Nettle leaf contains a compound which exhibits antirheumatic activity. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Antirheumatic effect of IDS 23, a stinging nettle leaf extract, on in vitro expression of T helper cytokines.
J Rheumatol. 1999 Dec;26(12):2517-22. PMID: 10606356
OBJECTIVE: Stinging nettle leaf extracts are registered in Germany for adjuvant therapy of rheumatic diseases. In a whole blood culture system the nettle extract IDS 23 (Rheuma-Hek) inhibited lipopolysaccharide stimulated monocyte cytokine expression, indicating an immunomodulating effect. We investigated the immunomodulating effects of IDS 23 on phytohemagglutinin (PHA) stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in vitro. METHODS: Using commercial immunoassays the distinct cytokine patterns of Th1 and Th2 cells were determined. Interleukin 2 (IL-2) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) mRNA expression was evaluated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with PHA stimulated PBMC. RESULTS: IDS 23 inhibited PHA stimulated production of Th1-specific IL-2 and IFN-gamma in PBMC culture (n = 10) in a dose dependent manner up to 50+/-32% and 77+/-14%, respectively. In contrast, IDS 23 stimulated the secretion of Th2-specific IL-4. The dose dependent inhibiting effect on IL-2 and IFN-gamma expression was also detected with RT-PCR, while the amount of actin-specific mRNA transcript was not modified by IDS 23. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest the effective ingredient of IDS 23 acts by mediating a switch in T helper cell derived cytokine patterns. IDS 23 may inhibit the inflammatory cascade in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.