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Year : 1994  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 202-3

Tinospora cordifolia induces colony stimulating activity in serum.

Dept of Pharmacology, Seth GS Medical College, Parel, Bombay, Maharashtra.

Correspondence Address:
U M Thatte
Dept of Pharmacology, Seth GS Medical College, Parel, Bombay, Maharashtra.

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 0009136239

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 :: Abstract 

Tinospora cordifolia (Tc) is an Indian medicinal plant with proven immunomodulatory activity. This study was performed to elucidate its possible mechanism of action. We measured CFU-GM Cotony forming units of the granulocyte-macrophage series in serum of mice treated with Tc. We found that 10 days treatment with Tc (100 mg/ kg/d) induced a significant (p < 0.01) increase in the number of CFU-GM (255 +/- 49.32 vs 38.51 +/- 9.98) This suggests that activation of macrophages by Tc leads to increase in GM-CSF which leads to leucocytosis and improved neutrophil function.

Keywords: Adjuvants, Immunologic, Animal, Female, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, blood,Macrophage Activation, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred Strains, Plants, Medicinal,

How to cite this article:
Thatte U M, Rao S G, Dahanukar S A. Tinospora cordifolia induces colony stimulating activity in serum. J Postgrad Med 1994;40:202

How to cite this URL:
Thatte U M, Rao S G, Dahanukar S A. Tinospora cordifolia induces colony stimulating activity in serum. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1994 [cited 2023 Jun 4];40:202. Available from:

  ::   Introduction Top

Tinospora cordifolia (Tc) is an Indian medicinal plant with powerful immunostimulant effects[1]. It has been reported to increase leucocyte counts and ablate neutropenia following single and multiple doses of cyclophosphamide[2],[3]. Pre-treatment with Tc has also been shown to afford protection against induced infections in Mice[4] and rats[5].

This study was performed to elucidate the possible mechanism of action of Tc. In view of the fact that Tc induced leucocytosis, we measured CFU-GM (colony forming units of the granulocyte - macrophage series) activity in serum of mice treated with Tc.

Swiss albino mice of either sex, weighing between 18-22g were used for the study. 20 mice were treated with an aqueous extract of Tc in the dose of 100 mg/ kg orally for 10 days. Another set of 20 mice acted as a control group and were given 1 ml/day distilled water for 10 days.

On the 11th day the mice were sacrificed and blood was collected from the heart. Total and differential white blood cell counts were performed. Serum was separated and frozen at 80?C. This was used as the source for colony stimulating activity.

Agar Colony Assays For CFU - GM: Ability to induce colony forming units of granulocyte - macrophage series by serum from Tc treated mice was compared to that induced by serum from control mice. The agar colony assay was done by using the method given by Burgess, et al[6]. One millilitre of under layer containing 9 parts of Duibecco's Modified Essential Medium (DMEM) plus 20% new born Calf Serum (NBCS) and 1 part 3% agar was allowed to gel in 35 mm plastic petridishes. One millilitre of the overlay containing 9 parts DMEM plus 20% NBCS containing 1 part 2 % agar was added to the gelled under layer. In the test plates 10 ul serum from Tc treated mice was added while in the control plates 10 ul of serum from distilled water treated mice was added.

Mononuclear cells from normal bone marrow were seeded at 2 X 105/ml in the nutritive agar overlay. Colonies were observed after 14 days with 2.5 X objective and 10 X eye piece. Four replicates were made with each source of CSA. The culture dishes were incubated at 37?C in 7.5% CO2 in air in a fully humidified atmosphere. Colonies (> 20 cells) were counted on day 14.

  ::   Results Top

As expected, treatment with Tinospora cordifolia for 15 days induced leucocytosis with predominant neutrophilia. Thus, on Day 10 the total white cell count in the control mice was 7800 + 1028 (Mean + SE) while that in the Tc treated group was 14237 1236, representing a statistically significant (p < 0.001) increase of 82%. Similarly, the absolute neutrophil count in the Tc treated group was 9078 +260, which was significantly (p < 0.001) more than in the control group (3900+266).

The number of colonies (> 20 cells) in each plate of the test and control plates is given in [Table - 1].

  ::   Discussion Top

These results indicate that treatment with an aqueous extract of Tc for 10 days at a dose of 100 mg/kg orally leads to significant increase in CFU - GM activity in the serum. Tc has been earlier shown to stimulate macrophages[5]. It is known that activated macrophages secrete GM-CSF This haematopoietic growth factor leads to an array of effects including induction of leucocytosis as well as prevention of cytotoxic chemotherapy induced neutropenia[7]. The entire spectrum of activity shown by Tc can be explained by this effect of inducing secretion of GM-CSF.

The results of this study further confirm that Tinospora cordifolia has a great potential as an immunomodulator and may be useful in clinical conditions where GM-CSF has been evaluated.

 :: References Top

1.   Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Thatte UM, Dahanukar SA. Immunotherapeutic modification of experimental infections by Indian medicinal plants. Phyother Res 1989; 3:43-49.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Thatte UM, Chhabria SC, Karandikar SM, Dahanukar SA. Protective effects of Indian medicinal plants against cyclophosphamide neutropenia. J Postgrad Med 1987; 33:185-188.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Thatte UM, Dahanukar SA. Comparative study of immunomodulating activity of Indian medicinal plants, lithium carbonate and glucan. Methods and Findings Expt Clin Pharmacol 1988; 10:639-644.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Thatte UM, Kulkarni MR, Dahanukar SA. Immunotherapeutic modification of Escherichia coli peritonitis and bacteremia by Tinospore cordifolia. J Postgrad Med 1992; 38:13  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Dahanukar SA, Thatte UM, Pai NR, More PB, Karandikar SM. Immunotherapeutic modification by Tinospora cordifolia of abdominal sepsis induced by caecal ligation in rats. Indian J Gastroenterol 1988; 7:21-23.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Burgess AW, Wilson EC, Metcalf D. Stimulation by human placental conditioned medium of hematopoietic colony forming human marrow cells. Blood 1977; 49:573-576.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Grant SM, Heel RC. Recombinant granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (rGM CSF). A review of its pharmacological properties and prospective role in the management of myelosuppression. Drugs 1992; 43:516-532.   Back to cited text no. 8    


[Table - 1]

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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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