Mashitha Vinod Pise, Jaishree Amal Rudra, Avinash Upadhyay
Biotechnology, Hislop School of Biotecnology, Hislop College, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.
Medicinal properties of Asparagus racemosus (vernacular name: Shatavari) are attributed to its steroidal saponins called shatavarins. This plant is facing the threat of being endangered due to several developmental, seasonal constrains and malpractices involved in its collection and storage. To support its conservation, a tissue culture protocol is standardized which produces 20 fold higher levels of shatavarin. Here we evaluate the bioactivity and immunomodulatory potential of in vitro produced shatavarins from cell cultures of AR using human peripheral blood lymphocytes. In vitro produced shatavarin stimulated immune cell proliferation and IgG secretion in a dose dependent manner. It stimulated interleukin (IL)-12 production and inhibited production of IL-6. It also had strong modulatory effects on Th1/Th2 cytokine profile, indicating its potential application for immunotherapies where Th1/Th2 balance is envisaged. Our study demonstrating the bioactivity of tissue cultured AR extracts supports further in vivo evaluation of its immunomodulatory efficacy.
Keywords: Asparagus racemosus, immunomodulation, shatavarins, steroidal saponins, Th1/Th2 balance.