The effects of methanolic, chloroform, and ethylacetate extracts of the Cucurbita pepo L. on the delay type hypersensitivity and antibody production

A Jafarian-Dehkordi, B Zolfaghari, M Parnianifard


Pumpkin, as a dietary plant, has been used in traditional medicine around the world. In addition, during the last decade, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antitumor, intestinal antiparasitic, antibacterial, anti hypercholesterolemia, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and analgic effects of pumpkin has been reported. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of different extracts of Cucurbita pepo L. on the immune responses. Methanolic, chloroform and ethylacetate extracts of C. pepo fruits was obtained using percolation method. Mice were used to study the effects of C. pepo extracts on the acquired immunity. Sheep red blood cell (SRBC) was injected (S.C., 1×108 cells/ml, 20 ml) and 5 days later, methanolic, chloroform and ethylacetate extracts of C. pepo at diiferent doses (10, 100 and 500 mg/kg), betamethasone and levamisol at equal doses (4 mg/kg) as positive controls and normal saline as a negative control were given i.p. After 1 h SRBC was injected to the footpad (S.C., 1×108 cells/ml, 20 ml) and the footpad swelling was measured up to 72 h. To investigate the effects of C. pepo on the innate immunity the same procedure was used, but animals received only one injection of SRBC 1 h after i.p. injection of test compounds. Our findings showed that SRBC induced an increase in the paw swelling with maximum response at 6-8 h. Betamethasone inhibited the paw swelling in both models. In both innate and acquired immunity models, methanolic, chloroform and ethylacetate extracts of C. pepo fruits significantly reduced the paw swelling dose dependently. The data suggest that the pumpkin extracts may have immunomodulatory effects. 

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