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On February 23, 2018, PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) will be taken offline permanently. No author manuscripts will be deleted, and the approximately 2,900 manuscripts authored by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded researchers currently in the archive will be copied to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Digital Repository over the coming months. These manuscripts along with all other content will also remain publicly searchable on PubMed Central (US) and Europe PubMed Central, meaning such manuscripts will continue to be compliant with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

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1.  Estragole and methyl-eugenol-free extract of Artemisia dracunculus possesses immunomodulatory effects 
Some evidence suggests that chronic uptake of estragole and methyl-eugenol, found in the essential oil of Artemisia dracunculus (tarragon), may be associated with an increased risk of hepato-carcinogenicity. The present study was conducted to investigate the immumodulatory and anti-inflammatory potentials of estragole and methyl-eugenol free extract of tarragon.
Materials and Methods:
Aqueous, hydroalcoholic, methanol and hexane extracts of dried and milled tarragon was prepared and analyzed by GC-MS. The estragole and methyl-eugenol free extract was characterized and used for evaluation of immunity in NMRI mice after challenging with sheep red blood cells.
It was shown that the aqueous extract of tarragon was free from potentially harmful estragole or methyl-eugenol. Moreover, the immunomodulatory effect of the aqueous extract of tarragon (100 mg/kg for 21 consecutive days) was investigated. The extract significantly increased the level of anti-sheep red blood cells (SRBC (antibody and simultaneously decreased the level of cellular immunity in the treatment group. Moreover, tarragon caused a significant reduction in the production of pro-inflammatory IL-17 and IFN-γ in parallel with a reduction in the ratio of INF-γ to Il-10 or IL-17 to IL-10 in the splenocytes. In addition, the levels of the respiratory burst and nitric oxide production in peritoneal macrophages were significantly decreased. Additionally, the phagocytosis potential of macrophages was significantly increased in treated mice.
These data showed that the aqueous extract of tarragon may be used as a natural source to modulate the immune system, because it can inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines and induce anti-inflammatory macrophages.
PMCID: PMC5052415  PMID: 27761422
Artemisia dracunculus (tarragon); Humoral immunity; Cellular immunity; Macrophage
2.  Saffron supplements modulate serum pro-oxidant-antioxidant balance in patients with metabolic syndrome: A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial 
We have investigated the effect of a saffron supplement, given at a dose of 100 mg/kg, on prooxidant-antioxidant balance (PAB) in individuals with metabolic syndrome.
Materials and Methods:
A randomized, placebo-controlled trial design was used in 75 subjects with metabolic syndrome who were randomly allocated to one of two study groups: (1) the case group received 100mg/kg saffron and (2) the placebo control group received placebo for 12 weeks. The serum PAB assay was applied to all subjects before (week 0) and after (weeks 6 and 12) the intervention.
There was a significant (p=0.035) reduction in serum PAB between week 0 to week 6 and also from week 0 to week 12.
Saffron supplements can modulate serum PAB in subjects with metabolic syndrome, implying an improvement in some aspects of oxidative stress or antioxidant protection.
PMCID: PMC4599110  PMID: 26468462
Metabolic syndrome; prooxidant-antioxidant balance; Saffron
3.  Immunomudulatory effects of hydroalcoholic extract of Hypericum perforatum 
Objective: Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort) has long been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of internal and external ailments. The present study was done to evaluate the immumodulatory potentials of the hydroalcoholic extract of H. perforatum.
Materials and Methods: Twenty male BALB/c-mice were randomly allocated in two equal groups and immunized with sheep red blood cells (SRBCs) and complete Freund’s adjuvant. Mice in the treatment group orally received hydroalcoholic extract of H. perforatum (110 mg/Kg daily) from the beginning of the study which continued for 2 weeks.
Results: The data indicated a significant increase in the level of anti-SRBC antibody and simultaneously a significant decrease in the level of cellular immunity, an enhancement in foot pad thickness, in treatment group compared to control group. The level of the respiratory burst in phagocytic cells and the level of lymphocyte proliferation in splenocytes were significantly decreased in the treatment group compared to control group. Moreover, extract caused a significant reduction in the production of pro-inflammatory IL-17 as well as IFN-γ, parallel to increasing the level of IL-6.
Conclusions: The hydroalcoholic extract of H. perforatum may be used as a natural source for treatment of immunopathologic conditions.
PMCID: PMC4352534  PMID: 25767758
Hypericumperforatum; Humoralimmunity; Cellularimmunity; Lymphocyteresponse

Results 1-3 (3)