Special Issue "Immunomodulatory Plants & Plant-Derived Immunomodulators"

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Milan State University, Milan, Italy
Interests: environmental pollution; agrochemicals; mycotoxins; biomonitoring
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Modulation of immune system using medicinal herbs and phytochemicals represents a relatively novel and intriguing therapeutic approach for those diseases where immune response is involved. In their huge chemical diversity, plants as well as fungi (mushrooms) and algae contain secondary metabolites that modulate, i.e. stimulate or suppress, the host immune response. A number of traditional medicinal plants have been used as immunostimulants and immunosuppressants targeting various components or mediators of innate and adaptative immune response (phagocytosis, T and B lymphocytes, complement system, cytokines, chemokines, inflammatory mediators), such as Andrographis paniculata, Curcuma longa, Echinacea purpurea, Withania somnifera, Tinospora cordifolia, Ocimum sanctum, Azadirachta indica, Boswellia serrata, Momordica charantia, Panax ginseng and Boerhaavia diffusa. Immunomodulatory phytochemicals belong to different chemical classes, including alkaloids (berberine, chelerythrine, piperine), polyphenols (quercetin, rutin, apigenin, luteolin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, daidzein, genistein, resveratrol) and isoprenoids (triptolide, 14-deoxyandrographolide, ginsan, oleanolic acid). In this view, herbal formulations represent promising immunomodulatory agents, even if their side-effects, interactions with drugs and bioavailability have to be taken into account.

Prof. Marcello Iriti
Dr. Elena Maria Varoni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • immunostimulants
  • immunomodulators
  • immunosuppressants
  • immunoadjuvants
  • medicinal plants
  • mushrooms
  • algae
  • bioactive phytochemicals
  • botanicals
  • traditional medicine
  • ethnobotany
  • ethnopharmacology

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Immune-Enhancing Activity of Aqueous Extracts from Artemisia rupestris L. via MAPK and NF-kB Pathways of TLR4/TLR2 Downstream in Dendritic Cells
Vaccines 2020, 8(3), 525; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines8030525 - 13 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
Artemisia rupestris L. has long been used as a traditional herbal medicine owing to its immunomodulatory activity. Aqueous extracts of Artemisia rupestris L. (AEAR) contain the main functional component and can activate the maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) and enhance the adaptive immunity [...] Read more.
Artemisia rupestris L. has long been used as a traditional herbal medicine owing to its immunomodulatory activity. Aqueous extracts of Artemisia rupestris L. (AEAR) contain the main functional component and can activate the maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) and enhance the adaptive immunity as the adjuvant against infections. To explore the underlying mechanism of immunomodulatory activities of AEAR, DCs were produced from bone-marrow cells of mice and the effects of AEAR on cell viability were assessed by the Cell Counting Kit 8 (CCK8) method and annexin V/propidium iodide staining assays. Then, the effects of AEAR on the morphology, maturation, and function of DCs were detected using a microscope, flow cytometry-based surface receptor characterization, and endocytosis assays. The secretion levels of cytokines were then analyzed with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The activation state of DCs was evaluated by the mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR). The activity of MAPKs and NF-κB pathways, which were involved in the regulation of AEAR on DCs, was further detected by Western blot. AEAR did not have a cytotoxic effect on DCs or mouse splenocytes. AEAR remarkably enhanced the phenotypic maturation of DCs and promoted the expression of costimulatory molecules and the secretion of cytokines in DCs. AEAR also significantly decreased the phagocytic ability of DCs and augmented the abilities of DCs to present antigens and stimulate allogeneic T-cell proliferation. Simultaneously, AEAR potently activated toll-like receptor (TLR)4-/TLR2-related MAPKs and induced the degradation of IκB and the translocation of NF-κB. In short, AEAR can profoundly enhance the immune-modulating activities of DCs via TLR4-/TLR2-mediated activation of MAPKs and NF-κB signaling pathways and is a promising candidate immunopotentiator for vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunomodulatory Plants & Plant-Derived Immunomodulators)
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Review

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Review
Plant-Derived Nutraceuticals and Immune System Modulation: An Evidence-Based Overview
Vaccines 2020, 8(3), 468; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines8030468 - 22 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1570
Abstract
Immunomodulators are agents able to affect the immune system, by boosting the immune defences to improve the body reaction against infectious or exogenous injuries, or suppressing the abnormal immune response occurring in immune disorders. Moreover, immunoadjuvants can support immune system acting on nonimmune [...] Read more.
Immunomodulators are agents able to affect the immune system, by boosting the immune defences to improve the body reaction against infectious or exogenous injuries, or suppressing the abnormal immune response occurring in immune disorders. Moreover, immunoadjuvants can support immune system acting on nonimmune targets, thus improving the immune response. The modulation of inflammatory pathways and microbiome can also contribute to control the immune function. Some plant-based nutraceuticals have been studied as possible immunomodulating agents due to their multiple and pleiotropic effects. Being usually more tolerable than pharmacological treatments, their adjuvant contribution is approached as a desirable nutraceutical strategy. In the present review, the up to date knowledge about the immunomodulating properties of polysaccharides, fatty acids and labdane diterpenes have been analyzed, in order to give scientific basic and clinical evidence to support their practical use. Since promising evidence in preclinical studies, limited and sometimes confusing results have been highlighted in clinical trials, likely due to low methodological quality and lacking standardization. More investigations of high quality and specificity are required to describe in depth the usefulness of these plant-derived nutraceuticals in the immune system modulation, for health promoting and disease preventing purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunomodulatory Plants & Plant-Derived Immunomodulators)
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