Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Cytokine and Proliferative Response to In Vitro Echinacea Stimulaton in Male College Wrestlers andSoccer Players During Preseason Practice
Shah, Nisarg B.
Doty, Danielle M.
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The effects of dietary botanical supplements on the immune response in athletes are unknown, despite a recent increase in herbal supplement use by both college and professional athletes. We conducted 2 separate studies to examine the effects of in vitro Echinacea stimulation on the immune responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) taken from athletes during preseason training. College-level male competitive athletes from 2 sports (wrestling and soccer) participated in the studies. PBMCs were isolated from blood sampled either pre- or post-practice, standardized to the same concentration, and then stimulated with extracts from Echinacea pallida, Echinacea simulata, or solvent vehicle control. Cytokine production (TNF, IL-Ib, IL-I0, and IFN-g) was measured from super-natants collected between 24-72 hrs contingent on the specific cytokine; proliferation was assessed at 72 hrs. Extracts were phytochemically profiled by high pressure liquid chromatography to quantify known bioactive compounds including alkamides and caffeic acid derivatives. Results differed between the wrestlers and soccer players. In general, E. simulata was a more potent immunomodulator than E. pallida in both studies. Following exercise, PBMC production of TNF, IL-l0, and IFN-g production either decreased or was unaffected. IL-lb levels showed no change in either study. PBMC proliferation increased in the wrestlers as a result of training, but decreased in the soccer players. In conclusion, observed effects were contingent on species chosen, time point within preseason training, and sport (training type).
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