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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 21  |  Page : 26-33

Licorice infusion: Chemical profile and effects on the activation and the cell cycle progression of human lymphocytes


1 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Charles University, Heyrovského 1203, 500 05 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
2 Institute of Clinical Immunology and Allergology, Charles University, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, Sokolská 581, 500 05 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
3 Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Horticulture, Valtická 337, 69144 Lednice, Czech Republic

Correspondence Address:
Jose Cheel
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Charles University, Heyrovského 1203, 500 05 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

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Source of Support: Czech Republic government (project MSM 0021620822)/UNESCO,, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1296.59963

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A licorice infusion (LI) and its major constituents were investigated for their capacity to stimulate the activation and the cell cycle progression of human lymphocytes, measured by the CD69 expression and DNA content, respectively. The chemical profile of LI was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection (HPLC-DAD). Results: Two major components of LI were identified as liquiritin (1) and glycyrrhizin (2); total flavones and flavonols were shown as its minor constituents. The LI (100-800 µg/ml) stimulated the expression of CD69 on lymphocytes in a concentration-independent manner. Values of the activation index (AI) of total lymphocytes treated with LI (100-800 µg/ml) did not differ significantly among them ( P < 0.05), but were 50% lower than the AI value exhibited by cells treated with phytohemagglutinin (PHA). The LI showed a similar effect on T cells, but on a lower scale. Compounds 1 and 2 (12-100 µg/ml) did not stimulate the CD69 expression on lymphocytes. The LI, 1 and 2 showed no meaningful effect on cell cycle progression of lymphocytes. The experimental data indicates that LI stimulates the activation of lymphocytes as a result of a proliferation-independent process. This finding suggests that LI could be considered as a potential specific immune stimulator.


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