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International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Applied Sciences
Year : 2015, Volume : 4, Issue : 8
First page : ( 12) Last page : ( 28)
Online ISSN : 2278-6252.

Aqueous extract of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) root an indigenous medicinal plant enhances antigen specific Cell-Mediated Immune Response (CMIR) in A T cell Lymphoma

Kumar Sanjay, Gautam Pramod Kumar, Acharya Arbind

Centre of Advanced Study, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India

Online published on 5 May, 2016.


Aims of the Study

Withania somnifera is an important Indian medicinal plant, widely used as a home remedy for several diseases in India. It is described as an herbal tonic and health food in Indian traditional medicine and considered as ‘Indian Ginseng’. A series of animal studies show ashwagandha to have profound effects on the hematopoietic system and acts as an immunomodulator. However, there is inadequate evidence on their antitumor and immunostimulatory properties. Therefore, the present study is intended to investigate the effect of its aqueous root extract on Th1 immune response in a T cell lymphoma murine model.

Materials and Methods

Groups of normal and DL-bearing BALB/c mice were fed with optimum dose of W. somnifera root extract for seven days, sensitized and challenged with OVA or tumor cell extract (TE). After 24 hrs of allergen or antigenic challenge, contact hypersensitivity (CHS), delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) and production of IFN-γ and MIP-1α in footpad was measured.


WSE treatment induces higher CHS and DTH immune response in both normal and DL-bearing mice as compared to normal and DL-bearing mice that received sterile PBS. It also increases thymocyte proliferation and production of IFN-γ and MIP-1α in DTH footpad of mice.


On the basis of result obtained, it can be concluded that WSE treatment significantly enhances antigen specific Th1 immune response in both normal healthy and DL-bearing mice and therefore, it can be used as immunostimulator and/or in combination therapy against the malignancies.



W. somnifera, Herbal Medicine, Th1 immune response, Delayed type Hypersensitivity, IFN-γ, MIP-1α, T cell lymphoma.


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