|dc.description.abstract||Background: Globally alternative herbal medicines are used to modulate the immune system in many disease conditions. Among the herbs used in Uganda is Moringa oleifera though no scientific study has been done to evaluate its efficacy as an immune booster.
Aim: The study determined the immunomodulatory effect of M. oleifera total crude leaf extract on the immune response in wistar Albino rats.
Methods: A preclinical laboratory based experimental study using M. oleifera crude extract was done following standard methods and procedures. Nine experimental groups (Gp I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX) each comprising four wistar Albino rats were used. The rats were immunosuppressed using cyclophosphamide. Groups I (control group) was dosed normal saline. Groups II to IX received cyclophosphamide at the beginning of the study. Group III received an immunostimulatory dose of levamisole (50mg/kg bwt). Groups IV and VII, V and VIII and VI and IX were dosed for fourteen days with 250mg/kg bwt, 500mg/kg bwt and 100mg/kg bwt of M. oleifera crude leaf extract respectively using an intra-gastric tube. The effect of the total crude leaf extract of M. oleifera on the immune system was then assessed by determining complete blood count (CBC), delayed type hypersensitivity reaction (DTH), neutrophil adhesion test and haemagglutination antibody titers responses to sheep red blood cell (SRBC). Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad prism 5.0a Software (GraphPad Software Inc., California, USA).
Results: The crude extract of M. oleifera caused an increment in the WBC, lymphocyte and neutrophil counts at a dose of 1000mg/kg bwt similar to the levamisole positive control group. There was an increment in the red cell counts for the animals that received levamisole and no significant change was seen for the study groups that received M. oleifera extract. The haemoglobin concentration and haematocrit were observed to increase significantly (p ≤ 0.05) mostly for the treatment group dosed 1000mg/kg bwt. The neutrophil adhesion was statistically significantly (P ≤ 0.05) for treatment groups that received 1000mg/kg bwt (29.94%) and 500mg/kg bwt at 17.28%. The mean percentage increment in footpad thickness as recorded was
highest (26.9%) after 8 hours of injection of antigen in the right footpad for the rats dosed
500mg/kg bwt and this later declined to be the second highest (25.6%) at 24 hours for the same group. The mean haemagglutination antibody titer to SRBC increased with different dose increments with the highest titer recorded for 1000mg/kg bwt and levamisole treatment groups.
Conclusion: The group of animals dosed 1000mg/kg bwt recorded an increment in WBC count, lymphocyte and neutrophil count as well as neutrophil adhesion, delayed type hypersensitivity and haemagglutination antibody titers and hence the continued use of the herb as an immune||en_US