Arctigenin from Arctium lappa inhibits interleukin-2 and interferon gene expression in primary human T lymphocytes

Wei Jern Tsai, Chu Ting Chang, Guei Jane Wang, Zong-Huei Li, Shwu Fen Chang, Shao Chun Lu, Yuh Chi Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Arctium lappa (Niubang), a Chinese herbal medicine, is used to treat tissue inflammation. This study investigates the effects of arctigenin (AC), isolated from A. lappa, on anti-CD3/CD28 Ab-stimulated cell proliferation and cytokine gene expression in primary human T lymphocytes.Methods: Cell proliferation was determined with enzyme immunoassays and the tritiated thymidine uptake method. Cytokine production and gene expression were analyzed with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.Results: AC inhibited primary human T lymphocytes proliferation activated by anti-CD3/CD28 Ab. Cell viability test indicated that the inhibitory effects of AC on primary human T lymphocyte proliferation were not due to direct cytotoxicity. AC suppressed interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) production in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, AC decreased the IL-2 and IFN-γ gene expression in primary human T lymphocytes induced by anti-CD3/CD28 Ab. Reporter gene analyses revealed that AC decreased NF-AT-mediated reporter gene expression.Conclusion: AC inhibited T lymphocyte proliferation and decreased the gene expression of IL-2, IFN-γ and NF-AT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalChinese Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Mar 25 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Pharmacology

Cite this