Sophorae radix reduces autoimmune response in NZB/w F1 systemic lupus erythematosus mouse model.
Lupus. 2007;16(5):335-41. PMID: 17576735
The immunosuppressive effects of Sophorae radix (SR) make this plant an attractive agent for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. The effect of SR on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the New Zealand Black/White F(1) (NZB/w F(1)) mouse model system was investigated. Three-month-old NZB/w F(1) mice were separated into two groups: one treated with SR (1% SR solution by oral administration, daily for 15 weeks) and one with water as a control. Experimental parameters include proteinuria, anti-dsDNA antibody titers, T-cell response and renal histopathological analysis. Results in the SR-treated group showed a significant reduction in proteinuria and anti-dsDNA antibodies either in serum or in glomerular capillaries, along with significant recovery from renal glomerular damage. The lymphocyte population was significantly increased in the SR-treated mice compared with the control group. In the T helper (Th)1/Th2 cytokine secretion profile, interferon-gamma in splenocyte culture was significantly reduced in the SR-treated mice, while interleukin-4 secretion was not altered. These results strongly suggest SR therapy corrects the deviated Th1/Th2 balance, thereby alleviating SLE-like symptoms in the NZB/w F(1) mice. Therefore, SR may be useful in the clinical treatment of SLE.