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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 842928, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/842928
Research Article

Beneficial Effect of Bupleurum Polysaccharides on Autoimmune-Prone MRL-lpr Mice

1Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, 826 Zhangheng Road, Pudong District, Shanghai 201203, China
2Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, 826 Zhangheng Road, Pudong District, Shanghai 201203, China

Received 4 January 2012; Revised 28 February 2012; Accepted 10 April 2012

Academic Editor: Anne Davidson

Copyright © 2012 Yi-Wen Jiang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease leading to inflammatory tissue damage in multiple organs. The crude polysaccharides (BPs) isolated from the roots of Bupleurum smithii var. parvifolium have anticomplementary activity and immunomodulatory functions on macrophages. To study its potential benefit on SLE, we examined effects of BPs on MRL-lpr mice, which have similar disease features to human SLE. MRL-lpr mice were treated orally with BPs 15, 30, or 60 mg kg−1 day−1 for 12 weeks and their SLE characteristics were evaluated. The results revealed that BPs elongated life span, improved kidney function, delayed lymphadenopathy, and reduced autoantibodies. It seemed to be mediated by inhibition of complement and macrophages activation and suppression of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene expression in the kidney. These results implicate that BPs may be an immunomodulator for the treatment of autoimmune diseases like SLE.