East Afr Med J. 1998 Oct; 75(10): 598-601.
Effects of the extract of Spirostachys venenifera Pax on the immune response in mice.
Department of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nairobi.
The effects of the methanol extract of Spirostachys venenifera Pax (SVP) on the immune response in mice was investigated. Keyhole limpet haemocyanin (KLH) was the antigen. An enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to monitor serum antibody levels in mice exposed to various doses of SVP at a dosage of 0.1 mg/Kg. In mice in vivo, SVP caused a significant suppression of the immune response compared to control mice that received no SVP. A haemolytic plaque assay was used to monitor the effect of SVP on antibody producing B lymphocytes from the peritoneum and from the spleen in vitro. SVP caused a reduction in the number of plaque forming cells (PFC) at 0.1 ug/ml with peritoneal B cells. There was further reduction of PFC with higher doses of SVP. With the spleen B cells, clear reduction in PFC was seen only with the higher doses of SVP, from 1 ug/ml upwards to 100 ug/ml. The prospect of developing a new immunosuppressive agent from SVP is a welcome possibility that can add to the newer immunosuppressive agents with greater efficacy and less side effects in comparison to the traditional ones.