Prophylactic administration of Withania somnifera extract increases host resistance in Listeria monocytogenes infected mice.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Feb 16. Epub 2010 Feb 16. PMID: 16919825
In this study, we demonstrated that Withania somnifera L. extract (WSE) protects mice from a lethal dose of Listeria monocytogenes when administered prophylactically at 100, 250 and 500 mg/kg for 10 days, with survival rates up to 30%. These doses also prevented the myelosuppression and the splenomegaly caused by a sublethal infection with L. monocytogenes, due to increased numbers of granulocyte-macrophage progenitors (CFU-GM) in the bone marrow. Investigation of the production of colony-stimulating factors (CSFs) revealed increased colony-stimulating activity (CSA) in the serum of normal and infected mice pre-treated with WSE. Further studies to investigate the levels of interferon-gamma (INF-gamma) and lymphocyte cell proliferation were undertaken. We observed dose-dependent increases in cell proliferation and in the levels of INF-gamma in mice infected with L. monocytogenes and treated with WSE. All together, our results suggest that WSE indirectly modulates immune activity and probably disengages Listeria-induced suppression of these responses by inducing a higher reserve of myeloid progenitors in the bone marrow, proliferation of lymphocytes and increased INF-gamma levels.