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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2017, Article ID 3529859, 13 pages
Research Article

Immunomodulatory Effects of Taiwanese Neolitsea Species on Th1 and Th2 Functionality

1PhD Program in Toxicology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
2School of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
3Department of Medical Research, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Jih-Heng Li; wt.ude.umk@xotilhj and Chia-Chi Wang; wt.ude.umk@gnawihcaihc

Received 19 January 2017; Revised 8 May 2017; Accepted 24 May 2017; Published 11 July 2017

Academic Editor: Pushpa Hegde

Copyright © 2017 Yin-Hua Cheng 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.


Neolitsea species, medicinal plants belonging to Lauraceae, contain rich alkaloids, steroids, sesquiterpenoids, and triterpenoids which possess antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory bioactivities. However, species differences in the immunomodulatory effects and evidence pertaining to the effects of Neolitsea species on adaptive immunity are scarce. This study aimed to evaluate the immunomodulatory properties of ten Taiwanese Neolitsea plants on T helper (Th) cell functionality, especially Th1 and Th2. Most of the 29 crude extracts of Neolitsea were not toxic to splenocytes, except N. buisanensis roots. N. aciculata and N. villosa leaf extracts possessed differential immunomodulatory effects on Th1/Th2 balance. N. aciculata var. variabillima and N. hiiranensis leaf extracts attenuated both Th1 and Th2 cytokines while N. konishii dramatically suppressed IFN-γ production. As N. aciculata var. variabillima and N. konishii leaf extracts significantly attenuated Th1 functionality, we further evaluated their effects on CD4 cells under CD3/CD28 stimulation. N. aciculata var. variabillima significantly suppressed IFN-γ, IL-10, and IL-17, demonstrating the broad suppressive effects on T helper cells; N. konishii significantly suppressed IFN-γ and IL-10 production, while the production of IL-17 was not altered. Collectively, these data demonstrated that leaf extracts of Taiwanese Neolitsea species contain phytochemicals with potentials to be developed as selective immunomodulators.