Cardamonin, a monomeric alkaloid, is isolated from Alpinia conchigera Griff and other natural plants. Recently, it has been focused on its anticancer activities, and no information showing its immune effects on leukemia mice was reported. In this study, we investigated the immune effects of cardamonin on WEHI-3 cell–generated leukemia mice. Forty BALB/c mice were randomly divided into four groups: Group I mice were normal animals and groups II-IV were leukemia. Group II mice, as a positive control, were administered with normal diet, and group III and IV mice were treated with 1 and 5 mg/kg of cardamonin, respectively, by intraperitoneal injection every 2 days for 14 days. The population of white blood cells, macrophage phagocytosis, and the proliferations of T and B cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. Another forty mice were also separated randomly into four groups for the determination of survival rate. Results showed that cardamonin did not affect body weight. Cardamonin decreased CD3, CD11b, and Mac-3 cell populations but increased CD19 number. Cardamonin enhanced phagocytic abilities of macrophages from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of leukemia mice. Furthermore, cardamonin at 1 mg/kg treatment improved the survival rate of leukemia mice in vivo. Therefore, cardamonin could be applied for a leukemia therapeutic reagent at a defined dose.
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