Background: IL-17/IL-23 axis plays an important role in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and multiple sclerosis (MS). The immunomodulatory properties of ginger are reported in previous studies.
Objective: To evaluate the effects of ginger extract on the expression of IL-17 and IL-23 in a model of EAE.
Methods: EAE was induced in C57BL/6 mice by immunization with myelin oligodendroglial glycoprotein and then treated with PBS or ginger extracts, from day +3 to +30. At day 31, mice were scarificed and the expression of IL-17 and IL-23 mRNA in spinal cord were determined by using real time-PCR. The serum levels of cytokines were measured by ELISA.
Results: The mRNA expression of IL-17, IL-23 P19 and IL-23 P40 in CNS and serum levels of IL- 17 and IL-23 were significantly higher in PBS-treated EAE mice than non-EAE group (p<0.003, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively). In 200 mg/kg gingertreated EAE mice the mRNA expression of IL-17, P19 and P40 in CNS and serum IL- 23 levels were significantly decreased as compared to PBS-treated EAE mice (p<0.05, p<0.001, p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively). Moreover, 300 mg/kg ginger-treated EAE group had significantly lower expression of IL-17, P19 and P40 in CNS and lower serum IL-17 and IL-23 levels than PBS-treated EAE group (p<0.02, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.03 and p<0.004, respectively).
Conclusion: Ginger extract reduces the expression of IL-17 and IL-23 in EAE mice. The therapeutic potential of ginger for treatment of MS could be considered in further studies.