Main content area

Artesunate inhibits proliferation of naïve CD4+ T cells but enhances function of effector T cells

Lee, Sung Ho, Cho, Young-Chang, Kim, Kyung Hee, Lee, Ik-Soo, Choi, Hyun Jin, Kang, Bok Yun
Archives of pharmacal research 2015 v.38 no.6 pp. 1195-1203
Artemisia annua, CD4-positive T-lymphocytes, anti-inflammatory activity, artemisinin, cell growth, drugs, interferon-gamma, interleukin-2, interleukin-4, malaria, surface proteins
Artesunate is an artemisinin derivative from Artemisia annua and is being applied as a first-line drug for malaria treatment. In addition to anti-malarial effects, anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory activities have been reported for artemisinin derivatives. In this study, we investigated the effects of artesunate on naïve T cell activation and Th1/Th2 differentiation. Artesunate inhibited the proliferation of CD4⁺ T cells and the production of IL-2, T cell growth factor. Moreover, artesunate reduced the expression of cell surface protein CD25 (IL-2 receptor alpha chain) and CD69 on CD4⁺ T cells. Artesunate showed inhibitory effects on naïve T cell activation but artesunate increased the production of IFN-γ and IL-4 under Th1 and Th2 skewed condition respectively. Therefore, these results suggest that artesunate has a negative mitogenic effect on CD4⁺ T cells but reinforces the function of effector T cells.