Evaluation of Euphorbia tirucalli L. immunomodulatory and Antitumor Activity

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Euphorbia tirucalli L. is commonly used to treat various pathologies, including cancer. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a crude extract of E. tirucalli on the development of Ehrlich solid tumors and immune function. We prepared an extract by macerating the aerial parts of the plant with 80% ethanol (1:10 g/v) for 15 days. Its effects on tumor development were assessed in male Swiss mice (n=10). The mice were injected subcutaneously with 106 tumor cells and then treated by gavage daily with the extract (33.33, 67, and 133.34 mg kg-1) or saline (0.5% ethanol) for 30 days. The treatment had no toxic effect and did not reduce tumor growth. However, the weight of tumor mass was lowest in the mice treated with extract at 67 mg kg-1. Immunomodulatory activity was evaluated in mice (n=8), with and without tumors, treated with the extract (67 mg kg-1), under the same conditions as described above for 7 and 14 days. Lymphoproliferation, NK activity and IL-12, TNF-α, IFN- γ, and IL-10 levels did not differ significantly between the groups. However, IL-4 levels were reduced in the E. tirucalli treated groups at 7 and 14 days when compared to the controls. We concluded that the extract is not toxic and cannot inhibit Ehrlich solid tumor development. Its immunomodulatory activity involves its ability to modulate IL-4 levels.




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Fronteiras, v. 12, n. 1, p. 56-70, 2023.

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