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Asparagus racemosus ameliorates cisplatin induced toxicities and augments its antileishmanial activity by immunomodulation in vivo

Sachdeva, Heena, Sehgal, Rakesh, Kaur, Sukhbir
Parasitology international 2014 v.63 no.1 pp. 21-30
Asparagus racemosus, Leishmania donovani, alkaline phosphatase, antileishmanial properties, antileishmanials, blood plasma, cisplatin, creatinine, delayed hypersensitivity, histology, humoral immunity, immune response, immunoglobulin G, immunosuppression, interferon-gamma, interleukin-2, kidneys, liver, liver function tests, mice, parasite load, parasites, therapeutics, urea, visceral leishmaniasis
Current drugs for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis are inadequate and their efficacies are also compromised due to suppression of immune function associated during the course of infection. To overcome this problem, efforts are needed to develop therapies with effective immunomodulatory agents where decrease of parasitic burden and simultaneous enhancement of adaptive immunity can be achieved. In this study we have evaluated a new therapeutic approach based on combination of Asparagus racemosus, an immunomodulatory drug, in combination with cisplatin against Leishmania donovani infected BALB/c mice. We demonstrate that A. racemosus (650mg/kg b.wt./day for 15days, orally) in combination with cisplatin (5mg/kg b.wt./day for 5days, intraperitoneally) enhanced the clearance of parasites as determined by Giemsa-stained liver impression smears. Besides having better killing activity, this combination group achieved increased production of disease resolving Th-1 response (IFN-gamma, IL-2), heightened DTH (delayed type hypersensitivity) response and augmented levels of IgG2a. Moreover, A. racemosus in combination with cisplatin not only provided enhanced protective immune response but also resulted in remarkable improved kidney and liver function tests as manifested by normal levels of SGOT, SGPT, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine and urea in blood plasma with normal histological observations as compared to only cisplatin treated L. donovani infected BALB/c mice. Through this study we have ascertained that A. racemosus in combination with cisplatin in L. donovani infected BALB/c mice boosted as well as restored both cellular and humoral immunity. Thus in view of severe immunosuppression in visceral leishmaniasis, a better and effective strategy for optimum efficacy of future antileishmanial drugs would direct not only killing of parasite by the drug, but also simultaneous generation of immunity against the disease.