Planta Med 2013; 79 - PN45
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1348726

Effects of Noni (Morinda citrifolia) Fruit on Cell-Mediated Immunity

Y Abe 1, 2, M Futamura-Masuda 1, K Murata 1, H Matsuda 1
  • 1Faculty of Pharmacy, Kinki University, 3 – 4-1 Kowakae, Higashiosaka, Osaka, Japan 577 – 8502
  • 2Morinda Worldwide, Inc., Japan Branch, 3 – 2-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan 160 – 0023

Morinda citrifolia, commonly known as noni, is a traditional natural medicine in French Polynesia and Hawaii. Previous studies have been performed to elucidate its pharmacological activities. In one such study, noni exhibited anti-tumor activity through immune system activation. However, the underlying mechanism was not studied in detail. In the current study, the picryl chloride-induced contact dermatitis (PC-CD) model was used to evaluate the effect of noni fruit flesh extract (MCF-ext) on cell-mediated immunity (CMI). MCF-ext was administered orally to mice for 1 week. Afterwards, CMI suppressive substance from Ehrlich carcinoma-bearing mice (EC-sup) was injected intraperitoneally. MCF-ext treated mice recovered from CMI suppression. Activity guided fractionation led to the isolation of an iridoid glucoside, deacetylasperulosidic acid (DAA), as an active compound. The effects of MCF-ext and DAA on the production of selected cytokines and lymphocyte subsets (CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, B220+ and CD49b+) in splenocytes were also evaluated. MCF-ext and DAA aided recovery from EC-sup induced IL-2 reduction but did not influence cell populations. Furthermore, MCF-ext and DAA enhanced natural killer (NK) cell activity against Yac-1 (murine lymphoma) cells. These results suggest MCF-ext and DAA possess immunomodulatory properties and control CMI by normalizing cytokine production and/or activating NK cells.