The Effect of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Nigella sativa on Plasmodium berghei-Infected Mice: An Evaluation of Immune Deviation and Serum Levels of Interferon Gamma (IFN-?) and Interleukin 4 (IL-4) DC12-DC15
Dr. Khosrow Hazrati Tappeh,
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran; Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran.
Introduction: In tropical countries, malaria is known as one of the most widespread infectious diseases with an estimated 212 million cases globally. Treatment of malaria has become more difficult when the drug resistance appears against parasites. Therefore, safe and effective new drugs are highly required. Because of simplicity, lower cost, low rate of serious complications, and greater tolerability, traditional medicine is an important source for new drugs.
Aim: To evaluate the anti-malaria and immune modulatory effects of Nigella sativa against Plasmodium berghei in vivo.
Materials and Methods: This study was conducted in the Department of Parasitology, the Faculty of Medicine, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran during January 2014 to January 2015. N. sativa powder was macerated in methanol and filtered with Bokhner hopper, and solvent was separated in a rotary evaporator. In the result of toxicity test, the 450 mg/kg was determined as maximum dose with minimum toxicity. Antimalarial efficacy and interferon gamma (IFN-?) and Interleukin 4 (IL-4) cytokines level were investigated in five groups of P. berghei-infected BALB/c mice. The percentage of parasitaemia and surveillance were also evaluated.
Results: The results of our study showed no toxicity, even at high concentration of herbal extract. A significant reduction in the percentage of parasitaemia was not observed in the treatment group. N. sativa-treated infected mice showed a significant increase in the IFN-? but not IL-4 serum level, In addition, no higher surveillance was observed in the mice group treated with N. sativa compared to treated mice.
Conclusion: Hydroalcoholic extract of N. sativa has the weak efficiency against P. berghei. However, there is requirement to evaluate the immune mechanism and also find the major component of this herbal extract by further studies.