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Fissistigma oldhamii (Hemsl.) Merr [F. oldhamii], a traditional Chinese herb medicine, is widely used for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in China. Following bioactivity-guided isolation, a representative immunosuppressive compound with low cytotoxicity, 7'-(3',4'-dihydroxyphenyl)-N-[(4-methoxyphenyl)ethyl]propenamide (Z23), was been identified in this herb medicine. We investigated the immunosuppressive effects of Z23 on T cells in vitro and in vivo. The results showed that Z23 in a dose-dependent manner significantly inhibited the proliferation of splenocytes induced by concanavalin A (ConA) and by the mixed lymphocyte culture reaction (MLR), with half inhibitive concentration (IC(50)) values of 6.22 microM and 0.78 microM, respectively. Z23 also dose-dependently inhibited the proliferation and type 1 cytokine (IFN-gamma and IL-2) production of primary T cells stimulated by anti-CD3/CD28 mAbs, but did not affect IL-12 production by mouse peritoneal macrophages (pMphi) stimulated with LPS plus IFN-gamma in vitro. Administration of Z23 (6.25 mg/kg, 12.5 mg/kg, 25 mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently suppressed 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB)-induced delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reactions. Furthermore, administration of Z23 (25 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly reduced the incidence and severity of type II bovine collagen (CII)-induced arthritis (CIA), which was associated with the inhibition of CII-specific T cell proliferation and type 1 cytokine (IFN-gamma and IL-2) production. In this study, we report that a representative immunosuppressive compound from F. oldhamii, Z23, effectively inhibits murine immune responses in vitro and in vivo, and that the immunosuppressive effects of Z23 might be attributed to suppression of T cell activation and function and Th1 type cytokine production.


Xu-Dong Hu, Xiang-Gen Zhong, Xiang-Hua Zhang, Yi-Nan Zhang, Zong-Ping Zheng, Yu Zhou, Wei Tang, Yang Yang, Yi-Fu Yang, Li-Hong Hu, Jian-Ping Zuo. 7'-(3',4'-dihydroxyphenyl)-N-[(4-methoxyphenyl)ethyl]propenamide (Z23), an effective compound from the Chinese herb medicine Fissistigma oldhamii (Hemsl.) Merr, suppresses T cell-mediated immunity in vitro and in vivo. Life sciences. 2007 Dec 14;81(25-26):1677-84

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PMID: 18022200

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