Re-analysis of herbal extracts data reveals that inflammatory processes are mediated by hormetic mechanisms

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  • Edward J. Calabrese, University of Massachusetts
  • ,
  • Evgenios Agathokleous, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology
  • ,
  • Rachna Kapoor, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center Hartford
  • ,
  • Walter J. Kozumbo
  • ,
  • Suresh I.S. Rattan

Using data from Schink et al. (2018), a large number of herbal extracts were assessed for their capacity to induce pro- and anti-inflammatory effects based on TLR4 expression normalized for cell viability in two immune cell models (i.e., HeLa-TLR4 transfected reporter cell line, and THP-1 monocytes) applying seven concentrations (0.01–3.0%). The analysis revealed that 70–80% of the extracts satisfying the a priori entry criteria also satisfied a priori evaluative criteria for hormetic concentration responses. These findings demonstrate that a large proportion of herbal extracts display hormetic dose responses in immune cells, indicating that hormetic mechanisms mediate pro- and anti-inflammatory processes and may provide a means to guide optimal dosing strategies. The identification of doses eliciting only anti-inflammatory therapeutic activity as well as the use of dose-variable herbal extracts in the treatment of inflammatory diseases will be challenging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108844
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

    Research areas

  • Biphasic dose response, Herbal extracts, Hormesis, Inflammation, THP-1 monocytes, Toll-like receptor

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