESULTS: The aqueous Viola extract inhibited proliferation of activated lymphocytes by reducing IL-2 cytokine secretion without affecting IL-2 receptor expression. Similarly, effector functions were affected as indicated by the reduction of IFN-γ and TNF-α production; degranulation capacity of activated lymphocytes remained unaffected. Bioassay-guided fractionation and phytochemical analysis of the extract led to identification of circular plant peptides, so called cyclotides, as bioactive components. CONCLUSION: An aqueous Viola extract contains bioactive cyclotides, which inhibit proliferation of activated lymphocytes in an IL-2 dependent manner. The findings provide a rationale for use of herbal Viola preparations in the therapy of disorders related to an overactive immune system. However, further studies to evaluate its clinical potency and potential risks have to be performed. SN - 1872-7573 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24216163/Immunosuppressive_activity_of_an_aqueous_Viola_tricolor_herbal_extract_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378-8741(13)00751-4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -