Anti-inflammatory Effects of Matricaria chamomilla Extracts on BALB/c Mice Macrophages and Lymphocytes

  • Zahra Asadi
  • Tooba Ghazanfari
  • Helia Hatami
Keywords: Apigenin; Lymphocytes; Matricaria chamomilla; Macrophages, Th1-Th2 balance


Matricaria chamomilla (MC) was shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Flavonoids are major groups of MC immunomodulators. The anti-inflammatory effects of apigenin as an MC flavonoid has already been demonstrated. In this study, we aimed to report the amount of this compound by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and measuring the total phenol content (TPC) in both the MC aqueous and alcoholic extracts. We also investigated the MC aqueous and ethanolic extracts effect on BALB/c separated macrophages and lymphocytes cell viability and macrophage nitric oxide production. Interferon-γ and interleukin-10 secretion were also measured in lymphocytes. We found that the amount of apigenin was 0.078 and 0.25 mg/g per each of dry aqueous and alcoholic extracts, respectively. Also, the total phenol content was 2.99% in aqueous and 3.95% in alcoholic extracts. BALB/c separated macrophages cell viability significantly increased when treated with the MC aqueous extract but decreased when treated by the MC alcoholic extract in the presence of lipopolysaccharide. Also, the amount of nitric oxide production by macrophages and BALB/c separated lymphocytes cell viability in treatment with aqueous and alcoholic extracts significantly decreased. Interferon-γ increased, and interleukin-10 decreased in lymphocytes treated with the MC aqueous extract, which may suggest Th1 polarization. There was no significant change in the interferon-γ level in lymphocytes when treated with the MC alcoholic extract, but the level of IL-10 increased in these cells. Altogether, besides the anti-inflammatory effect of MC extracts, we found MC aqueous extract effects as disrupting Th1/Th2 balance to Th1 upregulation. Overall, the anti-inflammatory effect of the MC alcoholic extract was higher than the MC aqueous extract.