Effects of oral administration of Echinacea purpurea (American herb) and Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) in combination with iso-maltooligomers derived from corn starch on incidence of spontaneous leukemia in AKR/J mice

T Watanabe PhD 12, T Asahi 1, M Watanabe 1, Y Watanabe 1, Y Yanagimoto MD 2

1 Division of Res. & Develop. Mie Chemical Foods Company, 615 Kawagoe, Mie 510-8121, Japan 2Dept. of Human Welfare, International Buddhist University, Habikino, Osaka 583-8501, Japan

AIM: The present study focused on the suppressive actions of the powder from leaves of E. purpurea (EP; American herb) preparation and of the powder from roots of P. paniculata( PP; Brazilian ginseng) in combination with iso-maltooligomers linked by Þ (1-¨6) bonds (IMO; branchedmaltooligosaccharides) against the occurrence of spontaneous leukemia (thymic lymphoma) in female AKR/J mice. It was further examined that the preventive effects of the two agents on proliferation of murine sarcoma cells transplanted into subcutaneous (SC) tissues of animals. METHODS: 1) Criteria for the effectiveness of the oral administration of the EP preparation combined with IMO and of the PP preparation combined with IMO on the incidence of spontaneous leukemia in female AKR/J mice. 2) Assay for endogenous recombinant murine leukemia viruses (MuLV) between xenotropic and ecotropic MuLV in thymuses from the experimental and the control mice. 3) Assay for several cytokines in peritoneal fluids from the experimental and the control mice. 4) Assay for phagocytic activity of peritoneal macrophages (pMØ) from mice treated with IMO alone. 5) Comparison of leukemogenic activity (thymic lymphomagenicity) of cell-free extracts of thymuses between the experimental and the control mice. RESULTS: 1) The enlargement of thymic lymphoma in the mice treated orally with the EP preparation or with the PP preparation was significantly suppressed compared with the untreated controls. 2) The proliferation of endogenous recombinant MuLV in the thymus was strongly inhibited after the oral administration of the two plant agents, as compared with the untreated controls. 3) The production of IFN-gamma was significantly accelerated by the treatment with those agents, whereas only modest amounts of TNF-alpha and IL-12 were produced. 4) The phagocytic activity of pMØ against Candida albicans cells was markedly augmented by the administration of IMO alone. 5) The mortality rate in normal 3-week-old female AKR/J mice was remarkably delayed when thymus cell-free extract from the experimental animals (final age=28 weeks) was injected directly into the thymus of normal young animals. 6) The growth of Sarcoma-180 cells combined with IMO. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest the possibility that clinical use of the powder of the leaves from E. purpurea and of the powder of the roots from P. paniculata may be indicated in immunotherapy for cancer patients at an earlier stage and/or for enucleated cancer patients. Alternatively, a combination immunotherapy consisting of P. paniculata, E. purpurea and characteristic oligosaccharides such as IMO and fructooligosaccharides having beta(2-1) bonds which possess strong immunostimulative actions may exert synergistic effects in cancer treatment.

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Paris, France; February 9 - 12, 2002; in the section on Immunotherapy.