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Bioactive Constituents of Verbena officinalis Alleviate Inflammation and Enhance Killing Efficiency of Natural Killer Cells

  • Natural killer (NK) cells play key roles in eliminating pathogen-infected cells. Verbena officinalis (V. officinalis) has been used as a medical plant in traditional and modern medicine for its anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory activities, but its effects on immune responses remain largely elusive. This study aimed to investigate the potential of V. officinalis extract (VO extract) to regulate inflammation and NK cell functions. We examined the effects of VO extract on lung injury in a mouse model of influenza virus infection. We also investigated the impact of five bioactive components of VO extract on NK killing functions using primary human NK cells. Our results showed that oral administration of VO extract reduced lung injury, promoted the maturation and activation of NK cells in the lung, and decreased the levels of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α and IL-1β) in the serum. Among five bioactive components of VO extract, Verbenalin significantly enhanced NK killing efficiency in vitro, as determined by real-time killing assays based on plate-reader or high-content live-cell imaging in 3D using primary human NK cells. Further investigation showed that treatment of Verbenalin accelerated the killing process by reducing the contact time of NK cells with their target cells without affecting NK cell proliferation, expression of cytotoxic proteins, or lytic granule degranulation. Together, our findings suggest that VO extract has a satisfactory anti-inflammatory effect against viral infection in vivo, and regulates the activation, maturation, and killing functions of NK cells. Verbenalin from V. officinalis enhances NK killing efficiency, suggesting its potential as a promising therapeutic to fight viral infection.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Xiangdong Dai, Xiangda Zhou, Rui Shao, Renping ZhaoORCiD, Archana K. YanamandraORCiD, Zhimei Xing, Mingyu Ding, Junhong Wang, Tao LiuORCiD, Qi Zheng, Peng ZhangORCiD, Han Zhang, Yi WangORCiD, Bin QuORCiD, Qu Wang
Parent Title (English):International Journal of Molecular Sciences
First Page:7144
Year of first Publication:2023
Release Date:2023/05/12
Tag:killing efficiency; natural killer cells; verbena officinalis
Impact:06.208 (2021)
DDC classes:500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
Open Access:Open Access
Signature:INM 2023/063
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International