Assessment of the Effects of a Novel Herbal Immunomodulator Drug (IMOD) on Cytokine Profiles in Experimental Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis: a Preliminary Survey

  • Abdolali Malmasi Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
  • Bijan Ziaie Ardestani Mail Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
  • Saeed Bayanolhagh Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDs (IRCHA), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Mehdi Mohebali Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran AND Center for Research of Endemic Parasites of Iran (CREPI), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Hamidreza Khorram Khorshid Genetic Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Parisa Sadrpour Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDs (IRCHA), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Negin Hosseini Rouzbahani Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDs (IRCHA), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran AND Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Behnaz Akhoundi Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran AND Center for Research of Endemic Parasites of Iran (CREPI), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Soulmaz Naserli Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
  • Shadi Ziaie Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Shahid-Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Ehsan Mostafavi Department of Epidemiology, Pasteur institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.
Cytokine, Dog, Immunomodulator, Leishmaniasis, Therapy


Background: Cytokines play a fundamental role in the regulation of immune responses in remission and/or relapsing of leishmaniasis. Therefore, immunotherapy for the treatment of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) has represented a principle approach in control of the infection. The present research aimed to evaluating the immunotherapeutic potential of a novel herbal immunomodulator drug (IMOD) on CVL.

Methods: Twelve mongrel dogs were intravenously infected with Iranian strain of L. infantum and randomly divided into three groups; 1: negative control (non-infected), 2: immunotherapy with IMOD and 3: positive control (non-treated). Cell proliferation and Th1-/Th2-type cytokines were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) by cell proliferation kit I (MTT) and enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assays, respectively.

Results : At the 60 days follow-up assessment, no adverse effects were observed in treated interventional group. Cellular proliferation assay indicated that PBMCs of IMOD group had higher stimulation index (SI) than positive control group (p <0.05). Enhancement of CD4+ T cells such as IL-2, IL-4 & IL-10 were detected in negative control group due to in vitro IMOD stimulation 30 days post-treatment. In accordance to decreasing trends of Th1 & Th2 cytokines in positive control group, the mean number of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4 and IL-10 spot forming cells (SFCs) down regulated for IMOD group during the study.

Conclusion: These data indicate that IMOD had immunomodulatory potential but is not sufficient for total parasitic cure due to balance of Th1/Th2 cytokines. This is a preliminary study and we propose to undertake a series of experiments to evaluate the CVL due to in vitro modulatory effects of IMOD.


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How to Cite
Malmasi A, Ziaie Ardestani B, Bayanolhagh S, Mohebali M, Khorram Khorshid H, Sadrpour P, Hosseini Rouzbahani N, Akhoundi B, Naserli S, Ziaie S, Mostafavi E. Assessment of the Effects of a Novel Herbal Immunomodulator Drug (IMOD) on Cytokine Profiles in Experimental Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis: a Preliminary Survey. Iran J Parasitol. 9(3):292-301.