Immunosuppressive activity of Artemisia argyi (Chinese mugwort) extract and isolated compounds

Autoimmune diseases have the common feature of increased T-cell proliferation, leading to the perceived overreaction of the immune system. Available drugs can have side effects and are sometimes less effective over time. Natural products could offer an alternative. Moreover, a study shows that a third of all new chemical entities approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between 1981 and 2014 were based on natural products.

Therefore, we previously examined an extract library, with plants used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This showed that Chinese mugwort has an in vitro inhibitory effect on proliferation of T lymphocytes. In the next study, which we explain in the Instagram video, we gathered even more evidence for anti-inflammatory properties.

We examined the effects of this extract and certain compounds of it, on T-cell activation and function in vitro. We also looked at the influence of relevant signalling pathways, involved in immune response, by the compounds in question.

We found that the Chinese mugwort extract has different and more effects than the individual compounds, although some compounds were found to have specific actions on their own. This corroborates the notion that there is a multitarget effect of herbal extracts, which may lead to pharmacological synergism, where one or more compounds interact and causes the overall effect to be greater than the sum of the individual effects.

(Source: Front. Pharmacol. 2020. Amy M. Zimmermann-Klemd, Jakob K. Reinhardt, Anna Morath, Wolfgang W. Schamel, Peter Steinberger, Judith Leitner, Roman Huber, Matthias Hamburger and Carsten Gründemann;