Astragalus has a positive immunomodulatory effect in patients with myasthenia gravia. - GreenMedInfo Summary
[Effect of compound astragalus recipe on lymphocyte subset, immunoglobulin and complements in patients with myasthenia gravia].
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2009 Apr;29(4):305-8. PMID: 19526753
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect and mechanisms of Compound Astragalus Recipe (CAR) for regulating cellular immune in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG). METHODS: Sixty MG patients were equally assigned to two groups randomly, the test group administered with CAR and the control group with prednisone for 3 months. Changes of patients' symptoms and adverse reactions were observed. The peripheral lymphocyte subsets distribution was examined by flow cytometry, and the levels of immunoglobulins and complements in the peripheral blood were measured by immuno-turbidimetry before and after treatment. RESULTS: The total effective rate in the test group after 12-week treatment reached 80% (24/30), while that of the control group reached 83.3% (25/30), difference between them showed no statistical significance (P > 0.05). CD4+ and CD4+/CD8+ ratio were lowered significantly in both groups, but the decrement of CD4+/CD8+ ratio in the test group was more significant than that in the control group, showing significance between groups (P < 0.05). While CD8+ in the test group after treatment was significantly increased as compared with that before treatment (P < 0.05), but with no significant difference in comparing with that in the control group (P > 0.05). Serum levels of IgM and IgA in MG patients were significantly higher than normal range (P < 0.01). Levels of C3 and C4 were significantly increased in both groups after treatment (P < 0.05). Moderate high level of ALT and AST revealed transiently at the 2nd week in 5 patients of the control group, while no adverse reaction was found in the test group. CONCLUSION: One of the mechanisms for CAR in playing its immuno-modulate effect may be its regulation on lymphocyte subsets distribution and humoral immune function.